If you want to have a fun filled, successful camping trip, you have to plan ahead. Sometimes it might be a spur of the moment thing, and that’s fine, but when you are going for at least several days, there are plenty of things you want to do in advance to get ready. It will make everything a little less crazy when you are ready to head out if you know you have checked off everything important on your list and it’s not always just about the camping gear you are taking a long.
Lock Up The House
One thing you can do in advance is to lock up almost everything at home a few days before hand. Check all of your windows and any doors you don’t often use and get that out of the way. The only ones left to check will be the ones you go out of when you leave.
Not everyone has to worry about specific medications, but for some people they can mean the difference between life and death. If you or anyone that is going on a camping trip with you has prescription medications that can’t be done without, then get that out of the way a few days in advance. Make sure the supply of medicines you or they have is enough to last at least for the time you will be gone and maybe even a day or two extra in case anything delays you getting back on time before it runs out.
If you aren’t planning to take your pet with you camping, then go ahead and make arrangements at a kennel or with family and friends so you won’t be wondering at the last minute who will take care of them until you get back. You might want to go ahead and deliver the pet the day before just so you don’t forget!
Have Your House Watched
Anytime you are going on vacation, whether it’s camping or not, a few days or a couple of weeks, you always want to have someone you trust to keep an eye on your house. It’s great if you have a neighborhood watch and an alarm system, but if you don’t, make sure someone is keeping an eye on things and picking up your mail out of your box if you are gone longer than a few days.
Gathering Your Camping Gear
If you know you are planning a weekend camping trip or one that will last longer, go ahead and get your gear ready. If you are a regular camper, then chances are you might have almost everything you need. Check over your gear and see if there is anything that might need replacing like your screen tent or something else you are missing that you need to buy new before you get going.
It really is a good idea to get to the grocery store or department store to buy the necessities you will need at least the day before you plan to leave. This way you can get everything organized and packed up the night before and make it less hectic in the morning. If you plan to leave after you get off work, then having your food stuff all ready is even better to save time. Last minute stops once you head out can eat into your fun time especially if you just have the weekend.
Also, you will find that buying things like life jackets, swimming floats, coolers, anything you need really, will almost always be cheaper at a department store or grocery store than at a campground store.
Reservations, Permits, Licenses, And Rentals
If you are going to stay at a campground, then get the reservations made early if possible. Nothing is more disappointing than getting to the campground you want to at stay at and finding out they are all filled up!
When It comes to permits, they are often required if you are going into any backcountry of state or national parks. Many times you can only get the permits in person after you arrive. There is usually no problems involved in getting those once you get there, but it never hurts to go online and check out specific rules and regulations concerning permits beforehand.
It can even be a great idea to go ahead and set up your tent ahead of time if where you are going to stay if it is close enough to where you live. It can prevent someone else from getting the spot you want if reservations aren’t possible. It might cost you an extra day or two in site fees, but it could be worth it.
If you plan on doing any fishing, most states require a license. Make sure everyone in your party that wants to fish gets their license. Some states sell fishing licenses for the day, but normally it is cheaper to buy one for the entire year. The same goes if you are going to be hunting on your camping trip.
If you plan on renting a pontoon boat, canoe, jet ski, or anything along those lines, make reservations for those things too if possible. You can’t spend the day on a jet ski if they are all rented out!
Check Your Vehicle, RV, or Camper
If you are going by car, in an RV, or you will be pulling a camper, you need to check all of these things out thoroughly before you get ready to leave. Breaking down unexpectedly on your way to restful weekend or longer camping vacation can be completely ruined if you get stranded on the side of the road before yo ever get there! Do the standard checks like tire pressure, oil, washer fluid, a jug of water in the trunk, and make sure your car jack and spare tire are all ready and that you have a set of jumper cables just in case. Sometimes we take these things out and forget to put them back!
Plan Your Activities
If you are going on your camping trip alone, then you won’t have anyone to argue with about what you will do once you get to your camping spot. That’s not always the case when you go with friends or family. Get together with whoever is going with you and get at least a rough idea together about what you all want to do and when. Of course, even the best laid plans can go haywire if it rains or something else goes wrong, but at least you will have tried to make the best of the time you have.
Make Sure People Know Where You’re Going And When You’ll Be Back!
It’s sad but true that sometimes things go wrong when people go on camping trips. Even in campgrounds things could happen. Backcountry camping is even more unpredictable. Make sure that there are several people that know where you are going camping and when you are supposed to be back. People that go camping have gotten themselves hurt in accidents, gotten sick, or worse! If you aren’t back when you are supposed to be for whatever reason, you want to know that someone is looking for you!