Tips for Camping with a First-Timer

While the outdoors are there for everyone to enjoy, not everyone enjoys them. I know — try to contain your shock.

For those of us who perhaps spend more time under the stars than a ceiling, coaxing our less than outdoorsy friends and family into joining us for a night around the campsite can be a tricky job. Here are a few tips that just might make that job a little easier.

Know Where They’re Coming From

It helps to find out what experience your guest has with the outdoors. Have they gone camping before? Most people say they’ve been on a camping trip; some even like to think they were “roughin’ it.” I’ve found that “roughin’ it” generally means staying in an RV with a TV and shower. Whether they’ve slept on a ground, on a cot, or in an RV, though, it’s a good idea to get an understanding of your camping buddy’s experience.

Start Simple

You might be a seasoned trail vet, but keep in mind that your guest may not even know how to pitch a tent. I suggest you start small to ease them into what it’s like in the great outdoors. Maybe rent a cabin, an RV or find a campsite that offers amenities like temperature control or clean bathrooms. The shorter and simpler their first camping trip is, the less likely it is that things will go wrong and more likely that your guest will have the desire to return to the trail someday.

Become Mother Nurture

Do what you can to make your guest’s outside experience as cozy as their home. I know it’s hard, but doing so early on will help convince them to join you on future trips. Whatever everyday items you can bring along, bring. Pillows, extra blankets, sleeping pad — heck, even Oreo’s if that’s their thing. Bring them along to make the campsite feel as much like home as you can.

Teachers and Students

Odds are your guest will like learning outdoor skills, but they’ll likely feel nervous or embarrassed during the process. To help make it easier on them, try not to act like a know-it-all and boss them around. Be humble and teach them the cool skills you know and love, like the best way to pack a bag, how to pitch a tent, clean a fish or even make a fire. Then on the next night, give them a shot at making the fire or pitching the tent.

Close the Deal

Once you’re on your way home, don’t shy away from talking up the highlights of your trip. Reminisce with your guest about the great times you had and even the funny stories from mishaps. To motivate them even further, let them know how impressed you were with how they handled their first camping trip and how you can’t wait to see how they handle the next one. On subsequent adventures, push them a little harder each time and do whatever it takes to get them back at the campsite in the future!

© Dollatum Hanrud | – Campsite.