Your Next Camping Trip: To Plan or be Spontaneous?

Doug Williams
 
 
 
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There are some people who have to have everything planned. When they are doing something or going somewhere, it’s planned down to every last detail, how you get there, what to do once you are there and what time frame everything should be done in, and then there’s the what to bring? And a whole other set of planning comes into play.

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Then there are others that like to live off the cuff, so to speak, they like just to go, based just on an idea of where they would like to go and maybe an idea of what to do once they get there, but there’s not much foresight or much planning that goes into the trip before it actually happens.

These are obviously the two extremes of planning a trip, or not. The thing is, each has its positives and negatives, so let’s go ahead and explore the differences, the good and bad of both ways to approach an upcoming camping trip or any trip for that matter!

 

One of the real advantages of being a planner when it comes to going somewhere new is that you can be confident that you’re not going to miss some essential must-see attraction or view. What happens even more now, with the boom of the internet, is a person who truly enjoys planning can spend plenty of time, hours, days, and even months planning, they can cover every second of an upcoming trip to ensure that they will see and do everything that there is to see and do in the amount of time that they have available. Additionally, many people who consider themselves planners actually enjoy this process, not only do they get to ensure that they will not miss anything but they also get to learn a load of new and useful information about the location, kit they’re going to be using and what to expect when they arrive.

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There can be a disadvantage to all this planning, if they’re spending all of this time and energy planning something and it goes wrong, that’s setting yourself up for disappointment, and that could mess up the trip. Focusing so much on the trip can mess up life now, with a focus on all the things involved in planning it’s easy to forget about family, work, and responsibilities and this is never a good thing.

In addition, sometimes there are just something things that cannot be planned well in advance and a person may not even learn about until visiting the campsite or arriving at the destination, the addition of a new idea or place to go can really throw a wrench in their diligently prepared itinerary.

One great benefit of taking the spontaneity route is that you literally can expect the unexpected, if anything these are the highlights of the trip, there are no expectations, you just decided to go, and you go, and you look forward to excitement ahead. With this approach you truly have freedom, once you end up wherever you decide to camp you have the freedom to do what you want, go where you want to go, move to a new area based on something that you pass, or a conversation with someone you meet, you can go with what seems interesting, not having a defined itinerary can be very exciting!

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One disadvantage to not planning anything is that unfortunately more often than not you will forget some bit of kit or information that could really help you. Also, it can also be hard to guarantee a prime camping spot as many people are planners and will have booked it much earlier.

To be honest, a healthy mix of the two seems the best way in which to handle an upcoming camping trip, or nearly any trip for that matter, this way you can have the fun and excitement of spontaneously deciding to camp and travel, but also have a little bit of foresight and research into the basics and what to see once you are there, so you do not miss anything truly spectacular.