A camping trip is all about giving yourself freedom, flexibility and being close to nature. Despite this, one of the great truths about these trips is that they require a considerable amount of planning. Although some people might think differently, this planning is vital if you want to have a successful trip.
Of course, you could decide to take the alternative route. You could simply think that planning is boring. You could then find yourself cursing your luck when it's pouring with rain and you're sitting in a tent that's not as waterproof as you thought it was!
Most of us have made mistakes like this. That's why we've come to realize that you can't afford to take shortcuts. If you want to have a great trip, it makes sense to spend your time ensuring that you have all of the equipment that you need.
For my part, I have to admit that I can sometimes take things a little too far. I don't enjoy the thought of being stuck in a difficult situation. As a result, I do absolutely everything that I can to ensure that I won't run into any problems.
Usually, my approach begins by identifying the best campsite. My choice is likely to depend upon the purpose of my trip. I'll often be looking to spend time in rural areas, but I do like to keep my options open. When reviewing potential campsites, I'll take a look at the facilities at the site, as well as local amenities. I'm also keen to know, for instance, if there are pubs or restaurants nearby.
Although I usually rely on my camping stove for preparing meals, it's always nice to have the option of eating elsewhere. I tend to think of this as being a little treat. It goes without saying that I also check the location of the campsite on a map. I want to know exactly what I'll find when I get there.
Having identified a site, I then think about my equipment. Nothing beats writing a list of what you're going to take. That way, you stand a much better chance of remembering to pack all of the vital equipment. But I also think it's worthwhile to actually check every item when you're packing. As an example, you'd certainly want to check that you have all of the necessary tent poles and pegs packed. A tent is a very little use without them!
There's also no harm in reminding yourself how to erect the tent. This preparation stage is an excellent opportunity to ensure that the tent truly is waterproof too.
When you're thinking about clothing, you're probably aware of the need to strike a balance. You don't want to take too many clothes, as you may simply run out of the room. On the other hand, it always seems to me that you should be prepared for differing weather conditions. So how can you deal with this balancing act?
My own approach involves looking to take clothing that can be worn in layers during camping or doing off-road activities. If the weather is cold, then you have the option of adding a layer. If it turns out to be warmer then you expected, you'll have the option to shed a layer. This means that you'll never be caught out.
That's an overview of my approach to preparing. Does it sound familiar? You may take a different approach. The important thing is to plan in a way that will ensure that you have an enjoyable trip.