A camping trip is the perfect opportunity to get away from the fast pace of your everyday life and spend time relaxing amongst nature. It’s also a great bonding opportunity, whether you go with a group of friends, make it a romantic camping trip with your significant other or bring the whole family.
To make the most of your camping trip, it’s essential that you prepare properly. Here’s the steps you should take for the perfect trip.
1. Decide on the Place and How You’ll Get There
First, you’ll need to figure out where you want to go. If you live in a rural area, there are likely all sorts of places to camp nearby. If you live in the city, you’ll probably need to do a bit of driving to get somewhere more secluded. One easy way to find places to camp is a campground database, where you simply plug in your location to pull up camping sites in that area. If you haven’t done much camping, choose a place that’s not too far from home just in case anything goes wrong.
You also need to know how you’ll reach your campsite. If you’ve chosen an area where you can drive right to your campsite, you don’t need to worry much about packing light, although that's still a good habit. But if you’ll be hiking to get there, you don’t want to be uncomfortable lugging all sorts of items with you.
2. Create Your Camping Checklist
The most important part of preparing for a camping trip is undoubtedly making your camping checklist. When you take your time on this, you can make sure that you have everything you need to have the best time and stay safe on your trip.
Forgetting certain items will just be a minor nuisance, but some can cause serious issues. If you only have a light sleeping bag and it’s colder than expected at night, you’ll be in for a rough time when you try to get to sleep. Forget your bug repellant in an area with mosquitoes and you’ll spend half your trip swatting bugs away, and come home with quite a few bites.
Start your camping checklist with the essentials. This includes weather-appropriate clothing, your shelter, water and enough food to last you the entire trip. Don’t forget about how you’re going to store and cook that food. You should also have supplies to keep you safe, including a first aid kit, flashlights and a map. You never know when these items could come in handy.
Once you’ve got the essentials, you can move on to items that make your trip more comfortable and enjoyable. This is entirely up to you. Maybe you bring a gas stove so you can prepare food more easily, or a hammock, which is more comfortable than you might think, for a nice place to relax during the day.
3. Choose a Length for Your Trip
Next, you should decide how long you want to camp for. A longer trip gives you the chance to explore more, but even a short one-night camping trip can be a fun getaway. Novice campers are better off with shorter camping trips to start. You don’t need to pack or plan as much and it helps you get used to camping in shorter doses.
4. Plan Activities
Research the campground you’ve chosen to see what kind of activities are available, as this will help you pack the appropriate items. You don’t want to show up only to find that there’s a beautiful lake there and nobody brought their swimsuits. The campground you chose may have areas where you can ride ATVs, go out on jet skis and much more so it’s a good idea to check it out and plan ahead.
Taking Your Trip
Once you’ve completed the four steps above, all that’s left is to set out on your trip when the big day arrives. By preparing everything beforehand, you can hit the road early without stressing about whether you remembered everything you need.