Tent Camping Tips and Advice for First Time Campers and Camping Safety

Find tent camping tips for new campers, including a camping checklist, ideas for camp games, camping recipes, camp songs; your camping guide to fun!

Tent Camping can be a lot of fun, but only if you are organized. This means knowing what and what not to pack with a comprehensive camping checklist, what camping food to take, camping games that you can play and having those camp songs and lyrics to sing around your campfire. We will give you camping tips on all of these subject, and more, to ensure that you have a successful camping holiday.

The best thing about tent camping holidays is that they are cheap, and this is especially important during times like now, where everyone is looking for a cheap holiday. Secondly, you don't need to lay out a lot of money on camping gear and equipment if you don't want to. You can find cheap tents, backpacks, sleeping bags and cooking sets through our online shop for Camping Gear.

TENT CAMPING TIPS on Free Camp Sites

There are many people who never pay for a camp site because they camp in the desert, or in farmer's fields after securing permission, etc. However, these days, from a safety aspect it is better to pay a low fee and camp in a designated camping park or National Park that offers these facilities. What you are paying for is the convenience of having a safe place to sleep for the night, shower and toilet blocks and perhaps a small shop to buy supplies. However, for those of you who wish to take the chance, and go tent camping off the beaten track, know the dangers, try and camp in large numbers for extra safety and make sure that you have some form of protection.

TENT CAMPING TIPS on Where to Pitch your Tent

a steaming pot cooking over a camp fire

When you camp in tents you need to know where to pitch you tent to ensure a good night's sleep. So where are the best places?

  • 1. First of all, assess the location and decide if you want company or solitude. Are you able to put up with other noisy campers or do you wish to be left alone?
  • 2. Which way is the prevailing wind coming from? Pitch your tent away from the prevailing winds.
  • 3. Choose a site that is level, and shaded. However, if you choose to pitch your tent near trees check above for any signs of rotting or diseased branches or trees. Because in case of strong winds, you don't want to be a sitting duck for falling trees and branches.

  • 4. Find a spot with a view. No one wants to wake-up in the morning to a lousy view. You are out to enjoy nature and the scenery around you, so make sure that your tent faces a spot with a view to enhance your tent camping experience. If there is a mountain, the seaside, or a river in view, make sure that you can see it from your tent entrance.
  • 5. Make sure that you have a ground sheet to place first before your tent. This gives protection to the tent from any sharp stones and sticks. However, before pitching your tent, anything sharp or lumpy should be removed, so that you have created a smooth surface as possible.
  • 6. Are you close enough to the toilet blocks, if you wish, and other campers, yet far enough to give you privacy and peace and quiet?
  • 7.Finally for tent camping tips in this category - Do you have luminous guy ropes? It sounds a strange question to a novice camper, but more people have twisted ankles and worse besides after falling over guy ropes in both broad daylight and at night.

pouring water from a campfire bucket for tea

Campfire Cooking over an open fire can be dangerous.


Cooking on open fires is a wonderfully satisfying experience, and they go
hand-in-hand with camping. Don't forget to look at our page on camping recipes to get some more ideas on what meals you could cook for your next camping trip.

How to Make Campfires

The best material that you will need to pack are wads of newspapers, some twigs that are dry, not green and then your wood that has to be dry and well seasoned. 

One of the best ways to make campfires is to take your newspaper and roll up a couple of pages at a time into mini logs and soak them in kerosene. Leave them to dry and then pack these for your next camping trip. With these paper logs you will have no trouble at all in getting your fire started, even if the weather is a little damp and miserable.

Other material besides twigs make good tinder to get a fire going and can usually be found around campsites. Pine codes and pine needles make excellent fire starters. 

You will need to lay your paper logs or rolled pages of paper in a triangular stack to get the air under and between the paper. Oxygen feeds a fire, therefore you need to build your campfire like this. On top of the stack of papers you need to lay your dry tinder; twigs, dry grass, leaves, pine cones, dry pine needles etc. Place these all around the stack laying them against the paper.

Place the large logs around the stack as the final layer.

The trick to building a good campfire is to make sure that you have enough paper and tinder, because if you don't the fire could go out before your logs have started burning, and then you will have to start all over again!

Safety Tips for Campfires

With campfire cooking and open fires if you have children around, or even adults who are not thinking clearly at the time, you can end up with some very nasty accidents. Often you are camping in remote areas where help is too far away, or you haven't packed enough for these unforseen circumstances in the form of ointments, burn creams etc. 

So, the best way to approach campfire accidents is to avoid them, rather than having to deal with them. Here are some campfire safety tips for your next camping trip.

If you are building your fire on the ground, rather than in a purpose-built fireplace there are some important things that you need to remember:

  • 1. Out of all the tent camping tips, this is probably the most important. Make sure that there are no fire bans in your area on that day. This is especially so in countries where there are droughts and fires could get out of control very quickly.
  • 2. Wherever you have decided to pitch your tent, find out from the authorities if you have permission to build an open fire.
  • 3. Choose a piece of ground that is protected from the wind, and ideally dig a little depression in the ground if you have permission, in which you can set your fire.
  • 4. Check that there are no low, over-hanging branches above the fire. Branches should be at least 3 meters away from the fire in all directions, and there should be no debris, grass or vegetation within 3 meters of the fire.
  • 5. Contain your fire to a small fire. You do not need a large fire to match that of a bonfire. Such large fires are very dangerous, and can easily get out of control, sending unwanted sparks into dry vegetation and causing a disaster very quickly. If you need more wood for your cooking needs, add it when necessary, bit by bit.
  • 6. Do not destroy the trees around you to make your fire. Either bring your own, pre-bought firewood, or only use what you find lying on the ground. Taking wood from trees, even if you have permission, will not burn properly as it will be too 'green'. That lying on the floor is usually dry and will burn well.
  • 7. Always watch your fire when tent camping. Never light a fire and then wander off to do something else. Fires need constant supervision.
  • 8. After your wood has burned down, you are now left with the hot coals. This is what you need when cooking camp food. However, this heat is very unstable, and you need to make sure that the utensils that you have brought with you to cook with will be able withstand this heat. Teflon-coated utensils may melt. Also make sure that you take flat-bottomed pots that suit this type of cooking. Don't forget to take tea-towels or buy pot grippers to remove your pots safely, as they will heat up very quickly being so close to the heat source.
  • 9. Lastly for tent camping tips be a responsible camper and always cover the fire with a good layer of sand when you have finished with it. I say a good layer of sand, as we ended up with a child with badly scorched feet who had forgotten about the fire and walked over it. Unfortunately, there was not enough of a layer to prevent the injury.

We are sure that you could add a couple of tent camping tips yourself. If you would like to make a very valuable contribution to our website, please send us your tent camping tip by filling in the form below.

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Tent Pockets to Store Things you Don't Want to Lose  starstarstarstarstar
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This idea for cheap homemade camping mugs means that if one goes missing, it is no big deal.

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Jugs of Ice for keeping Camping Food Cold  Not rated yet
When my family goes camping I we have a cooler packed full of items, I use half gallon milk jugs I save. I fill each about three inches from the top with ...

Useful Camping Foods  Not rated yet
Take these useful camping foods along with you as they are your staple foods:

* pasta, rice, instant noodles
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