8 camping mistakes that are easy to make (but hard to forget)


Ever made a mistake when you have been camping?

We have, especially when we were new campers.     Some of our early camping days were slightly uncomfortable with wrong bedding (we nearly froze), no chairs (standing around the campfire wasn't the most comfortable way to spend the night), and poor lighting (stumbling around a lot).   You get the idea.   Nothing major, but annoying. 

But there are some people who have made a few mistakes worse than what we did.   You might even call one or two of them, epic fails??

But many of these could have been avoided.   Sometimes all it takes is just a bit of thinking before you leave home.  Possibly, some of these beginner mistakes were mistakes you made.   Did you learn from them, or are you still doing them?   

For you, we are showing 8 mistakes that are avoidable.    If you are beginner to camping or even a seasoned pro, its never too late to learn.    Or if you aren't interested in learning, then have a bit of a laugh instead!

Don’t forget to check out the video link at the end – its got to be seen to be believed!

1.   Not checking the weather forecast

Camping in the rain isn’t always fun.   In fact, if you are not prepared, it can be downright miserable.      Do check the weather and ensure you have the gear to deal with whatever nature throws at you.    Rain, hail or shine.   Maybe, if its looking truly dismal or stinking hot, it may be in your best interest to postpone the trip.

Big tip for wet days:    Don’t set up your tent in a low lying area (or dip in the ground) -  or you could end up camping in a puddle.   A big one.

Helpful Reading:  These tips to camping in the rain, could make your trip a drier trip, or a more comfortable one.

camping mistakes not to make, tent camping

2.  Buying cheap camping gear

Choosing good gear is imperative to a happy camping experience.     You don’t want to buy something that is rubbish and then it fails to deliver when its most needed.

That doesn’t mean spending a fortune on every single item – but good brands, with quality construction and material will be a good investment.    You may find that some camping gear that is a bargain, is a bargain only because its made of cheap materials that fail to live up to the hype.    

Helpful Reading:    If you are looking to buy a tent, you need to know what to look for.    We provide 10 tips to choosing a tent – choose wisely!  

tents that dont work, camping fail, beginner mistakes 
 Image source: unknown

3.   Forgetting to try out camping gear before the trip.

A beginner mistake is not trying your gear out before you go on your adventure.

Take some time when you purchase some equipment to familiarise yourself with it.  It will save a lot of hassle (and time) when camping if you can use it quickly and the way it was intended.      Make sure it suits your intended camping experience, because its better to find out when  in advance, rather than at camp, with night approaching quickly.

Helpful Reading:   This mistake was one of our 10 beginner camping mistakes – find out what the other 9 are!

tent fail, helpful hint to better camping, beginner camping

4.      Failing to know camping etiquette

For safety, and a happier experience for everyone, we refer to camping etiquette.  It’s nothing complicated; just common courtesy.       Spare ten minutes of your time to read through our helpful hints on this - your potential fellow campers will appreciate it!     

Why is this a camping mistake to avoid?    You come across as a real pain in the butt if you don't do the right thing by others.   

Helpful Reading:    We have listed our top 10 camping etiquette guidelines, and encourage you to add any we have forgotten!

(I received an email from a reader, who went into a rage at me about this post on etiquette – he said we shouldn’t be making “rules” about camping.  These are not rules which are set in stone, it’s more about  respecting others and the environment.  Chill out!).

camping etiquette, tips for camping,

5.  Overpacking

Camping is meant to be about simplicity.  I sometimes struggle with this but these people totally missed this concept.

You might find in the beginning you take way too much to cover every single scenario.   Over a period of time, you may want to refine this down, to save stress and a lot of work.   But in saying this, camping with kids does seem to mean a lot more gear!

Want to know some key things to take camping?

Helpful Reading:   We list 10 items you need when camping.   A fancy car and boat are not mandatory items.

fancy camping, glamping, beginner camping mistakes, overpacking

6.    Don’t buy a weird tent or you will be mocked

Let’s face it – no-one wants to have the ugliest tent at the campsite.

Choose your camping gear wisely, or you will end up with a tent that looks like a rear end.

Helpful Reading:  Find out more on  7 tents you don’t see every day (I think I need to add this one to the list)

ugly tent, tents to avoid, beginner camping mistakes

7.      Don’t expect camping to be just like home

lazy camping, beginner camping mistake, epic fail camping

If camping was meant to be just like your house, then there wouldn’t be much point in going camping.

Leave your TV at home.   

And maybe the tent air conditioner!

Helpful Reading:  Find out how to stay cool when camping, and it doesn’t involve packing an air conditioner.

epic fail camping, how to stay cool when camping, tent camping

8.    Forgetting your camping equipment limitations and yours!

Take some time to get to know your camping gear, and how it works and what its capable of.        Think about what you will need for a camping experience – if not sure, ask others, seek advice.    It will save time at the campsite.

And in the case below, save money.   Ouch!

Helpful Reading:    Do I need this camping equipment –  what gear readers thought were bad choices to buy.

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Added bonus:

Watch this camping video and see a whole new bunch of camping mistakes, all rolled into one scary montage!!!

A smarter person than me, Albert Einstein, said  "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new".    And its so true.   Getting out there, making mistakes, might not seem like a lot of fun at the time, but at least you are giving it a go, trying a new adventure, being outdoors.

Don't let mistakes stop you from trying again.    Just chalk them up to experience.

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