Skip links

First-Time Camper Guide

Congratulations, you’re going camping! To make the most of your adventure, we’ve outlined some tips for a safe and memorable experience.

First-Time Camper Tips

Do Your Research and Plan Accordingly – Are you camping? RVing? What activities are you planning? From hiking to stargazing, packing the right tools will help ensure a great time.
Know the Rules for Your Park/Campground
Knowing campground rules in advance will save time once you arrive and help you be a respectful camping neighbor to others enjoying the great outdoors.
Know Your Limits – When planning activities think about the level of expertise needed to ensure a safe and fun experience. Many parks have activities based on levels of experience from intermediate to expert.

Emergency Preparedness

Safety starts with planning. While every plan should be modified to fit your specific trip, here’s where you can begin.

• Consider any potential inclement weather, dangers in the physical environment, poisonous plants, and wildlife you could encounter as you create your safety plan.
• If you’re camping with pets, you need to think about their safety. Review the campground’s rules and regulations, watch for signs of overheating, and provide plenty of water. Bring along a first-aid kit, and make sure your pet’s flea and tick treatment is up to date.
• Please note, VISITORS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BRING ANY PETS of any kind into the park.

Camp Responsibly

While fun camping activities are central to your trip, it’s the responsibility of every camper to preserve nature for future generations.

• Obey Trail Signage – When you wander even slightly off the trail, your foot traffic can cause damage from path widening to wash-outs.
• Protect Water Sources – Wash dirty camping dishes away from streams or other shared water sources.
• Wash dishes only at designated outdoor sinks. CAR & RV WASHING is prohibited.
• Prevent Fires – Use caution with campfires and ensure a well-built border for your fire. Extinguish it completely when done.
• Please extinguish fires when heavy winds are predicted.
• Leave No Trace – Don’t leave trash lying around, and be sure to dispose of all discarded items properly. If you find trash someone else left, consider picking it up and disposing of it as well.
• Take Nothing but Photos & Memories – Removing naturally occurring items can disturb the habitat and ecosystem. Only take photos, but do it safely! Keep a close eye on the ground and keep your distance from wild animals and steep drops.
• Remember, transporting firewood is not allowed anywhere in New England or Massachusetts. Please see local firewood regulations here:

Pack for Your Trip

When packing your camping essentials, remember to follow all local laws and campground regulations. Also, consider whether you are staying at a campsite with access to electricity and clean water. We have an on-site store that stocks essential items if you forget something.

Here is everything you need to create the ultimate camping experience.

RV Essentials

  • Snacks for the kids
  • Favorite toys
  • Board games and other rainy day activities
  • Books
  • Extra fuses
  • Extra cords

Campsite Essentials

  • Sleeping bags & pillows
  • Sleeping pads
  • Flashlights & lanterns
  • Camp chairs


  • Grill & fuel
  • Pots & pans
  • Firestarter
  • Utensils (eating & cooking)
  • Plates & bowls
  • Cooler with ice & beverages
  • Extra water
  • Trash bags
  • Dish cleaning supplies

Health & Hygiene

  • Health & Hygiene
  • Toilet paper
  • Toiletry kit
  • First-aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent


  • Multi-tool & knife
  • Duct tape
  • Extension cord
  • Mallet or hammer
  • Activity-based items
    (fishing rods, bait & tackle, etc.)
  • Insect repellent

Clothing & Footwear

  • Seasonally-appropriate clothing
  • Lightweight jacket
  • Hiking boots & socks
  • Sunglasses & hats
  • Raingear

Personal Items

  • Credit card and/or cash
  • ID
  • Cell phone
  • Campsite reservation confirmation