I know it is late in the summer, but the camping season is not over yet and part of our Do Summer Big Challenge is to take a camping trip, check it out here http://thejourneyofasteward.com/summer-big-challenge-week-7-2.html. I figured I should give you some pointers. Here are 5 steps to planning your first camping trip.
Camping is by far one of my most favorite past times. I love it! But camping can get very expensive if you are not careful, but it does not have to be that way. The point of camping is to get out into the woods and enjoy God’s creation.
Just to give you a little bit of my background, I grew up camping from a very young age. We camped in a tent, a canopy, camper, and a trailer. Over my many years of camping as a child and as an adult, it has looked very differently during different seasons of my life. But I love every season and I would not trade all the camping experiences for anything.
Some of my greatest memories growing up were from camping trips. Now, as a mom, some of my greatest treasured moments have been on camping trips.
I now have planning camping trips down to a science. It is not unusual for us to spend about 45 days camping. As soon as the warmer weather hits we are out there enjoying God’s creation!
This post is mostly for those readers who are new to camping or might feel a bit overwhelmed with taking a camping trip. Let’s jump in!
- Keep Everything Simple! For your first trip out maybe try one night with as little cooking as possible.
- Find a place local- camping is not as overwhelming if you know you have access to forgotten things. In the area I live in there are so many options with in an hour drive. If you are trying to not spend a bunch of money you can find places to just set up camp. Just make sure you know the area is open to camping. I would recommend if this is your first trip, find a state campground. There are dry camps (no hook ups for power and water) that are very inexpensive.
- Pre-plan meals- Our camping meals have become super easy and we usually do the prepping at home. Make your meals as easy as possible. The least amount of prep and cooking the better. Think of things that can be cooked over a fire. I have also learned to use a big cast iron dutch oven to put in the fire to make hot and easy meals like baked potatoes, hot sandwiches and foil dinner pouches. If you can plan your hot meals around a fire there is no need for a cooking source. Here is an example menu for an overnight trip. Dinner: fire-roasted hot dogs with pre-made potato salad on the side. Dessert is a must! Bring on the s’mores! Breakfast: Bagels and cream cheese with yogurt. Lunch: Sandwiches. See how easy it can be? No extra dishes just some paper plates, plastic ware, and roasting sticks. (Helpful tip…don’t buy the short, cheap roasting sticks. Buy long, even if it is just one.And do not forget matches 😉 )
- Borrow Camping Equipment- Please do not go out and buy camping equipment if you do not even know if you like to camp. As much as I hate to admit it, it is not for everyone. At the very least it will look much different for everyone. Borrow as much as you can or pick up cheap equipment at yard sales or thrift stores. Many times you can pick up very nice tents on Craig’s List. I know a family who was sure they would love camping and went out and bought all the new camping supplies only to have a nightmare of a trip. They loved the idea but in a tent did not work for them. Thankfully, they did not give up, but they bought a trailer the very next week and now love to go camping.
- Keep an open mind! This is a new adventure. Do not put expectations on how this will go. Just sit back and enjoy!
Let me know if you are taking the challenge and headed out for a camping trip!