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How to Plan Your Own Camping Trip

When planning your trip, you'll find it can get overwhelming depending on different components like, how many people, what activties will you be doing, drive time, food, etc. However, once you get started with the basics, the rest easily follows.

The Basics:


  • How many people will be going?
  • How many cars will you have (campsites have limits/charge extra for more than one vehcle per site)?


  1. What activties do you want to do (Hiking, swimming, fishing, biking, hunting, skiing, etc.)
  2. What do you want to do for food?
    1. You can have a meal plan laid out for every day, example: 
      Meal Plan Example
      Meals  |  Days  Friday Saturday Sunday
      Breakfast Muffins and fruit French Toast  bagels & cream cheese
      Lunch On the road Turkey wraps and hummus Salami & Crackers 
      Dinner Chicken, Veggies & rice Spaghetti and meatballs On the road 
       **Again, depends on what your goals and activties are for your trip**
  3. What type of equipment (or clothing) will you need? Examples:
    1. Tire Chains for snow
    2. Bring your own water
    3. Fire wood vs. Burn ban
    4. GPS - are you going off grid?
    5. Climbing equipment
    6. Wetsuits
    7. Stoves
    8. 4x4 capabilities required?
  4. REI has a great, comprehensive camping pack list that is also printable, allowing you to check off items as you go.  


  1. Do you want to plan a quick get-a-way or do you want to go to a bucket-list location?
  2. Last minute trips will require a little more research and luck as most places require reservations and some spots can be rather popular.
  3. If you want cooler whether or to experience snow camping, you're probably looking for dates between October - April. If you're looking for warm whether to enjoy swimming or boating, you'd be searching for dates between Late March - Mid October (best times of the year depend on your location & desired activties)


  1. While national parks are beautiful and iconic places, they can also be pretty crowded. For more popular destinations you'll have to plan far in advanced or plan for early mornings/late nights to grab first-come-first-serve campsites/permits.
  2. Check out our resources page on How to Book a Campsite

 A great tool to help get you started is RoadTrippers ! You can type in your starting point, destination, and end point and find loads of things to do and see in between!