Believe it or not there are some adults who have never gone camping. I found this out when I was single and constantly trying to get my girlfriends to camp. I didn’t have a lot of luck on return campouts and for a while there I thought it must be me. What I found out was, yeah, it probably was me, but if I had done a few things differently, well who knows?
Location, Location, Location
If she doesn’t fish, don’t opt for a reservoir in the middle of nowhere with high winds and no trees. You may want to teach her, but if you don’t catch anything, you’re just drowning worms in an ugly location. Find out what she wants to do. Does she hike? Then camp near some excellent trailheads. Does she want to go canoeing, kayaking, or waterskiing? Then head to that lake that may or may not have fish and wow her with scenery. If she’s nervous about being in the middle of nowhere, then go to a campground, preferably one in a National Park. Hopefully she’ll opt for the wilderness next time.
Bigger is Better
Not everyone cares to crawl into a pup tent at night. For a first timer, a bigger tent makes more sense than trying to cram into a tiny tent to sleep. Having enough room to stand in a tent is a luxury well worth the trouble and price of a bigger tent. Having a place to change clothes and relax is important to a lot of folks, so make it important to you. As a matter of fact, just changing clothes will help. Maybe that’s another reason I never got return camping dates. Anyway, if a tent says it sleeps 3, it should be big enough for 2 and their clothes at least, but you can always go a bit bigger. I once had friends bring a tent for 12 to sleep just the two of them. It was a bit ridiculous until it poured rain for about 20 hours the first day and we all had a great time hanging together in the circus tent.
It’s in the Bag
Bring good sleeping bags and make sure they zip up as well. These days you can easily get oversized bags that are way more comfortable than those old bags we used to squeeze into from the Army Surplus store. Stansport has a 2 person bag that you can cuddle in, or get two and you both can stretch out. The latter is probably a better idea, especially if you’re on day three of that underwear.
What’s Your Sleep Number?
Don’t ask her to sleep on the ground. Heck, don’t even ask me. The advent of the air mattress has opened a new world of camping to all of us so splurge and get a big one. Not only will you both get a good night’s sleep but when that afternoon nap comes calling, and we all know it will, she won’t complain. She might even join you.
Food for Thought
She may not take to hydrated food. As a matter of fact, I don’t take to it either, so don’t even go that route. Also, there’s more to campout cooking than burgers and hotdogs. Bring good food, but bring food that’s easy to prepare. Pre-made breakfast burritos are great in the morning and also mean no messy cleanup. If your guest is a coffee addict, make sure it’s easy to whip some up. A camp-stove, while not near as fun as a fire to cook on, is great for that first cup of Joe in the morning. It helps to have a stove handy, even if you don’t plan on using it, for that rainy day when a fire is impractical.
Company is Coming
Camping is not only way more fun in a group, it is safer as well. If it’s your first time in the wild, or even in a KOA campground, you both may be more comfortable with friends around. Not only is there safety in numbers, but the more people there, the better the chance someone else will gather and chop some wood. You may be a great conversationalist, we all think we are, but even the best might struggle when there are just two of you, especially if camping for multiple nights.