How to plan your camping trip
So you want to plan a camping trip? Awesome! Don't know where to start? Let us help! An epic camping trip starts with planning and research. What does your ideal camping trip look like...
First, plan the basics of your trip.
Coming up with a basic outline of your trip makes planning much easier. When and where you choose to go effects what you will be planning to do while you're camping. The time of year and site you will be camping at helps determine what camping shelter makes sense for your trip. Aside from your personal style and preference, some sites are regulated and limit the type of camping you can participate in. Bringing gear specific to activities only makes sense if you can use it at the location you are camping. If you are camping for a longer period of time, you might be able to justify bringing more gear for other activities. Inviting friends to come along can divide costs and allows you delegate duties when camping. There are endless options when it comes to camping, every trip is different than the last. Once you iron out these basics you can move onto the next steps with a clear idea of what you will need.
Next, plan the main points of your trip.
Now that you know where, how long, and with whom you will be camping out, you can decide what you will need to pack. First thing to consider is your shelter. Whether you are tent camping or plan on another style of camping, you have got to consider how you will sleep. There are many cot, air mattress and sleeping pad/mat options on the market to choose from. Depending on the terrain and style of camping, use your best judgment and personal preference to decide here. No two campers swear by the same sleeping methods while camping. Just don't forget your sleeping bags! You can not go camping with out some light! While the campfire is the center of camp night life, there is a real need for a mobile light source while under the stars. You should pack a flash light, some spare batteries, and maybe consider bringing a lantern too. From there you can decide what you want to bring. The amount of extras you bring usually depends of the length of the trip, longer stays justify bringing a few "what if" type items such as rain gear. I always bring a pillow, some chairs, and a welcome mat for my tent! Items of comfort and/or luxury are totally free game if you don't mind hauling them.
From here you need to figure out what you will be cooking on! Over an open fire, on a grill or are you bringing another option along? Now that you know who all will be camping, I recommend planning your meals ahead and freezing what you can to help save room and ice in the cooler. Camping cuisine doesn't have to be all hot dogs and baked beans! Get creative, there are a ton of easy camp recipes that we have tried from the internet and they are our new favorites. No-cook camping is actually a thing! Replace your meals with easy whole foods or no cook options. Try to remember any cooking utensils or other recipe specific needs like aluminum foil or charcoal when packing your meals and camp kitchen needs. Thinking ahead about how to handle left overs and clean up is worth the extra thought before you find yourself at the campsite. I like to have aluminum foil along camping, not only does it help when cooking over the fire but it makes left over clean up a breeze at camp too. Consider bringing a supply of water just for cooking, especially when camping in the summer. Don't forget some easy to grab snack and drinks. I am notorious for setting up a hand washing station. It is a large sports drink dispenser of water, an empty container to catch and fill with water for washing, soap and a hand towel. It sure does the trick!
Aside from packing your personal clothing and toiletries, always remember any medication you require. A first aid kit and bug spray should always be in your pack too. Bug spray is important to repel ticks, 20%+ DEET is recommended. We brush our teeth and clean up too! I always pack extra clothes and some make up! I get some shit for it, but I feel worlds better if I can change as I please. I also am a big fan of washing my hair while camping! It doesn't matter if I have a solar camp shower bag or if I am dumping a bottled water over my head, what ever gets it done!
The last thing to consider when planning your camping trip are the activities you plan to do while camping. You always save the most fun for last! Pack outdoor games, cards, music and plan your outdoor adventures. Pack activity specific gear that you plan on participating in while camping. Boating, fishing, biking, hiking, climbing, yoga, SUP and kayaking are just a few types of activities you maybe able to do while camping. Make sure you also pack all required safety gear and have valid permits/licenses related to all activities.
Planning a camping trip may feel like an overwhelming task but it can be managed! A little extra planning goes a long way in making your trip an enjoyable one. We keep most of our camping gear in plastic totes. This way we can grab them and go whenever the camping mood moves us. We also rarely camp alone! Camping is more fun with friends, partly because more hands means less work.
I am no expert when it comes to defining the different types and styles of camping.
You see, one of the coolest things about camping is, it means something different to everyone. So there is always some thing new to experience or try when it comes to camping. Even with all the experience I have, I am still learning something new each time we take a trip, or talk to other campers! Camp culture is alive. Always changing and evolving, different from person to person. No matter how you camp, it's important to remember no one way is better than another. We have been known to do some glamping too! It's a matter of preference, and to have a preference you have to try them all!