When planning a camping trip, there are some things that you can pack or do before you leave for your trip that will help you to spend your vacation relaxing and having fun rather than cleaning your site, making trips to the local store to buy accessories or having to deal with something that your forgot because there isn't a store around.
The first thing you should do is to make a check list of what you want to take with you on the trip. Aside from clothing and the basics there are some other things that can help to make your trip a success. Be sure to include waterproof matches because you never know when rain or some other type of liquid might get your supplies wet. Wet matches equal no fire and no fire can be a real problem. You can buy waterproof matches or you can waterproof your own by dipping them in paraffin wax.
Pack a survival kit with enough supplies for everyone on the trip and a few extra. Include band-aids, wet wipes and power bars. Sun screen and bug spray are essential for outdoor activities as well as citronella candles to help keep bugs away at night. Take along plastic bags to put wet things in or things you need to discard. It is also good to pack anything that you don't want to get wet into plastic bags.
Pack a sweatshirt and pants even if it is the middle of summer. At night you will probably be glad that you have them and it will keep you from being miserable, shivering by the fire. Lay out your own clothing and clothing for everyone in the family to make sure that you have something for every day and pack it in your suitcase by outfit so that you can just grab your outfit and get dressed without having to dig through your suitcase. Take along a pop-up mesh container for your dirty clothes to keep them separate from the clean stuff.
Get to your campsite early so that you can set up your tent or camper and still have plenty of time to explore the area and know your surroundings before night time arrives. Keep food locked in a cooler or in the car to avoid animals and bugs getting into it. Remove dirty shoes and clothing before entering your tent or camper so that you don't have to constantly sweep the floor. You will find this particularly helpful if you are camping at the beach. Take a small broom with you just in case your tent or camper floor does get dirty.
Bring along cards, other games and reading materials in case you encounter some rainy weather. There is nothing worse then sitting in your campsite in the rain with nothing to do. Some of your best camping memories might just be playing these games or relaxing with a book.
A battery free radio is good to check up on news or impending inclement weather. You should also have some sort of hand held radio to use in case of emergencies. Bring flashlights with extra batteries. Pack maps and travel brochures in your car and your suitcase or camper. If you lose or misplace one, you will have a backup waiting for you.
Set up your campsite and tent or camper so that you can get to things easily but you still have room to move around. Keep other things away from your sleeping bags and a clear path to the door to avoid bumping into things in the middle of the night on your way to the bathroom.
Experience is the best source for ideas of what can make your camping trip fun and worry free. Talk to others who camp to see if they have any ideas. If you go on a trip and think about something that you could really use, write it down, buy it as soon as you get home and pack it with your camping supplies so you will be ready to go on your next camping trip.
It doesn't take a lot to help make your camping vacation fun and carefree. With a little pre-planning and some organization once you get to your site, you can avoid many mishaps or emergencies that could spoil your vacation.