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When camping with friends, it’s all about the experience.
But you can’t have a good camping experience without the right equipment, right!?
Well – fear no more.
I’ve come to the rescue and created this excellent resource that talks about what to bring on a camping trip with friends.
Keep reading if it’s your first camping trip – or last!
After all, forgetting equipment is a common occurrence when camping. I should know!
Here’s What To Bring On A Camping Trip With Friends…
In the following sections, you can find a list of essential equipment when camping with friends. I have broken this article into 3 categories: survival equipment, kitchen equipment, and fun activity equipment.
Let’s waste no more time!
Survival equipment is the bread and butter of any camping trip with friends. It should be the first thing you pack when preparing for your trip.
Before you even begin thinking about anything else, you must pack your tent. Sounds simple, right!? Well – not exactly.
You can’t just bring any old tent. With group camping, you need something large, with space to move around in.
Cramming a large group into a small tent is no way to camp!
If you’re camping with more than 6 people, I recommend getting two tents. Although it may separate the group, the additional comfort and space are worth it.
Camping is about being in nature, so you could use the tools around you to create a fire.
However, I prefer bringing a fire starter.
Not only does it save time, but also makes your job easier in bad weather.
What’s more, should you find yourself stranded, a firestarter can be the lifeline you need.
I come with important news…
You can’t survive without water.
So it should be a priority when camping. You’re probably not going to be drinking water from streams (although, you can); however, a water purifier comes in handy during survival situations.
And when venturing out into the wilderness, you never can be too sure what’s around the corner.
Unless you enjoy freezing cold nights, a sleeping bag is a must-have.
If you’re the person organizing the camping trip, make sure to bring enough sleeping bags for everybody.
Are you camping with couples? Then you can also consider double sleeping bags for additional warmth and comfort.
First Aid Kit
No matter whether you’re camping with friends, family, or by yourself; a first aid kit is non-negotiable.
There are numerous times on a camping trip when first aid kits come in handy.
If you don’t mind spending a little extra money, you can get one that covers all types of injuries. These include everything from minor cuts to broken bones.
You can’t go wrong with Recon by My Medic.
It’s not the smallest first aid kit on the market, but has everything you need.
For those people camping in colder climates, it’s important to bring a sleeping pad on your trip.
Sleeping pads act as a cushion between your sleeping bag and the floor. Not only do they ensure optimal comfort, but also keep you warm.
Cold air enters your tent through the floor, so you need some type of insulation.
Important, yet overlooked, equipment is spare batteries. Batteries are essential for flashlights and headlights.
Without spare batteries, going to the toilet at night will prove all the more difficult.
It becomes even more important if you’re wild camping in an area with no lights.
Air Mattress (optional)
Air mattresses are not essential when camping. However, they provide extra comfort, which always helps when spending time in the wilderness.
The problem with air mattresses is they are large, especially the queen size! And with a large group, you need as much space as possible.
I would only recommend air mattresses if you have multiple tents with plenty of space.
The clothing you bring depends on the climate.
If your camping trip is happening in a cold climate, everybody needs to stay warm. Without a doubt, you need the essentials, (multiple layers & insulated coats); however, I want to emphasize how important it is to keep your hands, feet, and ears warm.
Your hands, feet, and ears don’t get as much blood flow, making them more susceptible to frostbite.
Thermal socks, gloves, and hats are essential.
For hotter weather, you know the drill!
With that being said, make sure to bring some warm clothing in case of emergencies.
Flashlight (or Lantern)
Flashlights and lanterns are lifesavers when camping.
Forget these and your camping trip becomes a whole lot harder. It will be impossible to see inside your tent, and when going to the toilet at night.
That means no fun card games with your friends.
When you’re out camping in the wilderness with friends, it’s easy to get lost. When this happens, you need a map to get you out of trouble.
It could be the difference between finding your way back to the camping site or not!
I also recommend brushing up on your map reading skills. Alternatively, make sure one of your friends knows how to map read.
While you may not consider mosquito repellent a piece of survival equipment – I do!
There’s nothing more annoying than being attacked by thousands of mosquitos at the same time.
Mosquito repellant has saved my a** more times than I can count! Camping with friends is supposed to be about adventure, great experiences, and de-stressing.
How can you do any of these things with mosquitoes present!?
Something that is not talked about as much, is walkie-talkies.
They are important when camping, but become even more essential with large groups of friends.
At some point or another, you will venture off into the wilderness. If everybody has a walkie-talkie, the chance of losing somebody decreases significantly.
