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Adventure , Camping Skills

Camping 101: the ultimate guide to camping for beginners.

Beautiful scenery on beach

Camping is one of the best activities out there. Who doesn’t want to hike away from the hustle and bustle of the city, pitch a tent under the stars and cook a delicious meal over the fire. Camping – be it at campgrounds, in the mountains or on the river – is something I think everyone should try, at least once in their life. But if you’ve never been before, your first time camping can be overwhelming or intimidating. That’s why I’ve put together this comprehensive guide on camping for beginners.

In The Ultimate Guide to Camping for Beginners , you will learn:

  • How to plan your first camping trip
  • How to camp (packing, setting up your tent, lighting fires, cooking and more)
  • Camping gear for beginners
  • Sample packing list and meal planner

camping trip report

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support is much appreciated! You can learn more by reading my full disclosure .

Camping for Beginners: Introduction

This guide will give you the knowledge and tools on how to camp and enable you to plan your first camping trip. The easiest way to get good at camping is to go with someone more experienced than you. If this is an option, definitely take it! But if you don’t have someone to go with, do not fret. By reading this guide you should have everything you need to get started.

I’ve written this guide with camping experience from Canada, New Zealand and Iceland and I know it’s largely applicable to the US as well. If you are camping in other countries, most of the information should still apply but ensure you do your research.

Note : Camping 101: The Ultimate Guide to Camping for Beginners is specifically designed for tent camping for beginners. This post does not cover RV / trailer camping.

Section 1: The Basics of Camping

In this section, I will go over the basics of camping – specifically, the different types of camping and how you find campsites to begin with.

1.1 Different Types of Camping

There are broadly two ways we can categorize camping. The first is by the proximity to road access / civilization, and the second is by the type of land.

Proximity to Road Access

Front country camping – Also known as ‘car camping’, front country camping is when you drive somewhere and pitch your tent near your car. Front country camping is typically done at campgrounds, and there are often facilities like washrooms, sinks and sometimes laundry and showers.

Backcountry camping – Backcountry camping occurs away from road access, and typically requires some element of human power to access. This could be hiking, kayaking, canoeing, biking, climbing or another activity. Because backcountry camping isn’t accessible by road, you can’t just get in your car and leave if something goes wrong. As a result, backcountry camping is higher risk and requires more experience than front country camping.

Type of Land

Publicly Managed Land – This is camping on land that is publicly managed by the government (i.e. a national/provincial/state parks). Usually, there are camping fees proportional to the number of services provided. If you are at a car camping campground with washrooms and showers, you can expect to pay $20 – 40 per night per site. Meanwhile, backcountry camping sites could range from $0 to $40 per night.

For example, many “non-operating” provincial parks in Ontario do not have fees. Likewise, you can camp in many National Forests for free in the US.

Wild / Freedom / Dispersed Camping – This can be either car or backcountry camping, but it occurs outside national/provincial/state parks and that usually means it is free .

There are some countries that let you camp in any wild space in the public domain. For example, in Canada we often call this Crown Land Camping and it allows Canadian residents to camp on the land for up to 21 days. Many places in the United States allow for free camping too. New Zealand and Iceland allow freedom camping in many areas if you have a self-contained camper van.

Private Campgrounds – These are car campgrounds that are owned privately. Sometimes they’re owned by a family who lives on the property, or it could be a chain, like KOA campgrounds. These campgrounds tend to be $30 – $50 per night and often have better facilities than parks. Some even have swimming pools, activities and free boat rentals.

1.2 Finding Campsites

So with all those types of camping, how will you ever find a campsite? Well, it helps to start with what you want out of your trip. Camping beginners will likely want to start with front country camping ( car camping ) so they can be close to their vehicle and don’t need to carry all their gear themselves.

I’ve found camping beginners also tend to prefer camping in national/state/provincial parks over wild/freedom camping because it’s really easy to find campsites and book reservations. Finding free camping is a bit of an art and takes some practice.

So I recommend Googling parks near where you live and then booking a campsite through their reservation portal.

