Ground Rules for First-Time Campers

If you are camping for the first time, there are many things that would be new to you. You will find many articles on the internet about what items you should take along. This article, in contrast, is about some general rules you should follow no matter where you go.

Do not feed the animals

It may be very tempting to interact with the animals you come across, but you should avoid feeding them. At the most, just give them some water. The digestive systems of deer, elks, moose or other animals are unable to handle processed food and can prove to be fatal.

Prepare the campsite

Many campsites already have areas where you can pitch your 4 person tent and light a fire, but some aren’t. In case your campsite doesn’t provide you this facility, you will have to do it yourself. Avoid damaging trees and plants as far as you can. You should also familiarize yourself with the basic rules related to the campsite like whether or not overnight camping is permitted.

Keep the campsite clean

Leaving around garbage, wood, branches and other rubbish around your campsite is a no-no. Not only is it disrespectful to the environment, but it can also prove to be dangerous to you. Leftover food can attract predatory animals, and the bits and pieces can cause you injury.

Do not keep food in your tent

Avoid keeping food in your tent as this can attract insects which can bring diseases and injuries.

Arrive before dark

There are several reasons why you should arrive at your campsite before dark. You need the daylight to set up your camp and see what you are doing. You need to determine if your campsite is safe, and this will prove to be difficult with flashlights.

Do not open your sleeping bag until it is time to sleep

This will protect you from bugs while at the same time help to keep the sleeping bag warm.

Keep your tent zipped

It is very important that you keep your tent tightly zipped in order to keep creepy-crawlies at bay so that you are able to sleep in peace. You are in the wild, which is home to several unsavory animals. It is not uncommon to find animals like hedgehogs and snakes slithering into your tent uninvited.

Decide where your fireplace will be

It is merely a matter of common sense not to have an open flame in or around your tent, but you would be surprised how many people take this lightly. If you decide to have a bonfire, keep your fireplace at least 10 feet away from your tent and make sure it is as far as possible from dry grass, bushes, or other vegetative growth. Before digging a fire pit, clean the area as much as you can to reduce the chances of anything catching fire. Make sure that any rocks in the area are dry. Wet rocks can explode, causing a great deal of damage to life and property.


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