How To Plan A Camping Trip

Knowing how to plan a camping trip is crucial if you want to enjoy this time with nature and away from all the usual perks of modern life. That first camping trip can make or break your decision to have more sojourns with nature. If you can start if off perfectly, you’ll find that the next outdoor trips will be so much easier as well as pleasurable.

Identify your Campsite

Choose a campground taking into account the people you’ll be camping with and the activities you plan to have. If you’re camping with the kids, then something a little nearer to civilization with a few modern facilities (like a toilet) is ideal. For adult-only excursions however, something a little rougher shouldn’t be an issue.

Fortunately, the internet makes it easy for you to check out different camping locations nearby coupled with reviews on their quality by people who’ve already camped there. Check out what they have to say about the distance of the location, the campground itself, the facilities available, the number of people who usually camp in the area, and the kind of activities you can enjoy. Book the campsite as soon as you’ve made your choice.

If this is your First Camping Trip 

The activities you do on your first camp depend largely on what’s available in the area. Common choices include boating, kayaking, barbeques, soccer, volleyball, swimming, and hiking. First timers are advised to familiarize themselves with ‘camp speak’ and practice putting up a tent or starting a fire beforehand. Camping hacks like packing light and opening canned food without a can opener can be invaluable while away from civilization.

Some camping terminologies you should know beforehand include:

  • Day Pack – These are the stuff you take during hiking including water, an additional shirt, some towels, and a trowel for toilet necessities.
  • Open/Closed Site – This refers to the kind of site available. An open site is devoid of vegetation and gets a lot of sun. A closed site, however, contains more plant life
  • No Trace – A fundamental camping concept, this means not leaving a trace when decamping
  • Tent Pad – This is the ground through which the tent is placed. It’s important to choose a site that’s smooth and have no bumps. Even with a pad placed in between the tent and the ground, a bumpy tent pad will still be felt through it.

Make a Detailed Plan

Make a detailed plan by predicting what could happen on the camping day. For example, what kind of weather will you be having on the area? Evaluate the challenges from the moment you board the car to the site until the time you go back home. Some aspects to consider would be how long the drive would be, whether you have enough petrol for a round trip and if you’re prepared in the event of a flat tire.

Once you’re there – consider how long you intend to stay and narrowing down the time of your arrival and time of departure. If you’ve done your research properly then you should know what activities are welcome in the campsite.

Water games, games in general, music, and cooking for pleasure is just some of the most common activities during camping. For the most part however, camping is all about kicking back and doing whatever helps you relax. So as not to forget anything, create a checklist of how you want the camping trip to go.

Use Checklists to Ensure You Have Everything You Need

Checklists should also be used to figure out exactly what supplies are necessary for the duration of the camp. Here are the most common stuff needed by campers:

  • Tent or basically any kind of shelter. Some campsites provide their own tents or you can bring your own. If you have an RV however, make sure that it’s fully stocked before leaving.
  • Food – obviously. When camping, you’d want to take a combination of fresh and packaged food items. Meat and fish are staples but be sure to freeze them accordingly. There’s nothing quite like having an open barbeque in nature ground. Pack enough food for everyone during your stay.
  • Cooking facilities – which can be anything from a portable gas range to paper and matches. Be honest with your fire-starting capability, especially if you’re camping in an isolated area.
  • Safety and security provisions including a flashlight with fresh batteries and some extras, just in case. Mosquito lotion and mosquito nets may seem like a luxury, but you can enjoy the camp better with them there. For those particularly ‘rough’ camps, you may want to bring a whistle with you for safety.
  • Hygiene and comfort provisions such as soap and shampoo. Choose your clothes carefully – opting for light fabric, which covers a large portion of your body. Depending on the weather, it’s a good idea to bring several layers of clothing to prepare for cold nights and hot days.

Essential Camping Gear You Will Need 

Already discussed above, here is a more intense look at the essentials:

  • Tent and/or sleeping bag which you can rent, borrow, or buy, depending on how often you intend to go out camping. Be wary of the material to use for the tent, which should depend on your camping ground weather
  • Lights – one for each person and several to be used stationary on the camping site, preferably with solar power
  • Camping stove and a fire starter with wood, just in case you want to really get into the fireplace spirit.
  • Navigational tools, such as a map and a compass. If you want to use your phone, make sure it is something, which is accessible without internet connection. Non-electric tools, however, will be better.
  • Bug repellent and a mosquito net
  • Provisions and excellent containers for those provisions. Water and lots of it is an absolute must.
  • First aid kit including an antiseptic, alcohol, some painkillers, antibiotics, cotton and bandages just in case

Things to Do After Camp 

The idea is to leave the camp exactly in the same way you found it – leaving no trace, especially non-biodegradable stuff. This is crucial since throwing away stuff on the camp grounds ruins it for every other person who may want to use the area. Once you’ve gotten home, unpack all the stuff, bring out the bottle of wine and get a good night’s sleep in your own bed.