Keep in mind that inexperienced campers may wander off by themselves and get lost.
Setting up your camp kitchen is a great idea. Here are some essential pieces of equipment you need to get started.
Eating in your tent is mehh.
For a more enjoyable eating experience, I recommend bringing a picnic table. The good thing about picnic tables is most of them are portable.
That means they fold down and don’t take up too much space.
The perfect addition to your camping trip, huh!?
A portable stove is the heart and soul of your kitchen. Otherwise, you may have to use the campsite kitchen (if it has one).
When choosing a stove; size, weight, and durability are important factors. With that being said, you might have some leeway when it comes to size. If you’re camping with friends, it’s likely you will bring multiple vehicles, which equals more space.
And you only need one (or two) stove(s).
You should also consider the type of stove.
For large group camping, I recommend a 4-ring stove. This is what you would find in a standard kitchen, so it does the job.
Cutlery, Cups, & Bowels
You can’t eat without cutlery and bowels, right?
So don’t forget them!
You can buy cutlery sets from Amazon. They are specifically designed for camping, which is exactly what you need.
Although, you will need more than one set when camping with lots of people.
If you don’t have any chairs, what’s the solution?
To sit on the grass?
Yeah, that’s great when the sun is out. But what about those people camping in colder climates with rain?
I think I’ll stick with the chairs.
The good news is you can get camping chairs. In most cases, these chairs are super lightweight and can be folded up to save space.
Pots & Pans
Pots and pans are crucial when camping with friends.
After all, there are plenty of mouths to feed. If you search around, you can find pots and pans that include cutlery and cups.
And for all the lazy shoppers out there, I recommend the Bulin Camping Cookware Set.
You get 2 pots, a frying pan, kettle, and even cutlery. However, the main reason I like this set is that everything is lightweight and portable.
The pots and pans can be folded down and stored in a small bag. This means you have more room for important equipment, like your tent.
Camping wouldn’t be complete without fun things to do, right!? Below is a list of activities with the equipment you will need to bring.
When playing card games, I’ve always found that it’s more exciting with lots of people. So, camping with friends is the perfect opportunity.
Here are some of my favorites:
Give them a go.
Who knows – maybe you will come out a winner?
What’s the first thing people think of when camping?
Sitting around the evening campfire roasting marshmallows.
At least – I do.
And when surrounded by a group of friends, it’s even better! All you need to bring in some marshmallows.
You can find some small sticks laying around to roast them on.
I know camping is a time for de-stressing, so bringing your laptop may be counterproductive. However, it can also be a great tool, especially when camping in heavy rain.
Nothing relaxes you like watching a movie in your tent while it’s pouring rain outside.
However, it may prove difficult for all your friends to join in. After all, laptop screens are not cinema screens, right!?
Don’t worry, I’ve got a solution (as always!).
You can purchase small camping projectors and screens. This will project your movie onto a large screen in your tent, so everybody can watch it.
Here’s something most people don’t consider when camping…
If you’ve got artistic friends, why not have a painting competition? In fact, you could also take it in turns to paint each other (or the landscape).
In the end, everybody has to vote on the best painting.
And the winner gets a prize!
Nothing gets the blood pumping like a competitive game of frisbee.
Of course, you will need lots of open land to play on.
There’s no point playing frisbee in the forest. You won’t be able to play because of the large trees in the way.
Additional Advice When Camping With Friends
How Do I Prepare For a Camping trip with a friend?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…
PREPARATION IS KEY!!!
It doesn’t matter if you’re camping with friends or by yourself. Not preparing always makes your camping trip more stressful.
The good thing about camping with friends is that everybody can keep each other accountable. You’re less likely to forget essential equipment when there are 10 of you.
It’s best to sit down with everybody a week prior and plan ahead.
Bring a notepad and pen and create a big list of everything you need (and want) to bring. Once everybody has written on the list, cut out some non-essentials.
What you leave behind depends on how many vehicles you have to transport the gear.
If you plan your camping trip this way, it saves lots of stress on the day.
What To Do When You Are Camping With Friends?
I’ve already listed out some basic activities above; however, if you want to step things up a notch, check out the list below.
Camping and hiking go hand in hand.
But have you ever hiked with all your friends at once?
Now that’s a great way to make a fun activity even better! You can even plan your entire camping trip around hiking locations.
Here are some of the best in the USA:
Just make sure everybody is happy with the arrangements. Unfortunately, not everybody enjoys hiking, especially in hot (or cold) weather.
I understand young groups of friends enjoy camping on the beach.
If so, why not try your luck at some Surfing?
