Camping is one of those things that you will get really good at as time goes on, and you’ll sort of become an expert and you will pick up all the tips and tricks that you like, and that work for you. A couple of things that I have learned that I think are worth sharing are first, when you are trying to plan your trips, the best way to find out about a good spot to camp is through word of mouth.
If you don't know a lot of people who camp, you might not be in on the good information, the good secrets about the best locations for camping. But what I have found is that forums, online camping forums, were super helpful. People are really willing to give up the goods on their favorite spots, which is surprising because the whole plan of going camping is to be alone and to be away from other people, but people are really generous with where is a great place to camp. So check out the forums online, do some Google searching, but look for forums and community boards.
The other thing is, leave early. One of the worst things you can do is arrive late to your camp site and have to pitch your tent in the dark. It sucks. It stinks. Another one is, no matter what the weather says, you just need to be prepared for the worst. Make sure you are prepared for rain, so you want to bring rain gear, you want to make sure you bring a tarp, and also bring an extra tarp to put your tent on top of so that water doesn't seep through and you wake up soaking wet.
Don't bite off more than you can chew. When you are planning your first trips, there is car camping, which is really easy, which means you are just going to pull your car up into the camp site and all your gear will be in the car, so there is not a lot of carrying around to do. It also means that if you forgot something or you want to run out and get bacon or coffee or whiskey, you can always hop in your car and go to the nearest store and get it.
If you are primitive camping, then that means you are going to be hiking all that stuff in on your back. So, just don't make it that your first trip you hate camping. Make it so that you challenge yourself more and more as you go.
Finally, the other thing is, camping is all about going with the flow. You just have to run with it. If it rains during your trip and you have been really excited about swimming on your camping trip and it's raining the whole time, which happened to me on my very first trip, you still have to make the most of it. You will have a great time. Camping is about doing the stuff that you don't do all the time, and the conveniences of life are not there, so you've got to go with the flow.