Decide where you want to camp by answering some of the following questions:
What is important to you and your party?
Do you want to fish and swim while you are there?
If swimming is important do you require a swimming pool or is fresh lake water fine?
What about running water and showers?
Do you need electricity?
Another important consideration is the actual campsite.
Do you want to be close to amenities such as the swimming pool, shower, or lake? On one hand this will greatly add to your convenience but on the other it will mean that you will have increased foot traffic from other campers near your campsite as well as more noise in general.
This matters depending on the people that will be with you. Being near a playground would be a good thing if you’re bringing children along, but if you’re a retired person and not bringing any (grand)children of your own, the noise might not be appreciated.
Pack Plenty of Clothes
Keeping dry and staying warm is important; depending on the time of year, dress in several layers. You can begin with a tank top, then a t-shirt followed by flannel shirt, a jacket and finally if needed – a heavier jacket.
Sleeping Bag Quality
One of camping’s the ingredients for a successful camping trip is sleeping well at night. As such, it’s essential to have a quality sleeping bag.
Even summertime can bring well-below comfort level temperatures at night due to the area you plan on camping in (mountainous or sub-arctic) or simply due to unexpected weather. Getting caught out camping on a cold night is bad enough… getting caught with inadequate protection could be the death of you (or at least of your ‘fun’ camping trip).
Taking a simple and thin foam mattress is an option for comfort’s sake. Bringing an air mattress is even better as long as you have a way to inflate it!
Flashlights are a Must
It’s always a good idea to have extra batteries and even a spare flashlight in case one gets wet, lost, or even smashed to pieces. A radio will also be very useful to stay on top of the weather forecasts – nature’s wrath can be upon you before you know it if you’re not prepared.
Take plenty of food … and then pack more! – Take plenty of easy snacks and quick to fix meals. One-dish stews are always a camping hit. Other favorites are hotdogs, marsh-mellows, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Be sure to also bring some things like cheese, crackers, nuts, pickles, beef jerky, cookies, and high-energy food bars.
Fun for the Kids
Another important consideration in your camping trip planning is if kids will be coming along or not? You will definitely want to plan ahead to make sure the little tykes are thoroughly entertained on the trip. Buy each of them some supplies so that they can create a camping journal. They may also want to make camping creatures by using small rocks and twigs to create small critters that the kids can keep as camping souvenirs. Yard games such as badminton, or frisbee, or croquet, would also be good to include in your camping planning; and these would provide entertainment for the adults as well as the kids.
Bring binoculars for some bird watching or a photo camera to take pictures of any animal or insect you come across. These might sound boring but learning about the pictures you took or the birds you’ve seen can be a true learning experience.
Your camping experience will be much smoother and therefore much more enjoyable if you simply plan ahead. There are websites dedicated to camping guides and tips such as the Traveling and Food blog, that will help you make the right camping gear and supplies list. Decide what you’d like to get out of your trip and then plan for it.