Common Camping Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

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Camping is an American pastime. There’s nothing better than getting out in nature, breathing in the clean air, and having a chance to hit the hiking trails. However, there’s plenty that can easily go wrong. Many common camping mistakes can be avoided with the right preparation.

In this article, we point out a few of the mistakes that often get made and what to do instead.

Not Having Enough Trunk Space

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When you go on a camping trip, the required gear quickly adds up. Pretty soon, the trunk fills up, and you’re left trying to eliminate items based on what fits.

It certainly helps to be more organized when going on any trip. However, you cannot get past a lack of ample cargo space. The best packing cubes in the world aren’t going to give you more significant space than you have.

The best types of vehicles to go camping with are SUVs. They offer an ample cargo space, plus larger tires to grip the undulating ground to avoid slipping and sliding about at the campsite. Ideally, a four-wheel-drive SUV is the best choice. You can find more information on those here.

Food & Drinks

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Depending on the weather, food is likely to spoil sooner than you think. Most coolers can only keep the temperature fresh for so long out in the elements. Foods that require refrigeration may become unsafe to consume.

Bring foods that stay safe to eat at varying temperatures. Non-perishable items such as peanut butter, bread, nuts, and canned goods are great options for camping. Be sure to cook up hot dogs or other meats on the first night to avoid them going bad.

If all else fails, you can always turn to s’ mores!

You’ll also want to ensure you have enough water for the duration of the trip. Dehydration is dangerous and could mean cutting your trip short.


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According to AlpInsider, the tent should be comfortable enough for the number of people going camping. Don’t make the mistake of thinking a 3-person tent can stretch to 4-people – it won’t! You don’t want to end up with some people outside with just a sleeping bag and no shelter.

If necessary, be prepared with either a second mid-sized tent to be set up side-by-side, or a more massive tent to replace the smaller one. Also, consider the size of the camping spot you’ll be renting. You’ll want to be sure you have enough ground space to work with.

Building the Fire

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While playing around with making fire using your eyeglasses is a fun idea, or turning to flint as a backup plan, you can’t always rely on having dry kindling/wood and low winds sufficient to start the fire.

Instead, bring a portable camping stove to ensure you have a way to cook. If it takes small gas canisters, ensures you have two of them and that they’re filled up.

Also, some camping sites have fire pits or barbeque stations that you can use as well, so ask ahead.

Once you avoid the major camping mistakes, you’ll have a far more enjoyable time. Happy trails!