Camping season has arrived and you live for the weekend! You get a bad case of the Mondays, struggle to make it through hump day and have been known to repeat “TGIF” in your head and out loud throughout your Friday. When the proverbial 5 o’clock hits you know you’re outta here!
Open road. Quiet spot. Cold beer. Good book. Fishing. Swimming. Hiking. Campfire. Repeat. It’s the perfect summer weekend or vacation. So when quitting time comes you’ve got to be ready. To-do-list finished, itinerary set and Airstream packed. Busy with your nine-to-five workweek, it can be it tricky to get everything ready without sacrificing any of the upcoming weekend for your big adventure or quite retreat.
Here’s a weekly list to help you manage your trip preparation so you can take full advantage of the weekend for a respite.
Saturday: Tackle Maintenance Checks
Your tow vehicle and your travel trailer need to be in tiptop shape so you can pull out without any hitches. Saturday is a great day to be in the garage giving your vehicle a once-over. Test the battery, top off the fluids, check your tires and breaks, clean the headlights and make sure your oil is good to go. (Need an oil change? You’ve got all week to sneak it in on your lunch break.) If all systems are go in your tow vehicle, move to your Airstream. Just like your vehicle, check the tires and any batteries, but also be sure to check your propane levels and generator and inspect any hoses and valves. Should anything come up amiss, you have all week to take care of replacing or fixing anything that needs attention. If you have a little extra time on your hands, check out our guide to hitting the road.
Sunday: Finalize Your Itinerary
You’ve been planning your trip for weeks, even months maybe. You know the main route you’ll take and where you’ll camp once you get there, but it’s a good idea to map out your trip in even more detail. This is where our friends at Roadtrippers can lend their expertise. Or check out Airstream Supply Company’s Round Trip features for trip inspiration. You may even want to consider a special destination stop to see some of the sights as you travel. With the family home for the weekend, this is a great time to take everyone’s input and make it a real family trip.
Sunday is also a great day to start your “don’t forget” list. That way, every time throughout the week you think of something you don’t want to forget you have a place to write it down.
Monday: Gather Entertainment
Perhaps you need an audio book for the long car trip, or a good book to read once you get to your destination. Maybe you want a new deck of cards or some different fishing lures. If you’re traveling with kids, be sure to rent some DVDs from the library for the trip and check to ensure the DVD player is in working order. Are there family favorite board games that need to get put in the pack pile – and do they have all their pieces? Will cycling be a part of your adventures and are the bikes all road tested and ready to ride? Think of all the fun things you’d like to do while you’re camping and make sure you have the supplies you need.
Tuesday: Do the Laundry and Plan Your Menu
Clean underwear and socks, your favorite t-shirt and shorts all need to be washed and ready to go. Do a few loads of laundry so all your clothes are ready to pack. While you’re tied to the house switching the laundry, plan out your weekend menu. If you have some favorite go-to camping meals, this will be an easy task. If you’re new at camping, or just looking for some inspiration, now is a good time to get on Pinterest and search for some ideas so you can be ready for shopping tomorrow. Check out some of out some campsite breakfast options and keep it simple. Hotdogs over the fire aren’t a cop out – they are a camping must.
Wednesday: Get Shopping
If you find you need some supplies to make your camping excursion the best it can be, take some time after work to get some shopping done. A quick trip to a big box store can score you just about anything you might be missing: sunscreen, beach towels, bug spray, frisbee, deck of cards, etc. Groceries are important too. Of course you need S’mores fixings and all your favorite road trip snacks, not to mention food for your meals.
Thursday: Pull It All Together
At this point in the week, you're either feeling frenzied with all that’s still left to do or fanatical with excitement for the trip. Either way, you’ve got to stay the course and keep crossing things off your to-do list. From putting everyone’s clothes in bags, to making sure you’re food is stored properly and ready to travel, all your must haves need to find a spot in your travel trailer or vehicle. Think of it like an adult puzzle when you’re packing it all in.
And be sure to check your “don’t forget list” and gather up anything else you might still need to pack.
Friday: Do Your Happy Dance and Hit the Road
First you probably have to go to work. But, no matter what kind of day you’re having, quitting time will eventually come. And when it does, you can smile, dance or sing a little happy song. And then don’t look back as you ride off into your perfect weekend of camping.
No matter where you’re headed, or how long you’ll be gone, you can use the week before your get-away to do all the planning and preparation you need to ensure your camping adventures make you one “Happy Camper.”