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Essentials for Planning a Camping Trip 

Whether it’s a weekend getaway or an extended trip, camping is one of the best ways to reconnect with nature. Today, we cover your step by step successful guide to planning a camping trip! 

How can I perfectly plan my camping trip? 

Short answer: when planning a camping trip; decide your location, transport and campsite beforehand. 

  • Check the weather and environment beforehand. 
  • Properly plan gear. Include shelter gear, sleeping gear, cookware and personal/toiletries gear. 
  • Bring along some form of entertainment if desired. 
  • Decide which meals and food options you will be consuming. 
Camping

Necessary Items to Consider While Planning a Camping Trip  

Depending on the length of your camping trip/amount of people, the quantities and types of items you bring may vary.

  • However, generally your list of primary/core camping essentials will be relatively similar. 
  • Alongside your gear, there are also a few key primary components you will need to research prior to departing for your trip. 

These ensure you have a comfortable, well planned experience; and are aptly prepared with supplies for your location/environment. 

Following are some of the main items you should consider when planning a trip: 

  • Decide the time of year/dates you will be departing and which type of weather and environment you will be camping in 
  • This can be a crucial aspect of planning; because when camping in a winter/snowy setting for example, gear may differentiate compared to summer camping.

    In order to be adequately prepared, you must carefully consider the conditions you are dealing with.

    • This includes weather, temperatures and environment (example ocean, mountain or desert). 
    • There are also different gear options for each setting/season. 
  • Decide on your form of accommodation: e.g tent, RV or trailer/van
  • Establish your form of transport: e.g car, plane or other - and ensure it is properly set prior. 
  • If travelling by car, prior to leaving perform a thorough vehicle inspection (or check with a mechanic) to ensure that everything is working properly.

    This extra step is well worth it: the last thing you want to disrupt your camping trip is a broken down or malfunctioning vehicle!

    Inspect/guarantee: 

    • Your tires (make sure you have a backup and tools to fix a flat tire) 
    • Your fluids 
    • Your fuel (have a full tank) 
    • A packed trunk (and any spare/emergency gear you will need such as tools or backup supplies in the boot). 

    Tip: when packing your boot, anchor the following method.

    Keep heavy, bulky items like the esky or grills/tent items at the bottom.

    Keep light, easily movable items (such as clothes, fabrics, or sleeping bags) at the top.

  • Decide on your campsite/setup location.  
  • There are a wide variety of places you may choose to camp.

    Options include:

    • Remote/wilderness or bush camping: (can involve setting up your own campsite or have no designated campsite present). 
    • National park/state forest camping: (usually free or low cost for state forests, typically incurs charges for national parks). 
    • A holiday facility/location: usually charges per night and may offer setup on the land/option to choose setup location or views. 
    • Mountain camping: or camping at a higher altitude. 
    • Oceanside/beachside camping: or camping in a lake/swamp location. 
  • Planning/structuring gear is the next step once you have established the above (see the below section). 
  • Start building your gear checklist. 

Gear For Camping Trips 

Below is a checklist of the core camping gear you should consider when planning your camping trip. 

Checklist: 

Some of the most common burn causes are: 

Shelter/accommodation: 

  • Tent: decide your type of tent. 
    • You may go for an all seasons tent or a tent geared for certain weather.
    • You should also decide how many people you are fitting. 
    • A shower tent (optional if no shower is present) or a large bucket. 

    Tip: as a rule of thumb, if you want to put any gear in your tent you must purchase the size above however many people will be sleeping inside.

    Example: if sleeping 2 people, purchase a 3 person tent.

    If you bought the 2 person, you would have zero room/floor space for gear.

    So, only do this if the tent is exclusively for sleeping.

  • A groundsheet/tarp
  • A mallet or hammer (to set up the tent and pound the pegs into the ground)
  • (Highly recommended): backup tent stakes/pegs
  • It is good to have extras on hand in case they break. 

Sleeping gear: 

  • A sleeping bag (a sleeping bag liner is optional but may also be included for added warmth) 
  • Make sure you check the warmth rating matches your location when purchasing a sleeping bag.

    E.g: purchase a zero degree rated sleeping bag if camping in freezing temperatures/snow.

  • Pillows/camping pillow
  • Warm blankets/bedding 
  • Choose fleece/cotton blankets for added warmth, or opt for a quilt. 

  • Decide your sleeping route: mattress/inflatable sleeping pad + pump, bag or stretcher/swag 
  • There are multiple sleep options to choose from. 