Note : If you live in Canada and really want to do backcountry camping, head over to Trip Reports where we have compiled detailed guides for tons of beginner canoeing and hiking routes. They have literally all the information you need to plan the trip (maps, reservations, itinerary, tips and more).

camping trip report

Section 2: Planning & Preparation

2.1 choose a destination & book your sites.

As I stated above, a great starting place is searching for parks in your area. When you’re considering different parks, consider the following:

  • How far away is it? Parks further from the city tend to be less busy, but they also involve more driving.
  • What facilities are there? Decide what facilities you want and what is available.
  • What things are there to do? While camping is itself an activity, search for hiking / paddling / activities in the area.
  • How popular is it? I suggest Googling something along the lines of “most popular parks” in your location. There is usually a reason a park is so popular – be it beauty, facilities, proximity. Decide how much solitude you’d like on your camping trip, as popular parks tent to be busier.

Depending on your destination, you will likely need to make a reservation in advance. If this is the case, book your campsite or camping permit.

2.2 Choose a Time to Go

The exact time of year will partly depend on your geography and interests, however, this advice applies to the broad United States / Canada / Western Europe regions. If this will be your first time camping, I highly recommend going in the summer.

Other considerations :

  • Climate : Perhaps the biggest driving is climate, specifically temperature and precipitation. Most people go camping when it’s warm out and try to avoid particularly rainy seasons.
  • Wildlife : Some people will time their camping trips with when they’re most likely to see wildlife. For instance, many people go camping in the winter or early spring for moose spotting.
  • Scenery : Different seasons provide sceneries. Autumn is a popular time to go camping due to fall foliage, but the chillier temperatures mean you need more gear and experience.

Pro Camping Tip for Beginners : In Canada and much of the US, I specifically recommend beginner campers plan their trips for early August. As it’s summer, the weather is warm so you don’t need much gear and there’s little-to-no risk of things like hypothermia. June and July are even warmer but many regions have higher levels of mosquitos and black flies at this time, making for a less than enjoyable time.

2.3 Choose How Long to Make Your Trip

If this will be your first camping trip, I typically recommend going to a campground for two nights. I think planning a camping trip is too much work for a single night; with driving, setting up camp, cooking and cleaning, you just don’t get enough time to actually enjoy the camping trip.

On the other hand, if you will be backpacking or paddling out to you campsite it may make more sense to go for a single night. That way, if you are uncomfortable or need something, you’re relatively close to home. My first backpacking and paddling trips were all single nights. Keep the distance you travel short so you have time to enjoy being at the campsite.

2.4 Prepare Your Route Card

This is something not nearly enough people talk about! Whenever you go out into the wilderness, you should build a route card and leave it with a friend or family member not on the camping trip.

What is a route card?

A route card is a list of where you will be camping each night and when you intend to be back home. For long and remote trips, a route card might have information on the GPS coordinates of campsites and emergency access points, emergency contacts and more. For short trips, a route card is simply where you’ll be camping (i.e. Mew Lake Campground, Algonquin Provincial Park) for which days (i.e. June 12th and June 13th) and when you’ll be home (i.e. June 14th).

You should also leave instructions for what your friend/family should do if you don’t return on time. For example, this could be the phone number of the park office.

Why does this matter?

You leave a route card in case you get lost or injured on your camping trip, or if your car gets a flat tire and you don’t have cell service. That way, someone knows you’re missing and can take steps to get you found.

I’ve always done this for backcountry camping trips, but one time my boyfriend and I were driving to a car camping site and blew a tire on a mountain road without cell service. I hadn’t told anyone where we were, so no one had any idea. Thankfully everything worked out, but since then I always leave a route card with someone.

2.5 Gather Your Tent Camping Essentials

Okay, so you’ve got your first camping trip planned. Now it’s time to gather all the gear you’re going to need. Since there is a long list of things you need to camp, I’ve dedicated all of Section 3 to this topic. There you will find exactly what the tent camping essentials are and how to get them inexpensively if it’s your first time camping.

