How to Plan a Camping Trip with Friends

Huddling around a campfire with your friends, feeling the warmth fill your soul, and laughing your hearts out—these memories don’t come by easily.

You’ll want to plan your camping trip carefully, so you can sit back and have some fun without worrying about anything.

By following our steps on how to plan a camping trip with friends, you’ll feel like you’re on the right track. So stick around to get the most out of this wonderful adventure.

Related: Looking for a tent that can handle you and all your friends? Find out what the best large tent for a group of friends is.

1. Arrange a Hang-out and Take Notes

To begin with, you want to make sure all your friends are on the same page. That means you all need to have the same goals for the camping trip.

Are you going to be sleeping in a tent? Or will you be glamping? Maybe hammock camping?

That’s why you should all meet up to figure out which idea works best for everyone. If you’re all unable to hang out momentarily, you could always use group chat to figure out your friends’ input and be sure to keep notes.

2. Agree on a Date

Now that your camping plan is set, here comes the hard part—finding the right date for everyone. This step gets harder the more friends are involved.

We recommend busting out a google form or Doodlepoll, where everyone can submit their preferred dates. Afterward, check the dates most common with everyone and work out a compromise with everyone else.

3. Pick a Camping Spot

After rounding up your friends and nailing a date, you should all throw some ideas about the camping spot you want to head to.

This is an essential step to amp up your friends’ morale for the upcoming trip. After finding the right camping spot, you should always check the rules of the place.

For instance, if you or your friends plan to get a furry friend, you need to make sure the camping sites allow pets.

The best thing to do is send the campground rules to your group text (I use a group Whatsapp), so everyone is familiar with what to expect.

It will also be ideal if you happen to find the campsite’s reviews on google. It will give you a better idea of the camping activities your group can do.

4. Prepare a Camping Meal Plan

Imagine hiking to the campgrounds only to find out you had a misstep with the meal plan. That’s why preparing on-the-go meals would prove much more convenient.

A meal plan is crucial to your camping trip. You’ll need all the energy you can get for the amount of hiking you’ll be doing.

You want everyone to share their meal plan ideas. For instance, each person can choose one meal to prepare for the group.

There’s no need to make any fancy meals. In most cases, sandwiches should be enough. The ingredients should be easy to pack as well.

Before planning the meals, you also want to take into consideration that some of your friends might have certain allergies and meal preferences (vegan, vegetarian, etc.).

5. Create a Packing List

Forgetting items is usually inevitable on most trips. You can avoid that by creating a group packing list.

The first items you want to include on your list should be the essentials, such as tents, sleeping bags, food, etc.

Here’s a list of some of the items you should include.

  • Tarp
  • Tents
  • Sleeping bags / pads / pillows
  • Tent Repair Kit
  • First Aid Kit
  • Tables and chairs
  • Mallet
  • Matches
  • Torches
  • Stoves, pots, plates, utensils
  • Garbage bags

6. Delegate the Packing List Among Each Other

There are some essentials on the packing list that don’t require everyone to get them. For example, not everyone needs to get their own table or tent.

Chances are, one or two of your friends are already camping enthusiasts and can share their gear and tips.

These sorts of friends are also best to give out camping hacks since they have the most outdoor experience.

7. Get Your Games and Activities

As your group gets comfy at the campsite, they might feel like playing a game or some camping activities. The good thing is, you’ll be prepped for that.

You can pack some card games for late nights under the stars. Otherwise, you should be prepared (bring extra clothes) for activities like rafting, hiking, or kayaking.

Here are a few game ideas you could consider with your friends.

Catch and Don’t Catch

This game involves everyone getting a circle with one player in the middle. That player will have a ball and throw it to a random player in the circle and yell out “catch” or “don’t catch.” If they catch it after being told not to, they’re out.

Charades

This is an old-school game that will guarantee a fun time. Divide your group into two teams and take out a bunch of paper slips to write the movies in.

Noah’s Ark

In this game, a player begins with the first alphabet and calls out the animal they’ll be taking with them to Noah’s Ark.

The first one should go something like this, “I’m going to the ark, and I’m taking two anteaters with me.” Whoever forgets the letter they’re on loses.

8. Prepare Some Conversation Starters

Silence is comforting at times. With a campfire brewing in the middle, everyone might have something to say.

That being said, if you all feel like getting into some interesting stories and knowing more about each other, here are some conversation starters to heat up the discussion:

  1. You can play games like Truth or Dare, Never Have I Ever, Two Truths and a Lie, and Would You Rather? to keep a conversation going.
  2. Take turns telling spooky or funny stories.
  3. Discuss the craziest experiences you had while camping.
  4. Ask the ‘if you could’ questions like, ‘if you could eat one thing in your entire life, what would it be?’
  5. Random questions are always a gateway to memorable conversations, such as ‘if you could ask your pet a question, what would it be?’
  6. There’s always a chance that you’re still getting to know someone in the group, so 20 questions would be a great way to merge them into your clique.

9. Set up Your Tent(s) Upon Arrival

Once you reach the campsite, you’ll want to immediately set up your gear. It’s best to be done first before getting too lazy from the long hike.

At this point, everyone should be given a task. A few can take care of the tent preparations; others can take out the chairs and tables. You can also delegate a different group to take charge of meal preparations.

Group of friends Warming their Hands Beside a Campfire
Campfires can be dangerous, especially after a few drinks. Make sure to use designated fire pits when they are provided.

10. Start Your Campfire and Follow the Rules

This is where all the group can help and find twigs and sticks to build the campfire. You should also have some firewood handy during the trip.

This campfire will give you the memories of making smores you need with your friends.

Since you’re dealing with fire, and you’ll be surrounded by forestry, always practice caution. Make sure the fire dies out easily as you go to sleep.

It can also get cold at night, so try to keep everyone well prepared with heavier clothes and blankets on.

11. Invite Friends That Live Nearby

For camping trips, nights are the most fun. If you have friends in a town close to the camping site, you might invite them over for the night activity.

They don’t need to spend the night; they can have fun with your group and go back home. Bear in mind that not all people are open to sleeping in camp tents. So, why miss the chance to have fun with them?

To Conclude

Camping trips are all about making memories with your friends and having a break from being cooped up indoors.

All you have to do is plan accordingly and make sure everything’s packed. Remember that you have to compromise your comfort at times, but it’s all for the sake of good fun.

Next up: You’re wanting to pick up a camping tent but you also want one that will last. What makes a tent durable? Find out in our guide – how long do camping tents last?

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Author at Wilderness Redefined camping website

James has been escaping to the outdoors for as long as he can remember. This first started in family camping trips but soon turned into adventure camps and hiking through the Scottish Hebrides. Now he has turned towards trying to make camping more comfortable and accessible.