1. My sister and I have always said that we would like to try camping as a way of inexpensively making our way to the beach more frequently during the summer.

    My eagerness to try something new has always been shadowed by my horrible memories of always getting soaking wet during every girl scout camping trip-- without exception!

    Well, I decided to put away my fears, and have booked a campsite for four nights later this month. I don't have any camping supplies other than a sleeping bag. I'm heading out to Dicks Sporting Goods now to see what kind of tent I can find...

    Anyone have any words of wisdom? Any tips/tricks to keeping the rain and bugs outside?
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    About EMSnut45, ADN, RN, EMT-P

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 257; Likes: 650
    Critical Care Transport Nurse and Paramedic; from US
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  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    Yep. Stay in a hotel.
  4. by   EMSnut45
    Thanks, Viva! I was hoping for a little more encouragement!
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    HAHAHAHA!!! Sorry, can't give you any.....I hate camping. I've only been once, and I spent pretty much the entire trip inebriated, just so I could cope with freezing my patookus off at 8,000 feet, the cold, the bugs, and the lack of hygiene (trust me, having your menses out in the middle of the forest is a barrel of laughs.....NOT). The last night of my one outdoors adventure, I dropped the big five-cell flashlight down the hole in the outhouse. It's probably still down there, lit. After that, we couldn't see where we were going anymore........only where we'd been.

    Seriously, I hope you have a wonderful time! I will say that there is nothing better than freshly-caught trout cooked over a Coleman stove, wienies roasted over a campfire, some S'mores, a cooler full of ice-cold beer, and a few scary stories. Now if I could've had all that AND been comfortable, I'd be whistling a whole different tune.
  6. by   FlyingScot
    Make sure the tent has a fly. Get an ensolite/foam pad to put under your sleeping bag. Mosquito repellent with Deet. Flyswatter. Dining fly or screen house over the picnic table. Dustbrush and dustpan to clean the sand out of the tent. Sand stakes for the tent and the dining fly (much longer than the regular ones). Groundcloth for the tent. Collapsible water jugs. Liquid body soap because using sand-encrusted bar soap on sunburn is excruciating. All of this is not absolutely necessary but I would call it the minimal equipment to be actually comfortable. I've been camping since I was 6 weeks old and my first trip was to the beach.
  7. by   LaughingRN
    I am another camper from birth to now (can't wait for my July vacation

    For tent camping:

    -A tent (bigger is not always better, smaller tents are easier to set up, and significantly warmer at night)


    -camp chairs for fire/beach (unless you like sitting in dirt)


    -Tarp (vip, you can always find trees etc, to tie up a tarp over a table for drizzle/rain)

    -lighter matches!

    -winnie roasting sticks

    -Coleman camp stove...especially if you want "real" food

    -water jugs, collapsible are really good

    -Bucket to do dishes in

    -plastic camp dishes, old pots, pans, utensils

    - plastic tablecloth (you will appreciate this when you have to eat off the old and sometime dirty wood picnic tables)

    I have more...just have to think

  8. by   CrufflerJJ
    The comment about "make sure your tent has a fly" is a good one. That way, you can leave your shoes/boots right outside the tent entrance, yet keep them protected from rain.

    Don't forget to bring:
    - sunscreen/sunblock
    - a paperback book or two
    - a few LED lights. Best would be those that can clip onto your clothing or inside the tent. More convenient, longer lasting than most regular incandescent bulb type flashlights.
    - a couple cheap lightweight folding chairs or stools (unless you want to sit on the ground all the time)
    - a small bottle of dish soap (unless you're just using paper plates & such)

    PRACTICE setting up your tent (with ground cloth underneath it) before you go out on your camping adventure.
    Consider getting some "real" tent stakes (plastic or metal), rather than the useless, easily pulled-out-of-the-ground bent steel wire "stakes" that are supplied with some tents nowadays.

    If "no see ums" (little tiny biting flying insects) are prevalent in your camping area, make sure that your tent mesh is small enough to keep them out. Otherwise, you're guaranteed to be miserable at night.
  9. by   imintrouble
    Rent the best camper/RV you can afford.
    I tent camped one time. I'm surprised we weren't found dead from hypothermia. It was one of the most miserable nights of my life. After that we bought a camper.
    I admire your spirit of adventure, but I still recommend renting.
    Of course then there is the problem of how to pull the camper.
  10. by   jeannepaul
    We had a van (honda odyssey) We backed up on the beach, lifted the back, had a tarp to make a cover. I taped foil to the inside of the windows. during the day it was our bathroom as we had a small port a potty, and at night it was our bed. We had a big eggcrate. all four of us slept pretty good, but our kids were small. We had a cooler for drinks and sandwich stuff so we didn't need to buy a stove. we roated weenies and marshmallows over the fire. It worked out great since we were on a budget and couldn't go and buy the latest and greatest equipment. Now, I stay in a hotel. I'm a little older and like a cool room with a tv and a soft bed!!!
  11. by   FlyingScot
    Quote from jeannepaul
    We had a van (honda odyssey) We backed up on the beach, lifted the back, had a tarp to make a cover.
    Just make sure you shut off the interior light or you will be in a heap of trouble! LOL!
  12. by   applewhitern
    I agree with the one who said "Stay in a hotel instead." The last time I went camping, at the beach, the mosquitos, alligators, flys, etc., (oh, the heat was horrendous) made us miserable. Then I got sunburned, and it was soooo much worse! This was in Florida, so maybe it isn't that bad in less humid places.
  13. by   applewhitern
    You know, when you think about all the stuff you will have to buy, it might actually be cheaper to stay in a condo with a kitchen.
  14. by   EMSnut45
    Thanks, all! I have taken all of your suggestions into account as I packed, and we will be heading out shortly for first (and hopefully successful) camping trip!