We’ve all had trips where things just didn’t go right. Going camping should be a fun, relaxing experience, but it can turn into a disaster. Choosing the wrong camp site, bringing the wrong supplies, or finding the campground completely booked can add up to a bad camping experience. But with a little planning, you can easily make your outdoor trip into an awesome and memorable adventure!
Do Your Research
So that your vacation will be relaxing and fun, you should know more about the area where you’re going and what facilities it has. Go to the campground’s website to find a lot of the information you’ll need. Check the website’s map of site locations to find the perfect campsite. But how do you know which campsite is the best one?
When searching for the perfect campsite, you have to weigh your desire for convenience against the need for peace and quiet. For example, you want to be close to the bathrooms, because long midnight trips in the dark are no fun. But you don’t want to be too close, either, or you’ll have to listen to everyone else in the campground walking by. Plus, bad smells from the restrooms can catch on the wind, so choose your site carefully!
You’ll also want to avoid being too close to high-traffic areas like the offices or any beaches. Staying relatively close to these places makes them more convenient, but the office and beach can get pretty noisy.
Make Advance Reservations
Once you’ve done your research, call or email the campground and make reservations as early as possible. This way, it’s more likely you’ll get the specific campsite you want. Nothing ruins a vacation faster than showing up to find that the site you wanted is booked. Or, even worse, finding out that the whole campground is full!
Find out what the office hours are and ask about any specific rules the campground has. Also, if you’re making your reservations more than six weeks before your planned trip, call the campground about a week before your vacation to confirm the reservation.
Get All Your Licenses and Permits
Check with the campground office or local authorities to find out if you need fishing licenses or campfire permits. Look into buying these online or over the phone. Also, ask if there are any restricted-access areas, so you can avoid them.
If you can’t buy your licenses or permits online, try to stop in a local store or office to purchase them before you get to the campground. This way, you can get your campsite set up and start having fun right away instead of worrying about getting the right permits.
Prepare For The Weather
For summer camping, shorts and t-shirts are the norm. But, remember that weather is unpredictable, and summer nights can be cold. Make sure you bring:
- a couple of sweatshirts or sweaters
- a light raincoat
- a pair of jeans.
- extra socks and underwear
Roasting marshmallows or watching shooting stars is a lot more fun when you are warm and cozy! By coming prepared, you’ll save time and money, since local stores might be far away. Plus, they usually have really high prices, especially if you’re in a touristy area.
You’ll also want to bring separate bags or a folding drying rack for any wet clothes you have after going swimming, boating, or doing other water activities.
Careful planning can seem like a hassle, but it’s the key to a successful and stress-free camping vacation. What are some of your best tips for planning a fun camping trip? What was your best camping trip? Or your worst? Let us know in the comments below.