A camping trip can be a great way to spend the weekend, or take a longer vacation for less money, all in the great outdoors. Some people prefer a camping trip to any other sort because of the intimate, friendly, and open atmosphere that it seems to encourage.
It can be off-putting to think of all of the preparation needed for such a trip; you will need to pack with more care than if you were to stay in a hotel that is for sure. It is however, not as daunting as you might think. Here is a guide to help you to plan a camping trip:
Where To Go
You might be aware of where you want to camp already, or you might need to do a little research and decision making. Do you prefer to be deep in a mountain range, or by a beach at a campsite? Do you want to trek and camp in a thick forest, or do you want to have a lazy night by a river? These are your decisions, and it might depend on the nature available around you, or within driving distance of your home.
If you want to wild camp (assuming it is legal in your area, of course) it might be best to scout for a spot beforehand, or have an idea of where is best to go, unless you don’t mind a few hours walking whilst you look for the ideal place to set up camp. If you prefer an official campsite, your only decision is which one is your preferred choice.
What To Pack
Packing well is perhaps the most important aspect of a successful camping experience, especially if you plan to sleep in the wilderness. You need to take everything that you need, and then some more of everything you need, just in case. You should prepare for the worst weather, and for the worst case scenario. It is better to be over prepared than to have to face the music with limited supplies if you get lost or stuck.
Be sure to pack sleeping bags and mats, tents, tarps, plenty of warm layers, waterproofs, spare clothes to sleep in, a camping stove and gas, fire starting materials, towels and toiletries, food, drinks, and any extras like games, music, books, and hammocks (recommended!). You should also take a first aid kit and any medication that you need, spare mobile phones or batteries, and anything else that you might need if a problem should arise. If you are taking up a more serious camping trip in a hostile environment, you will likely have many other considerations to make.
Having considered what it is you need to pack, you should check that all of your equipment is in working order. You should make sure you have everything you need, that it is good condition and still works, and you should buy or replace anything that you need to.
You could erect your tent for practice and to check that you have all of the pegs and poles for it. After that you can spray it with water to check for leaks. Consider giving your tent and boots another layer of waterproofing before setting off. If you really want to test your equipment, and check you have everything, go for a trial run somewhere close to home and see how you last the night.
Camping With Children
Taking your children camping can be a very rewarding experience, and they will often be thankful for their introduction to the great outdoors. It is perfectly safe to camp with children, as long as they are not very young. All it takes is some extra consideration and preparation.
Pack more warmth, everything they would usually need and more, such as nappies, dummies, toys, and bed time comforts. Make sure you have everything you need to make them feel at home if they get scared, and if in doubt camp somewhere close to home the first time to give them an option to go home. Campsites are also a good start for kids, because they provide a convenient mix of facilities and nature.
All packed and ready to go, now you should plan for a safe, fun, journey down. You also need to decide how long to camp for, or you could just play it day-by-day. Make sure you camp in a safe place, away from the possibility of floods, rockslides, or falling trees. If you are inexperienced you should avoid very extreme climates, and if you are seeking hardcore adventure, always prepare thoroughly.
Other than that, enjoy your camping trip.