If you’re planning your first camping trip, you’ll find that the old real estate adage applies here as well, it’s all about location, location, location. Where you camp will play a role in everything, from the type of lodging you choose, to what you’re going to eat, and everything in between. So, your first consideration will be your camping destination.

Involve the family or other campers in selecting the location of your camping trip. Discover what activities in which your group would like to participate, and then find out what is offered at the campgrounds in your area. Camping has changed in the last few decades; people who remember a rustic campground with a lake and some fishing poles may be surprised to find that modern campgrounds can be packed with amenities such as hot tubs, waterparks, mini golf, laundry facilities, restaurants and just about anything else you can imagine. This means that planning a camping trip has gotten a bit more complicated, because there are so many different options for which to prepare.

Once you know where you’re going, what you’ll be doing, and what is already provided at the campground, it will be easier to create a camping gear checklist. The following list is just a rough guideline, as your list will be tailored to your destination.

If you’re going to spend a considerable amount of time exploring mother nature and hiking, then you may want to purchase a weather radio, additional rain protection for your lodging area and your body, and spend a little time researching what to do in case of a weather emergency. Don’t be afraid to explore if the weather isn’t cooperating (unless it’s dangerous). Sometimes the most interesting and beautiful sites are discovered when it’s raining, or even when there is a light frost on the ground.

Experts on how to plan a camping trip will tell you that each camping trip requires certain essential pieces of equipment, but it’s the extras that keep you comfortable, entertained and happy throughout your excursion. Take the extra steps to prepare for bad weather, small injuries and unexpected events, and you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way.

One important tip for people who are planning a camping trip – popularity of camping is on the rise, which means the demand for campgrounds is increasing. Contact the campground to make a reservation, as soon as you’ve decided it’s the one you want to visit. You don’t want to leave the most important element of your camping trip – location, location, location – up for chance, or you may find yourself sorely disappointed.