The best camping tip you can get is to abide by the Boy Scout motto and "be prepared." There are all sorts of things that can happen on a camping trip so expect the unexpected. Make lists of items that you should bring and pack all the essential equipment. Take into consideration the area where you will be, any rules for the camping site, weather conditions, safety and fun.
Make sure you have the proper equipment for camping. Know what sleeping arrangements are and where you will be cooking. If you are using a camper or RV, much of this will be supplied in your facilities but you will need to know any rules for the particular campsite. If you are sleeping outdoors, make sure you have tents and sleeping bags as well as warm clothing. Bring waterproof matches for campfires and cooking. Set up tents according to instruction. Always leave your campsite the way you found it. The best rule of thumb is to make sure it looks like you were never there.
Bring only the cooking utensils you will need to prepare meals and eat. You will not have a dishwasher and may not have trash bins available. So, make sure you can easily clean and dispose of food items and waste. Bring lightweight, non perishable and easy to cook and clean food items. Canned foods, trail mix, soups and stews are great nutritional meals that are easy to store and carry.
My favorite way to cook while camping is over the fire, using a tripod and aluminum foil. There are lots of delicious meals you can cook by putting a few ingredients in a piece of foil, sealing it, and cooking it. Cleanup is a breeze. There are no dishes to wash. You just need to properly dispose of the used aluminum foil. Do an Internet search for "campfire recipes" and you'll get lots of delicious foil/pouch campfire meal ideas. While getting ready for camping, do not forget the water. Make sure you have plenty available to keep hydrated and to cook with.
Plan for the expected weather conditions in the area but do not be surprised if there is a sudden climate change. For summer bring hats for protection, sunscreen and insect repellant. For winter, make sure to dress in layers, wear sunscreen, and have waterproof footwear. Always bring extra clothing in case of a climate change. Even in hot weather it can get very chilly at night. Prepare for rain by ensuring you have shelter, tarps and waterproof attire.
A first aid kit is a required piece of camping equipment. These can be found pre made in pharmacies and outdoor sporting goods stores. Rope, a flashlight and waterproof matches are also important. Having a compass available will help in case you get lost and a whistle can help you call for help even if you are fatigued. If leaving the campsite, make sure you bring food and water supplies.
Bring games and toys, especially if you are traveling with children. A game of Frisbee or football is a fun way to spend an afternoon. Bring your fishing rods and canoes for fun on the water. Do not forget to bring binoculars and a camera for hikes and nature walks. You may want to bring art supplies and books in case of inclement weather. For nature walks, insect and plant guide books are usually lightweight and can help you identify wildlife and items in nature.
Camping can be great fun but you should always prepare for things that may come up. Sudden changes in weather can occur and accidents can happen. Make a list of the supplies you will need and carefully pack for your trip. Being prepared will help ensure you have a great time and stay as safe as possible in all conditions.