Camping can either be a super relaxing way to spend some time in nature or just another semi-stressful mini vacation to plan. I tend to fall in the middle of these two things because 1) I love to be outside and 2) I’m a planner and everything needs to be planned. It makes life annoying sometimes and yes, my parents have yelled at me for being too planned. With that said, I want to share my planning for my camping trip this weekend and my tips for realizing that it is okay for things to not be perfect.
So where are we going….
This upcoming weekend, Tim and I are spending two nights at Burlingame Campground in Rhode Island. If you aren’t familiar with the area, Burlingame is a wooded campground located a few miles from some of the best beaches in New England– which isn’t saying much if you’ve ever been here. The beaches are okay but the water is like ice. We did this trip twice last summer but this year we decided to do a two day excursion.
Planning a trip like this, even a short one, for me begins as soon as we book a site. Actually, before that. I have “standards” about what kind of campsites that I like, as I’m sure most people do. The worst thing for a tent site is when you get placed in a field with dozens of RVs or other campers and you can’t get any privacy. Lucky for me, I knew that Burlingame does have secluded sites that give some privacy. I even found a website that cataloged every single site (there are about 700) to show you what you get when you make a reservation because Reserve America does not do this. The site we have is perfect! Or at least it seems to be… We’ll see what it looks like when we get there on Saturday.
Anyways, back to planning…
With our site picked for our two night getaway, it was time for me (because Tim is very go with the flow) to start making a plan on what to do, what to bring, etc.
I always like to start with the home-y stuff. If we’re going to be living in a tent for two days, we want to have everything we need. Sometimes even the simplest things, like sunscreen, can cause a big annoyance if you forget it. Especially at the beach where they really jack up the prices on those kinds of items! I started with a general list from REI and then modified for myself. You can check out my checklist graphic below!
Once I have a checklist done, I start creating our itinerary for what we’ll be doing or what we want to do. Even if you aren’t sure you’re going to do something, you should always have a list on you of the addresses, hours, and contact information of places or events you have an interest in. Or at least know where to find that information. Usually, I make a loose schedule with a list of places to go each day. With this being a beach/camping mini vacation, it is a pretty short list this time. We’re really only looking at renting kayaks one afternoon. Maybe going to the drive in movie– depending on what it is.
Here’s a loose itinerary for our trip!
With our trip three days away, there’s a little bit to do to get ready each day. Airing out the tend and making sure it’s clean, wash out the cooler, purchase any items (sunscreen, eating utensils, etc.) that we may still need, and more are some of the things we’re both taking care of. The night before we leave will be food prep night. While we won’t do all of our food before we leave, we’ll make sure to take care of what we need for lunch and dinner on Saturday.
Accepting That Things Won’t Go As Planned
Now that we’re in planning and getting ready time, I also have to mentally prep that things are probably not going to go as planned. I just have to keep telling myself that that is all okay and the trip will still be plenty of fun.
Of course, I say that while there is rain in the forecast for the weekend. Still, we’ll have a good time. Or at least try. Even if we’re wet for a while.
What’s your planning strategy for camping trips or curbing your need to plan when needed?