5 Steps For Planning Your First Camping Trip With Friends

If you seek an affordable getaway, camping is the way to go. Some places allow you to pitch a tent for free, and established campgrounds cost a fraction of the price of a hotel room for a weekend getaway. 

Why not load up your tribe and hit the open road searching for active outdoor adventure? Here’s your five-step guide to planning a fun camping trip with friends. 

1. Pick the Perfect Location 

Where will you go on your adventure? You can throw a dart at the map or check out one of America’s most famous scenic byways, like historic Route 66. What’s more, you’ll find no shortage of camping spots out West, and many of them are free. Also, swing by Winslow, Arizona, to take your picture with the famous “standing on a corner” street art. 

Keep in mind that various locations have different COVID-19 policies. For example, many campgrounds now allow people to remove their masks outdoors. However, it’s still wise to maintain social distancing when among people you don’t know. 

2. Pack the Essentials

Your camping trip can quickly become pricey if you forget the essentials and need to buy them on the road. So instead, pack a day or two ahead of time, giving yourself a grace period for remembering things like your prescription medications. 

There are some other things you should remember. The right sunscreen helps protect your skin from UV rays, and some even create a touch of glow by adding sparkles to your skin. You’ll also need bug spray to keep you from becoming a mosquito’s favorite snack. In addition, make sure to pack s first-aid kit, quality multipurpose toolbox including a compass and firestarters, and plenty of water for everyone. 

3. Plan the Perfect Menu

Load up the cooler before you leave if you want to save even more cash on your camping trip. Even cheap roadside eats often cost more than what you could prepare yourself. And you’re likely to enjoy better health benefits from homemade snacks. 

What should you bring? Convenience reigns supreme while camping, so consider street-food-inspired meals like shish kebabs. To make them, string your favorite fresh veggies, like red pepper, on a skewer with your preferred lean protein and roast it over the fire. You can even make a tofu version for the vegans in your tribe. 

4. Flesh Out Your Itinerary 

Sitting around gazing up at the leaves while you lie on your hammock might work for the first day of your getaway. However, you want to make the most of your PTO, so try some adventures on your excursion. 

For example, many locations have zip line courses that have you soaring through the treetops like Tarzan or Jane. Are you headed to the river? Plan a day for canoeing or fishing. On the other hand, the mountains offer rock climbing and bouldering opportunities. 

5. Be Good Stewards 

You’ve heard the saying, “take only photographs, leave only footprints.” So please keep the spirit of this catchphrase while on your travels. 

Make sure to carry trash and recycling bags in your vehicle. Unfortunately, relatively few gas stations offer bins for tossing away plastic bottles, and you don’t want that diet Coke to end up in a landfill. 

What’s more, leave the native flora and fauna undisturbed. If heading off the beaten track, continue to use established campsites instead of making new ones whenever possible. Doing so minimizes the disturbance to indigenous plants and the creatures that feed on them. 

Taking a vacation offers myriad benefits, including time to bond with your friends. However, high travel prices might have you seeking a getaway on a budget, and camping fits the bill. 

It doesn’t take too much effort to plan a fun camping trip with friends. So prepare ahead of time and enjoy your next forest getaway!

Featured image via Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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