Excited to get going on your next camping trip, but you don’t know where to begin? You’re probably thinking things like – Where should I go camping? What do I need To Bring camping? How do I prepare? Are you wondering just how you’re supposed to be planning your camping trip? Well, you’ve definitely landed in the right spot!
There is a lot of helpful information about camping trip planning in this article. So even if you’re a beginner or expert camper, there is something for everyone here. We realize that when you first come into camping, you’re more than likely overwhelmed by all the new stuff to learn. As well as learning about gear and what to bring.
So, in light of this, we have created this camping trip planner and guide so that you can hit the ground running as fast as you can and as easily as you can so that you can get to enjoying your camping trip A.S.A.P!
The goal of this guide is to help you prevent as many mistakes and to help you bring everything that you’ll need to go camping. Although this article is aimed more towards beginner campers, the experienced campers can find use from this as well.
A quick tip while we’re talking about camping gear – Don’t just buy the cheapest thing on the shelf. We know all too much about having to get the cheaper camping gear. So take it from us, you don’t want to buy cheap gear. You can very well end up in a situation where your life depends on the quality of your gear.
We are not saying that your first camping trip will be a disaster, but anything can happen, but planning is key. Wouldn’t you rather be prepared than not? It’s something important to keep in mind – Anyway, without further or do, let’s get into this article so that you can get to enjoying your camping trip A.S.A.P!
Destination Planning – (Where Will You Go?)
This section will be all about planning your camping trip. Before we dive in, here are two big things that you should think about when planning your camping trip. – (The bullet points below are in no particular order) –
- #1) – Where will you go – I.E. what campsite?
- #2). How are you getting to your campsite?
#1). Where Will You Go? – I.E. What Campsite?
Think about where you want to go. There are a whole lot of options when it comes to camping. You could go camping in a forest, a creek, at your home, in low valleys, or even way up in the mountains! You should take your time figuring this one out.
Although you can go just about anywhere, you still want to mull it over a bit. Your gear is only half of the camping. Where you go is just as important. Unless you plan to never leave your tent…then that’s the exception.
#2). How Are You Getting To Your Campsite?
Think about how you will be getting to the campsite. Whether you plan to get to the campsite with your car, your truck, or your RV. Figure out what you will be going in and pack according to the space that is available to you. No need to way over-pack unless you want to.
Vehicle Organization Tips For Camping:
There are a TON of great inventions out there, (especially nowadays), that will make your life a lot easier. For instance, there are special bins and containers for food, clothes, and gear. There are also some cool things like the AmazonBasics Travel Organizer Cubes Set.
It comes with four travel cubes that you can place anywhere in your vehicle to save some space. There is a lot out there to help you on your way. So, if that’s something that interests you, then do some looking around. Your sure to find something that you can use to your advantage!
Tip #1 – General Organization:
When you’re packing your vehicle, make sure you organize everything in such a way that you can easily reach anything you need at a moment’s notice. It is never fun when you have to rummage through your entire vehicle looking for that one thing that you could have easily placed somewhere that is easily accessible. Your basics such as your tent, sleeping bag, etc. are easily accessible. This will make your life a whole lot easier.
Preparation is always one of those things that everyone likes to fret about so much. Many campers will have questions such as: How do I get prepared? What Should I do? How will I know what to pack? Don’t Worry. By the time you finish reading this, you will know the answers to all of your camping prep questions.
Now, think about your overall camping trip in terms of preparation. If you just bring whatever without proper valuation of your gear, your equipment is much more likely to fail. For instance, your tent could rip holes in it or your sleeping bag could be insufficient for what you need on your camping trip.
Yes, we know that it can be grueling at times when you are planning out your gear and supplies, but it will be worth it to plan ahead. Making sure that you’re as prepared as you can be without going absolutely overboard.
That is another point we want to make. Even though we say you should be prepared, it does not mean that you should go insane grabbing every piece of camping gear that you can get your hands on or buying the most expensive gear, because it isn’t necessary. Bring what you need first, and everything else should come after.
Gear Planning – (What To Bring?)
Do you know what sort of gear should you bring on your camping trip? Well, in this section, we will list out each item that you need throughout your entire campsite. From general supplies and gear to kitchen supplies and hygiene items.
For Your Campsite: I.E. – In And Around Your Tent:
- Tent Footprint
- Sleeping Bag(s)
- Sleeping Pad(s)
- Headlamp(s) An/Or Flashlight(s)
- Camp Chair(s)
- Storage Bags – (Ziploc, etc.)
