Camping tips for beginners: basic equipment and Co

Camping-Tipps für Anfänger: Grundausstattung und Co

Blue skies, in the middle of nature between lakes and mountains and a fresh coffee in the morning - for many people this idea is associated with a perfect vacation.

What would be more appropriate than getting into your camper and driving off until you reach the perfect camping spot.

Don't have a suitable vehicle? Never mind. Grab a tent and have a great camping vacation with the help of the following camping tips!

In this article you will find camping tips for the right accommodation, different pitches, the right basic equipment and the most popular destinations.

In addition, still tricks for DIY conversion of a campervan.

Four friends sit around a campfire in front of a camper and eat marshmallows

The right accommodation

Especially as a camping beginner, it can be hard to make the right decision regarding camping accommodation when there are so many options to choose from. The easiest option for a camping vacation is the tent.

There are different types of tents that you have to choose between as a camping beginner:

Dome tent

Dome tents are especially suitable for trekkers and mountaineers. They have a light weight and are stable. Thus, they are ideal for steep terrain and terrain interspersed with rocks.

Another advantage is that dome tents do not take up much space and can be set up even on limited footprints. This feature is very convenient especially for vacation regions with mountains and rocks.

Two people sit around a campfire in front of their tent on the lake shore at night

Tunnel tent

This type of tent is especially suitable for hikers in flat vacation regions. The tent is spacious and offers plenty of room, so the camping vacation will be comfortable even for several people.

Tunnel tents weigh quite little and can therefore be easily taken along on hikes. However, the pitch should be sufficiently large, because the tent takes up a lot of space.

Geodesic tents

If your vacation destination is known for stormy weather, you should opt for such a tent. With their extremely robust framework supported by several poles, these are among the most stable of all tent forms and defy any weather conditions. As a disadvantage, this tent can be said its high weight and long assembly time.

Family tents or comfort tents

As the name suggests, family tents are suitable for families. Even for a dog in this type of tent is enough space. Campsites are often full of family tents, which offer a high level of comfort and are very spacious. So camping is definitely fun!

If you want to camp as a family, you better buy a bigger tent. Think of all your equipment and provisions, which also needs storage space in addition to the people.


The purchase of a camper is associated with high costs and a lot of effort. Therefore, you should keep a cool head and before buying calmly consider which caravan is right for you.

There are many different types of motorhomes, which differ significantly in their basic equipment, size and price category. First of all, consider how high the price should be for your caravan. Often you can buy used caravans on the Internet.

Do you need financing or do you have the money in cash? For beginners who want to test out the camper life first, renting a caravan can also be recommended.

Once the price is set, you need to consider how big you want the camper to be and what your requirements are. How many people will be traveling? How much storage space for luggage and camping accessories should there be? Do you need luxury or do you live more minimalist? How long do you want to travel? Is the motorhome just for sleeping or do you spend more time in there? Should there be cooking facilities and a wet room in the motorhome?

Motorhome on a meadow in front of a mountain backdrop

The ideal pitch for a camping holiday

For families

For families with children, child-friendly campsites with green areas, playground and employment opportunities are optimal. Leisure activities such as animation programs, sports activities and games allow children to have an unforgettable time on vacation and you to take a short breather.

For couples or single travelers

Unless you're an absolute camping novice, you have complete freedom of choice when it comes to camping and can pick and choose according to your own preferences.

Without children you are more flexible, free and unattached - so why settle only in one place? Try a camping tour or visit a few selected camping locations. If you value a quiet pitch, you can look for child-free pitches or go camping outside campsites.

For dog owners

Green campsites are especially suitable for dog owners. If a campsite has a lake or large meadows, your four-legged friend will feel at home. Natural areas invite you to let off steam and are particularly popular with dog owners because there is less need to consider large crowds and road traffic.

Tip: Choose a campsite near your hometown, because long car rides mean stress for many four-legged friends.

Two dogs look at the forest from the entrance of a tent

Basic equipment for camping beginners

Before the first camping vacation, probably all camping beginners ask themselves the same question: What should I bring? Especially as an inexperienced beginner, it is difficult to estimate what is needed for the camping trip. Benefit from the experiences of other campers or get inspiration and tips from camping apps.

The advantage of camping apps is that they not only have valuable camping tips regarding basic equipment, but also provide information about pitches, campsites and caravan accessories. Moreover, campers can share their experience, reveal insider tips of different countries or help plan a trip to Europe.

Since camping life requires different equipment from place to place, novice campers often find it difficult to keep track of everything. Checklists are very helpful when packing and can be found on almost any camping website.

For newbies, it can be helpful to test your equipment before you go camping so that nothing can go wrong at the campsite. Whether it's spending a night in your sleeping bag, test pitching your tent in the backyard, or even practicing backing into a parking spot with your camper, slowly feel your way into your new role as a camper!

