Camping for the first time

What awaits you when you go camping for the first time? And what do you actually need while camping? What should you pay attention to before choosing a campsite and what are easy-to-prepare camping meals? These are all questions that arise for the camper just starting out.


According to the ‘fat’ Van Dale, camping means: staying outdoors, in a tent, caravan, etc. The definition of camping, according to Wikipedia, is as follows: Camping is a form of outdoor recreation in which one stays in a tent, caravan, camper, tent house or other relatively simple holiday home on an outdoor area, usually staying for one or more nights. Camping is for everyone! Most of us have probably been on a campsite with his or her parents. This article was written for those who, for whatever reason, have never camped before.

The first steps

To go camping you first need a tent, caravan, etc. We assume that novice campers will go out with a tent. You can borrow, buy or rent these. In the latter case, you rent a tent, which is often already set up and ready at the campsite in question. If you have bought or borrowed a tent yourself, it is useful to first set it up before ‘real’ camping. You can then get an idea of how big the tent is, how long it takes to set up the tent and where the entrance to the tent is. You will also need an air mattress (or mat) and sleeping bags to sleep in. It is also useful to take a gas stove with you, so that you can prepare simple meals.

Choosing a campsite

Choosing a campsite is easier said than done. There are many campsites with very different facilities. For novice campers, the quality of the sanitary facilities, camping shop and camping pitches will be a decisive factor in deciding whether or not to camp at that campsite. In addition to the above, as a novice camper it is also wise to choose between a campsite with many seasonal pitches or predominantly touring pitches. The difference between these campsites is that at campsites with many seasonal pitches there will also be many ‘locals’. These people enjoy the ‘freedom’ of the campsite almost all year round. It is also important to see how many places there are on the campsite and how many sanitary facilities are available. It is of course extremely annoying if you have to share the toilet with four hundred others, especially if this also applies to the shower. So take a look at where toilet and shower buildings have been placed on the campsite. If you need to go to the toilet at night and have to walk 10 minutes (or longer) to do so, it might be too late.

Preparing simple meals

You can imagine that not every meal can be prepared at the campsite with a single gas stove.

  • You start the first day with a delicious canned tomato soup; possibly supplemented with some bread or rolls.
  • For example, the next day you make pancakes with a shaker; All you have to do is add milk, which you can buy in small packets.
  • On the third day you could prepare a nice stir-fry meal with stir-fry rice; you only need one pan/wok.
  • With the empty pancake shaker you can make a delicious farmer’s omelet with bread.

This way you already have four simple, but nutritious meals, which can easily be prepared on one gas burner.

Beginner mistakes

  • If you are going to set up the tent together with your partner, remember that he/she also wants to set up the tent as quickly as possible and does not deliberately make mistakes. Agree in advance who will be in charge and tell each other that you want to set up the tent without altercations.
  • Make sure that you leave the openings/zippers closed when setting up the tent. Otherwise you run the risk that the tent will no longer close once it has been set up.
  • Leave the sleeping cabin closed as much as possible to prevent unwanted ‘campers’, such as insects, from using your sleeping cabin.
  • Make sure you have enough warm clothes with you, because it can be quite cold at night.