Optional Campsite Gear:
- Camping Pillow(s)
- Dutch Oven
- Tarp – (used for extra protection, footprint, or shade)
- Portable Coffee/Tea Maker
- Storage Container(s)
- Camping Cot(s)
- Camping Rug
- Water Bottle(s)
- Dry Bags – (Water-Proof Bags For Your Cell-phone, Your Wallet, etc.)
- Hydration Pack
- Folding Knife/Switchblade
Camp Kitchen Supplies – Items For Cooking, Cleaning, Etc:
- Pots, Pans, And/Or Mess-Kit
- Cooking Utensils – (spatula, knives, etc.)
- Eating Utensils – (eating utensils come with a mess kit)
- Grill/stove – (with or without fuel – I.E. charcoal, gas, etc)
- Bowls/Plates – (Paper, plastic, or glass – your choice:)
- Biodegradable Soap
- Sink And/Or Washing Bins
- Dish Rag
Camping Tools – (Optional)
- Machete/Large Knife
- Utility Belt
Some Entertainment Item Ideas:
- Board Games
- Yoga/Work Out Mat
- Portable Camping TV
- Water Games
- Sports Package – (football/soccerball/baseball, etc.)
Each item we listed here is either one of two things. A necessity or a great beneficial addition to your camping gear, (optional items). Please note that in the above gear planning list, not everything is mandatory.
As some of these are totally optional. Heed our advice, yes, but bring what you feel is best. You might only need some of these or you might end up needing all of them. It’s still completely 100% your decision when all is said and done!
Ok, this is the end of the first half – (Destination And Gear planning). Now, it’s time to get started setting up your campsite! In the next section, we’ll explain how to set up your campsite to the best of our abilities. So here we go!
Setting Up Your Campsite:
So, you’ve found where you want to go and you’re prepared for your camping trip, awesome! Now that you are at your destination, you’ll need to begin setting up camp right?
[This is when the fun starts. So make sure you’re relaxed before you start setting up your campsite!]
How To Set Up Your Tent:
Setting up your tent can be frustrating at times. That’s why we created this section – In an effort to make this step even easier for you!
Begin by taking your tent out of its protective casing and put down a tarp or a large waterproof blanket. This will help to not only protect you but to protect your tent from being punctured. If the bottom of your tent is punctured, it will make you more vulnerable to the elements, bugs, etc.
Begin connecting your tent rods, or tent poles. Your manual is best for this part. However, when connecting your tent rods, most of the time they will snap right into place. Place or hold them in line with each other and connect the poles or rods.
Begin putting your tent rods or tent poles into the slots in your tent and raise your tent up. This part can be tricky sometimes. Some tents are tricky to assemble all on their own. Once you have connected the tent poles or rods. Begin slotting them respectively and raise your tent.
An easy way to raise your tent once it is ready is to start raising it from the center. Think of it like picking up a towel, how the sides of the towel follow the center that is being gifted. The same goes for a tent.
Double-check your work to ensure that it is properly set up and staked to the ground. Also, add your tent’s rain cover if applicable. If there are any more pieces left, consult the manual for your tent, but there should not be any further steps.
How To Set Up Your Sleeping Bag:
Your sleeping bags are easy setup, (obviously). Place your sleeping bag or bags in your tent where you feel comfortable. Make sure that your sleeping bag is as comfortable as possible. (Even more so if you aren’t sleeping on a sleeping pad or mattress).
Fire Pit Setup – The Center Piece:
Your fire pit will be the center piece and place of warmth for your entire campsite. Whether you’re alone or not, you’re going to want a campfire. Whether it be for survival in cold weather or simply for fun, you’re going to want a campfire.
Setting Up Your Lighting:
Set up your lighting, whether you have an ordinary lantern, string lights, or a jack-o-lantern. Get started setting up your lighting. Try to light up your campsite as much as possible. If you don’t have lighting such as these, don’t worry, these are not mandatory.
They are there, however, to make your campsite that much more enjoyable. This will be super helpful at night as well. So you might want to think about getting some lighting to set up. But, again, not a mandatory thing.
Now is the time to set up whatever else you have brought for your camping trip. Whether it be a decoration or simply some extra gear, now is the time to set up the extras.
Tips For Better Campsite Enjoyment:
This section has a few campsite/camping trip planning tips for helping yourself enjoy your campsite a little better!