    • For a mattress option - select an inflatable sleeping pad or air mattress.
    • A swag or camping stretcher is an option
    • Or, simply go with a sleeping bag and some padding for added comfort. 
Camping Essentials

Cooking 

  • An esky/ice box 
  • Ice (and/or ice packs) 
  • Cleaning soap and sponges 
  • Cooking oil 
  • Chopping board 
  • Scissors 
  • Plates and cutlery (can be plastic/other material) 
  • Make sure to include: 

    • Cups
    • Bowls
    • Plates 
    • Knives, forks and spoons 
    • Spatula (if needed) 
    • Measuring cups 
  • Matches/lighter 
  • Foldable camp table 
  • Can opener (if needed) 
  • Cookware: pots, pans and utensils (such as tongs) 
  • Camp stove/grill with propane or fuel 
    • There are a variety of options, but if no BBQ is present you should select a portable camping stove. If there is, bring charcoal. 
    • Make sure to purchase a fuel bottle too.
  • Paper towels/napkins 
  • Rubbish bags (or a bin unless present at the campground) 
  • Water bottle/jug for carrying water 
  • Foil/cling wrap 
  • Containers and storage boxes are helpful too. 
  • Necessary food items: 
    • This includes any food you will be bringing to store in the esky/dry goods. 
    • This is according to preference/choice; but options may include vegetables, dry goods, meat, seasonings (salt and sugar) and sauces/condiments. 

Toiletries, clothes and miscellaneous: 

  • Soap
  • Toothpaste 
  • Toothbrushes 
  • Toilet paper
  • Toiletries kit: e.g shampoo/conditioner, mirror, deodorant and feminine 
  • products (pads) 
  • Hairbrush/comb 
  • Drying rack (if washing clothes) 
  • Camping chairs 
  • Backpack 
  • Insect repellant 
  • Lip balm 
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses 
  • Notepad/pen 
  • First aid kit: for crucial emergencies 
  • Shoes/boots
  • Underwear and singlets 
  • Tops/shirts and pants 
  • Sleeping attire 
  • Towels (both hand and beach towels) 
  • Rain clothes 
  • Hats 
  • Socks
  • Jackets
  • Phones/chargers 
  • Flashlight 
  • Any medications
  • Cash/payment items 
  • Bathing suit (optional)
  • Any other personal/desired items 

This checklist serves as your basic sufficient items list.

You can of course add and displace as desired.

Suitable Games to be Included in Camping Trips 

Whilst isolated from everyday activities, you may require some form of entertainment throughout your trip!

The ideal game or activity options will be portable/relatively lightweight.

Options include:

  • Board or card games: such as monopoly or a deck of cards 
  • Sporting activities of any kind: such as a ball/basketball, some sporting equipment or exercise related pursuits 
  • Swimming gear (for ocean/pool games - e.g beach volleyball) 
  • Crossword, puzzle books or find a word activities (these can be especially effective for kids). 

Meals to Consider While Planning for Camping Trips

When it comes to meals, you have numerous options.

You may choose to opt for one or the other, or alternatively choose a combination of each.

The type of meals selected for your trip will depend on food preparation methods.

Meal/cooking options:

Fresh food:

  • Generally, for fresh food you will require a stove/access to some sort of cooking means. 
  • You may additionally require an esky, ice box or fridge of some sort to keep the food cool/retain freshness. 

Pre-made/stable meals:

  • Options in this category include dehydrated, pre-packaged or freeze dried foods. 
  • You also have the option of utilising pre-prepared meals - which are designed for convenience and to maintain freshness regardless of facilities (shelf life stable). 
  • Snacks, powdered drinks and other foods also may be an option: e.g protein/energy bars, dry milk/powders or trail mix. 

These meals will typically be calorie dense and nutritious, to save space and cooking time. 

Camping

Related Questions:

Do I require special gear if I am camping in winter/snowy conditions? 

In general, yes - but not necessarily. You may only need to make certain modifications to accommodate the cooler temperatures.

You should purchase a winter rated tent and sleeping bag.

What about off grid/remote camping? 

Off grid camping will likely require a much more in-depth checklist.

You may need to obtain a power source and crucial survival supplies for this camping form.

Takeaway: 

Burns come in varying degrees from mild to severe.

When sustaining a burn, be sure to follow the first aid instructions listed here for the different types of burns you can get.

Prompt treatment will help to speed healing.

If you are severely burnt, seek urgent medical attention.

Continue to tend to the burn until it heals.

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