If you realize you still need accessories or bought something wrong, you can fix the mistake before your trip and get alternatives.

Before heading off camping, check that the following items are safely stowed in the camper:

  • Basic equipment for a tent or camper such as pegs, an awning or a tow rope

  • Hygiene items such as toilet paper, a dry composting toilet from Boxio and a solar shower

  • Articles for body care such as shampoo, shower gel, cream etc.

  • Sleeping bag, mattress, pillow or duvet

  • Accessories for cooking such as camping stoves, pots, dishes, cutlery, pans etc.

  • Appropriate clothing

  • food as provisions

  • Activity material such as games, books, laptop, tablet, etc.

Camping tips for meal planning

Canned ravioli and bagged soups can't feed you for the whole camping vacation. To avoid a hungry low mood, you should consider what provisions you want to take with you.

Many foods can be purchased fresh at campgrounds or in town, and travel markets also offer a diverse selection of fresh foods.

However, you should still have a basic supply of food in your camper. With simple basic ingredients you can conjure up delicious little menus, which can be embellished with freshly bought food. So pack a few basic ingredients in advance and plan where and when you can buy more food if necessary.

This belongs in the basic food equipment :

  • milk

  • pasta

  • canned tomatoes

  • oil

  • spices (salt, pepper)

  • Sausage cheese

  • bread

  • Snacks for the little hunger

It is also recommended to determine the camping menu in advance or at least collect recipe ideas that can be prepared quickly and easily on the camping stove. For many campers it is a matter of course to eat a beer and sausages in the evening at the barbecue with the campsite neighbor and let the camping day end comfortably.

Fried egg in a pan on a fire pit with baguette

Stress-free camping trip

Once you arrive at the campsite, the next big challenge is already waiting for camping newbies: socializing with the other campers.

But don't worry too much about stress with your campsite neighbor. Campers are usually very sociable. With respect and a sense of humor, there's nothing standing in the way of a stress-free camping vacation.

Read here five tips for a stress-free coexistence on the pitch.

1. The art of small talk

The first contact between campers is usually through small talk. After that, it's usually not long before you're invited to the neighbor's campervan for a barbecue or a beer in the evening. If you are very lucky, you can not only relax on your trip, but also find new friends.

2. Greetings is half the battle

Out of politeness alone, you should greet people in the camper community. Give your neighbors at least a nod of the head if you don't feel like making small talk. Someone who disappears without comment in the caravan does not find so fast connection and has less fun on the campsite.

3. Comply with parking space limits

Since space is already limited on a campsite, you should respect the privacy of other campers and not walk across other people's plots. Even if it would be a shortcut, rather take a small detour and let your neighbors have their privacy in return.

Campsite with several mobile homes at night

4. One hand washes the other

Beginners in particular often have problems parking the caravan, finding a straight position or pitching the tent. However, since helpfulness is very important on the campsite, it certainly doesn't take long for people to pitch in and help. So don't worry if something doesn't work right the first time. Ask and accept help.

5. Maintain considerate interactions

Mutual consideration is very important. Be careful not to make unnecessary noise and empty your composting toilet regularly. This will help you avoid stress and discomfort.

The most beautiful campsites in Germany

When looking for a campsite, you are spoiled for choice. When making your choice, you should consider what you expect from your camping vacation.

Are you more of a nature lover and looking for peace and freedom or would you rather camp at a busy campsite and be among many people? Do you want the Alps, a lake or a river nearby? Especially in summer water can bring pleasant cooling.

Do you prefer to travel to the north or to the south? Do you want to camp in the nature or do you need a place for your caravan? Can you imagine booking accommodation on the campsite? How much space and privacy do you need?

When searching for the best campsite for your needs, you will come across different costs and offers. Take your time when choosing and make your decision easier by considering helpful tips from other campers and experts.

Aerial view of a campsite with several RVs by the lake

Here is a small overview of the most beautiful campsites in Germany:

1. Camping and Holiday Park Wulfener Hals, Baltic Sea

The beautiful island of Fehmarn on the Baltic Sea is one of the sunniest places in the Federal Republic. The camping and vacation park at Wulfener Hals has already received several awards and has been marked as a super site by ADAC.

The campsite offers 700 pitches surrounded by hedges and trees. Your dog is welcome as a faithful companion. Whether you are a permanent camper or just want to take a short vacation, this campsite is certainly worth a trip! In addition to a surf school, golf courses and a show stage, there is a full entertainment program for young and old.

2. Südsee-Camp, Lüneburg Heath

The Südsee-Camp impresses above all with its fantastic location in the middle of the beautiful Lüneburg Heath, surrounded by wide meadows and large forests. Dog and master feel right at home in the middle of nature.

From here you can make numerous excursions into the surrounding area. Due to the proximity to Hamburg, Bremen and Hanover you can take a break from camping and stay overnight in a hotel during a short trip to the big city. Heidepark Soltau and Weltvogelpark are also nearby and offer plenty of variety for camping.

