Whatever your level of experience, camping in a tent outdoors can and should be an unforgettable experience that you look back on fondly. Even seasoned campers can be taken aback by a seemingly innocuous camping tip they never would have considered. For first-time campers, their first few outings can either inspire or discourage them from returning to the outdoors.

New campers can benefit from these easy and generally common sense advice, and even seasoned campers may find a few useful nuggets in this collection.

You can’t be prepared if you don’t know what to expect when you arrive at your campsite. It’s not enough to know if you’ll be camping in the mountains or the lowlands, or even if it’ll be hot or cold; you also need to know the terrain’s type and what kind of weather to expect. You need to know where, when, and how much the amenities are available at the campsite to make the most of your time there. For example, there may only be one water supply for the entire campground, or electricity may be accessible, but you are limited to using one extension cord at a time. Your preparations may also be hindered by restrictions imposed by the campground itself. When you get at the campground, you will be devastated to learn that open campfires are not permitted.

Be ready to act: You can better plan your camping trip if you have the information listed above to guide your selection of camping gear and supplies. When planning a trip, it isn’t only about what you need for the “planned,” but what you might need for the “unplanned.” It’s not uncommon for unexpected weather conditions, such as rain, to necessitate more than one clothing change per day. For example, you may have planned to bring enough camping stove fuel for normal camping conditions, but it’s colder and windier than you expected, requiring additional fuel that you didn’t bring. Do you have to worry about: biting insects like mosquitoes and flies, or dangerous reptiles like snakes and other camp-invading vermin? If you don’t plan for them, you’ll be miserable.

Inexperienced campers tend to have and use checklists that have been fine-tuned to suit their camping style and needs over the years. For new campers, they are very crucial. It only takes one small or huge forgotten item to ruin your entire camping trip. No matter how beautiful your camp stove may look on the table, it will do you no good if you forget the propane bottle fuel connector. And imagine your dismay when you are ready to start dinner and discover that the neatly organized cooler of camp food is sitting on the garage floor back home, instead of where you assumed it was to begin your dinner. Double-check everything when you’re putting it together and again when you’re ready to take it to the plane.

Even yet, this is just the beginning. Countless camping books may be written just on the minutiae of each location. Whatever approach you use, as long as you discover one that works, your chances of having an enjoyable and memorable outdoor camping vacation will be significantly better than those who do not follow these three areas of preparation.