2.6 Go For a Test Drive

As much help as I can provide over in a beginners camping guide, the best way to learn how to go camping is to go out and do it – in a low risk environment. So before you go out on your first camping trip, try spending the night in your backyard. This will show you a few things:

  • Do you know how to use all your gear?
  • Is there anything you’re forgetting?
  • Are you warm enough?
  • Are you comfortable?

Because you’re in your backyard, you can simply go inside and grab something you’ve forgotten. Or, say your sleeping bag is not nearly warm enough, you can move inside for the night. Camping is all about testing and refining what works for you.

camping trip report

Section 3: Clothing & Gear – Things You Need to Camp

In this section, I’m going to go over the essential things you need to camp. This includes both the gear and clothing you need to stay safe, as well as the gear and clothing you should bring to be comfortable.

3.1 Safety Gear

  • First Aid Kit – You should always bring a first aid kit. I have a full post on how to build your own wilderness first aid kit , but the basics are this: pain killers, allergy medication, wound kit (bandages, gauze, polysporin), blister kit (bandaids, moleskin, medical tape).
  • Satellite Communication Device – If you will be camping somewhere without cell service, bring some form of satellite communication device. These are pricey and not always feasible for camping beginners. Some places allow you to rent them. If you don’t have one, stay somewhere with cell service. >>This is the one I highly recommend.
  • Map & Compass – If you are hiking or paddling to your campsite, ensure you bring a map and compass.

Pro Beginners Camping Tip : Even some drive-in campgrounds don’t have cell service. Download your map and directions to your phone so you can still access them if you lose service.

3.2 Shelter Gear

  • Lightweight Tent – If you will be camping at your car, your tent doesn’t need to be lightweight. However, if you are hiking or paddling to your campsite, you want it to pack small and be light to carry. For camping beginners, I typically recommend they choose an inexpensive tent, even if it’s a bit bulky. As you do more camping, though, you’ll want to upgrade. >>This is an affordable backpacking tent I previously used.
  • Sleeping Pad – Your sleeping pad adds a layer of air in between you and the ground. They typically pack small and are light to carry, and they can be inflated with your mouth.
  • Sleeping Bag – Finding a warm sleeping bag that packs small can be tricky for beginner campers, as they tend to be expensive. If car camping, don’t worry about it being light. If backpacking, try renting a sleeping bag or choose one made from synthetic material, as this tends to be cheaper. >>Here is an inexpensive, but lightweight, sleeping bag.
  • Camping Pillow – This is optional, but will improve the comfort. >>I recommend an inflatable pillow to cut down on space.

Note : Many of these items are essential things you need to camp, and are part of the 10 Essentials. If you’re not familiar with the 10 Essentials, read this post .

camping trip report

3.3 Cooking Gear + Food

Here are the items you need to cook basic meals on camping trips. Feel free to bring other gear if space allows and get creative with your cooking!

  • Water Bottle – Bring a reusable one to cut down on single use plastic!
  • Water Purification – Needed if you will be camping somewhere without running water. This could be water filtration tablets, a Sawyer Straw, water pump or similar device.
  • Matches / Lighters
  • Camping Stove – For car camping, you can use a larger 2-burner stove. For backcountry camping, you can use a backpacking stove.
  • Grill – Some fire pits come with a grill, but if you know you want to cook over the fire and don’t know if your fire pit will have one, you can bring a cheap, lightweight grill .

Cooking Gear

  • Pots and / or Pans
  • Big Spoon / Spatula
  • Bowls and Cutlery
  • Biodegradable Dish Soap & Sponge – Use this to wash your dishes after eating.
  • Garbage Bags – Unless garbage facilities are present, you must pack out everything you pack in. So bring a few garbage bags for waste.

There’s a lot that goes into planning food, so I’ve included a separate section for meal planning in the appendix.

camping trip report

3.4 Clothing

The clothing you wear camping can roughly be categorized into four groups.

Day Clothing – This is the clothing you wear during the day and when you’re on the move. It needs to be durable and comfortable, as you’ll be moving a lot and don’t want anything to rip or tear. In addition, it should be moisture-wicking and weather resistant (so not cotton or denim).