The campsite has a high ropes course, a golf course and a natural lake bath. In addition, horse lovers get their money's worth in the riding stable. Here the vacation is really fun!

3. LuxOase Camping and Leisure Park, Saxony

This site is located near Dresden and has been one of the most popular campsites in Germany for many years. The site convinces with mini golf courses, golf courses, an adventure playground and a lake.

As a luxury campsite, LuxOase has a wellness area with sauna, steam bath, spa, fitness room and massages. Here you can really let your soul dangle.

4. Kur- und Feriencamping Holmernhof Dreiquellenbad, Bavaria

In the south of Bavaria, this campsite specializes in particular in the therapeutic effects of thermal springs. In the in-house wellness center, experienced therapists offer numerous cures for health.

To let off steam there is a hunting lodge, with winter garden and terrace, where traditional Bavarian dishes are served. Every evening there are events. During the day you can put Passau on your route. There are many new things to discover there. Hiking tours in the Bavarian Forest also attract many visitors.

If you like to play golf during your vacations, this is also the right place! The place is known for its proximity to the most beautiful golf courses in Europe. You can choose between four different golf clubs with well-kept courses in the heart of nature. A day on the golf course with other campers is just what you need.

5. Camping and Mobile Home Park Cameroon, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania

Camping Park Kamerun is located in the middle of the Mecklenburg Lake District, directly on the shore of the Müritz. Therefore, it is the perfect campsite for water sports enthusiasts and people who like surfing.

You can park your vehicle right on the water and enjoy the beautiful view. The pitches on the water are of course also very popular, as there is a swimming beach nearby.

If you don't want to get out of your camper, but still want to get into the water, you will find just the right thing here: here you have the opportunity as a lake camper to take your camper into the water on an exploration tour. A zoo and the Müritz National Park are also nearby.

6. Camping Sanssouci Gaisberg, Potsdam

If you are looking for a mixture of culture and nature, you will feel very comfortable at Camping Sanssouci. In the middle of Berlin and yet AWAY from the hustle and bustle, you can relax between Potsdam's castles, lakes and parks. No matter if campervan or tents, here you can meet everything.

Sports and fun are provided by sailing and surfing, fishing rental, table tennis, volleyball and of course the bathing lake directly at the site. For children there is a playground, water sports courses and a wood workshop.

7. Camping Muenstertal, Black Forest

If you are looking for wellness and health, Camping Münstertal is the right place for you. In a dreamy valley in the middle of the Black Forest lies this spacious campsite with well-equipped pitches and a wide range of leisure activities.

A large indoor and outdoor swimming pool with facilities for small children, as well as a sauna area invite you to linger. There is also the possibility of physiotherapy. For the sporty active people there are possibilities to let off steam by horse riding, mountain biking or archery. For the younger guests there is an adventure playground and animation program.

8. Beach and family campsite Bensersiel

Rarely can vehicles park so close to the beach as in Bensersiel. Since the campsite is located directly on the beach, you can jump right out of the caravan into the sea. With this view, you can sometimes forget that you are in Germany.

In addition to mudflat walks, windsurfing and horseback riding tours, you can also explore Bensersiel on a bicycle or simply fly kites on the beach. For children there is animation program with handicrafts, treasure hunt and children's disco.

9. Top Site Nature Camping, Schleswig-Holstein

The site is surrounded by water on three sides - it is located directly on the shore of the Great Plön Lake. Here you can go hiking or drive to the nature park. On your route you should take the numerous excursions to the North Sea and the Baltic Sea and pay a visit to Lübeck.

There is also an entertainment program and playgrounds for children. For sports lovers there are sailing courses, catamaran sailing and surfing opportunities.

10. Sonnenwerth Camping Island, Moselle

This simple campsite stands out because of its special location on a small island in the middle of the Moselle. Those looking for peace and quiet and a relaxing camper vacation will find it right here.

On the other side gently stretch the green mountains of the wine-growing region. You are right at the source of the famous Moselle wine. In addition to hiking, biking and walking, you can also pay a visit to the fairytale castle Eltz.

Top 5 campsites in Europe, excluding Germany

Aerial view campsite at Walchensee

1. Camping Omišalj - Croatia

The facility is located around a beautiful bathing bay and is especially popular with families. Campers can even charge their electric cars here. There is a bread service, internet and an additional swimming pool.

The proximity to the beach and children's animations provide an ideal environment for a relaxing family vacation. Your dog is of course also welcome. For adults there is an additional golf practice area.

2. Aminess Maravea Camping Resort - Croatia

Here you can relax on the large beach and enjoy time in the sun? Then this is the right place for you. The child-friendly campsite offers many great attractions not only for children, such as trampolines, a swimming pool and animation programs. Dogs are also welcome here. There is a bread service, internet and charging stations for e-cars.

