So you’ve decided you want to go camping but you don’t know where to begin?!! The most important part about your trip is where you are going and who you are going with! First, take into consideration the weather. If you are going somewhere hot is there shade or a river? If its cold can you build a camp fire? I also like to look at the pattern of weather one week ahead of time. In Southern California you can have it be 90 degrees one day and tomorrow its 60 degrees- I know 60 degrees isn’t cold for any one else in the United States but for Southern California it is! If the weather is unpredictable make sure you are prepared for warm and cold conditions!
Next, look at the campsite. If you are going into the wild can you build camp fires? Most forests have regulations on fire seasons so always check ahead! Are there bathrooms?? If not, can you even stomach the thought of peeing in a bush? It took me a while to get over it but I am proud to say I don’t need a bathroom! Can you drive into your camp site or do you backpack everything in? Are you bringing a stove or cooking on a camp fire? Read reviews on where you are going. They might have helpful hints or share something you are glad you heard like “Our trip was amazing except for mama bear feeding our entire food supply to her starving cubs!” Just don’t read into the comments too much- how many times has your favorite restaurant been slammed on Yelp and you think “how dare they??!”
Look at your parking options. Our favorite camping spot is also a very popular hiking trail in the mountains. There is limited parking during the day but at night its only campers. We try to go up at night to avoid the parking mess. One time we failed to do so and had to park a mile away from the parking lot- did I mention you also have to hike a mile in to get to our sopt? Parking and campsites are a pain to deal with on holidays. During our last two trips, we failed to take into consideration Memorial day and the 4th of July!
Lastly, look at who you are going with. Is anyone an experienced camper? Are you with someone that can navigate through the woods if you get lost? Are they loud and like to party? Will you get annoyed with them? Remember you are stuck with these people for a few days. If you don’t invite them over to your house for wine and cheese don’t invite them camping! You want to have fun, laugh, and create memories, not fight, get annoyed, and make enemies!
Good luck on planning your adventure and pick somewhere fabulous!