Camping is an old tradition that mankind has been using to bond with the outdoors. Camping is fun especially for those of us with a real passion. It may be as easy as choosing a site, getting a tent and supplies and spending a few nights in the wild. But there’s more.
Well, there is more to the above. Planning a camping trip is something that needs time as well as money as you make key decisions on how to go about your trip. A camping trip’s success can be determined by how well you do your planning.
Camping can be done solo or with a group. Most group camping is aimed at bonding as you spend time together. A camping trip may also start as a road trip which is always nice when undertaken with your closest friends.
Campsites may have a lot of activities accompanying camping and one might look into camping solely for such activities. These activities are numerous and will be discussed further.When planning a camping trip, I would advise considering the following:
For starters, know where you want to set camp. There are many private as well as public campsites to choose from. National parks and reserves are also camper’s favorites. Most campsites need a reservation.
Look at these details when choosing your campsite to avoid inconveniences. It is also important to make an early reservation during the peak seasons or busy weekends and holidays. When choosing where to camp, you need to consider a few important factors. Some of these may include:
Choose a secure campsite. The point of camping is being in the wild but that does not mean caution should not be taken. Private campsites are more secure.
Most campsites are also situated in secure neighborhoods but always conduct your research beforehand to understand the security situation. We all strive for a stress free camping experience and security is one great factor that necessitates the same.
If I were to go camping, I would choose a campsite as far away from civilization as possible. However, the campsite I choose would have to be accessible. Accessibility is ambiguous but in my case it would mean a campsite that can be reached by whatever means I choose to use.
A campsite may be accessible by a four by four but not by RV. Considering some people might use an RV or a camper van as opposed to a tent for camping, it is important to make sure whatever campsite you choose fits in to your transport plans.
Bear in mind that some campsites are only accessible by helicopter but are accessible to those who can fly there.
Some campsites bring a little more comforts from home closer than others. Personal preference always determines what you want. You might prefer the “bare bones” kind of campsite or you might like a campsite with a lot more features and incorporated activities.
Some campsites offer restrooms and laundry rooms. As part of their packages or as a result of pure luck, campsites may also have a biking and hiking trail, a zip line or a pool within its environs. Depending on what you like, look into these kinds of activities to pass time as you camp.
Some campsites have tracks which can be essential for walking your pet or for your morning jog. If you are camping with first timers, you are better off in a campsite with a lot of these features.
Camping is often associated with boredom but such activities will surely change the perspective towards traditional camping.
Some people may prefer high levels of privacy and understandably so. When looking at campsites, look at the offerings against your privacy needs. Couples or large groups may prefer private spaces within the campsite.
You can also get your privacy by choosing to camp on a slow weekend or choosing a secluded spot to set camp within the site. Observe other people’s privacy as well when camping. Some people really value their privacy.
How much you pay is an important consideration when choosing a campsite. Amenities on offer may justify an expensive bill for a campsite but you should not break the bank to get a comfortable campsite.
A campsite with all the basic amenities should be affordable and should easily fit your budget. Some campsites may have extra fees for extra features. For example, a campsite may charge extra to host more than one vehicle or to offer services such as pet grooming.
Economically speaking, pay the basic fee and avoid the overhead fees. However, some of the services on offer for an extra fee can be very important and so should not be overlooked without consideration. Budget and pay for the services you need. They do not hurt (unless you are referring to your wallet).
Rules are made to be followed, despite what you might have heard. Different campsites have their principles often guiding their rules. They are many rules associated with camping most of them aimed at maintaining safe camping procedures.
Take a peek at a campsite rulebook before deciding to book it. Some campsites have restrictions on pets, bicycles, motorcycles as well as vehicles. With vehicles being a broad subject, always look at what vehicles are allowed in the campsite.
Some RV sites may forbid other types of vehicles while some may forbid all-terrain vehicles such as quad bikes.Rules may be very broad and you must take extra care and study each and every rule in the book for a stress and incident free stay at the campsite.
