If you are interested in camping, here are a few tips to remember for your first time. The Wilderness Times lists some of the most common mistakes beginning campers make and how you can avoid them. 

One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is setting up a campfire for cooking. Setting up a campfire can be difficult, especially for first-timers, and will most likely be pretty small when you make one. Bring a lightweight camping stove to cook a meal that isn’t raw, and no need for a whole kitchen. 

It is never a good idea to “wing” your first camping trip. When you decide where you are going, study a map of the area and know how to read it to familiarize yourself with the area before you go. It is also a good idea to bring a compass and know how to use it. Check to see if the campground you are going to requires a reservation or if it is even open. Bring some cash with you in case of any entrance fees for campsites or for other things that may come up. 

Make sure not to overpack or under-pack for your trip; there is no need to get the latest gear when you are first starting out. You can usually get by bringing a tent, food, water, a stove, emergency supplies, and a sleeping bag and pad. It’s also a good idea to test all your equipment, so you know how to use it when you reach your destination. Don’t worry if you forget something; it will come with experience if you continue to make camping a hobby. 

Find out what tent size you need and size it up for two people. A regular two-person tent may not actually have enough room for both, so always check to be sure. Camping in a tent can get very chilly at night, so pack extra clothes for warmth like sweatpants and sweatshirts. Make sure to store your food inside your car or high up in the air so it does not attract predators. Some campgrounds also have bearproof cabinets to store your food in safely. 

Above all, enjoy exploring all the fantastic campgrounds and hiking trails Montana offers!