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inside of a camping tent looking out

Camping 101: A Camping Guide for Beginners

The best camping trip is one where you come prepared. We here at Lake George Campsites welcome beginner campers – here are seven quick tips for beginners to know before you head to the campground.

kids with dad by campfireRULE #1: Choose a Private Campground

Private campgrounds in Upstate NY like us here at Lake George Campsites offer some of the best opportunities for beginner campers to get their feet wet. A private campground provides amenities like a bathhouse with showers and laundry facilities, which allow those a little squeamish about sleeping outdoors to feel a bit more comfortable.

Upstate NY and the Adirondack region are prime places for camping, hiking, and recreational opportunities all year long. When you stay at Lake George Campsites in Queensbury, NY, you’ll be at the southern end of the Adirondack Park, close to bustling villages and towns, and plenty of trails, attractions, and things to do.

RULE #2: Consider a Camping Cabin or Cottage

When you’re new to camping and you want to rough it but not to the point where you’re hunkering down in a tent and sleeping in a sleeping bag, think about checking out Lake George, NY campgrounds with cabins.

Lake George Campsites’ cottages, or camping cabins as some call them, offer comforts like a kitchenette or full kitchen, a bathroom or two, a dining table, and a television. Some have a porch, and all are surrounded by carefully placed fire pits and picnic tables for guests to share.

Learn more about our accommodations >>

kid with backpack makes a camping listRULE #3: Be Over-Prepared & Check the Weather

After you’ve narrowed down where you’re camping, and if you’re cabin camping, tent camping, or RV camping, you can hone in on this important rule: over prepare. This is applicable to beginner campers in Lake George or elsewhere.

Bring extra clothes so you can layer up if need be (pro tip: this also applies to hiking in the Adirondacks, where temperatures can vary significantly from the trailhead to the summit). Check the weather before you leave, then check it again, and then pack supplies for rain or cold even if it’s not in the forecast.

Remember toiletries, a first aid kit, your tent and sleeping bags if applicable, and anything you’ll need for recreational activities. Bring your swimsuit to enjoy our pool, hiking boots if you’re hitting the trails, and a fire starter for your campfire.

Another bonus of staying at a private campground like Lake George Campsites is that we have an on-site camp store where you can pick up items like firewood. One less thing to worry yourself with before you leave!

always check the weather forecast

RULE #4: Make an Activity List

What does a camping trip look like to you when you think of camping in Lake George? Are you roasting marshmallows for s’mores over a campfire? Gazing up at the star-lit sky? Relaxing and doing nothing for a change?

Although a big appeal of camping is to escape the busyness of your day-to-day life, and to get back to nature, you’ll also want to plan for some fun activities and outings. We here at Lake George Campsites are in a prime location, close to a variety of attractions like Six Flags Great Escape and Northway Brewing Company.

Browse nearby attractions in the Lake George region so you can make the most of your camping trip by adding on a hike, a treetop adventure in a zipline park, or a whitewater rafting excursion. Book activities ahead of time if you need to!

RULE #5: Plan Your Meals Ahead of Time

Your “things to do” list isn’t the only aspect of the Lake George camping trip you should prepare for. You might think that bringing a hodgepodge of food items will keep you satisfied, but you’ll want to do more than throw some granola bars and water bottles in the backpack.

Consider if you’re cabin camping and will have access to a kitchen or kitchenette (and refrigerator), or if you’ll mostly be cooking over your campfire. Easy, plan-ahead meals can include hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese or tuna sandwiches, bacon and eggs, sausages, or soup.

We have so many great restaurants close by in Lake George, Queensbury, and Glens Falls, that you’ll definitely want to note a few you want to try on your trip! If you’re planning a family camping trip to Lake George look up kid-friendly restaurants, or ones that offer a kids menu.

Lake George area restaurants like Capri Pizza or Martha’s Dandee Creme (they offer more than ice cream!) are perfect for quick family meal outings.

RULE #6: Read the FAQ

The more research you do on your campground of choice the better prepared you’ll be for your camping trip. We here at Lake George Campsites have a robust FAQ page of helpful things to know before you go, including how to make a reservation, what the check in/check out times are, what the rules are regarding guests, what the pet policies are (yes, we are dog-friendly!), RV specific camping questions, and more.

lantern light

RULE #7: Bring Extra Lighting

Here’s a tip beginner campers may not think of: bringing extra lighting in the form of a flashlight, lantern, or headlamp, will come in handy. Lake George Campsites has restrooms you can use, but if you’re tenting out in the woods of the campground, you’ll need some form of light to guide you.

Using your phone’s flashlight can drain the batteries. If you’re planning on hiking on your Lake George camping trip, you definitely want to bring a flashlight or headlamp with you on the trails, should you fail to return as planned before sunset.

Still have questions? Contact us >>

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