How To Plan A Camping Trip With Friends?

Are you going to a group camping with your friends? That’s wonderful, but do you know how to plan a camping trip with friends so you will enjoy every moment?

camping trip with friends

Check my 4 steps to have one of the best outdoor experiences that your buddies won’t forget.

Four planning steps

Follow these steps and you will enjoy outdoors for sure.

Step 1: Do a research

Every project has a leader that spends more time planning than everyone else, and planning an outdoor trip is no exception.

You’ll want to find out:

  • Who wants to do what
  • Who doesn’t want to do something
  • Who’s a novice
  • Who doesn’t have the proper equipment yet

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can pick an appropriate camping location and time.

For example, beginners probably won’t want to go camping in the wintertime, and someone who wants to hunt would be disappointed if the focus is on fishing or another activity that he isn’t interested in.

Step 2: Coordination

Now that you have a tentative date in mind and a location, talk to your friends about it.

The reason that you want to suggest a place and date first is because without it dates become a moving target, no one can agree, and responses die out quickly out of frustration and lack of interest. With a real date and place, all will be set.

A quick warning though, this is perhaps the most draining and arduous part of the process.

And if you’re the leader of this small expedition, it falls on your shoulders to keep all the wheels on the train in motion and greased smoothly. It can be troublesome as friends may have other priorities at the moment.

Talk with each camper

Next, you’ll want to talk to each camper individually. Your task is to find out what are their needs and wishes, and also what are their concerns.

You’ll need to make sure they are packing the right things and buying anew whatever they don’t have yet but need.

talk with a friend

Once you’ve got all that taken care of, you’ll want to figure out the finer logistics.

  • What time will the party be arriving?
  • Will everyone be driving their own car or will everyone be carpooling at a designated location
  • Who is bringing what equipment
  • Who is going to carry what equipment, especially in the case where packs are getting heavy for someone
  • What is the emergency plan
  • Who will need what licenses
  • Which fines will need to be paid and who will do that

Spread the costs

If a bunch of friends is going outdoors together it is fair that they spread the costs evenly.

Make a plan who will get which groceries, who will pay for the campsite fee, who will pay for the fuel, and so on. Each of you should contribute something to the trip. Make sure that costs are spread evenly.

If you plan ahead, you can gather the money for the trip in a cash register before going to the destination.

Contribute an amount of money and when you have enough you can go and get your necessities. If you won’t spend all of it you can leave it for the next trip.

Step 3: Communication & reminders

Now that everything is planned, your task is to communicate with anyone from the group about the expedition as well as to keep everyone else informed on what is happening.

Use group messaging programs

There are many group instant messaging programs for smartphones, as well as group messaging through cell phone texting, and these can help.

group chatting apps

Talking about the trip builds excitement and also reassures your friends that you’re not flaking out and that you’re still there and looking forward to the adventure.

The other part of this step is to keep reminding them of the upcoming date, as well as other things they might need to do, such as getting park licenses.

You can send out calendar reminders for Google, Outlook, Thunderbird, just about whatever calendar software that you use, including for their mobile smartphone.

Unresponsive camping members?

If someone is not responding to the messages, it usually means that they’ve lost interest.

So, you will need to plan accordingly as if they won’t actually come. Sometimes they still come, but it’s better to be prepared in case they won’t, for increased self-sufficiency.

Collaborative document

Another idea for the more technology-minded is to use a collaborative document to keep track of what things are needed or done. 

Google Sheets and Word 365 are both excellent online word processors that support multiple people edit.

You can keep track of questions, complications, requested meal ideas, as well as equipment needs and equipment stocking process per each adventurer.

Step 4: The trip day

Waking up in the morning and knowing that something awesome and perspective-changing is on the horizon is exciting, right?

camping morning

Reign in that enthusiasm and be prepared to do some work. You’ll want to make sure that all of your friends have been reminded and have responded back.

Be over-prepared

It’s one thing to go on an outdoor trip by yourself, but group camping can be more demanding. Be over-prepared and have extras of the essentials like bottled water, sunscreen, and insect repellant.

There is a way to deal with mosquitos in nature so don’t hesitate to use my tip to repel them.

One of the campers didn’t show up?

When someone is late, it can strike up anxiety because you don’t know why and how long will it take for a friend to show. Wait for 20 minutes and then call him to see what is going on.

What to bring when camping with friends?

As a group, you will need certain things to have a pleasurable outdoor adventure. What are the essentials to bring with you? Here I have a short camping lists to help you organize for the adventure.

Camping furniture

  • Foldable chairs
  • Foldable table(s)
  • Portable carts

Camping gear

  • Tents
  • Tarps
  • Blankets
  • Flashlights
  • Lanterns
  • Heaters and coolers
  • Inflatable beds
  • Sleeping bags
  • Air pillows

Other stuff

  • Products for personal hygiene
  • Batteries
  • Solar power
  • Waterproof clothes
  • Bug repellent
  • Tent repair kit
  • Water canisters
  • Water purification kit
  • Bear proof container

Why is it important to plan a camping trip?

Preparing for it is a must and I will tell you why. It can be demanding but there are many benefits of doing it instead of just heading to the campground.

Less forgetful things

I am sure you have already experienced that you came to the destination and remembered that you left your credit card at home or some other item that you would need.

If you think and prepare you will leave less important things at home. Planning and gathering essentials is a good way to not forget any of the camping necessities at home.

More safety and protection

This paragraph is the most important. Safety should be first when going outdoors. If you plan things out and take camping essentials with you you will be safer out there. Let’s see the examples.

Inappropriate shelter

You set up the camp and all is going well. While you are preparing your place to sleep you unexpectedly tear your tent fabric. The bad news is yet coming as a storm is near and you forgot to take your tent repair kit along.

Without a proper shelter, you are not safe inside as rain and wind will make your interior cold and wet and inappropriate to stay in.

Missing clothes

Clothing is vital as you will change each day of your adventure. Think twice when preparing your clothes as you should be ready for any kind of weather.

Weather changes fast, especially in the mountains, and you should have enough waterproof and insulating gourmets to stay warm and dry.

If your clothes get wet you must change immediately or ASAP so you won’t catch a cold.

If you don’t have any synthetic or waterproof clothes you are sacrificing your health as cotton gourmets won’t be able to protect you from the moisture and will dry slowly.

Forgetting first aid kit

Let’s say that you and your friends are going to hike a bit and explore the near hills. All is good and you enjoy nature as soon as you hear one of your buddy’s scream.

You go to him and see that he cut himself deeply while trying to climb over the large rock.

camping first aid kit

As non of you has a first aid kit you can’t help him properly. The consequences can be dangerous as he may lose a lot of blood, get an infection, and from here on his situation can get even worse.

So, make sure at least one of you has an emergency kit in your backpack.

Better experience

If you plan things out you all will have a better outdoor experience.

Most of the things will be just as you planned with less negative surprises as if you would just head out in the wild unprepared. Camping planning is a must if you want to have a pleasurable adventure.

Final Word

Now that you know how to plan a camping trip with friends, take action, and get ready. If you don’t plan it you can face unpleasant and also dangerous situations that can jeopardize your health and lives.

Consider my camping checklists and other tips and tricks so your outdoor adventure will be safe and unforgettable.

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