  • Durable Hiking T-shirt or Long Sleeve Shirt – Any athletic / gym shirt works when you’re getting starting.
  • Durable Hiking Pants or Shorts – Any athletic / gym pants work here too.
  • Wool Socks – These will keep your feet warm, even if they get wet. Wool is much better than cotton for socks.
  • Underwear / Sports Bra – You know what to do here.

Campsite Clothing – Many people like to change out of sweaty / dirty clothing once they get to the campsite. Campsite clothing should still be durable, but tends to be a little more comfortable and warmer. If you’re going ultra lightweight, you probably won’t bring a second outfit for the evening.

  • Comfy Top – This could be a flannel shirt and something made from wool or fleece. Again, we want to avoid cotton.
  • Comfy Pants – I like to bring leggings or fleece pants for chilly evenings.
  • Sweater or Jacket – Personally, I like to bring both a fleece sweater and a synthetic down jacket. Ideally, avoid bringing cotton.

Sleep Clothing – This is the clothing you wear in your tent, and only in your tent. When you’re getting started, any comfy sleep clothing will technically do. Some people may wear cotton to bed, but I advise against this because if the clothing gets wet it will never dry. Synthetic or wool layers are better for sleeping. And if you’re worried about being cold and have a little money to invest, I highly recommend getting a pair of merino long underwear to sleep in. >>This is what I wear.

Rain Clothing

  • Rain Jacket – This is an incredibly important piece of beginner camping gear. Your rain jacket will keep you dry (and warm) even if you have to set up your tent in the rain. You don’t need a fancy Gore-Tex rain jacket when you’re still starting out. My first rain jacket was excellent, lasted for three years and cost less than $80. >>This is the first rain jacket I had.
  • Rain Pants – Rain pants are less common, however I really like having rain pants and recommend them for anyone camping in rainy climates. They are loose enough to go over top of hiking pants and are 100% waterproof (unlike hiking pants, which are typically water repellent ).

camping trip report

3.5 Footwear

The shoes you bring camping will be somewhat dependent on whether you are driving, hiking or paddling to your campsite. For my first few car camping trips I just wore running shoes.

  • Hiking Shoes / Boots – If you will be hiking to your campsite, where a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots. Most hiking shoes tend to be waterproof, or at least water resistant, so you’ll still be comfortable if it rains. I recommend the hiking boots as excellent beginner hiking boots.
  • Sandals – Whenever I’m at the campsite, I like to wear sandals with wool socks. Especially if I’ve had to hike to my campsite, my feet just want to breathe! So in addition to your sturdy hiking shoes, bring a comfortable pair of shoes for around the campfire.

Read More : 10 Best Women’s Hiking Boots (2021) + Guide to Buying Beginner Hiking Boots

3.6 Miscellaneous

  • Backpack – If you are hiking or paddling to your campsite, you’ll need something to put everything. Backpacking backpacks can be expensive, so see if you can rent or borrow one for your trip.
  • Dry sacks / Ziploc bags – I like to bring some small dry sacks and zip lock bags to store items. This keeps them dry no matter what.
  • Biodegradable Toothpaste – Many car campgrounds have washroom and sink facilities, but if you are hiking/paddling to your campsite you will need to spit your toothpaste into the bush. Please use biodegradable toothpaste.
  • Sunscreen – Gotta be sun safe!
  • Bug Spray / Bug Hat – This is perhaps one of my most important first time camping tips. Bring a bug hat. Nothing ruins a camping trip more than mosquitos and black flies. A bug hat will keep you sane.

Optional Personal Items

  • Books, journal, pen
  • Camping Chair

camping trip report

Section 4: Camping Tips for Beginners

This section is about how to camp – that is, how to actually execute a camping trip! There’s only so much I can explore though. The only way to really learn how to go camping is to get out and do it!

4.1 Getting to Your Campsite

Depending on the campground you’re at, you may need to check in with a park office or visitor’s centre to collect your permits / reservations. Many parks are moving away from this and allowing campers to download an electronic version of the permit when they make the reservation. Check what you need for your destination.

