But if you are a camping novice, it becomes a question of safety and survival—which is why you have to learn the basics.
The North Face is offering basic programs for first-time campers at state parks and even in the Chicago Park District. The overnight experience is guided by park rangers—you’ll learn everything from campsite set-up to safety tips and how to cook outdoors.
Or head to REI and sign up for one of their outdoor classes.
And here’s a tip: always pack twice as much water as you’ll think you’ll need.
Once you collect all the necessary gear for your trip, don’t just set it aside until it’s time to go. Practice setting up your tent at home before leaving, and break in those brand-new hiking shoes well ahead of time.
For more information, visit the national parks archives.
Keep reading for more travel tips.