If a campsite rules are too harsh for you, you might consider a campsite with more accommodating rules. After all, that is why research on campsites is carried out beforehand.
Gear will be determined by what means you choose to camp. If you choose an RV or a camper, a tent will not be necessary as those types of camping vehicles are kitted with all you need. They are literally homes on wheels and do surely eliminate a lot of camping stress.
When camping with an RV or a camper, make sure you have the essentials. These vehicles, again save you from carrying cooking equipment and shower essentials but never forget very important materials such as a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit and flashlights.
Most of these vehicles are already equipped with the above but always make sure they are in working order before departing on your trip. Also stock up on food and water supplies. Remember, a camper may have a shower but that shower needs water to work efficiently.
Depending on where you choose to camp, water may be readily available. Check on propane levels if your camper or RV is equipped with a propane tank.
Lastly, check on the vehicle itself. Check all the essentials as you would with any other car before departing on a journey, check water and oil levels, top up your gas, tire pressure as well as check the overall state of the vehicle.
Bearing in mind campers and RVs are not frequently used, take an engine check seriously. Trust me, the last thing you want is a camper dying on you in some campsite miles from home and away from any civilization.
Camping with no RV or Camper
Camping with no RV or camper increases the gear boxes to check. Remember you have to carry shelter, food supplies as well as cooking means. Most people will prefer a tent for shelter and a sleeping bag as bedding. You can also carry a sleeping mat alongside some blankets for your sleeping needs.
Consider your pet and your kids when packing bedding. Portable stoves/camp stoves are a favorite for cooking. Consider carrying furniture such as portable stools and tables that fold away when not in use and also for ease of transport.
Gear ranges to even the smallest of things and since these are the easiest to forget when packing. For this, you might want to create a checklist. Include essentials on your checklist. If you are looking to camp as a large group, you might have a communal checklist as well as individual checklists.
Create a checklist for you kids especially the young kids who cannot create one on their own. We do not always need the same items and so private checklists are important. Avoid carrying gear that you do not need. Pack light and depending on what vehicle you take; this is especially important.
Consider carrying rain gear. The importance of rain gear cannot be overlooked. Also carry appropriate footwear which is often dictated by the weather. Carry sunglasses, insect repellant as well as suns cream. Carry shading if your chosen campsite has no provided picnic chairs and gazebos or big leafy trees which can be used as shading.
3. Food supplies
Stock up on food supplies. Healthy food is always the best option not only for camping but generally. Consider food that is easy to prepare for camping. Carry food supplies for your pet as well as your kids. Carry light because food can be quite bulky.
If you are using an RV or a camper, you might have the privilege of access to a refrigerator. You can therefore carry perishables such as meat and animal products. Of course a refrigerator can be substituted by a cool box but a working refrigerator is a better option.
Carry cookware alongside your food supplies. It only makes sense that you should have food as well as means to prepare it. Carry more than you need. You would rather have surplus as opposed to have to ration your meals.
Once you have the gear and supplies you need for a camping trip, you have settled on a campsite, it is finally time to head out. Get to the campsite on time to ensure you set up camp under the cover of daylight.
While camping, observe all the rules provided to you by the campsite proprietors. Consider your neighbors if you have any. Observe high levels of sanitation. Do not litter the campsite and use the designated trash bins. Observe all directions with regards trash disposal.
Camping is about fun and strive to have fun as you are out camping. Take quality time to bond with nature, your mates and your pet. Make new friends on your campsite but observe their privacy. On bonding with nature, take time to have nature walks or cycle around if the campsite rules allow. Explore with your all-terrain vehicle.
Create content. You can capture photos that will act as memories that last a lifetime. Create videos for your private collection or for content that can be monetized. Explore new hobbies such as fishing, zip lining and bird watching as camping is a great avenue for these kinds of outdoor activities.