How To Plan A Camping Trip

Camping trips can be a great way to relax, unwind, explore new places, or simply get a break from the trappings of regular life. Even though there are many benefits to picking camping for your next trip, it can be more challenging than simply booking a hotel or an Airbnb. One of the most important things to prepare for a family camping trip is to make sure you plan ahead! 

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But how do you plan a camping trip? If this is something you’re wondering about, then you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll take you through everything there is to know about planning a camping trip.

We’ll take you through some of the most important things to prepare ahead of time, how you can select the right place to pitch your tent, and also outline some fun activities for you and your family or friends.

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How To Plan A Camping Trip With Children

Early Steps – Considering Your Time & Date Options 

First off, you’re going to want to consider the time you have available. Are you camping with family or friends? Can everyone get time off work or school?

You’re going to want to make sure you have the times and dates planned ahead of time—this way you will have a good understanding of the period of time you’ll have to work with.

This period of time will then become the basis for all your future planning. It will affect what clothing you wear and pack, what camping gear you bring with you, as well as some other vital logistical information. 

How Will You Camp?

Camping is a word used as an umbrella for a few different methods of habitation. You’re probably picturing a classic tent; however, you can also camp in an RV or travel trailer.

We suggest camping in a tent if you haven’t ever tried it before. This way, you’ll be able to disconnect from the trappings of modern-day life and more easily connect with nature.

Tents are inexpensive—and while they can take a bit of hard work to put up—they’re remarkably simple.

However, you always have the opportunity to use a trailer or RV if camping in a tent isn’t suitable for you. These can be much easier and more secure than a tent but require a lot more space, and you’ll never be able to get as deep into nature with them as you would with a tent. 

Choosing A Campsite 

If you’re looking to camp at a designated campsite, then you’re going to need to consider the camping method you’ve chosen.

Let’s say – for example – you’re looking to camp using your RV. You’ll need to check that the campsite you’ve chosen has space for RVs ahead of time.

Or let’s say that you’re camping in the wilderness in a tent. You’ll want to understand where you’re camping before you head out. Is there a good spot for you that will help shade you from the elements, depending on the time of year?

Is it a safe area you’ve chosen? There are plenty of places throughout the USA that are not safe to camp at, so make sure you thoroughly research your location before committing to somewhere.

How To Plan A Camping Trip

Make Some Preparation Lists

Next up, you’ll need to start planning all the equipment you’ll need for your trip. It’s best to do this with whoever you’re camping with, so sit down for a coffee or tea and make a list of all the things you’ll need.

Consider clothing, camping lights, electrical devices, and cooking essentials. You’re also going to want to consider the food that you’ll have to take with you, as well as a place to store it (if it’s perishable).

We would suggest over-preparing, then seeing what you can cut down. The amount of equipment you’ll need to take with you will depend massively on the number of people you’re going with, where you’re camping, and how long you’re going for. 

Consider these things before you start making your lists. The more remote of a location you select for camping, the more you’ll want to bring with you in case you end up stranded or in any kind of medical emergency.

When it comes to clothing, you will need to consider the climate of the location you’re camping. If you’re going somewhere cold, thermal gear will be essential to keep you safe and comfortable. 

A Note On Packing

When packing, it’s best to go down your list of equipment and tick it off as you go. You’ll also want to ensure that you pack everything in an organized fashion.

For example, ensure all your electrical equipment is in one bag and all your medical supplies in another. A good, measured organization will do wonders when camping, and you’re trying to locate a specific, important item. 

Backyard Camping Checklist

Use our Backyard Camping Checklist as a guide for what to pack when camping with kids. This includes all the camping essentials for your family, such as camping equipment, camping food, activities, and camping skills to teach your children to ensure a safe camping experience.

Backyard Camping For Families

Final Checks 

Once you’ve packed, you can make your final checks. We’d recommend doing this for half an hour or so before embarking on your journey.

Make sure you have ticked everything off your list, and double-check that you have all your most essential camping items. This final stage can help give you peace of mind, so you can drive off and enjoy your family camping trip. 


So that was our short guide to planning a camping trip. We hope that this has given you some basic steps to follow and that you can use them as a framework to plan your own trip.

Remember that with any camping trip, there will be specific hurdles you and your party will need to overcome. These could be simple—like one of your flashlights not working or something much more complicated.

Either way, good planning can mitigate a lot of these problems and make everything run a lot smoother.

For more about family travel, check out these posts:
Multi-Generational Travel Ideas For Families
What To Pack On An RV Trip
How Much Does Camping Cost?
Is Camping Safe?
How To Pack A Backpack for Traveling

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Last update on 2023-04-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The BE Family Travel Team writes articles to help parents travel with children.