Going camping and planning a road trip can be a lot of fun. All the sightseeing, the long nights, the early mornings, the inside jokes from long car rides, and the memories made are truly priceless. But — in order to have a great camping trip, you need to know how to plan a camping trip that will run smoothly. Whether you’re a new camper or you’ve done this for years, we want to help you plan your next trip with some of our top tips and our must-need packing lists.
Tips for Planning a Camping Trip
- Document and Store Everything
Spreadsheets are your best friend when it comes to documenting all the things you plan to pack, your plan for your meals, what time you plan on leaving and coming home, and tracking your budget. We’re not talking about anything expert level, but it’s nice to have something to track all of the things that go into a camping trip.
- Decide on Dates and Reserve Early
Picking out a date and reserving in advance is crucial to making sure that your camping trip goes smoothly. Depending on when and where you want to go, the national parks in the East, West, and Midwest parts of the US have different popularity times based on the seasons. Some of these places even start opening reservations up to 9 months before you’re looking to stay.
- Create a Meal Plan
Planning out all your meals before you go not only helps for grocery shopping, but it also helps save on food storage. Another great tip that goes with meal planning before you leave is cooking and chopping ingredients ahead of time to help with both time and space constraints.
- Research Route Ahead of Time
Before you head out on your road trip, you’ll want to research your planned route and check for any alternate paths just in case. Depending on where you’re traveling, you could be passing through temporary construction or travel on busy interstates during high traffic times. Taking an alternate route will save a lot of headaches of sitting in stop-and-go traffic for a long road trip.
What to Pack for a Camping Trip
There are so many tips we could give you when it comes to packing based on what you’re looking to pack! From your utilities to your clothes, here are the number one tips for each along with some of the things we think are absolutely crucial to have. You can always add on to ours! Want help packing? Check out our packing list.
What to Pack in Your Utility Bin
When it comes to your utility bin, be prepared for anything. Organization is crucial. On top of a tent and sleeping bags, you’ll also want:
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Propane tanks
- Long lighters
- Various extra batteries
- Single/double burner stove
- Biodegradable dishwashing soap, sponge, & bins (to use as sinks)
- Dust pan & small broom
- Garbage bags
What to Pack in Your Kitchen Bin
When it comes to the kitchen for camping, less can be more. As we mentioned, meal prepping can help you save space with the need for less utensils. But, it’s important to make sure you bring:
- Paper towels
- Toilet paper
- Quick-drying towels
- Wet wipes
- Aluminum foil
- Salt & pepper
- Olive oil
- Large frying pan/cast iron skillet
- Large pot
- Hot & cold cups
- Forks & spoons
- Serving spoon
- Can opener
- Cutting board
- Tablecloth with fasteners
What to Pack in Your Clothes Bag
What you bring to wear camping will really depend on where you’re going, when, and what you do. You’ll want to know what to wear hiking and kayaking if those are on your itinerary. Here is a starter list of things to pack:
- Light jacket or blanket scarf
Tip: With our Travelista blanket scarf, it can act as a blanket, shawl, or a scarf to keep you warm on those chilly camping mornings or sitting by the campfire.
- Leggings or cargo pants
- Hat & hair ties
Tip: Our Lift hair tie bangles keep your hair tie handy, for easy access in the car or on a hike, and also double as fashionable bracelets.
- Hiking socks and boots
- Accessories and the right storage
Tip: If you have jewelry that you just can’t go without or you plan on hopping over to the nearest town for a sit-down dinner, a couple pieces of jewelry can make any outfit look great and you’ll need somewhere to store it. That’s where our Wanderer travel case comes in!
- Gym shoes
- Socks & underwear
- Light tops
The Ultimate Camping Trip Must-Haves
Here at Roam Often, we have some amazing products that can help save you space when traveling on a road trip. Check out all our products before you start planning your next camping trip!
Roam often, stay stylish.