How to Prepare for a Camping Trip

Camping is a fun and exciting experience, but to stay organized and safe, you must prepare for the trip.


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    Decide with whom you are camping. If it is just you or your family, the next step is not quite as important. However, if you are taking a scout troop or a group of friends, read the next step carefully.
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    Make sure you get insurance information and health information before you do anything else. If someone is injured on the trip, the insurance information will make a huge difference in the care they receive. Health information is very important in planning the trip, for example, you cannot pack peanut butter if your friend is allergic to peanuts. If someone who is coming needs routine medication, make sure they have it. If they wear glasses or contacts, make sure they have a case, saline(contacts only)and/or a spare pair of glasses.
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    Set up a first aid kit. If you are not sure what to put in it, read "Things You'll Need". You should also teach yourself general First Aid.
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    Decide how long you will stay and figure out where you will be sleeping. If you do not know this, you will go through the trouble of purchasing and packing a tent when you were supposed to sleep in a cabin.
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    Pack an appropriate amount of food: Enough for three meals and an optional snack per day. Try not to pack too many perishable food items, like cheese, chicken, and milk. Basically, try to avoid dairy products and meat, because they can make you sick if you eat them when they go bad. Trail mix is great for snacks, fruit for breakfast, crackers for lunch, and leftovers for dinner. Also, remember to pack lots of water.
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    Gather all of the other things on the "Things You'll Need" list and try to pack them in a small, lightweight bag. You can put smaller items in a backpack or rolling suitcase and the larger items like your sleeping bag can be carried in a garbage bag. They are great for carrying and can be folded and stubbed into a small space until needed.
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    Don't over pack.
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    Load everything into your car and hit the road!


  • Remember to have fun!
  • Beef jerky is also good to bring along for a snack.
  • If you have a choice, you may want to sleep in a cabin. They are more sheltered, more pleasant if it is raining, and sometimes even have air conditioning.
  • It is best not to bring jewelry or earrings. They can get caught on things when you are hiking, or you may lose them.
  • Keep matches in a pill bottle and glue sandpaper to the top of the pill bottle. Dryer lint can be used to begin a fire when you have saved enough of it.
  • Put your sleeping bag, floor mat, blanket and ground sheet in a bedding roll.
  • Do not overpack (you might have trouble carrying it around).
  • Always bring a flashlight, in case it gets dark, and bring an extra pair of batteries just in case.

Things You'll Need

  • In General
    • Enough food for three meals and one snack (opt.) for every day you stay.
    • Sleeping bag(s)/airbed
    • Extra blanket(s) (If you are camping in the cold)
    • Sharp Knife
    • Poncho (in case it rains)
    • Tent (If you are not sleeping in a cabin)
    • Tarpaulin
    • Stakes for the tents
    • Water bottle
    • Compass
    • Appropriate clothing:
      • For Cold Weather
        • Tennis shoes
        • One pair of jeans or sweatpants per day
        • Jacket
        • Long-sleeved shirts
        • Socks (pack extras)
        • Gloves/mittens (for really cold weather)
        • Hat/cap (for really cold weather)
        • Snow boots (for extremely cold/snowy weather)
        • Appropriate sleepwear
      • For Warm Weather
        • Flip-flops (opt.)
        • Tennis shoes
        • Sunglasses (opt.)
        • Visor/Baseball cap
        • Short pants and/or jeans
        • Swimsuit (If you plan to swim, sail, canoe, etc.)
        • A T-Shirt or comfortable top for each day
        • Socks
        • Appropriate sleeping clothes
    • Sunscreen
    • Bug spray
    • Personal items
    • Books and/or games for rainy days
    • Trash-bags
    • Toilet paper (if not provided)
    • Soap & Shampoo
    • Paper towels
    • Zip-lock bags
    • Flashlight(s)/Lantern
    • Extra batteries
    • Pillow
    • Comfort pad or air mattress (opt.)
    • Stuffed animals (opt.)
    • Large cooler (for food)
    • Duct tape
  • For the First Aid Kit
    • Antiseptic wipes
    • Adhesive dressings (plasters)
    • Bandage Wrap
    • Bug Spray
    • Painkillers
    • Anti-itch Cream
    • Inhaler (if one of the participants has asthma)
    • Matches
    • Tweezers (in case someone gets a splinter or sticker)
    • Whistle
    • Mirror (to signal for help, if needed)
    • Bandanna (These are useful in almost any situation)
    • Ponytail holders (These can be used for more than hair)
    • Small amount of fresh water (for thirst, or if someone has something in their eye)
    • "Feminine" items (for female participants)
    • Tissues
    • Any personal medicine

Article Info

Categories: Camping