Camping Made Easy: 5 Ways to Simplify Your Summer Camping Trip

purely inspired camping made easy

Summer is the long-awaited season for campouts. Hiking, swimming, and huddling around a roaring campfire roasting marshmallows are all part of the experience of time with loved ones, unplugging from our digitally-driven lives, and recharging in nature. 

But if you’ve ever camped before, you know it requires significant planning and gear. A lot of gear. If you love camping but tend to dread all that planning, packing, lugging, and on-site camp chores that comes along with it, then read on for five camping hacks to make your nature getaway a little easier. 

  1. Reserve Your Campsite In Advance

Selecting a campsite, whether it’s ​​tent camping, a cabin, glamping (glamorous camping), or finding a place to park your RV is a decision that has the potential to make or break your vacation. That’s why it’s important to research where you want to pitch your tent as far in advance as possible since the best spots tend to get snatched up quickly. 

A great place to start is with a comprehensive booking site like this one that lets you choose from multiple countries and every type of camping you can dream of. Recreation.gov is another great resource for all your outdoor adventures. It also recommends reserving your campsite up to six months out, if you can. 

If that’s not realistic this time around, but you really want to sleep under the stars this summer, all hope is not lost. There are resources out there designed specifically for late bookers. Check out campnab.com, a site that surveys popular campgrounds for cancellations so that last-minute campers can scoop them up and get their camp on last-minute.

  1. Invite Friends To Join You

There are plenty of reasons to expand your group, and ease just about tops the list! Inviting friends to join means you can all chip in on assembling the required gear for your trip. Sure, you’ll need your own tents, sleeping bags, and personal items but when you travel in a group, one family can bring the camp stove, one family can bring the games, and another family can bring water toys. 

Sit down and take inventory of shareable items among all campers and the whole experience becomes that much simpler. A larger group of friends also means the kids in the group will be entertained around the clock, making for a more relaxed and enjoyable time for the adults—a win-win for everyone.

  1. Get Ahead On Your Camping To Dos

Waiting until the day before to power pack pretty much guarantees you’ll spend the better part of your camping trip recovering from the last-minute rush. Do yourself a favor and review your checklist (see below for a pre-made and printable one) and start chipping away at it a week or two ahead. And don’t take it all on yourself, delegate tasks to your family members to help lighten the load. 

Things that can be done ahead are the aforementioned inventory of shareable items (if you’re traveling with others). There’s no need to duplicate your efforts when there’s already so much gear to pack! Other things that can be done early are checking to see what camping-specific items or products you need to restock such as batteries, bug spray, sunscreen, charcoal, propane, and more. Make sure you have enough time to run around and pick everything up in time. It’s also a good time to examine all your gear, especially your tent and any appliances you’re bringing. Check for damage and ensure everything is in proper working order, as these items can take longer to replace. 

  1. Plan Your Meals Ahead Of Time Using Smart Strategies

Plan your menu a week or two ahead of your camping trip and use a few strategies that will allow you to stretch less ingredients into more meals—saving cooler space and money. Employ a double-duty or ingredient cross-utilization technique, which means making a big batch of something that can be used in many different ways during your stay. 

Another way to cut down on meal prep is to pre-make one-pot dishes like casseroles, chili, and breakfast bakes ahead of your trip so that all you have to do is reheat and eat, giving you more time to swim, hike, and relax. 

If you want to take the concept of stretching ingredients even further, find a menu online that yields five recipes with just one bag of groceries like this one. Another camping cooking hack is to prepare foil-pack meals, which are simple to prepare and leave you with just about no mess to clean. 

If you are traveling with another family or couple, assign meals in a rotation so that every party takes a turn to cook for the group. The beauty of this rotation is that you now only have to make one big meal and you’re done. 

  1. Organize—Or Rent—Your Gear 

If you’re an avid camper and plan to be in the future, consider a long-term storage system that requires a bit of a lift to assemble the first time but will save you boatloads of work in the future. If you’ve got the space, invest in a few large plastic storage bins, preferably with wheels, and categorize and label them by kitchen stuff, sleep stuff, and so forth. 

Instead of tearing your house apart in search of cooking tools and other necessities ahead of every trip into the woods, have a separate set of items just for roughing it that gets cleaned and stored back in its assigned bin at the end of your trip. Next time you go camping, everything will be ready to load in the car for your next outdoor adventure.

If you don’t have the space for that type of setup or you’re new to camping and not sure you’re ready to invest yet, rent everything you need for your camping trip using a number of different services, depending on your individual needs—pretty handy!

As promised, here’s a comprehensive checklist from lovetheoutdoors.com that you can print off to use for your camping trip. If you don’t need something on the list, just cross it off.

Have a safe and enjoyable time camping in nature and making memories this summer!

*The links used in this article are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Iovate Health Sciences International Inc. or any of its affiliates (“Iovate”) of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. Iovate bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

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