4.2 Pitching Your Tent

A integral part of learning how to tent camp is knowing how to set up your tent in the first place! Hopefully you did a test drive and already know how to set up your tent, however I always find the first few set-ups with a new tent take some time (and patience).

When choosing where to pitch your tent, choose relatively flat ground. You don’t want to be sliding in your tent or sleeping on an angle. If there is a slight angle, ensure your head is on the slightly higher ground.

I always recommend pegging out your tent. Once I hadn’t pegged by tent, went on a hike and came back and my tent was a 100 m away and upside down (and had a broken pole). I had no idea a huge wind storm would happen!

Be mindful of where you put the doors. For example, you probably don’t want to put the doors right next to a tree / bush (that could get annoying) or where people watching by could see into your tent.

Orange tent next to a river, eco camping in Canada

4.3 Setting Up Your Sleeping Area

Once the tent is set up, I like to set up my sleeping area. I first inflate my sleeping pad, then unpack my sleeping bag and place it on top. Next, I set up my pillow and place my pyjamas on top of my sleeping bag. I also like to take out anything I might need over the night (i.e. toiletry bag, book, journal, headphones).

I do this so that I can keep my backpack / bags outside the tent. If they’ve touched the ground, they may have dirt on them and I don’t want this inside my tent. You can either leave your bags under the tent vestibule (this is the area right outside the door that is covered by the tent fly) or in your car.

Tip : Don’t leave any food in your tent!

4.4 Staying Dry and Warm

Hopefully, you get wonderful weather for your first time camping, but if it is chilly or raining there are a few things you can do to stay warm and dry. First, ensure you aren’t wearing any cotton and put on your rain jacket. Keep all your gear either in the tent, under the vestibule or in the car.

Tip: Bring a tarp and some rope to build a cooking shelter. There are tons of Youtube videos showing how to set up an easy tarp. This gives you a dry place to cook and hang out.

4.5 Lighting Fires

Before you leave for your first camping trip, watch a few Youtube videos on fire building. It’s pretty easy, but it helps to have a demonstration. It helps to bring some newspaper to help the larger pieces of wood to catch. I also sometimes from fire starter.

Remember, campfires should only be built in designated fire pits. If there isn’t a fire pit, use a stove instead.

A Note on Firewood : Check the firewood rules for where you’ll be camping, and double-check if there is a fire ban. Invasive species can live in firewood, so many parks forbid people from bringing their own firewood and thus campgrounds often require you to buy firewood there. If you’re not at a campground, you can usually collect dead branches from the area.

4.6 Cooking Over a Fire or Stove

Cooking over a stove.

I have a TON of beginner camping tips specifically targeted at camp cooking. So many that I actually have a cookbook (shameless plug).

If you’re car camping, cooking on trip is really similar to cooking at home. You can bring a 2-burner camping stove that functions very similarly to a gas stove at home. The only difference is that you need to connect the fuel to the camping stove yourself.

If you’re backcountry camping, you will likely want to bring a much smaller stove. With backpacking stoves, there is an attachment that sits on top or beside the fuel canister. Similar to the above, you open up the flue valve a little and light it with a match or lighter. Now you have heat! >>I recommend this backpacking stove.

Once you have your heat source, you are ready to cook your food. There are tons and tons of camping recipes on various blogs and YouTube channels that you can experiment with. Though I recommend choosing something simple for your first time camping.

Cooking Over a Fire

If you want to cook over a fire instead of a stove, will need a grill. If you’re camping at a campground, there may be a grill built into the fire pit. If you’re backcountry camping, you will likely need to bring your own grill. >>Here is an option for a cheap, lightweight grill .

camping trip report

4.7 Camping Etiquette

Camping etiquette is so important! Here are a few things you can do to ensure you’re respecting other campers:

  • Don’t play loud music and be quiet after ~10 pm
  • Don’t walk through others’ campsites
  • Be mindful taking a photos if you’re near someone else’s campsite
  • Keep dogs on a lease unless you are in an off-lease area
  • Clean up after yourself, your group and your pets

I’m working on a full guide to camping etiquette, so stay tuned for more tips!

