Tips from The Kitchn

The Beginner's Guide to Car Camping

Image Credit: Michelle Peters-Jones

Come the sunshine, one of the first things my family does is to pack up the car and head out into the great outdoors. We are lucky to be living in Edmonton, Canada with easy access to some of the most spectacular national parks in the world, Jasper and Banff.

So, you want to wake up to this gorgeous view, but have no idea where to start? That's where I come in, with some handy hints and tips that will make your first, or latest, camping experience a breeze.

Image Credit: Michelle Peters-Jones

If you've never camped before, it can certainly seem intimidating. However, with these basic preparations and easy organizing tips, you can soon be enjoying a lovely, reasonably-priced summer vacation with very little effort on your part.

1. Booking a Campsite

Start with research on where you want to go — most campgrounds are based in national, state, or provincial parks.

Image Credit: Michelle Peters-Jones

2. Camping Essentials

The next step is to organize the equipment that you will need for camping. Contrary to what you might think, camping, and in particular, car and tent camping, does not need expensive equipment. Here are the essentials:

3. Other Things to Pack

Image Credit: Michelle Peters-Jones

4. Final tips to make your camping experience a positive one:

Whether you're a novice or experienced campers, hopefully these tips will help you with your next trip. There's nothing as magical as the first night: the stars come out and shine brighter than you can ever imagine in a city and if you watch closely, you can see satellites and shooting stars flashing by. This life, my friends, is one of the best, and most idyllic ways you can enjoy your summer.

→ More camping tips from Michelle: How I Pack Food for Car Camping