July Project: How to Plan a Camping Trip

Camping is a wonderful summer activity. Whether you and your family go on annual camping trips or you and your friends are planning your first one, packing is very important. When packing, consider where you’re camping and what you plan on doing. You wouldn’t bring snow pants and a jacket on a trip to Hawaii; camping is no different. Each camping trip is unique and requires packing different things.

#1- Make a list. Lists can constantly be updated and changed with each trip gaining you more insight. Lists also provide checklists while loading up to ensure you don’t forget to bring pots and pans or any extra clothes. Start making your list ahead of time and add things you think you’ll need anytime you think of them. USEFUL TIP: Picture yourself doing the activities you plan to do and pack according to what you’ll need for each.

#2- Food. Bring food according to what cooking utensils you plan to bring. There are many different kinds of cooking poles for foods ranging from hotdogs and hamburgers to stuffed pizzas. Remember to also pack food for different times of the day. Bring a propane stove for cooking breakfast unless you plan to make a fire in the morning. Also try to bring supplies with packaging you can burn. USEFUL TIP: Save empty milk/juice cartons and use them to freeze water blocks in. Large blocks of ice will keep your cooler cold much longer than small cubes.

#3- Activities. This changes from person to person and trip to trip. Some boating trips will be for tubing and others, fishing. If you are in bear country, make sure to bring rope to hang your food from a tree with. If you plan on golfing local courses, keep in mind the amount of room everyone’s clubs is going to take up. USEFUL TIP: If you are bringing a boat, use the extra space for packing.

#4- Camping Gear. A lot of campgrounds require you to buy firewood on the grounds to prevent the spread of invasive species, such as the Emerald Ash Borer. If you plan to bring your own firewood, research the campground to make sure you can. Be sure to have a means of keeping your firewood dry, as wet wood is troublesome to burn. Remember to bring small sticks and newspaper to provide kindling. USEFUL TIP: Bring a couple large tarps and put one over your tent to further protect it should a severe storm pass through as well as one to lay under your tent to prevent it from getting dirty and wet.

#5- Emergency Gear. Plan for the worst, hope for the best. This doesn’t mean pack a scalpel and an IV drip, but pack for legitimate concerns. Camping in the woods during the summer means you should probably bring such things as sunscreen, band-aids, aspirin and anti-itch cream. In addition, bring any personal necessities such as medicine or antihistamines if you have allergies. Be conscious of which creams or pills you use on a day-to day basis before your trip, and assume you will need them on your trip. USEFUL TIP: Typically, you will be camping somewhere other than the middle of the Amazon, so there will be stores and gas stations available should you forget something.

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