How to Prepare for a Weekend Camping Trip

Facebook Twitter Google+

Get ready for a fun weekend outdoors by preparing for your camping trip strategically. Pick out a campsite for your needs, and try to reserve your spot ahead of time. When packing, plan out things like which meals you’ll eat and which outfits to bring that are versatile. Create a checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything super important, such as your camping gear and a first-aid kit.


[Edit]Choosing the Right Campsite

  1. Choose the ideal campsite for your needs. If you want to completely submerge yourself in nature and be entirely secluded, there are camping spots you can select that will give you this experience. However, if you want to camp but also want access to bathrooms, running water, and electrical outlets, you might search for a campground that advertises these amenities.[1]
    Prepare for a Weekend Camping Trip Step 1 Version 3.jpg
    • Go online to find out campsite options in places such as your nearest national park.
    • Websites of campgrounds should list all of the amenities they have, if any.
  2. Pick a campsite that has fun activities nearby. Think about which activities you want to do on your trip, such as hiking, fishing, kayaking, or swimming. This will help you narrow down your campsite options, choosing a site that has at least 1 or 2 of your desired activities.[2]
    Prepare for a Weekend Camping Trip Step 2 Version 3.jpg
    • Make sure you pack the gear for any activities you wish to do, if necessary.
    • Check to see if your campsite rents out kayaks, canoes, or fishing gear for campers to use.
  3. Reserve your camping spot beforehand. This is especially important if you’ve chosen a campground that’s more crowded. Either go online to reserve your spot for a selected date, or call the campground to speak to an employee about your visit.[3]
    Prepare for a Weekend Camping Trip Step 3 Version 3.jpg
    • Be aware that many campgrounds have a camping fee that ranges from $ 5-10, to a little under $ 50.
    • Some national parks require permits to camp there, so check with the national park to see what you need to do, if necessary.
  4. Check the forecast to prepare for any rain or inclement weather. Ideally you’ll be camping in sunny or cloudy weather, but it’s a good idea to look at the forecast for the weekend before you go. If you know there will be inclement weather, think about which camping location you choose—a campsite on low ground won’t keep you as dry as a campsite on higher ground with lots of trees to protect you from the rain.[4]
    Prepare for a Weekend Camping Trip Step 4 Version 3.jpg
    • If there’s a chance of rain, make sure you have clothing that will keep you protected, as well as any tent gear needed for the rain.

[Edit]Planning Your Meals

  1. Decide which meals you’ll eat while camping. When choosing meals, you want foods that will travel well and will take minimal effort to cook. Think simple meals like sandwiches, easy breakfast foods, or foil meals you can heat over a campfire. Write down what you’ll have for each meal to make sure you don’t forget any ingredients.[5]
    Prepare for a Weekend Camping Trip Step 5 Version 3.jpg
    • Other meal ideas include pancakes, oatmeal, pasta, tacos, and nachos.
    • Don’t forget to bring s’mores to roast around the campfire!
    • Pack bread and peanut butter to make easy peanut butter sandwiches.
  2. Choose simple snacks that can be eaten on the go. If you’re on a hike or out swimming, you won’t be able to fix a complete meal. Pack snacks like trail mix, fruit, crackers, or granola bars to eat while you’re having fun, or to tide you over until the next meal.[6]
    Prepare for a Weekend Camping Trip Step 6 Version 3.jpg
    • Bring snacks in your backpack if you go on a hike or away from the campsite.
  3. Pack a large cooler strategically to keep everything cold. All of your cold items will need to fit in your cooler, so it’s important to pack it well. Place lots of cooler packs on the bottom, stacking things that won’t break, such as drinks, on top of the cooler packs. Load up the cooler with the most fragile items (like eggs or bread) on the top.[7]
    Prepare for a Weekend Camping Trip Step 7 Version 3.jpg
    • Keep anything that can melt, such as chocolate for your s’mores, in the cooler too.
  4. Bring your own water to ensure you don’t run out. Even if your campsite has promised to have drinkable water, it’s best to bring your own. Bring bottled water you can take with you on hikes or other activities, making sure there’s enough water for each person.[8]
    Prepare for a Weekend Camping Trip Step 8 Version 4.jpg
    • If there’s room in your cooler, place your water in there to keep it cold.

[Edit]Packing Essential Items

  1. Use a camping checklist to ensure you don’t forget anything. You can find lots of great camping checklists online, telling you everything you should bring to ensure a successful trip. Put things on your list such as a tent, extra tarp, sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, chairs, and flashlights.[9]
    Prepare for a Weekend Camping Trip Step 9 Version 3.jpg
    • Other items you’ll need are extra batteries, sunscreen, insect repellant, and your toiletries.
    • Pack toilet paper and hand sanitizer in case there isn’t any on the campgrounds.
  2. Pack any medical supplies that might be needed. A first-aid kit is an important addition to any camping trip, just in case an accident happens. Bring along any allergy medication, needed prescriptions, or pain medicine such as Advil or Tylenol to be prepared.[10]
    Prepare for a Weekend Camping Trip Step 10 Version 3.jpg
    • Make sure your first-aid kit includes things like bandaids, gauze, antiseptic, and an ice pack.
  3. Plan your wardrobe so you’re dressing in layers. Since you’ll be in the outdoors during the day and nighttime, you’ll likely experience a range of temperatures. Pack clothing you can take on and off, such as jackets, loose pants, hats, or gloves. Pack shoes that are easy to walk in, such as hiking boots, that will protect your feet.[11]
    Prepare for a Weekend Camping Trip Step 11 Version 2.jpg
    • Bring a bathing suit if the weather will be warm, or winter coats and scarves if the weather is going to be cold.
    • Bring a rain jacket if it’s going to rain, as well as extra pairs of socks.
  4. Bring kitchen tools if you plan on cooking your meals. This includes things like a skillet or pan, cups, utensils, spatula, a lighter, and foil. Think carefully about what you’ll need to create each meal you’ve planned, and bring the necessary kitchen items.[12]
    Prepare for a Weekend Camping Trip Step 12.jpg
    • Bring a sponge to rinse off any dishes so you’re not bringing them back dirty, or opt for disposable utensils and dishes.
    • Other important items include paper towels, paring knives, storage bags, and roasting sticks for hot dogs or marshmallows.



  • Leave the campsite clean when you leave—bring trash bags, if necessary!
  • Try to arrive before mid-afternoon to set up your gear before it gets dark.
  • Keep your sleeping bags rolled up until you’re ready to sleep—this keeps bugs and water out of them.
  • Get a paper map of the trails you’re using in case your phone or GPS stops working.
  • Practice setting up your tent beforehand if it’s your first time.
  • Create potluck dinner items if friends are joining you on your weekend camping trip. This will help reduce the number of items in everyone’s gear.
  • Always keep the tent zipped up and your food secured to keep out insects.

[Edit]Related wikiHows

  • Prepare Camping Checklist


  1. ↑
  2. ↑
  3. ↑
  4. ↑
  5. ↑
  6. ↑
  7. ↑
  8. ↑
  9. ↑
  10. ↑
  11. ↑
  12. ↑

How to of the Day