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Camping is one of the most popular ways to get out in nature and unwind from the daily grind. In fact, more than 78.8 million American households camp at least a few times each year.
If you’re new to camping, figuring out where to start can feel overwhelming. It all comes down to planning.
Planning a camping trip should be an exciting process. So, where do you start? Here are a few key things to keep in mind so you can enjoy your time out in nature.
Consider How You Want to Camp
Before you can head out into the wilderness, you need to think about how you want to camp. You have three main options here: camp in a tent, use an RV, or reserve a cabin somewhere scenic.
There’s no right or wrong way to camp, but each option does offer a few unique benefits.
When you camp in an RV or reserve a cabin, you’ll have access to more amenities. Both options typically have kitchens, bathrooms, proper beds, and more of the comforts you enjoy at home. However, you’re limited in where you can go.
Camping in a tent allows you to go deep into nature or stay close to civilization by reserving a campsite at a local campground.
Think about the amenities that you consider to be camping essentials. If you’re fine roughing it, tent camping is a great choice and will make getting off the beaten path easier. If you’re not sure you’re ready to sleep out under the stars, renting a cabin or using an RV will help you better enjoy your trip.
Look at the Weather
The most important thing to remember when planning a camping trip is to check the weather.
If you’re taking a spur of the moment weekend trip, check the forecast for the next few days. If you’re planning a trip in the next few months, consider the average temperatures and weather conditions you’ll face during the season.
Make sure you’re comfortable camping in those conditions before you plan the rest of your trip. If you’re worried about the weather, put the trip off until conditions improve. Remember, you need to enjoy the experience.
If you’re hunkering down in a tent because the rain won’t stop or don’t want to get out of your sleeping bag because it’s cold out, you’ll have a hard time enjoying the great outdoors.
Keep in mind that you’ll want to check the weather a few days before you leave, too. This way, you’ll be able to pack any additional gear to protect you from the elements.
Figure Out How Long You Want to Camp
It’s best to base the length of your camping trip on your amount of camping experience. The more experience you have camping, the easier it will be to stay out in nature for days on end.
Before you start planning your trip in earnest, think about your experience. Are you completely new to the hobby or do you make a habit of pitching your tent in nature whenever you get the chance?
If you’re experienced, schedule your trip for as long as your schedule permits. If you’re new, keep your first few camping trips short.
This way, you’ll be able to work out the kinks without having to forgo the comforts of civilization for days on end.
Book Your Site Ahead of Time
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when learning how to plan a camping trip is not planning ahead and reserving your campsite. Campgrounds tend to operate on a seasonal schedule.
Many close in the winter and fill to capacity in the summer. This means you need to reserve your site as soon as you have a date in mind.
It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan in case your preferred campground is full. Find a few other nearby campgrounds and contact them if your first choice doesn’t have sites available.
Plan Meals and Buy Ingredients in Advance
Many developed campgrounds have stores on-site that can sell you food and other necessities you may forget on your camping checklist. But you’ll almost always pay for the convenience.
Instead of relying on those stores to stock up on supplies, plan your meals and buy ingredients for them before you leave home.
Try to plan meals that you can cook with minimal refrigeration. After all, you may not have access to a refrigerator or ice to refill and refresh your cooler.
Make sure you bring the necessary utensils and cooking tools, too. Portable camp stoves, grills, and charcoal briquettes will help you cook meals that everyone will enjoy.
Remember to Bring Entertainment
If you’ve planned your trip well, your days will be full of action-packed adventures that help you and your fellow campers get out in nature. But you’ll also need to plan for evening entertainment once you’re back at camp.
Pack things like playing cards, books, and musical instruments to help you pass the time in the evening. The team at Grand Trunk also recommends that you make sure to bring enough seating for everyone to stay comfortable.
Hammocks, camping chairs, folding stools, and even inflatable furniture are all great options. Try to bring at least one seat for each person you’re camping with.
Start Planning a Camping Trip With Confidence
Planning a camping trip doesn’t have to be difficult. Keep these things in mind when you start thinking about your upcoming outdoor adventure.
As long as you take your time and plan ahead, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip without a problem.
Figuring out how to plan a camping trip is just the tip of the iceberg. Check out our latest posts for more tips to help you get the most out of your time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.