Young Post has done all your hard work: instead of searching online, page after page, for details about different campsites and checklists, we've found all the information you'll ever need.
Five of the best retreats
You may be eager to try a rustic wilderness spot, but take it from us: start slowly. If you are a first-timer, pick a camping ground with amenities such as showers and equipment rentals.
For lovers of water sports and all mod-cons, the Chong Hing Water Sports Centre is ideal (there's a large artificial lake as well). A vast array of water sports equipment is available for rent - everything from windsurfing boats to kayaks/canoes.
Just make sure you have the relevant certificates to hire them. For those who don't have any qualifications, but can swim at least 50m, you can still hire rowing boats, sampans and pedal-driven boats. There's no need to worry about meals - order from the canteen, cook in the centre's kitchen or go for a barbecue. The only downside is that the centre is closed on Thursdays.
For novices looking for easily accessible campsites, Lantau Island would be your best bet - campsites are just a bus ride and short walk away from the ferry. The Nam Shan Campsite has a vantage point close by, and it offers panoramic views of Mui Wo and Pui O Bay.
Beachgoers would like the Pui O Campsite and Wan Tsai Peninsula South Campsite - beaches are within walking distance. The latter even has large-scale bathing and toilet facilities.
The Ngong Ping Campsite is great for a large group of friends to take over, as there are only six tent spaces! It's even in the midst of a valley and woodland.
All the above campsites have flushing toilets and sinks, as well as barbeque pits.
The checklist (and tips)
1. Before you invest in camping equipment, see if you can borrow the basics. You'll need a tent, sleeping bags, a small gas stove, matches, a cooking pot, dish, soap, plates, utensils, lanterns, torches and batteries.
2. You can find the necessary gear at places such as the Hong Kong Mountaineering Training Centre in Mong Kok, Chamonix Alpine Equipment in Yau Ma Tei and Protrek chain stores. And of course, don't leave home without toiletries, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first-aid kit.
3. Plan your meals ahead of time. It will make your life easier to keep the menu as simple as possible and use ingredients that need no refrigeration. If your food needs to be cut up or marinated, do it at home and store everything in airtight containers. We would suggest pancakes and bacon for breakfast, precooked spaghetti with meatballs in tomato sauce for lunch, one-pot rice with dried sausages for dinner and s'mores - roasted marshmallows sandwiched between Graham crackers - for dessert.
4. Remember to arrive at the campsite well before dark. This way you'll have plenty of time to set up the tent, make dinner and explore your environs on foot.
5. Prepare some fun and simple activities to do when you're not exploring the countryside and for after sunset. Playing mini board/card games, flying a kite, or sitting in a circle singing to a ukulele's tunes are some suggestions!
6. Last, but not least, keep your camp clean.
Enjoy your time in the great outdoors!