How To Plan A Good Old Fashioned Camping Trip: A 6-Step Guide

Camping is one of life’s great joys. Time spent in nature, breathing in the fresh air, hearing only natural ambiance, enjoying the sun (or the shade, depending on how hot it is) is almost always just what the doctor ordered. Nowadays, camping means different things to different people, and this can make planning a camping trip a little tricky. The following will explore some crucial things to plan for and discuss with your camping companions before you’re all in the car and driving out into the middle of nowhere.

Figure Out Who Is Bringing What

Everyone needs to be on the same page and confirm what they’re bringing. You don’t want to show up and find out that no one brought a tarp, and now it’s raining, and everyone is wet, and their clothes are getting moldy, and everyone’s in a mood.

Talk About The Tech

A big part of the traditional camping experience is a break from technology. While taking a break from tech can be excellent for your health and wellbeing, given how dependent many of us have become on our devices, this can be easier said than done. If you’re camping alone, this step will be pretty simple, but if you’re camping with other people, be prepared for the possibility that a decision might take a moment or two to be reached. You need to figure out what technological devices you’re welcoming on the trip and which ones you’d rather not see.

You might find that someone wants to have their phone and portable charger handy because, to them, a relaxing camping trip involves taking lots of pictures. How does everyone feel about a speaker and music? To some, background folk is the perfect addition to a camping trip. For others, part of the draw of the trip in the first place was a break from the noise. What is the group’s opinion on tech to be kept in the car in case of an emergency? What constitutes an emergency?

You’ll Need More Food Than You Think

If you want to avoid leaving the campsite to run into the nearest town and get more groceries, it’s a good idea to be realistic about how much everyone is going to eat. It turns out that when you’re outside all day hiking, swimming, and doing other activities, you work up quite the appetite. Plan your meals ahead of time and ensure you have all the ingredients and the cookware required to handle preparing them. You should also think about waste when planning meals and come prepared with garbage bags or other solutions. You don’t want to be attracting bears or leaving anything damaging to the environment while you’re out there. 

Think About Safety

When planning a camping trip, especially with some less-experienced campers joining you, it’s a good idea to have a chat about safety. If people are going to be splitting up, does everyone have a whistle or flare? Do you have a first aid kit? Have you read some outdoor survival reviews and picked out the right gear for the weather and activities you’ll be facing? If you’re not bringing cell phones, how will you contact the authorities in the case of an emergency? Do you have bear spray? What sort of animal life will you likely encounter? Does everyone know how to react if an animal does wander into the camp? Having conversations like this ahead of time can save everyone a whole bunch of trouble if something does end up going wrong.

Pack Extras

Lighters and matches get lost easily. Socks get muddy and wet. Sweaters get stolen by your little sister because she’s cold. Bring extras of the things you’ll need. Yes, it does make packing and setting up a little trickier, but extras can make everyone more comfortable later on.

Discuss Music Ahead Of Time

If you and your camping crew are down to have some music, it’s a good idea to make a playlist or two ahead of time that everyone likes. If you don’t want your cousin’s girlfriend playing techno all night, have the conversation ahead of time. If you hate bluegrass, speak up early. Is rap not your thing? Talk about it. Creating playlists that everyone likes can seem like a challenge, but it’s a fantastic thing to iron out before you’re on the trip and people are growing annoyed. You might also be surprised to find your friend group has different music preferences when they’re in the wilderness than they do when they’re driving around town.

Planning these six elements will help ensure that your camping trip feels classic and easygoing. Remember to choose your location carefully, research the weather and the area ahead of time, and let someone not on the trip know where you’re going. Happy camping!

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Noah Murphy

I have a great interest in travel, adventure and politics. I moved to Australia age 25 from England. From a young age I have always viewed the world as an opportunity. My travel and current affairs writing offers me a opportunity, my approach to life is a shared learning journey, were we meet many travelers along their life's journey, what matters to me is capturing the moments. I reflect, grow and share as much as possible on my journey towards self actualization.

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