Who says single ladies can’t go camping? Hopefully no one, but if you’re wondering if camping really is for you the answer is you should definitely give it a shot. If you’re a first-time camper I’ve created this single girl’s guide to camping just for you!
Where do I sleep while camping?
There are three main choices when it comes to camping:
- Sleeping in an RV
- Getting yourself a tent
- Using your vehicle as your accommodations
For this guide to camping, we’re going to talk about tent camping, because unless you happen to have access to an RV or tent trailer, a tent is your best bet.
Regardless of whether you’re camping by yourself or with someone else, I recommend getting a four-person tent. That way you have room to place your bag and also have a large enough space for a mattress.
The good news is, you can get a tent for fairly cheap. But the type of tent you get will depend on the type of camping you’re doing and where you’re going.
If you’re headed out camping in the summer to a camping resort, you’re most likely able to go with a simple tent. However, if you’re headed out for spring or fall camping (or you’re a crazy winter camper), you’ll want something a bit more durable.
When it comes to picking a tent, look for water or rainproof, something with sun protection, mosquito netting and ventilation. You’ll also want something durable and easy to put up (pop tents are the easiest).
When it comes to what you actually sleep on, I highly recommended a comfortable air mattress. I can tell you from experience that sleeping on a thin pad or foamies isn’t going to be nearly comfortable enough on the cold, hard ground.
For ease, I also recommend getting a mattress with a built-in air pump. If the pump is built-in then you don’t have to bring along one more thing.
The last thing you’ll need for your girl’s camping trip is a warm, cozy sleeping bag. If you’re headed out on your trip in the warm summer months you likely won’t need a heavy-duty sleeping bag.
Something like the Coleman Palmetto sleeping bag is both budget-friendly, packable and made for cool weather. Don’t forget to pack your favourite pillow and an extra throw never hurt anyone!
Enjoy camping life by building a fire
Campfires are a big part of camping. They’re a great way to spend an evening chatting with friends, roasting some hot dogs and marshmallows, singing campfire tunes and simply enjoying nature.
A campfire is going to be no good without a comfortable place to sit. One of the best camp-friendly chairs is a mesh folding chair that can easily be packed up. Plus, if you’ve got another campfire in the area, they’re light and easy to cart around.
Building a fire
To actually start a fire you need three things:
- Kindling—these are skinny pieces of cut wood that catch fire easier than a big log
- Newspaper, cardboard or other easy-to-light material
Once you have your fire lit, you’ll need wood to keep it going. Chances are you can pick this up through the camp itself or a store close by.
Fires tend to be pretty easy to start and maintain, but since fires are not toys you have to be careful. Make sure not to let it grow too big and put it out before you go to bed.
When it comes to putting your fire out, you’ll want to avoid simply dumping water over it or it’ll be a challenge to make another one the next day. Simply let the fire die down to coals and cover the pit with a grate.
Cooking on your fire
Let’s be honest, a campfire is nothing without roasting hot dogs or marshmallows on it. And for that, you’ll need roasting sticks!
The good news is that fire sticks are inexpensive and easy to pack. Plus, they can make so many delicious meals.
And, if you’re looking for variety, you can also get sandwich makers. Can you say campfire grilled cheese?
Cooking while camping
Speaking of food, you’ll need somehow to cook food when you’re not sitting around the campfire. In the case, of a tool to cook on a portable stove like the Coleman is a great choice to cook virtually anything!
And to cook your food on your portable stove, you’ll need a camp-friendly pot like the GSI convex kettle. When it comes to camp stove-ware, you want something durable and large enough to feed your party in one pot.
Store your food in a cooler
If you’re not camping in an RV, you’ll need a cooler filled with ice to cool your food. I like something easy-to-maneuver like the Coleman Wheeled Cooler.
You’ll want a cooler big enough for the food that needs to keep cool plus the drinks you want on ice, so choose wisely!
Don’t bring your normal dinnerware camping with you. Get durable campware that is lightweight and easy to wash. How much you bring along depends on how many people you have with you, but bring a minimum of two!
When it comes to enjoying your drinks, my go-to camping glasses are stainless steel tumblers. I like them because they can handle hot or cold drinks, and they keep them at the proper temperatures for longer periods of time.
Not only do you need dishes to eat on, but you’ll need a water jug to keep clean drinking water. You’ll want it big enough that you don’t have to constantly fill it up but small enough that you can cart it back and forth from the filling station with ease. Something like the Coleman 5 gallon jug.
A camp-friendly sink
The single girl’s guide to camping wouldn’t be complete without something to ensure you have the ability to clean up your dinner mess. A portable, packable camp sink like the Aqua All Purpose Utility Bucket is perfect.
Camping is a great place to relax and part of relaxing is having fun. When it comes to camp-friendly entertainment, you’ll want to bring a ton of games, books and other outdoor activities.
For groups of two or more, a set of Giant Tumbling Timbers can be a real hoot of an afternoon.
A giant game of Yahtzee is also a great camp-friendly activity. And the GoSports Giant Wooden Playing Dice Set is perfect for that!
No single girl’s guide to camping would be complete without my absolute favourite camping board game: Sequence. I honestly can’t go on a camping trip without it.
Sequence is easy to play and you can play with anywhere from two to twelve people! All you need is a picnic table and friends.
Other camping must-haves
Camping definiately requires an LED Lantern or two are a must-have when it comes to camping. Whether you’re walking to and from the bathroom, need some light in the tent or are sitting around the campfire, a lantern is definitely required.
I recommend going with a battery-operated lantern instead of gas or propane. It’s much safer and easier to handle.
And a lantern isn’t the only light source you should pack for your camping trip, you’ll want a hand-held flashlight or two to bring along as well.
If you have a lantern, you don’t need anything too heavy-duty. Something small like the GearLight LED Tactical Flashlight is perfect.
Camping Safety Tips
Headed out on a camping trip by yourself? Here are a few safety tips you need to keep in mind!
Tell someone where you are
This should be a no-brainer, but I’ll leave it here anyway—always tell someone where you’re going to be and when you’re going to be back. This is especially the case if you’re headed out on a solo venture.
In fact, if you’re headed out on a solo adventure, I would recommend also picking an active campsite to visit (especially if you’re a newbie camper) where there are people around. Introduce yourself to the camp host or warden just to be safe.
Store food safely
Don’t keep food in your tent. And if you happen to be camping in bear country you’ll want to keep food in bear proof canisters or food lockers. The Yosemite National Park has a great article on their website for dealing with food storage while camping.
Store electronics safely
I don’t know about you, but I bring my computer, laptop and iPad almost everywhere. And when you’re camping the security is a little less-than-typical. Make sure when you’re not using them and, especially when you’re not around, to lock them up.
I recommend locking electronics in your car, likely under the seat or in a box where you can’t see it from the window. And keeping your car locked!
Keep a light with you
It’s dark outside, and it gets dark much faster than you’d expect. I recommend keeping a flashlight with you at all times. Even if it’s just a small pocket flashlight.