Group camping can be one of the most rewarding experiences; from the fresh air and beautiful scenery to the camaraderie of being with friends or family, a camping trip is great for both the body and soul. However, organising a group camping trip - especially for large parties - can be incredibly stressful, and a poorly planned trip can lead to fights, arguments, and a poor excuse of a weekend away.
Luckily, with meticulous planning and some handy insights, a camping adventure with your loved ones doesn’t have to turn into World War III - so here's our guide to ensuring your group camping expedition is a roaring success. Let’s take a look.
First of all, it’s all about location: the choice of campsite is going to be pivotal to your group camping experience, so you’re going to want to make sure to get everyone’s opinion before settling on a choice.
When considering large group camping sites, ensure they're equipped to handle the number of attendees; some campsites have specific areas designated for larger parties, offering amenities like group fire pits or picnic areas. Research in advance to find a site that not only accommodates your group size but also aligns with your camping objectives - be it proximity to a lake, hiking trails, or simply a tranquil setting.
The phrase 'too many cooks spoil the broth' can be apt for group camping if everyone tries to do everything. Instead, break down tasks and delegate: have a team responsible for meals, another for setting up tents, and perhaps one in charge of organising entertainment or other daytime activities. This not only ensures efficiency but also fosters teamwork, and keeps you out of each other’s hair.
Feeding a large group can be one of the most daunting aspects of a group camping trip, so plan your meals in advance. Consider meals that are easy to cook in large batches, like stews or barbecues, and remember to account for any dietary restrictions or allergies.
When it comes to large group camping, especially for extended periods, food storage becomes crucial. You'll likely be storing perishables that need refrigeration, and while cool boxes are handy, they might not suffice for larger groups over several days. This is where an affordable fridge trailer hire comes into play. These trailers can be easily stationed at your campsite, ensuring your food remains fresh and safe to consume throughout your trip.
With a larger group, especially if it includes children, safety is another key consideration to think about during the planning stage. Ensure everyone is aware of any campsite rules, have a designated area for campfires, and ensure children are supervised at all times. It's also wise to have a first aid kit on hand, equipped to deal with common camping injuries or ailments.
One of the cardinal rules of camping is to respect the environment, and this becomes even more essential when camping with a larger group. Ensure everyone is aware of the 'Leave No Trace' principle - this includes not leaving litter, not disturbing wildlife, and minimising campfire impact.
Packing for a group camping trip isn’t the same as packing for solo or small group expeditions: beyond the essentials like tents, sleeping bags, and cookware, think of group necessities. This might include larger tarps for communal shelter, lanterns or string lights for group areas, or even extra chairs and blankets for communal lounging.
With a larger group, effective communication isn’t just preferable, it’s non-negotiable. Having a group chat in a messaging app like Whatsapp can be incredibly useful for 24/7 communication, especially if the campsite is vast, or if groups are going to be venturing out for activities separately.
To prevent your camping area from becoming a mess, it’s a good idea to implement a robust system for waste segregation: this could be done by separating bins for recyclables, organic waste, and general rubbish, and ensuring that all waste is disposed of properly at designated points, or if needed, taken back with you for appropriate disposal.
Remember, other people might be seeking tranquility or a nature escape too, so be mindful of your surroundings! Maintain noise levels, especially during quiet hours, and if the campsite is shared with others, ensure pathways are clear, and communal areas are left tidy for everyone to use.
No matter how well you plan, nature can be unpredictable - especially if you’re staying in the UK. Whether it’s sudden rain or an unexpected cold snap, be prepared with backup plans - this could include additional waterproofing, extra warm clothing, or indoor activities and games if outdoor plans are thwarted.
Finally, don’t get so wrapped up in planning and logistics that you forget to have a good time! And don’t forget to make lasting memories with photos and videos; you could even go as far as assigning someone (or multiple people) the role of the group photographer or videographer during the trip! Capturing candid moments, group activities, or scenic beauty can be a wonderful way to remember the trip, and you could even consider creating a shared album or even a physical scrapbook as a memento. Festive gifts sorted!