"The first time I ever went camping, I opened up my tent bag to find both tent poles broken and I had to wrap them up with duct tape" says Kuju CEO / Cofounder (and Eagle Scout), Jeff Wiguna, of his first camping experience. "It was also my first scout outing ever and we didn't get it fixed until it was quite dark, and I think I was 12 years old."
For many of us these days, camping has a wonderful attractiveness to it. It's outdoors - not at home! The kids can run around and you don't need to worry about things breaking. And there are endless opportunities for exploration, play, or even leisurely rest, like on your Kammok of choice.
But the reality is if you've never gone camping, it can be an intimidating experience to prepare for, especially if you're dealing with broken equipment like Jeff did! It's not the same as preparing for a 3-day stay at your favorite Ritz Carlton with the concierge folks onsite to help you with each little thing you forgot. And yes, the coffee situation can be difficult too (and disgusting if you're packing something instant).
The good news is there are tons of articles out there that can help you prepare in detail. If you visit your local REI, everyone there is literally trained to help you prepare properly. So instead we want to provide 3 key tips that might not get discussed as you seek to be over-prepared.
1. You might be colder than you think at night. Or hotter. One of the most important things you'll need is a sleeping bag, clearly. And the logic goes that you'll want something super warm no matter what, which is probably true, but what doesn't get discussed is that if you pick a well made sleeping bag like this Mountain Hardware Lamina, you might actually be much warmer than you think when you're bundled up in it at night.
FIRST-TIMER TIP: Make sure you bring a variety of sleeping clothes that fit for whether you get extra cold or hot. The weather changes change the temperature in your tent, indeed!
2. There is often a general store nearby as the campsite's "go-to". The reason we share this is to alleviate the stress that you have to get all the planning right the first time. Scouting camp sites usually have a general store nearby and every campsite that is regularly frequented will usually have that "go-to" spot that everyone visits for the things they just forgot. An extra bonus is these places often have firewood also, so you don't have to lug that from all the way home.
FIRST-TIMER TIP: Pack and be as prepared as you need to be, but don't stress! If you happen to forget something, there will probably be a spot nearby to purchase some items.
3. You'll benefit a lot if you actually purchase camp-specific kitchenware. It may not seem like a big deal to bring dishes, spoons, forks, pans and all from home to avoid buying something camping specific, but it kind of is. Turns out having numerous small metal and glass kitchen items lying around is hard to pack, hard to clean and just makes everything really bulky and not that fun. When outdoors convenience and portability play a big role in increasing your level of fun, so take the time to find a cooking set that really works for you. This one from Stanley is one of our favorite.
FIRST-TIMER TIP: Get a camp kitchen set. Part of the fun will be using it!
BONUS - the Coffee! You probably have a coffee routine at home but perhaps not for camping. We're biased on this one, but why wouldn't we be? For coffee on your first camping trip, we recommend Kuju's Basecamp Blend Pocket PourOver. If you're not sure, it's 4.7 stars on Amazon, so that must mean people really love it right?
Have other first time camping tips! DM us on Instagram! @kujucoffee