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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Vacationing in the great outdoors: The ultimate guide to planning a camping trip

Imagine this scenario in your head: you’re falling asleep to the sound of crickets chirping under a sky filled with stars. If this excited you, then read on.

While most don’t think of camping as their ideal vacation, it can often turn out to be exactly what you needed – especially if you’re a poor college student wanting to explore new territories.

To guide you through planning the trip, use these suggestions to optimize your camping experience:

  • Don’t assume that the trip can easily be assembled at the last minute. Every detail must be planned out ahead of time.
  • Don’t try to take on more than you can handle. If you’ve never gone backpacking, don’t try it the first time you go camping.
  • Watch Into the Wild the night before you go camping. It will inspire you.
  • During the night, especially when the weather is cold, wear a hat and gloves while you sleep. It will prevent the heat from escaping your body.
  • Map out the driving route beforehand. Mountain roads are often subject to closing, especially in the winter and early spring, so be aware of this.
  • Go with people you enjoy. You don’t want to get stuck in a tent with someone you hate.
  • After setting up your tent, walk around and look for some good sticks and logs to cook/start a fire once the sun sets

In order to assure that you have everything you need when you get to your campsite, stock up on items from this packing list at least a week in advance.

Camping equipment:

  • Headlamp
  • Lantern
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Ground Mat (the ground is usually uncomfortable)
  • Tarp
  • Fire Starting materials (lighter fluid, kindling, matches)
  • Compass
  • Knife
  • Map
  • Gallons of water or water treatment tablets


  • Cereal
  • Pancakes
  • Instant coffee (sorry latte lovers)
  • Bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Beef jerky
  • Trail mix
  • Granola bars
  • Canned Soup
  • Beans
  • Pasta/Ramen
  • S’mores – a must have! Graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate

Cooking accessories:

  • Pot grabber
  • Mess kit (pots/pans, dishes, utensils)
  • Measuring cups
  • Spatula
  • Can opener
  • Spices/herbs (the ones you usually use)
  • Butter/oil
  • Syrup


  • T-shirts
  • Sweaters
  • Shorts/pants
  • Gloves
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Swimsuit
  • Sandals
  • Durable sneakers


  • Tissues
  • Sunscreen
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Lip balm
  • Toilet paper
  • Soap
  • Hand sanitizer


  • Radio
  • Deck of cards
  • Books
  • Notebook/sketchpad
  • Pens/pencils
  • Disposable camera

In closing, take these words of Lord Byron as you leave established society and enter the natural world:

There is pleasure in the pathless woods,

There is a rapture on the lonely shore,

There is society, where none intrudes,

By the deep sea, and music in its roar:

I love not man the less, but Nature more

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