Planning the perfect memory-worthy camping trip can be overwhelming and often quite frustrating. Everyone wants to have a great time but everyone also knows there’s a lot of planning to be done to make a successful trip.
Luckily, with all the information available today online, things got much easier for any level of a camper, even the first-timers. Searching the campgrounds, reading reviews, finding the right equipment etc. are only a part of the plan and here’s what else you should do to have a memorable camping adventure.
Plan the timeframe
Going camping means you’ll be sleeping outside so the weather will have a big impact on your trip. For instance, Olympic National Park in Washington typically gets over 150 inches of rain a year. Hearing the patter of raindrops on the roof of your tent can be lovely and romantic in the evening, but when your entire campsite gets ruined by rain and all equipment soaked, you’ll change your mind!
Most people decide to go camping in summer as that’s when they can usually get time off work. The weather is favourable then but crowds are also bigger, especially at popular locations. If you want some peace and quiet, go camping during the offseason but take time and effort to research the location and weather conditions in advance.
Pick the location
The choice is huge when it comes to picking the camping location. The landscape of the US is immensely diverse, ranging from various state parks, the rocky Pacific coastline, vast plains of the Midwest to thick deep-green forests and quirky New England towns and swamplands of Florida.
Think about what scenery you want to wake up to every morning and explore during the day – waterfalls, hot springs, cliffs or beaches. Or, you might prefer staying close to a local town with a fine brewery and restaurants. For some people, staying close to their hometown is important as it saves time and money but still offers plenty of opportunities to explore.
Have a meal plan
Once you’ve planned out your when and where you can move on to planning your camp meal as well as all the camp equipment you might need. If you’re a first-time camper, the best way to go is to keep it simple. Speaking of gear, you practically only need several things – a tent, sleeping bag and pad, portable stove, headlamp, camping chair, a cooking pot and a reliable OTF knife that comes in handy for any cutting or food preparation.
When it comes to cooking, it’s all up to you. Be adventurous or keep it simple. If you’re a foodie, bring your favourite ingredients and spices and cook up a feast!
Reserve your campsite
Making a good camping plan means reserving your campsite in advance. This is particularly important during the peak season when campgrounds are full. Also, some campsites have restrictions regarding the number of guests in an attempt to preserve the delicate balance of the natural environment. This means you might need to get a permit even months in advance.
Plan your activities
There are lots of things you can do while camping. Some people prefer to lounge around and enjoy the camping grounds whereas others love the call of the wild so they go out exploring, mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking and seeking adventures. Figure out what it is that you like and plan accordingly.
If you’re an adventurous type, do some research online to find camping grounds near rock formations, running/hiking trails or a body of water where you can go boating or fishing. Also, bear in mind who is coming with you. The number of people will dictate what location you require, what gear is necessary, how much food you need and what level of organisation is necessary. Often too many people and poor communication and planning will lead to a logistical camping nightmare!
Going camping is a perfect opportunity to experience the outdoors, learn a new skill, bond with your camp buddies and pump up your adrenalin. To make it all work out, you do need to invest some time and effort into careful planning so things turn out, in the end, the way you want. Hopefully, the tips listed here will help you cover all spots, from finding a perfect campground to bringing the right gear.