Campsite Tip #1 – Campfire Food:
Make sure that when you go camping, you bring some tasty snacks to fire up and roast over the fire. An added bonus to campfire food is that your kids can help you make food! Also, most campfire foods can be placed on a stick for easy roasting! (That’s why their called campfire foods). If you bring just any food, you’ll be missing out. Here are a few delicious ideas for some campfire food:
- Hot dogs
- S’mores – (graham crackers, chocolate or Nutella, and marshmallows)
- Candy Yams! – (roast yams with butter and brown sugar)
- Banana Boat – (add whatever sweets fit in the banana!)
- Cheese – cheese sticks/cheese slices/cheese block(s)
- Cinnamon Rolls Or Dinner Rolls – with powdered sugar and cinnamon
- Roasted Fruits! – (apples, strawberries, pears, grapes, etc.)
Campsite Tip #2 – Don’t Forget About Fun:
Don’t forget to have fun while you’re on your camping trip! Brings items for entertainment, especially if you’re going with family. Maybe throw the football or kick the soccer ball around. maybe you can play wiffle ball with your kids. Whatever you want to do, make sure you bring things for entertainment. Remember, you can bring whatever you want! You can find some ideas below.
- Board Games
- Yoga/Work Out Mat
- Portable Camping TV
- Water Games
- Sports Package – (football/soccerball/baseball, etc.)
Camping Tip #3 – Go Camping During The Week:
If you plan on going to a campground. Try to go camping during the week versus the weekend. This can make the difference between whether or not you get a decent camping spot. Keep in mind that camping is typically a weekend pastime. So if you go camping during the week, you’ll probably be able to grab the perfect spot!
Camping Tip #4 – Waterproof Your Tent:
If rain is your biggest concern, then why not think about waterproofing your tent? It can be a HUGE help for your tent. Even more so if your tent is on the cheaper side. There is nothing wrong with owning a cheaper tent.
However, if you have leaking issues with your tent or something similar, you might want to think about waterproofing your tent. Not only will waterproofing your tent help to keep water out, but it can also make your tent last longer! How awesome is that?!
If you want to know how to waterproof your tent, then head over to www.winfieldsoutdoors.co, and they’ll explain in full detail how to waterproof your tent and how to keep it waterproof over the years! This is an awesome post, so check it out!
Heading Back Home:
So, by now you’re ready to head home, right? You’ve enjoyed your trip and it’s time to head back to the homestead. Let’s get started with cleaning up your campsite.
Cleaning Up Your Campsite:
Cleaning your campsite when you’re finished with it is important. Put yourself in the next person’s shoes, or even the people working at the campground. Of course, you don’t have to get every spec of dust. (That’s what the janitorial crew is for). But you should at the very least give it the once over. Ok, let’s get into it!
Leave No Trace:
Practicing leave no trace is important when you go camping. It means what it says. Leave no trace that you were ever even there. In other words – Do your best to make your camping spot look like it was when you arrived.
Step #1 – Collect all of your Gear:
Round up all of your gear and make sure that you have everything that you brought with you. You don’t want to forget anything!
Step #2 – Clean Up Any Messes:
Make sure you clean up any large messes that you have made. Small things are ok, but try to clean up as best you can. Clean trash, spills, etc.
Step #3 – Put Out Any Fires:
THIS IS A BIG ONE. Please make sure that ALL of your fires are out. You might think that it’s out, but make sure that you’re 100% positive that your fires are out.
Step #4 – The Once Over:
Have one last look at your campsite. Making sure all fires are put out, make sure that you have your gear and anything else you brought with you.
One Last Camping Trip Planning Tip – Try Not To Stress Yourself Out:
Do your best to look at everything as a learning experience if you’re a new camper. Yes, you WILL make mistakes. That’s part of learning. But, once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll look back and think – “man, that was totally worth it!” So don’t get yourself own about being new to camping, because the entire outdoor community will have your back!
Conclusion – Saying Goodbye:
Now that you’ve cleaned up your campsite and you’re ready to go home. It’s time to say goodbye. Now, we’re not going to tell you how to say goodbye to your campsite, that’s completely up to you! We would roast one last fire if it were us! We hope you enjoy, (or enjoyed), your camping trip to the fullest!
If you enjoyed this camping trip planning guide, show us some love and share it! For more outdoors and camping advice, check out the rest of our website. Thank you for visiting us! Have a great one, and we’ll see you next time right here at outdoorcampingadvice.com.