Seasoned campers or first-time campers need to know that planning and preparation are keys to a great camping experience and a great, safe campsite. First things first, where are you going? Where is your campsite? And what will it have (or not have) when you arrive. What will you need to bring with you? Once you have determined where you are going then start thinking about the gear you are going to take with you. Determine what you are going to need. Make a list so you don’t forget something important.

I separate my lists into personal and general: food list (number of days, number of meals, number of people); personal list (dop kit, medications, clothes, shoes-hiking, yaks) campsite (tent, chairs, tarps, etc.). And don’t forget to pack for your pets.

Be sure to take first aid kits for both your pets and people. I carry an abbreviated kit to carry when hiking as well as one for the campsite. If you want more information on first aid kits, check out Hiking Hacks, subcategory First Aid for details on kits.

I have an area at my house where I store my camping gear. When I return from camping I launder, clean and repack everything so it is ready to go again. That way my prep for camping is much easier and quicker. But if you don’t have that luxury or space you may have to pull everything together for every camping trip. A suggestion would be to have a standard list ready for camping enabling you to pull your equipment together in a shorter period of time.

After the list is compiled work on paring it down. Split it between your companions so no one bares the weight of everything. Once the equipment is compiled, and pared down, stack it all together so loading is easier, and you can pack it efficiently. You are ready to go. And remember have a wonderful outdoor kinda fun.