Considerations When Planning A Camping Trip
- Preparation - Know where you are going. Research and understand the area you are going to visit. Identify areas of interest and prepare a written plan. Confirm any accessible features required to meet your individual needs. If you will be backpacking, determine locations for fresh water and campsites you will use. Inquire in advance about the availability of specific accessible features you may require and locations from which you can obtain assistance.
- Safety Plan/Emergency Plan - A well-developed emergency plan should always be in place. Review group and individual needs regarding health and ability levels. Ensure that the challenge of the trip does not exceed the abilities of any members of the group. Identify an itinerary and share it with at least two individuals not going on the trip. Have an emergency plan that all members of the group are comfortable with carrying out. This should include locations of trail heads, emergency phone numbers, a communication device (cell phone, radio), hospital locations, first aid kit, and appropriate first-aid training (based upon group members and destination).
- Food - Remember that a well-planned menu can please almost anyone. Create a menu that takes into account personal preferences, allergies, required caloric intake, amount of physical exertion, and weather.
- Equipment - It is important to develop an extensive list to meet the needs of the group, the destination and the mode of travel (boat, foot, vehicle). Ensure that all equipment is in working order.
- Route Selection - Identify the best way to get yourself to each site. This includes making sure you have all the information you will need, such as trail maps, river maps, ocean/lake charts, and road maps. Identify logical locations for breaks along the way, such as rest areas.
- Registration and Reservations - Know the rules and laws before you go. Identify in advance all required registration and reservation regulations. Ensure that any passes or special admission requirements are met. This is a crucial step to complete well before the beginning of the trip.
- Weather - Be ready for the best and the worst. Always check the weather in advance and pack the appropriate gear. Know your limitations based upon typical weather that could be encountered during the trip (extremes of cold or heat).
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