4.8 Leave No Trace Camping

It’s so important that we respect the environment and wildlife when we are camping. This means ‘leaving no trace’ – ensuring you leave the site as you found it (or leave it better than you found it). There is a lot to cover here, so I recommend reading my post on Eco Camping: Your Guide to Environmentally Sustainable Camping .

But here are the highlights :

  • Don’t alter your campsite at all : Do not build new fire pits, tear down branches, making tent clearings
  • Pack out everything you pack in : Bring a garbage bag or use the provided garbage facilities. Absolutely no trash should be left at the campsite (and this includes in the fire pit). Be especially mindful of plastic wrappers and food packaging.
  • Correctly dispose of grey water and human waste : Check what the specific requirements are for the place you will be camping and follow them.
  • Use all natural, non-toxic products : Wear all natural sunscreen and use all natural toothpaste (I like Tom’s ).

camping trip report

Camping for Beginners: Conclusion

I really hope you’ve found this guide helpful and have the confidence to take your first camping trip! If you have any questions on how to camp, please leave a comment or send me a message.

Camping 101: Meet Your ‘Instructor’

I thought it’d be helpful to introduce myself. My name is Mikaela and I used to work as a wilderness guide throughout Canada. My first long camping trip was a two-week canoe trip in 2010, and since then I’ve spent hundreds of nights in the wilderness.

And through guiding, I’ve spent a lot of time teaching kids and adults how to camp, so I’m acutely aware of the questions and challenges that come with camping for the first time. I am sure this beginner’s camping guide will give you the knowledge and resources to go on your first camping trip!

camping trip report

Mikaela | Voyageur Tripper

Mikaela has been canoeing, hiking and camping for over ten years. She previously worked as a canoeing guide in Canada, and spent a season guiding hiking and kayaking tours in the high Arctic. Mikaela is a Wilderness First Responder and Whitewater Rescue Technician.


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5 thoughts on “ Camping 101: The Ultimate Guide to Camping for Beginners ”

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Hi your blog is very helpful! I am Rhene from the Philippines, and I’m also a teacher who promotes Outdoor Adventure in the Philippines. I hope I can invite you to talk in our forum/conference to share your expertise and experiences in the outdoors.

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Thank you for explaining that you shouldn’t wear cotton if the weather is chilly or raining. I’ve been trying to get some advice for our camping trip that we’re taking next week. I’ll be sure to remember this advice in case the weather is cold.

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You’re welcome, Olivia! Glad I could help!

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I found it helpful when you recommended that we go for two nights for our first camping trip since a lot of work is needed in planning a camping trip even for just one night. It’s my first time going camping with friends since we just got an RV rental booked, so we’ve been looking for campsites to consider. I’ll be sure to take note of this suggestion while I check out RV resorts we might consider for our trip.

Two nights also works – though I prefer one for beginners just in case they have a really bad sleeping experience. Have a great time on the RV trip, Anna!

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Campers say it was five times harder to find an available campsite in 2022 than it was pre-pandemic, making 2022 the most booked-up year ever.


To accommodate the increase in the camping community, more than a third of property managers added campsites last year, and nearly 20 percent expanded their calendar.


More than half of Americans who camp do so in a vehicle, with RVs being the most popular type. Over 35 million Americans camped in an RV in 2022.



The increase in camping’s popularity shows no signs of slowing down, as more than 15 million Americans went camping for the first time in the last two years.



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Fresh Data Indicates Camping Interest To Remain High in 2021

Compared to 2019, the proportion of first-time campers across the U.S. grew five-fold, while the number of households that own RVs grew by 2.6 million, according to the latest research from  Kampgrounds of America’s annual North American Camping Report . COVID-19 proved a key driver behind the influx of many camping attributes, including the 10.1 million campers who camped for the first-time in 2020, of which one-third attributed trying camping due to the belief that it is a safe way to travel and desire to avoid crowds. More than 60% of these first-time campers plan to camp the same or more in the coming year; across all campers, families are the group most likely to spend more nights camping in 2021.

