Leave the worries of everyday life behind by heading out into the great outdoors on a camping trip. There’s no better feeling than breathing in fresh air, building a fire from scratch and sleeping under the stars.
Not only will it allow you to disconnect from it all, but it provides an opportunity to make memories with friends and family. If you want to embrace a little bit of nature on your next holiday, read our top tips on how to plan the ultimate camping trip.
Pick the Perfect Camping Site
There are many different campsite types to choose from to suit different needs, and each will have advantages and disadvantages. Don’t pick the first campsite you find online and make an informed decision.
If you want to camp down in a secluded area, consider a primitive camping experience or a state/national park, where you can pitch a tent anywhere you like for a night or two. However, in most cases, you will need to buy a permit to do so. It will provide an opportunity to avoid the commercial campers and get in touch with your wild side.
While primitive camping might sound ideal, it can come with many challenges. For instance, you will have no access to a safe water source, so you will need to bring a water filter with you to stay hydrated. What’s more, you’ll have no access to a toilet or shower.
If you want to sleep under the stars but have creature comforts close by, consider a campsite that provides access to running water, electricity or restrooms. There may even be a car parking area, so you’re never too far away from your vehicle.
Plan Camping Meals in Advance
First-time campers often underestimate the importance of planning their meals in advance, only to realize their mistake once they have run out of food. To avoid a rumbling stomach, plan every meal and snack in advance, so you’ll bring the right ingredients with you to cook up a feast.
Camp cooking is all about creating healthy, delicious meals from filling ingredients, as they will keep hunger pangs at bay when enjoying a hiking trail. We recommend packing various spices and pre-sliced meat and vegetables in sandwich bags, which you can label for each day. Don’t forget to take ingredients to create some delicious s’mores, which you will love melting over the camp fire.
Create an Itinerary
Usually, there are several different outdoor activities to choose from near a campsite. For instance, you and your friends can walk along a hiking trail, enjoy a spot of fishing, go for a swim in a lake or enjoy a day of kayaking. Discuss the different activities with your camp mates to decide on the best activities to do. Once you have decided what you would like to do, create an itinerary so you can make enough time to enjoy all the options.
However, don’t plan too much or you may fail to make the most of the experience. Who knows, you might stumble upon a beautiful waterfall along a hiking trail or just need to make a pit stop for a bite to eat.
A Camping Checklist
On a hotel based holiday, you can visit a store or speak to the front desk if you have forgotten an essential item. Unfortunately, this will not be a possibility on a camping trip. To ensure you pack important items, we suggest creating a handy camping checklist to ensure you’re organized.
For instance, your camping checklist should include:
- Sleeping bag
- Sneakers/hiking boots
- Comfortable clothing
- Small knife
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Toilet paper
- A first aid kit
- Plus more
Check the Weather
Check upcoming weather conditions before you head off on a camping trip to avoid any unexpected surprises. For instance, a sunny day could soon turn to a thunderstorm, and you may wish you’d have brought a waterproof jacket or coat.
Consider the Travel Time
It’s important to consider the distance of a camping site before you reserve a spot. The last thing you will want is to drive a long distance to a campsite or national park only to feel tired once you arrive. Lengthy travel times can make you feel tired and lethargic, and you might want to cancel any activities on your itinerary as a result. If you are heading off on a weekend camping trip, we recommend travelling no farther than three hours from home, or you may pay the price once you arrive.
Confirm Your Reservation
State parks are often popular with campers and spots can fill up in a flash. As there will be so many bookings to manage, it might be easy for an administrator to make a mistake. The worst thing that can happen is you drive all the way to a campsite to find there is no place for you or your tent. Always confirm your reservation with a phone call or email before your trip, so you don’t have a wasted journey that will disappoint both you and your camp buddies.
Safely Store Your Camping Equipment
If you plan to become a regular camper, don’t spend your days searching for much-needed camping supplies before your trip. Instead, place all your camping equipment in one spacious storage container, so everything is available to hand when you need the items and you can quickly access all of your gear when you decide to head off on an unexpected camping trip.
The key to a successful camping trip is organization. From planning meals, creating an itinerary and safely storing away your camping supplies, you can ensure you will be ready to have an unforgettable trip with your friends or family. Write a handy checklist of all the items you need, actions you need to perform and things you need to do once you arrive, and you can guarantee you’ll enjoy wonderful memories with your camp mates.