Camping Guide

The Basics of Camping

Remote Campsite

Welcome to the Camping Guide part of our website.  There is a reason for the Boy Scouts motto of "Be Prepared" and most of that comes from knowing the basics of camping.

Using these basic camping guidelines will give you insight into knowing what equipment to take, how much food will be needed and how to be safe.  You will learn how to build the fire and how to choose the right campsite.  Learning these basics by heart and you will be on your way to becoming a camping expert.

Here you will find the basic information on many camping-related topics that will prove useful when:

  • Finding the right camping location for your campsite.
  • Setting up the campsite the right way.
  • Building a campfire
  • Hiking and Backpacking guide to what you need to know along the trails.
  • Survival Camping

Choosing the Right Equipment

It is entirely up to you what type of camping you want to do, so if undecided, click on the Types of Camping button on the menu bar to read about the possibilities.  Once you've decided what type, the next item on your list is to choose the right camping equipment.

  • The right sleeping bag for the environment
  • Camp stove or just a grill
  • Chuck box or containers for camping to hold equipment or supplies


The outdoors offers various types of terrain from solid rock outcroppings to damp sandy creek sides, a consideration when choosing your site, as well as equipment needed.

Many parks offer a "tent pad" which is a raised area filled with some form of gravel/sand mixture or crushed shells.  The size of these pads vary so make sure to ask what size pad is provided when making reservations.  

National Parks may provide a tent pad or you will set up in a clearing with nothing but the forest floor.  After arriving at the campsite and begin to set up, you discover later that you picked a natural drain way for rainfall.  Unfortunately, you do not find this out until the middle of the night when all your gear including the family is in 2 inches of water that is rising fast.  Let's face it, waterproof only goes so far!

Camping Guide

To help select the best site possible, please read and print the Choosing Your Campsite page.  If you want tips on setting up camp properly, read our Setting up your campsite page for other valuable tips.

Besides the tent, the second most important part of camping is the campfire itself.  We have written a tip page on how to locate and build your fire pit or just want to read one method of building a successful Campfire.

Camping Guide Safety

Being in the great outdoors does reduce the human element from around you, but now you have to consider the wildlife factor around your campsite.  We have written a simple guideline to use to help minimize The Wildlife Factor from around your campsite and to add a greater level of safety to your camping trip.  These camping tips are for a safer camping trip and we recommend that the entire family learn about some or all of these.

Camping Locations


A camping guide would not be complete without discussing location.  You have the equipment, and know what to do when you get there.  The big question is: Where are you going?  With the exception of winter camping or hiking along a trail, there are just a few factors to think about when planning your camping trip.

  • Time of year and temperature you are wanting to enjoy
  • Are there campgrounds or areas for your type of camping
  • Family camping or Adults only
  • Activity you are wanting to do

Since we do tent camping these are all factors we have to consider.  Go to our Locations page possible locations or write about your favorite campground.


Ideally, when you go camping in the great outdoors, it would help if it were cool at night and lower 80's for a high during the day.  Temperature and humidity play a major role on how comfortable you and/or the group will feel during the trip.

  • April, late October - lower elevations 500 ft. or less and as far north as Tennessee/North Carolina
  • May, October - elevations 800 ft. as far north as Tennessee /North Carolina or elevations of 500 ft. or less as far north as Pennsylvania
  • June, September - 1000 ft. up to Kentucky/Virginia or 800 ft. up to Pennsylvania
  • July, August - 1000 ft. or higher

Temperatures at your campsite will all depend on if it is next  to a large flowing river or in the thick woods with very little breeze.  Elevation is also  factor to consider the higher the you are, the cooler the evening/wake-up temperatures will be.

Family or Adult Camping

Family Camping

This topic is on the Camping Guide page because many campgrounds designed so that there is a section for family and a section for adults.  This maybe something you will want to inquire about when making reservations or when you are checking in.

There are those that may be only family-oriented such as religious camps and the like.  If you or the two of you are looking to spend a nice quiet weekend, ask for the adult area or for a remote site to assure you would not be setting up camp next to the family area or playground.


Family Camping Activities

 Of course, all the above considerations may not matter based on what activity you may be going for.  It may be something quiet like fishing, hunting or panning for gold.  It could also be a full-fledged family outing with rafting, horseback riding, or something the whole family will be doing.  For a full listing on the different activities you may want to do, check out our Camping Activities page.

The Camping Guide covered some of the essential basics, but there is information we did not list.  Be sure to return on a regular basis, as we will continuously update this page.  The Outdoor Camping Guide is here to assist you in having on what can be a pleasurable camping trip.

If you have questions, email us using our Contact Us page.

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