Camping had been steadily growing in popularity prior to the pandemic, but experienced aggressive growth across the U.S. last year. The 2021 North American Camping Report, which surveyed U.S. and Canadian campers’ sentiments and behaviors on the outdoor recreation in January 2021, shows that more than 86 million U.S. households consider themselves campers and 48 million of those households took at least one camping trip in 2020 – up more than 6 million over 2019.

Campers are also more diverse than ever as the incidence of camping among non-white and same-sex communities meets or exceeds national representation. Six-in-10 first-time campers in 2020 represent diverse ethnic groups, while 61% of same-sex families camp with children, an increase of 12 percentage points over 2019.

“More than 80% of campers changed their camping habits last year – including working and schooling from the campground, turning to RVs for travel safety and security, and adding more weekdays to their trips – which, coupled with the influx of first-time campers, solidifies that many Americans turned to camping and the outdoors to make it through a challenging year,” said Toby O’Rourke, President and CEO of Kampgrounds of America ( KOA ). “One of the most encouraging trends of this year’s data is the continued growth of diverse communities engaging in camping for the first time and becoming even more engaged, like Black campers having the highest intent of all camper sub-groups to purchase an RV this year.”

In addition to the spikes of first timers and the diversity of campers, 2020 saw an increase in activity around RVing as people turned to RVs to provide a safe, personal space while on-the-road and camping. Data indicates a strong outlook for both RV and the camping industries, with more people identifying as RV campers, more people buying RVs and a very strong increase in interest year-over-year.

Additional key findings of the 2021 North American Camping Report include:

How COVID-19 Changed the Camping Experience

  • More than 80% of campers changed their camping habits in 2020 with one of the most encouraging changes being an increase in the number of weekday trips.
  • Forty-one percent of all campers, and 51% of new campers, say they sometimes or always work while camping. Millennial campers are the most likely to work while camping (54%), up 11 percentage points since 2019.
  • Families are the most likely to say that being able to work or school remotely allowed them to camp more often.
  • Up slightly from 2019, more than half of all campers say that access to cell or Wi-Fi service impacts the  amount  they are able to camp. On average across all campers, access to technology generates six additional camper nights, a rate that has doubled since 2018.

Attributes of 2020’s First-Time Campers

  • Twenty-one percent of those who camped in 2020 – 10.1 million households – classified themselves as taking a first camping trip in 2020, compared to 4% in 2019.
  • These first-time campers are under the age of 40, parents, and ethnically diverse. More than half stayed at campgrounds with at least some amenities and services, but also purchased some type of camping for their first trip. Nearly half tried glamping, and 28% identified as RV campers.
  • First-time campers said that having access to technology allowed them to camp an additional nine days in 2020.
  • Having an existing love of the outdoors and always wanted to try camping.
  • A pleasant, low maintenance experience at a campground that included many services and amenities (such as bathrooms and showers, on-site activities, a campground store, Wi-Fi and more.
  • Sharing the experience with friends or as part of a bigger group.

The Impact of COVID-19 on RVing

  • In 2020, the number of U.S. households who camp in an RV is 13 million, which reflects a 1.6 million increase of households over 2019. The number of households who own   an   RV is approximately 9.6 million, which reflects an increase of 2.6 million households over 2019.
  • From a generational perspective, RV ownership increased the most among GenXers and millennials; ownership growth can also be seen in families. 
  • Among all RV owners, about one-fourth said they plan to upgrade their RV in the coming year; half of new RV owners plan to upgrade in 2021, showcasing that these new RV owners are continuing to find their groove as they gain more experience.
  • Up substantially from 2019, about one-third of non-RV owners indicate that they would like to purchase an RV in the coming year.
  • Nearly half of first-time campers who don’t currently use an RV to camp say they plan to purchase an RV in the next 12 months.

