Camping for Beginners

We’re well into prime camping months for the outdoorsy people among us. Sleeping under the stars in a National Park sounds like heaven to some families and folks. But maybe you’re one of the people who feel a little freaked out by the idea of sleeping in bear country.

camping 101

Never fear. is here! Check out our handy list of tips for the less rustically inclined. Camping has truly never been easier and you’ll be a pro before you know it!

Rent a Minivan
Did you know you can rent fuel-efficient conversion minivan to house you during your camping adventure? Aussie rental company Jucy has outposts in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco near major airports so you can easily drop in, pick up your mini RV and hit the road. Minivans sleep 4 people (2 double beds), have two stoves, a sink and fridge – all for very reasonable prices (a recent 5-night deal over the 4th of July weekend was being offered for $499).

Have an Airport Strategy
When you’re considering a camping trip a bit further afield, make sure you’ve researched all of your options. Flying to a more remote destination and renting a car might be more economical than a long road trip. For example, flying to Las Vegas is an economical flight from most corners of the United States, and Vegas is a great base for exploring Utah, Arizona and California’s spectacular National Parks. Desert Adventures has got all of your camping gear needs covered.

Trust the Experts
Lots of people think to camp properly you have to own all of the gear which can be a cost prohibitive and daunting proposition. Don’t stress. Loads of outdoor outfitters now cater to camping customers so you can generally pick out a package of camping gear based on your needs and they’ll ship everything to you that you might need.

OutdoorsGeek out of Denver has camp “packages” to help keep things simple. For example, they know that Yellowstone mostly has 8’ x 8’ camping pads. That means you’ll want 4-person tents for maximum comfort. Viola! That expert advice comes with the package! Their intro package is just $179 and comes with a professional-grade tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, a camp table, stove, cook set, cooler and camp chairs (2)! To purchase all of this gear would be a major investment – what a steal!

There’s No Shame in the Glamping Game
When all is said and done, some people are just never going to be completely comfortable with the idea of outhouses and sleeping bags. And that’s okay. Even city slickers can enjoy the great outdoors.


A glamping trip can be as simple as picking a gorgeous destination known for more upscale “camping” options like Big Sur on the California coast, choosing a campsite that caters to less handy folks (some camping spots come set up with tents and real beds), or picking an “official” glamping destination where you get pampered with luxe accommodations and have a professional chef prepare your meals. We like Under Canvas, if you’re looking for the luxury option. They have locations at the Grand Canyon, Zion, Glacier, among others and are adding spots all the time.

Go Small or Go Home!
Before you load up and plan a 3-day excursion to the bottom of the Grand Canyon or hike El Capitan in Yosemite, we have three words for ya. Slow. Your. Roll. When you’re a new camping person, don’t overdo it. You should start small (a weekend getaway) and build to more strenuous, longer trips. There are plenty of stunning National Parks that are basically all-access. You drive in and drive back out. Start with somewhere like Arches National Park in Utah – it’s very close to provisions (the town of Moab is a short 10 minute drive out of the park) or Joshua Tree (a bit more remote, but hikes here are more of an amble than a climb). Build to the more complicated camping situations once you’ve got a few trips under your belt. Set yourself up for success!

Happy travels camping newbies! Check out our post on great places to camp for families.

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