Before you go on an extended camping trip you need to be prepared. Part of preparing is doing an inventory of your gear and knowing how it all works. Once you feel confident that you have everything you need then you’ll have to test it. You want to do this close to home, in case you’re missing something you need, but didn’t think of before. It’s much easier to get around your hometown instead of trying to navigate new territory while you’re frustrated. Plus you may not have cell phone service or Wi-Fi where you’re camping. It’s happened to me and my husband. So stay close to home on your first run.
When creating your inventory list look at your vehicle and how much space you have once everyone is in it with their gear. We have a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan and three kids so space is at a premium when we head out for two or three weeks. We use totes, trunks, rooftop bag, and duffel bags to stay organized and to make sure everything fits.
You also need to decide if you want to do primitive camping or if electricity and water are must haves. Primitive camping is typically cheaper and many campgrounds have bathrooms with showers nearby. So we go there to fill our water bottles, dishpan, etc. It allows us to do more camping by saving us money, but it requires more preparation. We have a solar powered lantern/flashlight/bluetooth speaker/phone charger to charge our phones, light up our tent at night, and provide music in the evenings while we eat. The picture is below and you can buy it here. We also have an ice/battery powered fan operated air conditioner that my husband built. I’ll write about it soon and tell you how to build one in an old cooler.
Now that you have done your trial run and you have everything, you can venture out. Now, the sky is the limit. So many amazing places have campgrounds and often the campground is the amazing place. Look at your budget and see what you can afford. There are campground memberships like KOA and Passport America, that give you discounts at certain campgrounds. Just be warned, some only allow RVs. So be sure to check the website or call and ask.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you about some great campgrounds my family and I have found as well as the big trip we have planned for next month. So be sure to check back!