HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY PLAN A CAMPING TRIP
WITH FRIENDS 

It’s not about where you are, it’s about who you’re with. But it does help if you are somewhere super cool outside. So why not combine the two? Well, sometimes, it’s a pain to coordinate personalities and camping styles.

Here are some tips and tricks to stay sane while planning a camping trip with your friends:

ESTABLISH WHO, WHAT, WHEN, and WHERE

It’s a lot easier said than done, but these are the first steps to planning a successful camping trip. If you have the initial idea, reach out to friends individually to gain interest.

Before approaching your friends, it’s best to have a region in mind where you want to go camping. Do you have a place you’ve always wanted to go to? Or do you have a classic spot that you want to revisit? Is your trip being fueled by activities like climbing, biking or floating? Have an idea where you want to go so people can envision the trip.

Where you want to go will also determine what kind of campsite will need. Will you be posting up at primitive sites that everyone will have to backpack into? Do you want to be in a campsite with amenities like running water? Let friends know how much the campsite or other expenses might be so that they understand what they need to contribute before committing.

Lastly, you should have a rough idea of what your friends’ schedules are. Can they get time off? Is it a holiday? Do they normally work during the week? Before texting a weekend warrior about planning a week long trip, ask yourself if you can invite them along for just the weekend portion. Or possibly plan just a weekend getaway.

Remember that most people like when things are already planned. It’s better to have a rough proposal rather than starting from scratch and getting a clash of opinions and ideas.

COMMUNICATION METHODS

After you have reached out to friends one by one, it’s time to get everything together. If you only have a rough plan, make a night of it and invite everyone over for a pizza and work out the kinks over dinner and games.

If your schedules don’t allow it, then put everyone in a group text and ask for specific camping spots or activities.

Don’t get sucked into the rut of “I don't know... what do you want to do?”, but make sure to have a rough plan before including everyone’s opinions into a group chat.

Use the group chat or a planning night to your advantage to plan things like:

Food
Transportation
Departure times
Gear inventories
Carpooling

COORDINATE MEALS

A fun way to include everyone in the camping trip is planning some meals.

While sometimes it’s every person for themselves, cooking can help bring everyone together. Sitting down and having a meal with friends is such an intimate experience, and it makes it better when you are outside in the wilderness waiting for the stars to come out after a long day of being outside.

Suggest a couple ideas in order to make meal prepping a breeze. Note that breakfasts and dinners are usually the easiest to make a large quantity of food. Plus, these meals are also bookends for your day time activities, so it’s a little more straightforward to coordinate. Think easy things like hash browns or breakfast burritos for the morning and tacos or brats for dinner.

If your friends are interested, assign a meal and date to each friend. That way you cook one meal for all, then the favor is returned when they cook you a plate. For instance, one person is in charge of all the tacos makings, while another brings everything for breakfast the next morning.

Another way to collaborate on meals is for everyone to bring one or two items to contribute to a collective recipe. One person brings tortillas and salsa, another person brings the meat, another brings toppings, etc.

If your friends have dietary restrictions, suggest customizable meals like tinfoil dinners, so that everyone is able to have their own meal, while still having a similar bite to eat.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Hiking. Biking. Climbing. Paddleboarding. Canyoneering. Boating. 4x4 tours. National or State Park drive throughs. Sightseeing.

The great thing about heading out into the wilderness is that you can set up your tent as a base camp for so many activities outside.

If you are heading out in a large group, determine who has what gear, so you know that everyone who wants to can participate in the activities. Make sure everyone feels included when planning what to do during the day.

Is your group too big to decide on one thing to do? Suggest different ventures during the day, let people pick what they want to do, and then reconvene in the evenings

Lastly, make sure to practice gratitude about your trip. At the end of each day, go around and ask individuals what the favorite part of their day was. It helps to figure out what everyone liked so that each camping trip will be less and less stressful to plan. 

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