4 Simple Ways to Make Camping Easier

It used to be that taking our children camping was a huge production. We’d get the van loaded and be exhausted because we hadn’t done a good job of getting everything ready in one place. But over the years we’ve learned to make our camping experience much more enjoyable. So how do you simplify camping to make it easier?

You can make camping easier by keeping it as simple as possible. Planning to take camping only what you need, preparing several days in advance, considering items to take that will serve multiple purposes, and planning to store it properly when you return home, will prepare you well for a great camping experience.

Careful thought and a little planning will make your next camping trip, and all the ones after it, easier. Follow this simple plan you will have a great camping trip you’ll want to repeat with family and friends year after year.

people around a campfire
Who doesnt love a good long campfire as the sky darkens and the night cools

Plan ahead and make a list

One way to make certain you have an enjoyable camping trip is to plan for what you think you’ll need. But you should also think carefully about what you really need.

It’s easy to overpack and drag along a lot of gear you will never use. What you take for a three-day camping trip may differ from what you’ll need for five days.

It’s worth taking the time to make a list. And while you are making your list keep reminding yourself to keep it simple.

But keeping it simple doesn’t mean leaving at home things you’ll need to be comfortable and for keeping your gear in good shape. Like planning for what you need to make your cot level and protect your tent floor.

Sit down with your family for 15 minutes and brainstorm. Or if you’re planning to camp with friends and you can’t all get together, start a list you can share.

One way to do this is to make a Google document that can be shared. This way everyone will be planning from the same list.

Doing this you’ll also be able to help each other spot what you’ve forgotten and even agree to take something off the list you won’t need.

camping tents overlooking mountains and lake
Part of the fun and simplicity of camping is taking in the scenery Enjoy the sights

Gather everything in one place

After you’ve decided on what you need to take, begin gathering everything in one place.

It’s best to start doing this several days in advance. You don’t want to be scrambling around trying to find something while you’re loading the car at the last minute.

Keep your list handy and mark things off after you find them and know they are ready to take camping.

By doing this you’ll discover what you are missing, or what’s damaged and needs replacing. If you get started on this several days ahead of time you’ll have extra time to find or purchase needed items.

This is the time to double-check your list find anything that’s missing bringing it together with the rest of your camping gear. Doing this will also help you avoid forgetting something.

This is also a good time to reevaluate if something is really needed. You might find you have three of something and only need one. Remember, keep it simple and your camping trip will be more fun.

Simplify and minimize your gear

While you remind yourself to keep it simple it’s a good time to consider the things on your list that can be minimized and simplified. It’s possible you’ve removed items you don’t think you’ll need, but it’s also worth considering how you can simplify what you are taking.

Instead of taking disposable cups, consider adding stacking insulated cups to your camping gear. If you have four people in your camping party you’ll only need four cups. Simply wash these out after each meal. If you have cups of four different colors it will also be easy to spot your cup when you need it.

Our favorite is the Stanley Classic Stay Chill insulated cup. They’re stackable, sturdy, come in different colors, and are great for hot or cold beverages.

Another item to consider simplifying is your eating utensils. Instead of taking disposable items, our pick is the Light My Fire Camping Spork. They’re sturdy, packable, and come in several colors. The same can be done with plates and bowls.

These are just a few ideas. Consider how you can simplify each item on your list. The fewer items you pack, haul, set up, take down, pack and haul again, and store (whew!) will make for an easier and more enjoyable camping trip.

Remember keep it simple. You don’t need all the stuff you have in your kitchen. Part of the fun of camping is just getting by with the minimum number of items to live for a few days away from home in the outdoors.

One note here is that you don’t want to forget a first aid kit. Don’t simplify so much that you fail to prepare for minor injuries while having fun. That can ruin the fun. Check out our recommended first aid kit gear guide here.

family around a campfire
Time with family and friends is another highlight of a good camping trip

Keep it all organized for next time

You might be thinking that once you’re done camping all is good until next time. But you can make your next trip much easier by keeping your camping gear together, clean, and organized.

When you return from your camping trip plan to take a few minutes to unload everything into storage containers.

It would be a good idea to make this part of your pre-trip planning. While you’re picking up items for your trip you could also grab few large stackable storage containers that will store your camping gear upon your return.

Then, all the work you put into your next trip will pay off when it’s time to take another camping trip because you’ll have everything stored in one place.

Just be sure to wipe things down first. Make sure everything is dry. Don’t store any gear that’s wet or you could have a mold problem the next time you prepare your camping gear for a trip.

Once it’s all wiped down, dry, and clean, with all of your camping gear inside sturdy storage containers you’ll find that preparing for your next camping trip will be even easier than before.

Keep camping simple by planning ahead, putting all your gear in one place, thoughtfully minimizing what you take, and organizing and storing upon your return and you’ll find your next camping trip even easier. You’ll even have your family and friends eagerly planning for the next trip.

One more way to simplify your camping experience you may not have thought of. If you have plenty of room for gear bringing a couple of small electrical appliances from home could make your camping much easier. Here are some ideas on how to do that.

  • Kevin

    About the Author

    Hi, I'm Kevin and I love getting outside. I want my articles to be as helpful as possible so that you can learn to enjoy getting outside more often yourself. So leave a comment if you have a question, find a typo, or think I missed something. I'd love to hear from you.

    You can learn more about me and find more of my articles here.

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