Guides

5 Hacks for Camping with a Group

by Kendra Clapp OlguínJul 26, 2021

1. Decide what type of group camping you’re going for

A group of campers celebrate Halloween at a cabin at the Yogi Bear Jellystone Camp Resort in Luray, Virginia.

Will your group be camping in RVs or tents? Or perhaps glamp in cabins or yurts? The great news is that there are a variety of ways to camp. Discuss and decide on the type or combination of styles. Perhaps a member of the group has an RV and the others, tents? These details matter in searching for the right site.

Helpful tidbit: When beginning to talk through the camping options, notice who is taking charge. Who is the person responding the most in the email chain or group text? Or is there someone who is experienced at camping? Bring up in group communication that there ought to be a leader. See if anyone offers. Or, politely ask the person that’s been most active so far if they would be willing to. Establishing a leader publicly helps with expectations and communication. This isn’t to say that they will be doing all of the work. Instead, the camp leader will help keep the ball rolling, delegating, and conveying any updates as plans progress.

2. Look for an assortment of activities

A group of friends relax at Ludington State Park Beach on Lake Michigan.
A group of kayakers go down the Glen River at the Yogi Bear's Jellystone Camp Resort: Glen Ellis campground in Glen, New Hampshire.

You can’t please ’em all, but maybe, try. With a group of people, you have a mixture of personalities and interests. There are many campgrounds out there that offer various amenities and activities such as kayaking, hiking, swimming, outdoor games, a hot tub, and more. An alternative in this scenario is to look for a campground in a destination that offers various activities. Many campgrounds near beaches, State Parks, or National Parks provide a host of activities for friends and families to embark on.

3. Book early

An RV buddy site at Launch Pointe RV Park and Campground in Lake Elsinore, California
A group of friends are group camping and sitting around their campfire eating campfire nachos for lunch.

Plan ahead and book early when reserving campsites for group camping. If members of the group decide to camp in separate campsites dispersed throughout the campground, you have a little more leeway with this. However, when looking for sites next to one another, group sites, or buddy sites, you’ll have to book well in advance.

Helpful tidbit: Buddy sites are two RV sites whose awnings face one another so that they share a living and recreational space. They might share picnic tables, grills, and a campfire. Campspot has 53 parks that offer buddy sites!

4. Figure out the food situation

A group of tent campers at a tent site at Yogi Bear's Jellystone Camp Resort Birchwood in Upstate New York.
A man prepares pizza dough for a meal while group camping with friends at Timbersurf Park Campground in Fountain, Michigan.

This is truly the camp leader’s moment to shine. Feeding a group of people is quite the task. With organization and assigned meals, each person should be responsible for bringing ingredients to the table, pun intended. Depending on how long you’ll be camping, figure out how many meals are needed and go from there. First, plan out a menu for each camp day, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Are there things that can be made ahead of time? Then, divide those pre-made dishes out evenly. If not, assign a dish to each individual. Notice I said dish, not meal. That means Carl is in charge of bringing the ingredients for and making pancakes, Neha will bring and make the hashbrowns, and so on.

If the group is made up of different families or couples, consider one family making one meal, the other the next meal, and so forth. This is a suggestion RV Atlas recommends on their podcasts and books.

Helpful tidbit: Part of travel is food, right? Make sure to research any restaurants nearby that you may want to visit. Are there any high-rated pizza joints that offer delivery? Pepper in these “eating out” options throughout the camping trip to give yourselves a break and treat!

5. Leave room for the little things

Don’t overthink or over-plan your group camping trip. This is about spending time together! It’s easy to get carried away in trying to make everything just right. I’m looking at you, camp leader. Instead, breathe space throughout the camping trip for moments of relaxation and leisure. Trust me, those are the moments you’ll cherish the most.