Either if you are considering going on a camping trip with your partner, family members, or a group of friends, planning the perfect trip can sometimes be a bit stressful and overwhelming.
It took me several years to come up with this list where I decided to narrow it down to 5 simple steps that will make your planning process seeming less and as much stress-free as possible.
Let’s face it, in the end, we all just want to enjoy as much as possible of our next outdoor adventure, that’s why we came out for your rescue in order to shed some light to your queries or confusion and hopefully make life a bit easier for you in this respect!
So, without any further due let’s dive together into the 5 steps for planning a camping trip
5 Steps To Plan A Camping Trip
Step 1: Determine Your Destination
Choosing the right destination will most likely determine the outcome of your camping adventure. Having said that, the destination will typically depend of some factors (including but not limited to):
What Type of Camping Trip?
- Are you planning to camp by yourself or with your partner? In this case, its easier as you only have to plan for either yourself or together with your partner and its usually way easier to agree on the final destination
- Are you going with other family members or a group of friends? This doesn’t have to be overwhelming but usually the larger the group the larger the planning. That’s why we strongly recommend planning in advance, ensuring everyone is ok with the destination to avoid any issues popping up later on the campsite.
What Are You Going To Do At The Site?
Once you have determined on what type of camping trip you will embark to, the next sub-step is to decide what you type of activities you want to engage with:
- If you are going with a big group make sure that everyone gets to meet their needs (maybe it’s a hiking, fishing, swimming, biking or a combination of these activities).
- It’s a good practice to pick a place that is close to your outdoor activities in order to make it easier for everyone
Check Your Calendar
Ok, so now you know whether you are going by yourself, with your partner, family members or a group of friends. You’ve also been able to determine what are the type of activities you want to engage with during the length of this trip.
Now it’s time to check your calendar and determine what time of the year you want to plan for this trip and what weather you are expecting to have
Choosing the type of weather is quite a personal choice, as it will vary from each individual. If you ask me, I just love to camp in summer. I find it way more fun. I am not fond of the cold and extreme temperatures and I enjoy myself when I can be swimming, hiking, biking etc in the outdoors.
Figuring out what works for you or the broader group which you will be going with may be one of the hardest parts to plan for your trip. This is when everyone has to agree on a specific date, be ok with the type of weather so you better plan for it in advance.
Step 2: Reserve Your Campsite
Ok so now that you know exactly when you want to travel and have carefully selected a specific type of weather you are aiming to go for, it’s time to jump into step number 2 and reserve your campsite.
It’s always important when you are about to choose a campsite to consider a place that will address all of your requirements. For instance, some of you may prefer to have certain comforts included such as hot showers, toilets and water whereas some other may prefer to experience a more rough adventure in the outdoors. A good rule of thumb is to bring along a portable shower which can end up being really handy during your trip.
Another key item to consider is the location as you will find that some campsites actually require that you walk a lot (and that can be an issue if you are quite packed).
Once you arrive at the campsite, it’s time to pick your favorite spot. Of course, the closer to the installations or to a nearby beach/lake will be the hot spots so you will need to plan in advance and aim to be there quite early.
With regards reservations, a lot of them accept online bookings but be aware that some campsites will operate on a first-come basis.
In addition, be aware that during specific holidays the campsites will be more busy than usual, hence you should prepare for that in advance and try to get as early as possible to your destination.
If you are booking as a group, then by all means book in advance as you want to ensure that all of you are next to each other and it can get a bit tricky to get close spots during high season.
Step 3: Prepare your Meal
Good meal preparation is essential for the success of your camping trip. We recommend to have everything sorted out in advance to avoid any issues. You must consider any dietary requirements and specific tastes if you are camping with a broader group.
Also, if you are going to a remote location try to find out if there is a restaurant or a store nearby in case you need any supplementary food.
Coolers will play an essential role to keep your food fresh throughout your trip so you can relax and enjoy some nice drinks and cold beer at your tent.
Although for every camping trip, there’s usually enough food to snack on that’s already prepared from home, nothing comes close to the delicious meals prepared with the help of a camping grill. A nice steak, sausages and veggies – just the simple and tasty things the whole family or group of friends or a couple would enjoy.
Some basic cooking equipment you should always have include (but are not limited to):
- Pots and pans
- Cutting board
- Plates, spoons, forks, knives, cups & mugs
- Sponge and dishcloth
Step 4: Prepare Your Gear
Just like any other trip it’s always important to prepare your camping gear so that you ensure you get the most out of your camping adventure.
We decided to include some of our camping essentials checklist for your benefit:
Although some places may offer you to rent a tent, I personally enjoy utilising my own personal tent. Make sure the tent has enough space and respect the number of people they include on the instructions. Try to avoid 6 people in a 4-person tent! I always recommend testing your tent in your backyard first before you embark on your camping adventure. Ensure you have all the necessary poles and equipment required to set up your tent.
Make sure you invest some decent money on a good sleeping bag as that will determine your quality of sleep and ‘overall humour’ during this trip. There is a wide variety of models for different types of climates.
When I started camping I used to underestimate this item…. But after camping for a while I can’t emphasize enough how important these roll mats or sleeping pads are for a comfy sleep. They come in all sorts of sizes and prices. You can also try some air beds although this tends to take a bit more space.
I love to bring along my camping chairs and enjoy a cold beer while I gaze at the sunset on any camping adventure I embark myself in. The camping chairs come in different sizes and models from which you can pick from. This is another item I recommend spending some extra bucks as it will always pay back! Having said that, they do take up a bit of space, therefore keep this in mind while packing as you want to avoid walking too far from your car to the campsite.
If you are planning to go camping, one of the most important items you want to have in your camping gear is a reliable source of light for when the darkness falls or emergencies. Now, the choices might be limited based on your camping location, but one thing for sure is that you can’t go wrong with the best solar camping lanterns. These lanterns are not only reliable but also cost effective and environmental friendly.
Most people forget or overlook one important item when packing for their trip- a camping table. If you belong to this group, its time you thought about investing in a portable camping table. Camping tables should be lightweight, easy to carry, and easy to assemble. When dismantled, they should take up minimal space. Besides, some can easily hold up to 100lbs while others can be used for cooking.
First aid kit:
You should ALWAYS bring a first aid kit on any outdoor adventure you decide to embark on. You never know when something can go wrong out in nature, so it’s always good to be prepared in advance for any scenario. Apart from the basic first aid kit, you should bring along some bug repellents (we all hate those annoying mosquitos), and some sunscreen if you are camping during the summer season.
We all love arriving at a campsite which is clean, therefore don’t be the exception to the rule and make sure you clean up everything after you use it. Be a good camper!
Step 5: Assemble Everything and Get Ready To Go
Ok, so now that we have determined your final destination, booked a camping site,and prepared both your gear and meal you are ready to head off.
The final step will be to load your gear accordingly (I recommend doing this the day/night before).
You have successfully plan your camping trip, but always remember that some unpredictable events may occur so just be prepared for that and improvise as much as possible.
We hope this guide has been useful for your next camping adventure. Always remember to review each step in detail, plan in advance and if you are camping with a broader group, make sure you and the rest of the group are all in agreement on what’s the best approach for your camping trip.