Summer is just around the corner, which is the perfect time to get outdoors and go camping with friends or family. What could be better than getting a large group together and heading out into nature to spend some quality time under the stars? Of course, going camping with a large group involves a different set of challenges than camping alone or with just a couple of people. Here are some tips for planning the perfect camping trip for a large family or a big group.
Any plan involving a large group of people needs careful planning and coordination before it happens. It starts with picking a date everyone can make and making sure everyone has it in their diaries a long time in advance. When it comes to picking a campsite, there are a few things you need to remember. Big groups require more space and you don’t want to arrive at a campsite only to discover there’s no room at the inn. Summer is obviously the busiest time of year at campsites and if you don’t plan ahead you may discover there’s no available space for your whole party. Another problem you may encounter is that available pitches are not adjacent to each other, which can also dampen the experience somewhat. The best way to handle this is to research some campsites in advance and book ahead. If you book far enough ahead, you can get the best spot, so don’t be afraid to ask for a place by the river, woods or whatever other fun feature the campsite may have. Remember that you are bringing plenty of money to the business with your large group, so you may be able to swing things your way if you plan things in time. It’s also important to note that many campsites offer a group discount, so the larger the party, the less you may have to pay.
Instead of buying and carrying several identical items and too much food, why not combine your resources instead? You can easily create a communal kitchen with shared facilities where people are free to cook. If you want, you can even group buy the food and cook meals for the entire camp together at set times. Of course, you can combine other resources too. After all, how many mallets does a camp need? A communal gazebo or marquee can provide a chill out space for everyone and you could even invest in a large tent (or several) allowing you all to camp together. It certainly saves time and effort if you can all set it up together. (for reviews of large tents, why not look here). Sharing a tent with a large group of people has both advantages and disadvantages, but it does make set up and break down simpler.
If you’re going to go down this route, though, make sure things are organised well in advance. You want to be sure there is a clear list of everything the camp needs and who’s bringing what, so that you avoid confusion and situations where everyone thinks someone else is bringing something important. Similarly, with food, make sure you think ahead about actual meals you will be cooking. There’s little room for improvisation when you’re in the middle of nowhere. The person (or people) in charge of the kitchen need to plan a menu in advance and then buy the ingredients for each meal. You may still want to invest in personal snacks even if you’re group buying supplies for your main meals, especially if being outdoors tends to make you hungry.
It might be good to decide in advance who’s in charge of what and also what chores you will be doing together throughout the trip. This can prevent arguments and disagreements further down the line.
If you are camping with a large family or bringing a few families together, make sure you plan some activities for the kids and bring some stuff to entertain them. You may remember your childhood and think kids would love being outdoors, but today’s children are usually more interested in TV and games. Think of activities a large group of kids can do together, to get them interacting and enjoying their time together. Of course, with a large group you can also share childcare throughout the camping trip.