With a little bit of intention and some pro tips, it’s totally possible to make your camping trip everything you hope it will be. Who knows? You might even find it to be more comfortable and luxurious than a fancy hotel stay!
Before you get knee-deep in your trip planning, there are a few questions that are important to ask yourself. The success of your trip depends on how well you know yourself as a camper and your specific needs:
The way we travel varies greatly from person to person. Some travelers seek luxury in chic hotels, and some are drawn to more rugged backpacking. I tend to lean toward the latter. Here’s why:
- Best access to nature: Whether you’re more of a glamping type or a bare-bones camper, camping is the absolute best way to connect with nature.
- A more customizable experience: Camping allows for much more freedom to choose exactly where you want to stay for the night and what kind of vibe you’re looking for. There are different types of campsites, ranging from your typical family-friendly, fully-equipped ones — with restaurants, swimming pools, and bathrooms — to remote sites with very few amenities.
- It’s affordable: Camping is loads cheaper than staying in a hotel or Airbnb. With some preparation, you might even feel like your camping trip is more comfortable and luxurious than a wildcard hotel stay.
- You’ll learn new skills: During your camping adventure, you’re sure to learn a new skill or two. From pitching a tent to cooking with the bare essentials, the challenges of camping provide plenty of opportunities to learn.
- It’s good for you!: There are few things in life that are better for our mental, emotional, and well-being than connecting with nature.
Where to camp?
Choosing a place to camp is just as important as having the right tent or packing enough food. These are the most important things to consider when choosing a campsite:
- Choose your site in advance: Whether you’re backpacking in the wilderness or car camping, make sure to plan out where you’ll be camping ahead of time. Some sites require reservations. And it’s also important to know the ins and outs of where you’ll be setting up for the night.
- Know the campsite rules: Choosing the best campsite means being in the know about the specific rules of that site. For example, some sites have noise curfews or ordinances. It’s important to know these kinds of things before you decide where to camp.
- Know where your water is: You’ll need access to water for a variety of things, such as cooking and bathing. Choose a site that has access to water if you’re not able to bring enough with you. That said, you should also make sure your tent is pitched at least 200 feet away, in order to give wildlife an unobstructed path to the water’s edge.
- Don’t disturb the flora: Make sure to choose a spot that doesn’t trample the flora underneath. Try to find an area that has bare earth or a smooth rock surface to pitch your tent. Pitching on top of plants can damage them, which takes years to reverse