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When was the last time you went camping? About 47% of adult campers like to go camping simply because it is an activity they enjoy doing. Your first camping trip may have been a disaster or a lot of fun, but the great thing about trips is that you learn from each one. If you have been camping before, but would like a few tips to make your next trip go more smoothly, keep reading.

The Trick to an Easy Camping Trip Is Planning Ahead.

How far ahead do you plan a camping trip? About 43% of frequent campers admit that they begin planning for places to camp about one month in advance of the trip. Now this might seem like too much time if you like to be spontaneous, or perhaps it seems to be too little time if you love to plan every detail of a trip. You’ll need to figure out what works for you. One tip though is to give yourself just a little more time than you think you’ll need, such as an extra two days if it will be just you, or a whole week if you are bringing a family.

Packing: Finding the Balance Between Too Much and Too Little.

Unlike flying, campgrounds has no checked baggage fees. A lack of fees doesn’t mean you can bring everything and the kitchen sink though (that’s what the river is for- or not). This is why it’s a good idea to give yourself a few extra days for planning, because you’ll need to make a list. And then you’ll need to revise it.

A first-time camper will make a packing list of items such as socks, a toothbrush, hot dogs, and matches. But a list is not an action plan, which is what separates the beginners from the pros. An action plan is frequently used in kitchens to count down the minutes for special dishes to be served; they are prized for helping keep cooks on task without wasting a single minute. When applied to camping, an action plan will help the average camper better utilize their supplies, minimize waste and space, and increase the enjoyment factor by reducing stress.

Creating an Action Plan: Remember to Keep Things Simple.

One trick to keep your packing list shorter is to assign double duty to certain items. For example, a big heavy pot can be used to hold soapy water to wash dishes, then be rinsed out and dried to make popcorn later. Water bottles can be frozen to act as ice for a cooler, then drunk when they’ve returned to liquid.

Part of an action plan is knowing where you want to end up. Let’s say you have an activity planned for one of the trip’s days. Consider when you’ll arrive back at camp, how tired you’ll be, and then make a plan for dinner. It should be easy and quick to prepare, but having it prepped the night before is even better. Small adjustments that are made with comfort in mind can add up to a successful trip, whereas poor decisions that are simply powered through can make everyone miserable.

A good camping trip can really reduce stress. While quite a few campers head out just because they enjoy it, other campers go to get away from the stress of the city or reconnect with their family. Whichever group you fall into, make you you’ve left enough time to plan for your trip.

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