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Nothing compares to the fun that can be had on a group camping trip. There’s something about cutting off from the comforts of civilization and using only the company that surrounds you and nature as your entertainment. If your group has set sights on a camping adventure, here’s what you need to pack and how to prepare to make it a memorable experience for each and every one of you.
In your day to day life, you may not always be wondering where your next meal is coming from. When planning a group camping trip, you will need to get pretty granular with the volume, quality and type of food that you should bring abroad on your camping trip. Where possible, opt for non-perishable goods that are not complicated to consume. This will save you time and not tarnish the quality of the offering. Bringing more than one esky will be the smartest decision you make, as you and your group will crave fresh food and cool drinks during your trip. Rather than each of you trying to remember everything, divide the shopping list so that you can all execute the best of your category and not miss a single thing.
Ok, accommodation may be a generous word for the sleeping arrangements available when camping. But they need to be discussed nonetheless. Your options are tents, swags or camper vans. If planned and fitted out correctly – they can deliver a restful sleep in every option. Your camping experience level and what kind of sleeper you are will likely dictate your choice, but always bring more padding and blankets than you think you will need or pack a sleeping bag liner. If you don’t need them, they can sit in the car. Although if you do need them and they are not available, you could end up having a rough sleep and waking up with an inevitable cold.
Wait, isn’t the idea of a camping trip to disconnect and unplug from technology? Of course. But don’t leave those chargers and batteries at home just yet. You will want to keep a charged phone so that you can play music or seek directions to nearby landmarks and hiking trails. You can also keep an eye on the weather, find out what time the sun will set and when the tide will rise. Beyond that, make a group pledge to keep the phones in the tent so you can get back to connecting with each other, as well as your beautiful surroundings.
When you travel anywhere, it’s your responsibility to do your research on the area and the surrounding environment. Sure, there are the safety benefits of knowing what wildlife and outdoor conditions are common in the area. But there are also the logistical considerations, like whether or not your car is allowed past a certain point, noise restrictions or whether it is a glass-free camping site.
You may also learn that you are looking at family camping sites, and don’t particularly feel like sharing the site with little kids and crying babies. The more you know about the space, the better you can prepare and eliminate camping sites that won’t work for your group.
You may believe that you don’t need a first aid kit, which is incorrect. We seek outdoor experiences as they are unpredictable and experienced without a safety net, so create your own with a robust first aid kit and contingency plan. Your contingency plan does not need to be elaborate, in fact you can simply start by telling loved ones where exactly you are going and when you intend to return. If you are relying on one or a few cars to get you there and home, bring additional car batteries and leads in case you need them.
In all the excitement and drama of packing your tent and shopping for your supplies, those fun activities seem to be the farthest thing from your mind. What can make your group camping experience more special? Cards, board games, binoculars and even a camera can be enjoyed during those long days and nights. A great way to share this responsibility around, and find out your friends favorite games, is to have each member of your camping trip bring an activity or game for the group to do while camping.
Camping is made to be experienced with many people around you, soaking up nature’s delights and pairing off to explore whichever corner peaks your interest. But these memories don’t happen by themselves – preparation will allow you to leverage the trip to its full potential with no moment wasted.