There are a certain number of things you ALWAYS need to keep in mind when going on a camping trip.
These top 8 things apply to pretty much all instances where you’ll be pitching a tent outside. It does not matter if it’s at a public campsite or the wilderness, you always need to have them at the top of your priority list.
These are by no means in particular order either.
1. The Correct Equipment
Camping should never be approached with a “whatever goes” attitude.
In fact, be like that and you’ll end up being another statistic.
Instead, have the right equipment for the type of trip you’re embarking on.
This means if you’re going out in the wilderness, have survival equipment in the event you’re out there longer than expected or get lost.
If you’re car camping, don’t worry about the weight of your tent, just worry about the weatherproofing.
On the other hand, if you go backpacking you’ll need a fairly lightweight tent for your journey.
The great outdoors can be a dangerous place for those who don’t take it seriously, but I’m sure you’re not one of them, are you?
2. High Quality Equipment
You may have all the correct equipment but is it going to perform properly and last the entire trip?
Have you even checked whether or not your tent is good to go, or is it still sitting in the closet where it’s been sitting for the last 5 years…yet, your trip is tomorrow?
All of your equipment needs to be in tip-top condition, meaning you should be checking that your equipment is in working order many times prior to your trip.
Is your tent even cut out for the climates you’re camping in? You’re asking for trouble if you shop Coleman but plan to go up the mountain.
Don’t get me wrong, you can definitely go cheap but the conditions need to allow for it. I go into more detail about that here.
3. Double-Check (And Sometimes Even Triple-Check)
Start a checklist if you have to! You’ll need to check what you have and if it’s in working order or not.
You need to ensure you have all the right equipment and that it’s good enough for your camping trip.
Double-check your tent, pitch it multiple times just to ensure it’s ready to tackle the elements (at least hold a hose over it for crying out loud).
Even check your sleeping and to see if it holds its loft and capable of keeping you warm in the expected temperatures, etc.
Camping is fun and all but you should never skip over this step, because many times bad trips could’ve been avoided if only this step wasn’t overlooked.
Safety should be your #1 priority in the great outdoors, and that’s especially true when you’re with friends and family.
Safety doesn’t just mean; knowing where the kids are at all times or staying away from dangerous areas, but it’s PREVENTING bad things from happening in the first place – checking the weather often, not exploring when it’s raining, etc.
Remember the word “prevention” and safety will always be at the front of your mind, which is where it needs to stay 🙂
So expecting the unexpected and knowing what to do in any situation will mean the difference between a bad camping trip and a good one.
Precautions are another great way to stop bad things from happening.
You need to take precautions with everything you do.
Eating away from your campsite so you don’t attract bears, actually taking the campsites rules seriously is another good precaution and having more food and water than you need will make you prepared if you get lost and are out longer than expected.
The secret is to be a master at taking precautions – only then will all the bad stuff stop happening and you can actually enjoy your trips more often 🙂
6. Backup Plan
There are many things that can go wrong on a typical camping trip, and I’d be a fool to so you have a protective bubble around you because you simply do not.
Flash floods occur in the midst of summer, things can go badly even when you take precautions and even the safest camper on earth can experience a bad trip.
When something does go wrong, you need to have a backup plan.
- If your tent leaks do you know what to do?
- If you lose your water do you have an alternative?
- If a bear takes your food in the night, can you get more (from the nearest town) or do you have to cut your trip short and go home?
You get my point.
Just know that your trip may not go exactly as planned, so when this happens you need to have another option up your sleeve – whether that be something you planned earlier or entirely made up on the spot 🙂
7. The Kids
Know where they are at ALL times, no ifs, no buts my friend.
Of course if you’re camping with kids you need to be enjoying your time with them anyway, not without them.
This means including them in everything you do, everything from planning the trip, packing everything and unpacking.
This is called “quality” time, and remember the journey is usually more rewarding than the destination.
Your kids will absolutely love planning activities, choosing a campsite to visit and everything else, so please don’t skip this step because you’ll be missing out!
[Read: Dos and Don’ts When Camping With Kids]
8. First-Aid Kit
Need I say more? It comes back to that “back up plan” thing again.
First-aid kits are pretty much a no-brainer, and even the most mildest camper will tell you that.
You don’t need the biggest and baddest one you can find, because something basic will work just fine.
Include many many plasters (in a variety of different sizes and shapes), alcohol-free cleansing wipes and insect repellent – make sure it includes DEET.
You’ll be able to patch someone up quickly and easily so they can be back and enjoying their trip in no time!
I have camped for a very long time and can’t stress enough how important these priorities are.
They are in no particular order but they DO need to be taken seriously if you want to make your camping trip a successful one.
Well that wraps up this short and sweet article, and I hope you include at least a few of these in your future adventures.
I’m sure you will 😀
Well thanks for reading and have a wonderful day.
Did I miss anything? Fire up the comment section with your priorities! We can earn learn a thing or two!
14 thoughts on “8 Biggest Priorities of a Camping Trip (In My Opinion)”
Hi Brandon, what a eye opening article. In near future I am planning to purchase a pickup as I have big family, I am tending to also consider camping equipment. Your web will be so much useful, and for sure I will swing back, to familiarize myself here. Seems you got great articles here.
I love camping too, and this could be the start.
Thanks for such a great post.
No worries Engelhardt. Let me know if you need help with anything.
My wife loves camping so your article is very useful and i will definitely take it into consideration the next time we plan to go on a trip. Thanks for the info.
These priorities are so important. Don’t overlook any of them!
Thank you for sharing this with us. Its been ages since the last time I was camping and looking forward to go someday. Your tips will surely be useful and I will put them in practice. My question is: Which are the best weather conditions to plan camping by?
Hello Hekuran. I say summertime because it’s so much easier to plan and pull off a successful camping mission. I go into more detail on that here.
I have been camping with my grandson on his cub scout trips recently. I used to camp about 40 years ago, so this is a new start at camping for me. I have relied heavily on websites such as yours and articles to help me and remind me how to do this safely.
You site is very welcoming and informative. I love the tips and also what to do if the tents start to leak (don’t panic).
With each trip, I learn or relearn more. Thanks for the great article.
Hello Don. You’ve come to the right place and I have the article just for you.
This article is all about getting back into camping after a long break from it (yes, that includes many years like you’ve mentioned).
I could not agree more with this list. I love being outdoors and camping and I feel like I have everything I need to survive outdoors but the worst feeling is when you know you have something that could of helped you in a camping trip but forgot to bring it. That feeling sucks.
Thank you for sharing this
Haha, I absolutely agree with you brother. It sucks so much, which is why a checklist is pretty much mandatory if you don’t want to forget anything.
Hi Brandon, you are clearly an experienced camper and appreciate your first-hand knowledge that you shared. I’m not a camper because of some bad experiences. Thankfully there wasn’t a bear involved. 🙂 I am often invited to go on “glamping” trips with friends which does seem to be more appealing but that’s not really the true nature of good old rough and tumble camping.
I enjoyed this. Thank you.
Those are some kind words, thanks!
Glamping is also good and something I do rarely. However, you are right…it does take the “roughing” side away and gives it an entirely different feel.
Each to their own though.
Hello Brandon! This is really some good stuff and from reading this I can see just how serious camping is. It is really an eye opener and for sure next time I go camping I’ll be super prepared. I marked some of your points down and I’ll make sure I’m not just another statistic.
Congratulations on taking your camping trip seriously and not deciding to just “wing” it. Obviously the chances for bad things to happen is slim, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, wouldn’t you agree.