Camping is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy nature with friends and family. But if you're planning on going on a group camping trip, there are a few things you'll need to take into consideration to make sure the trip goes off without a hitch. From picking the perfect campsite to making sure everyone brings the right gear, here's what you need to know about organizing a group camping trip.
1. Pick the right campsite
One of the most important things you'll need to do when organizing a group camping trip is pick the right campsite. There are a few things you'll need to take into consideration when making your selection, such as the size of the campsite, the amenities that are available, and the proximity to attractions or hiking trails. Once you've found a few potential options, be sure to check out reviews online so you can get an idea of what other campers have thought about each one.
Keep Reading: What to look for in a campground
2. Make a packing list
When it comes to packing for a camping trip, there's definitely such a thing as too much stuff. But there are also some essential items everyone will need, such as tents, sleeping bags, and flashlights. To make sure everyone in your group is on the same page when it comes to packing, create a master list of all the essentials and share it with everyone ahead of time. That way, no one forgets anything important and everyone knows exactly what needs to be packed before heading out on the trip.
3. Create a schedule
One of the best parts about camping is that there's no set schedule—but that can also be one of the most challenging parts if you're trying to wrangle a group of people together. To help keep everyone happy and on-track, it can be helpful to create a loose schedule detailing what activities will be happening when. It doesn't have to be set in stone—after all, part of the fun of camping is being spontaneous—but having an idea of what's on tap for each day will help ensure that everyone gets to do something they enjoy.
4. Set up a carpool
If you're planning on driving to the campsite, set up a carpool so that everyone can chip in for gas money. This will also help cut down on the amount of traffic heading to the campground. However, depending on how long the camping trip is and how many people are set to join, you may need multiple vehicles to transport everyone’s gear and equipment.
5. Assign roles and responsibilities
When you're camping with a group of people, it's important to assign roles and responsibilities so that everyone knows what they need to do and when they need to do it. For example, someone should be in charge of cooking meals, someone should be in charge of gathering firewood, and someone should be in charge of setting up the tents. By assigning these types of roles ahead of time, you can avoid any confusion or disagreements down the road.
Pro Tip: Some campgrounds allow you to rent catering areas, which typically includes tables, a wash station, and shady areas. These campgrounds may even offer catered meal services throughout the day, which is a great option for larger groups. This can cut down on meal planning, prep, and costs.
6. Be prepared for bad weather
One of the nice things about camping is that you can enjoy the outdoors no matter what the weather is like. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared for bad weather just in case. Make sure everyone in your group has proper rain gear and extra clothes in case it gets cold at night. By being prepared for bad weather, you can avoid any uncomfortable surprises while you're camping.
Keep Learning: Expert tips for camping in the rain
7. Choose activities that everyone can do
One of the keys to successful group activity planning is to choose activities that everyone can do. Not everyone may be able to hike 10 miles or paddle a canoe for hours, but there are plenty of other activities that everyone can enjoy. Games like frisbee or cornhole, or even just sitting around the campfire chatting, are all great examples of activities that everyone can do regardless of skill level or ability.
Fun Idea: Bring a sheet or inflatable screen, projector, and speakers to build a fun and easy outdoor movie theater.
8. Consider the age range of the group
Another important factor to consider when planning group activities while camping is the age range of the people in your group. If you have small children with you, they may not be able to participate in some of the more physically demanding activities. Conversely, if your group consists mostly of teenagers or young adults, they may get bored with some of the more low-key activities. It's important to strike a balance between different ages and interests when choosing activities for your group. It’s always a good idea to make a plan ahead of time.
Fun Idea: Gather pine cones, pine needles, rocks, and other natural items to create one-of-a-kind nature-inspired works of art. Spice things up by giving everyone a theme and assigning everyone a team.
9. Have a backup plan
Even if you think you've planned the perfect set of group camping activities, there's always a chance that something will come up that throws a wrench in your plans. That's why it's always a good idea to have a backup plan (or two) in case something goes wrong. Whether it's bad weather preventing you from doing an outdoor activity or someone getting sick and unable to participate, having a backup plan will help ensure that your group has a good time no matter what happens. Consider calling up your campground ahead of time to get more specifics regarding what group activities they have available and what they recommend during that specific timeframe. They can also recommend hidden gems that are within hiking or biking distance.
Organizing a group camping trip may seem like a daunting task, but it's definitely doable with some careful planning and organization. By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to ensuring that everyone has a great time on your next adventure into nature.