Primitive Camping for the Novice

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Primitive camping is when one stays in a tent, as opposed to a camper or RV.  Primitive camping doesn’t require that you go out and buy a lot of fancy supplies. For the beginners, Bethy Creek is a great place to get into nature and make that camping first trip.  There are only a few certain essentials that you need for that first camping experience.  After that, you will learn what works for you and what you really don’t need.  You can do internet surfing for ideas and recommendations, but there is really no substitute for actually getting out there and experience camping for yourself.


  • Tent, tarp, and extra stakes
  • Sleeping bag or other bedding
  • Cooler
  • Paper towels, trash bags
  • Toilet Paper
  • Sunscreen, bug spray
  • Lantern
  • Camp chairs
  • Sunglasses
  • Pocket Knife
  • Extra Water
  • Poncho, Rain Jacket, or Umbrella
  • Backpack or fannypack
  • Food: sandwich supplies, fruit, nuts, snacks

While not an essential, hammocks are really great to lounge around in while camping at Bethy Creek.   Make sure you get a hammock that can be quickly and easily installed between two trees and that you have the correct gear for the hammock (some hammocks sell the clips and rope you need to hang hammock separately from the hammock). Also, look for one that is lightweight and can be carried easily in case you want to use it on the nature trails rather than right by your campsite.

If you are truly a first time camper, make sure and practice putting up your tent before you get to the campsite.   You can easily put a damper on your first trip by spending way too much time setting up your tent, trying to follow the instructions printed in tiny print, and written in what may seem like hieroglyphics.  When you arrive at the campsite, your family is already ready to play and explore, so the tent set up should go quickly and smoothly without the added pressure of reading instructions.  That’s why a few practice tries in your back yard, or even your living room, with no pressure to get completed in a hurry, will have you quickly setting up your tent like a pro.

Camping is fun for the whole family!  However, if you’re bringing your children out for their first camping trip, you may want to keep it to a short trip and only stay for one or two nights. You want them to have a good experience, and keeping it to a short trip will make them more eager to go camping a second time.

Enjoying a great campfire meal is one of the great pleasures of camping.  However, to save some hassle with food on the first few trips, eat sandwiches or have a few meals already prepared. Talk to other people in the campgrounds and look at how they’re doing things. You may find that you prefer to cook on a campfire, or you may prefer to bring a grill, or use a smaller propane stove. Each of these options require a little different supplies. Getting opinions from seasoned campers can also help the next time you’re in the sporting goods store, so you’re not spending money on gadgets that seem necessary but might not be.

After a few visits at the resort, you’ll have a better idea of what supplies you should bring extras of and what supplies you can leave at home. To feel more confident in you camping abilities, you have to get out there and actually camp! So pick a weekend and come primitive camping out at Bethy Creek!