3. Zaton Holiday Resort - Croatia

This large, professionally managed resort offers the highest level of comfort and a filled vacation package for a wide variety of guest needs. From the huge aqua park to the promenade with shopping and gastronomy you can find everything here. An animation program with a stage offers variety for the campers.

Secret tips include the soundproof disco and quad rental. There is also a bread service, internet and a charging station for e-cars here. Dogs are also allowed.

4. Tahiti Camping Village - Italy

Tahiti Camping Village in Italy is not directly on the beach, but it has its own thermal spring, exceptional wellness services and delicious gastronomy. For the little ones there are numerous playgrounds, an adventure pool with islands, lagoons and a stone cave, as well as various water games.

To relax, you can book a massage or beauty treatment. For the more active people, there is a sports center to let off steam, as well as sailing tours, a skate park and tennis offers.

Of course there is a bread service, internet and an open door for your four-legged friends.

5. Feddet Strand Resort - Denmark

The spacious site is located on the Feddet Peninsula and offers varied recreational facilities such as children's playgrounds, a jungle trail, a trampoline facility and a miniature golf course. There is also an indoor swimming pool, a soundproof disco and a small petting zoo. For horse lovers, there is the possibility to book guided rides or bring your own four-legged friend. To let off steam, you can rent pedal cars or try guided off-road tours on motocross bikes.

If you need a rest, you can pick blueberries at the site's own farm and later cook them into jam. There is also a bread service, internet and charging stations for e-cars here.

DIY conversion of an RV

You want to go camping with a caravan, but do not feel like investing so much money? With these helpful tips and tricks, you can convert even an old vehicle into a caravan. Consider in advance what you hope to get out of your homemade camper. How many people will be traveling with the camper? Are you traveling with a dog? What all do you want to fit in your camper?

The best car for such a conversion is a van. You can buy this used on the Internet and then start with the expansion. With these tips and tricks, the conversion into your individually designed caravan will succeed without any problems.

1. The right insulation for heat and sound insulation

Once the car is here, everything inside has to come out! Because before you start with the wall cladding, you should ensure the right insulation. This will prevent mold and condensation later. In addition, it is then warmer and quieter in the camper, which is a great advantage especially when sleeping. 

Empty loading area of ​​a van that is to be converted into a camper

2. The wall covering

For wall cladding are suitable wooden boards. These are available for purchase in different types and colors. Of course, in the end you can paint the wood in any color. For furniture and scaffolding is suitable, for example, construction timber or multiplex boards of various thicknesses. For example, OSB boards are suitable as floor boards.

3. Window installation

Think about how many windows you want to install and where they should be. There are several windows that are practical for a caravan:

  • Lift and tilt windows

  • skylight

  • pop-up window

    Man installing a window in a van for camping

4. Furniture construction

This step is probably the most difficult. You should make a plan in advance, so you know where the bed will be later, where the bathroom and where the seating area. You can build most of the furniture, such as the sink, kitchen or the sitting area, from construction wood and then cover them with multiplex boards. If you use thinner boards, you save on weight. 

Self built wooden bed in a campervan

5. Wiring and power supply

But before it can even go to the connection, you should consider the following:

  • What kind of battery (e.g. LiFePo4, AGM) should it be?

  • What capacity does the battery need to have?

  • How many sockets and lamps should be installed and which ones?

  • How should the battery be charged later (solar, charging booster, shore power)?

  • Is there an easily accessible ground point near the desired battery location?

Power stations can serve as a backup and facilitate the power supply. Remember that open cable ends must not be soldered together. You can use Wago clamps for extension.

The positive wires should always be fused. Never run the wires in places where they can chafe. If you have to pass such places, empty tubes are suitable for this purpose, through which the cables can be pulled at the end.

Man edits cable with a machine

6. Do you need a toilet?

Whether you want to have a toilet in the caravan or not, is of course up to you. Advantageous are own toilets of course if it is sometimes very urgent. The toilet can be integrated into a separable room, so that you still have some privacy. With the BOXIO - TOILET there is now finally a compact composting toilet that does not take up much space and does not require chemicals. It is probably one of the things in the caravan that you think about the least in advance, but during the vacation offer the greatest comfort.

7. Do you need heating?

Whether you need a heater or not depends on the destinations and the season of travel. Of course, summer nights are warm and cozy, but if you want to travel with your caravan in autumn or winter, you should consider installing the heater, otherwise it can quickly become uncomfortable.

There are different types of heaters: Electric, diesel, gasoline or gas. Each heater has its advantages and disadvantages. Seek advice from a professional.

Reading next

Van-Ausbau: DIY Ideen für Vorbereitung & Ausbau
Camping Tipps: Hilfreiche Tipps für die Camping Ausrüstung

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