Have you ever gone camping and wish it would have gone better than the experience you had? That is most likely because you had not prepared well for it. By preparing, I mean that you had not taken the time to do some research on camping. This is usually the first step. Looking for the awesome camping ideas should be the very first thing that you do when you decide to take your family or friends for a camping trip. Thankfully, there are many on the internet and you just need to know the right places where to look for such ideas.
Sign up! Sign up on different forums where you can interact with other camping enthusiasts. Look for the camping/hiking groups on Facebook – there is plenty of them. You will meet people who share the same sense of adventure as you. You can share experience and ideas and you can as well come up with very good camping list ideas.
Among the things that you need to know, for example, is where in your home area you can go camping. Camping locally is even more appealing to the newbie enthusiasts who just want to have a feel of the experience. On social media, there will be many people ready to share great camping ideas with you, for no fee at all.
Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail. However, after reading this article, you will be ready to set out and enjoy a great camping vacation.
Remember: never ever set out to go camping blindly. You should have enough information.
Camping list ideas
This means that when you plan to go camping, you should always have a set of camping list ideas as you pack. This will ensure that you do not forget anything that you need to make yourself comfortable at the campsite. You do not have to create your own list from scratch because you can download one online and then modify it to suit your needs. After creating your list, take a pen and tick everything off as soon as it is brought in. That will ensure that you do not leave anything out. You want to feel as home away from home as possible.
Here are a few items that you need to have in your checklist:
- Shelter equipment: tent, tent accessories, tent pegs (ensure you pack extra in case some bend), mallet to knock the pegs into the ground, duct tape.
- Sleeping gear. Make sure the sleeping bag is suitable for the season that you are camping. Also, take other things like sleeping mat, sleeping bag liner or even camping cot.
- Kitchenware and other cooking equipment. You will need to cook food. Take cooking pots, pans, plates, cups, bowls, spoons, forks, knives, tin openers, bottle openers, cooking stove, charcoal, lighters, fire starters, storage containers for food that has been premade at home, water containers, basins or buckets, matches and cooler. You also need to come up with some camping food ideas. Foods that do not spoil fast are best for your trip.
- Safety and health kits including first aid kit, mosquito or insect repellent, sunscreen if you are camping during summer, cell phone and flashlight batteries, medicines, pocket knife, toilet paper, hand-wash (make sure its anti-bacterial), wet wipes and sanitary items for women.
- Other equipment like a portable toilet, waste bags, cord or string can be used to hang clothes, a torch and headlights, camping furniture like camping chairs and so on.
- You could also carry a survival bag with water, dry rations, medicine and so on. It is better to err on the side of caution.
This list is not exhaustible you can add to it but make sure you have the essentials first. Remember to pack light especially if you will be moving a lot without a car.
Camping food ideas
You definitely do need to decide what you will eat during your camping trip before you can leave the comfort of your home. For example, do you plan to drink coffee? Then you will need to buy enough and a coffee percolator for camping to cook it.
There are so many food ideas that you can try out when camping. You can look at most of the recipes available on the websites that provide information on camping. Now let us look at some of the food ideas that you can incorporate in your camping.
For breakfast, you could try making the following:
- Campfire cones
- Sugar donuts sprinkled with cinnamon
- Campfire roll-ups sprinkled with cinnamon
- Raisins and oatmeal
For lunch, these foods will be great for you:
- Roast salmon
- Dutch oven pizza
- Pizza nachos
- Canned tuna
- Banana boats
And for your dinner, you can take the following foods:
- Pasta (whole) in foil packets
- Campfire chili cheese fries
Note that these are just a few of the food ideas that you can try out. There are many more to try out. In fact, you can just switch the ingredients around.
Carry spices to add flavor to your foods and make them more interesting to eat. Be creative with your meals. Pre-make some foods at home before leaving so that you can just warm them in order to make the work easier.
DIY camping ideas
Find out whatever things you can make at home to reduce your expenses. Use the available resources to make camping easier and fun. DIY means that you will do it on your own without incurring any (or very little) extra cost.
Find out some camp game ideas that you can try out. For example, you could create your own games, and this should include games that you can play indoors and others for the outdoors. This is not a good time to think about computer and video games.
Try things like storytelling around the campfire. This is fun! Other simple games that you can try include the catch/don’t catch game, competing to identify things and so on. There are so many fun games for the whole family to play. Indoor games include cards, storytelling and cracking jokes among many others.
