A comprehensive beginner camping guide that covers you from camping meals to the best family tent.

If you want to go camping but don’t have much experience, there are a number of things that you will need to know when planning your first trip. The more you learn about camping, the better prepared you will be and the more fun you will have. Whether it is learning which camping meals to cook or the best places to go camping, this information will benefit you in a number of ways. Camping can make for an exciting adventure, but you need to be prepared. This page will help you create a camping checklist for everything you need to know; from the best beginner campgrounds near Vancouver, to the best family tent 

Camping Meal Ideas

There are a lot of simple but delicious camping meals that you can make when going camping. You can prepare these meals in a matter of minutes, and they don’t require a lot of equipment or supplies. The right camping food can make your trip even more enjoyable.

Crispy Bacon

If you want a quick but tasty snack when camping, there is nothing better than a few strips of bacon. All you have to do is put each strip of bacon on a skewer and put it over your fire until they have gotten nice and crispy.

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are a classic camping food choice, and just about everyone loves them. Make sure that you cook the beef prior to leaving for your camping trip, putting it in airtight Ziplock bags. When you are ready to eat, all you have to do is mix the beef with some salsa and put it onto hamburger buns.

Sandwiches

There are many different types of sandwiches that you can make at a moment’s notice, and it’s the perfect camping food. Whether it is peanut butter and jelly or something a bit more substantial, your options are endless.

Pancakes

Just bring some pre-mixed pancake ingredients with you in a tightly sealed back and pour them onto a griddle over a fire when you are ready for breakfast. It will only take a few minutes and it will taste great (as long as you don’t overcook them).

Scrambled Eggs

Another good breakfast option for those who enjoy going camping is scrambled eggs. It’s best to bring liquid eggs with you on your trip just to save yourself the hassle of cracked eggs. You can also bring a lot of other ingredients with you to make the eggs more interesting. If you want a southwest twist on your scrambled eggs, throw in some bell peppers, corn, red onions and jalapeno.

Youtube is always a good source for finding camping food inspirations. Here is a video with a few foods that have worked great for me.

Creating a Camping Checklist

This may be the most important thing to consider in my beginner camping checklist. Because there are so many different things that need to be done when going camping, it’s important to have a checklist. When you have a camping checklist of everything you need to do to prepare for your trip, you won’t have to worry about forgetting anything crucial.

  • Select a date: The very first thing that you will need to do is select a date for your camping trip. It is important to keep in mind that campgrounds can fill up pretty quickly, especially during the summer. It is best to leave early in the morning so you can avoid traffic as much as possible. By doing this you won’t have to deal with setting up your campsite in the dark.
  • Choose the right campsite: Since there are so many different places you can go camping, you should make a point of finding the right one. There are all different types of campsites, including “primitive campsites” in national parks and other places where you can throw your family tent almost anywhere.
  • Prepare your gear: Make sure that all of the gear/equipment that you are bringing with you is functioning properly so you don’t have any issues later on. This includes any lanterns, lighters, tents, stoves or other gear that you plan on taking. If you have had your gear in storage for quite a while, there is a chance that some of it needs to be repaired or replaced.
  • Prepare your food: You also need to prepare the food that you are planning on bringing with you. It’s always a good idea to stay organized by writing down everything you are going to eat for each camping meal every day of your trip. This will tell you exactly what kind of preparation needs to be done in the kitchen. You will want to invest in some durable Ziplock bags for storing meats and other things that you want to stay fresh until you need them.

camping checklist

Best Beginner Camp Grounds Near Vancouver

It is important that you find the best beginner camp grounds near Vancouver so you can choose one that you will be happy staying at. The more options you know about, the better of a decision you will be able to make for your trip.

Alice Lake Campground

There are many different places to go camping around Vancouver, but Alice Lake Provincial Park is among the best. This particular campground has some beautiful mountains, forests and clearings for some truly idyllic scenery that will make your trip extra special. There are four different lake trails that you can go hiking on here, and plenty of amenities to enjoy. This campground has firewood, cold and hot running water, pit and flush toilets, electrical hook-ups, and much more.

Gold Creek Campground

Gold Creek campground is located in Golden Ears Provincial Park, and it is a great place to set up your tent. The Edge and Blanchard mountains make this campground a beautiful place to visit, and it is even open for those who want to camp in the winter. Many people regard this as being one of the best campgrounds in the entire Vancouver area because of its incredible scenery.

Garibaldi Lake

The Garibaldi Lake campground in Garibaldi Provincial Park is perfect for those who want to spend some time in the wilderness. The majestic mountains and clear waters of the glacial lake make this place heaven on earth. There are nearly 5,000 acres of land here, so you definitely won’t have a problem finding an isolated spot to set up camp from other people. There aren’t a lot of amenities offered here, but you will be able to set your family tent up wherever you want. This is my personal choice for the best beginner camp ground near Vancouver. If you wake up early, make the trek up to Panorama Ridge for gorgeous views of the lake. 