For those who have never surfed before, be prepared to fall off a few times before you can stand up and catch a wave.
When you learn to stand up, that’s when the fun starts!
It’s also a great way to create memories with your closest friends.
Compared to surfing, fishing is a more relaxing activity.
That means it’s the perfect opportunity to have deep conversations about life.
Until somebody catches a fish. Then everybody starts going crazy!
If you’re going camping with adrenaline junkies, kayaking is your best friend. It’s exciting, confidence-building, yet calming at the same time.
Similar to hiking, kayaking on rapids is not for everybody.
You can go kayaking on any open body of water. It doesn’t need to contain rapids.
Skip Some Rocks
Skipping rocks never turns sour – it doesn’t matter how old you are.
For maximum fun, it’s best to turn it into a competition. See who can skip rocks the furthest. To get the most enjoyment from this activity, try to find a campsite with a lake.
Should I go camping with friends?
Going camping with friends is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Nowadays, people are so caught up in the hustle and bustle of every day that they forget about the most important thing…
If you’ve got a group of friends that are happy to go on a camping trip, don’t let the opportunity slide!
In your older years, you will look back on these memories and be glad you did them.
In addition, the key to having a good camping trip with friends is good relationships. You don’t want to go camping with people you don’t like.
Stick with people you have known for a few years, and are comfortable around. You don’t want to feel uncomfortable around the people you are living with, right!?
How Do I Find People To Go Camping With?
I know how difficult it is to find camping buddies.
Sometimes it seems like all your closest friends are too busy.
That’s why I recommend befriending other campers. If you meet people at a camping site, you know they value the activity. That means you’re more likely to go camping together after building a friendship.
And don’t be afraid to go camping solo at first.
It offers a great time to do some reflection, especially if life has been getting you down lately. Sometimes you just need to pack your bag and venture off into the wilderness alone. I recommend staying at multiple campsites, so you get to meet other campers.
In addition, consider building relationships with other campers online. There are countless Facebook groups available that have regular meetups.
Best Places To Go Camping With Friends
Collective Yellowstone is the perfect getaway for friends who have never been camping. Because it’s considered ‘glamping’, you won’t have to worry too much about bringing lots of equipment.
In addition, there is less stress involved. Everything you need is already in your glamping tent or at the campsite.
But don’t worry, you’re still in nature. As you may have guessed, Collective Yellowstone is located next to the famous ‘Yellowstone National Park’.
Grapevine resort is located in Grapevine, TX. This campground features numerous cabins, recreating the camping experience with a twist of luxury thrown in. These cabins are fully furnished, so you don’t have to worry about dragging tables, chairs, and other equipment around.
Similar to Collective Yellowstone, this makes it an excellent choice for first-time campers.
A popular activity in Grapevine Resort is fishing. There is a huge lake at the campsite, where you can catch some fish.
What’s more, a short walk away is home to Grapevine’s most well-respected restaurants, wine establishments, and shops.
Big Creek Campground
Big Creek Campground is perfect for friends that are experienced campers. Although you have access to running water, toilets, and grills; it offers a more traditional camping experience.
You won’t find hot tubs, fully furnished cabins, and restaurants here.
It’s also off the beaten track. But as we all know – campgrounds in the middle of nowhere tend to have the most breathtaking views.
Plus, there’s something relaxing about being away from all the noise…
Don’t you agree?
Biscayne National Park
If you’re a group of friends interested in camping, but also love the beach, let me introduce you to Biscayne National Park.
Located in Florida, it’s home to some of the most breathtaking scenery. To access Biscayne National Park’s two islands, you need a boat. The 2 islands (Elliott Key and Boca Cita Key) are where you will be camping.
Because 95% of the Biscayne National Park is water, the most popular activity is scuba diving. Not something you get to experience on every camping trip, right!?
Dive underwater and you can see the Lugano shipwreck – the largest in Florida Keys.
Read Also: Best Tents For Florida Camping
Out ‘n’ About Treehouse Treesort
Oregon is known for its breathtaking views. So it comes as no surprise that Out ‘n’ About Treehouse Treesort is included on this list!
With this resort, you get to stay in a treehouse.
Who said treehouses are just for kids!?
Not only that, but there are numerous activities to choose from. One of these is horseback riding.
Summing It All Up
The most important equipment when camping with friends is survival gear Not only will it prevent emergency situations, but also get you out of one!
After taking care of the essentials (tents, clothing, first aid kits, etc), now it’s time for the fun stuff!
You can pack exciting things such as card games, board games, frisbees, and more.