DIY camping ideas that you can adopt:
- If you like your caffeine with you all the time then you can make bags of coffee out of coffee filters and dental floss (unused, of course). Just pour some in a filter then tie it tightly using the floss. Make several of them. This will be like the tea bags and again they are easy to pack and carry.
- Cut small pieces of straw to carry toothpaste and ointments that you will need during your stay in the camp.
- You will need your spices to add that extra flavor in your food, therefore carry them in tic-tac boxes and label them for easy identification. These are also small and take up a small space.
- Cut your soap into pieces enough for a day’s bath so that you will not have to go through the hustle of searching for a big piece of soap in case it falls accidentally without you knowing.
- For sanitation, you need to have hand stations. You can make dispensers from empty bottles of detergents at home.
- You need light and to maximize this, you can point a head torch into a clear container of water to make a lantern. To make a DIY lantern you can paint the inside of a jar with a paint that is non-toxic and one that glows in the night.
- You can use your belt to hang pans, pots and other cooking utensils that need to be hanged.
- You need a duct tape but because there is only a little space and you have to maximize it to enable you to carry light then you can roll it up on say a ball pen. Just make sure to carry enough it comes in handy.
- To ensure that your cooler keeps the foodstuff fresh for a long period, you should freeze water in gallons and then place them in the cooler and do not drain the water even if the ice melts.
- Instead of carrying the whole first aid kit, you can make a smaller one by packing those things in the prescription cans.
- Make fire starters using cotton swabs dipped in wax.
- You can also carry a portable toilet. All you need is a toilet seat, a bucket, and a milk crate. You do not necessarily have to buy one, but make sure you have the right toilet chemicals.
- If you do not want to hand-wash your clothes, you can make a portable washing machine, you just mix the detergent and water in a bucket, then cut the top of the lid and place a plunger there.
- You need to have your toilet paper dry at all times. Therefore, you can use coffee cans to hold and store the rolls.
- If it is possible, always keep a bunch of dry leaves stored in a plastic bag. They will come in handy when starting a fire. You can’t use a leaf blower to collect them, obviously, but you will have plenty of time to collect them manually – you are on vacation!
Things that every camping enthusiast should know
Camping is not all about the food, drinks, and games. It is a great learning experience for the whole family, and there are so many things good camping ideas and lessons to learn. For example, make sure that you know all the poisonous plants and animals that you can come across as you hike and how you can treat them, such as poison ivy. This will help you avoid fatalities as you camp.
Camp game ideas
Camp games make the camping experience even more fun. There are camping games for everyone – adults, teens and small children. This ensures that no one gets bored during camping. Some camping games require a big number of players and you can join in with other campers to make the games more fun. Other games are played indoors while others at night around the campfires.
Some of the camp games that you can engage in include
- Camp Olympics
- Scavenger Hunt
- Campfire Story Contest
- Song Fest
- Water Balloon Fight
- Balloon Basketball
- Hide ‘n Seek
- Storytelling in Turns
- Board games
- Catch/don’t catch games
- Identifying things
- Rope pulling
- Ambush games and many more.
If you are going camping with kids, read our “10 Tips For Camping With Kids” article.
More fun camping ideas and activities
In addition to games, you can engage in many more activities when you are camping. There is no end to the fun camping ideas and activities for the whole family. For example, swimming, rowing, skiing, boating, beach volleyball, squirt guns, hiking, biking, bird watching, tree, and rock climbing as well as caving, if there are caves nearby.
Clever camping ideas that you can try out
Why not make the whole camping experience a science and nature expedition without making it so blatant? Such activities may be nature walks, bird watching, collecting and identifying insects and bugs, studying animals, star gazing and so on. You can be assured that by the end of the camping vacation, junior will be more enlightened in matters natural history and science than when you went in.
Romantic camping ideas
Maybe you are newlyweds, or you just became engaged and you both love the outdoors. Well, there are many romantic camping ideas that you can try out. However, since you are still in the ooh-aah stage, you will need to choose your camping destinations more carefully.
Carry camping gear that can be used in pairs, that is, double camping cot, double sleeping bag, and even a double hammock if there is one. Nature will grow your love and it will bring you much closer since you will be on the lookout for each other.
Try some of the camping ideas that were already mentioned here like games, hikes, and biking. Do anything that requires the full participation of both of you. Heck, you may even want to have your honeymoon on the trails, enjoying the wonders of Mother Nature together.
Do remember to bring some wine, though, candles, tablecloths and some good foodstuffs so that you have romantic dinners. These are just a few of the fun camping ideas you can try out romantically. The rest is up to your imagination…