Granite Falls

Granite Falls campground in Indian Arm Park is one of the best beginner camp grounds near Vancouver, and it is perfect for those who love to go kayaking. One of the reasons that this campsite has become so popular is because it is located under a 50-metre waterfall, which makes for great scenery and kayaking for those who are really adventurous. Campfires are forbidden here, but it is a beautiful place to visit.

best beginner camp grounds near Vancouver

Looking down on Gorgeous Garibaldi lake

Things to Bring Camping

There will be certain things that you will need to bring camping, and you certainly don’t want to forget them. When going over your camping checklist, here are a few important things to remember:

Campsite Gear

Make sure that you don’t forget your family tent as well as the poles and stakes to anchor it down. You will also want to pack some extra blankets and pillows to rest your head on. It’s also a good idea to have a lantern so you will be able to see at night. A repair kit is absolutely essential just in case your mattress or tent gets damaged during your trip.

Kitchen Camping Gear, Utensils, and Containers

You will, of course, need to eat while you are camping, and there are certain supplies you’ll have to bring. You should bring a stove as well as fuel for it. Don’t forget to bring a lighter or matches as well as firewood (unless the campground has it already). A pot and frying pan are two basic pieces of cooking equipment that you should also bring. A cooler is also a good idea, as it will keep any food and drinks you bring with you cold. Remember to also bring plates and eating utensils so you don’t end up having to use your hands.

Extra Clothing

Remember to pack clothes that are appropriate for the weather you are expecting while camping. If you are planning on going swimming, bring swimsuits. If you are going to go hiking, make sure that you bring some hiking boots. It could get cold at night when you are camping, so remember to bring some extra layers just in case. You should also have a hat with you to keep the sun out of your eyes.

First Aid Kit

There is always the chance that you will get injured while camping, so you will need to make a point of bringing a first aid kit. You should have bandages, antibacterial cream/spray, and anything else that might be useful in treating mild injuries.

Personal Items

Some of the personal items that you don’t want to forget when going camping include sunscreen, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and any prescription medications you take. Remember to invest in a good bug repellent as well so you don’t end up covered in mosquito bites. You should think about bringing a pair or binoculars if you have some so you can get a better view of the scenery and wildlife in the distance.

The Best Family Tent for Camping: The Teton Ultra 3

If you are going to take your family camping, it’s important that you find the right tent. This should be the first objective on your camping checklist. There are many different tents that you can purchase, you don’t want to choose just any of them. A lot of them claim to be the best family tent for camping, but The TETON Ultra 3 by Sports Mountain is by far the best family tent for camping because of everything it has to offer. I have been using this the TETON Ultra 3 for a while at numerous locations and decided to share my review.

The TETON Ultra 3 has a lightweight design but durable design, which means that it can hold up well in all different weather conditions. It has quick release buckles and watertight floor that won’t get wet inside if it rains. This tent packs up very tight and doesn’t take up a lot of room when you are storing or transporting it.

The rainfly of the TETON Ultra 3 has built-in cut away vents that allow for great airflow, and it is completely solid so you can maintain your privacy at all times. The floor of the tent goes up the side walls so that the elements never creep in to cause you any discomfort when you are inside. The 150D oxford footprint makes the tent floor very durable, and the reinforced seams ensure many years of use. The tent poles are made out of lightweight aluminum, making them extremely strong and long-lasting.

The TETON Ultra 3 fits up to three people at once quite comfortably, making it perfect for families. The full mesh top of the tent will provide you with the perfect way to enjoy the starry night sky while staying completely warm and dry. There are few other tents on the market that are quite as durable and well-designed as this one. If you are planning on taking your family camping, you simply cannot go wrong with this tent.

There are built-in gear pockets that will provide you with additional storage, and the carry bag has a shoulder strap that you can adjust to keep it upright when taking it from your car to the campsite. The heavy-duty resin buckles that the TETON Ultra 3 tent features will provide you with additional security. If you are camping in high winds, you will certainly be glad for the rainfly’s loops that can accommodate guy wires so you can anchor the tent down.

Those who are looking for the best family tent for camping will find that the TETON Ultra 3 is a perfect choice. There are many different reasons to consider buying this tent, including the fact that it can hold up well in almost any weather conditions. You will definitely get a lot for the money you spend, so it is an excellent overall investment to make. If you tend to go camping a lot, you definitely want a tent that is going to stand the test of time.

No matter where you plan on going camping, you can be certain that the TETON Ultra 3 tent will meet your needs. It is an ideal choice for anyone who is on a budget and needs a good family tent that will hold up well.

Click on the tent to view the Amazon Listing of the TETON Ultra 3!

TETON Ultra 3

For more great guides, check out my Local Travel Tips page.

Hello There! My name is Oscar and I am the author and creator of this website. I have lived in Vancouver my whole life (42 years) and want to share some city tips with everyone. When I am not working I like to explore my town and the surrounding areas. My passions include hockey, hiking, and swimming! If you want to know more about Vancouver and myself, check out our ‘About Us’ page