The 2021 Camping Outlook

  • As the world continues to deal with COVID-19 into 2021, campers intend to continue camping. Campers intend to increase their trips in the coming year.
  • Across all campers, families (couples with children) are the group most likely to continue camping in 2021 as they noted plans to spend more nights camping (70%) and taking more camping trips (64%).
  • Sixty-two percent of first-time campers plan to camp the same or more camping nights in the coming year.
  • Almost half of campers say that the COVID vaccine will allow them to camp more often in 2021. The vaccine is most likely to increase camping among millennial and GenX campers. 
  • There is high interest among all campers to try a new experience in 2021, half want to try RVing or glamping.

To view additional findings of the 2021 North American Camping Report, visit the  KOA Press Room . To view past versions of the annual North American Camping Report visit  KOA.com/north-american-camping-report/ .


The results of the most recent iteration of the North American Camper Survey are based on a total of n=3,926 surveys completed among a random sample of U.S. (n=2,436) and Canadian (n=1,500) households. Within the U.S. sample of households, results are stratified by Census Region: Northeast (n=609); Midwest (n=608); South (n=610); and West (n=609). Overall, a sample of n=2,436 U.S. households is associated with a margin of error of +/- 1.99%, while a sample of n=1,500 Canadian households is associated with a margin of error of 2.53%. All surveys were completed online in January 2021 via an outbound solicitation sent to a randomly selected cross-section of U.S. and Canadian households. In order to calculate overall incidence, the sample of respondents was statistically balanced to ensure that the results are in line with overall population figures for age, gender, and ethnicity. Some results may not add to 100 percent due to rounding.

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Outlook for 2022 Camping is Strong: KOA Monthly Research Report

The KOA Monthly Research Report – March Edition reports that nearly two-thirds (64%) of campers expect to take a camping trip this year. With 50% of campers indicating they have already booked some of their trips and building on a robust 2021, the outlook for 2022 camping is strong. KOA’s Monthly Research Reports provide a timely snapshot that builds upon the findings of Kampgrounds of America, Inc’s (KOA) annual North American Camping Report , which will release in April.

“Between what campers are telling us and our reservation data, it’s clear that camping will be a popular way to travel again this year,” said Whitney Scott, chief marketing officer of Kampgrounds of America. “Campers and leisure travelers alike are looking to get out and try new things as COVID-19 wanes.”

Compared to February, when nearly 30% of respondents said COVID-19 concerns negatively impacted their camping plans, only 19% said they would be unlikely to camp due to the ongoing pandemic. This corresponds with increased interest in a vast array of experiences travelers would like to try in 2022, including extended road trips (33%), visiting national parks (26%) and hiking long trails such as the Appalachian (20%).

50% of campers say they've booked a trip for 2022

The KOA Monthly Research Report – March Edition also asked about campers’ spring break plans. One-in-five respondents indicated they had a warm-weather camping trip in mind for spring break. Canadian campers plan to spend spring break trips closer to home (16%).

To view the full findings of the KOA Monthly Research Report – March Edition, past and future editions, and review the research methodology, visit the KOA Press Room .

ABOUT KAMPGROUNDS OF AMERICA Kampgrounds of America,  Inc. (KOA) is the world’s largest system of open-to-the-public campgrounds with 500+ locations across the U.S. and Canada united under the mission of “connecting people to the outdoors and each other.” The industry leader in outdoor hospitality, KOA’s family of campground brands – KOA Journey, KOA Holiday and KOA Resort – offer sites and amenities designed for every type of camping experience. In addition to unrivaled brand visibility, KOA offers campground owners unparalleled support, marketing, and technology. The company’s proprietary reservation software, K2, delivers campgrounds a completive advantage within the market. Founded in 1962 in Billings, Mont. and celebrating its 60 th anniversary in 2022, KOA now serves more than a million camping families each year, who rely on the standards of excellence and unique outdoor adventures for which KOA is known. For more information, visit  KOA.com .

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Tips for First-Time Campers

Camping on a Budget

Top Camping Destinations

Best States to Camp

Top National Parks

Camping in the Fall

Spring Camping Getaways

How to Go Backpacking

Complete Checklist

Backpacking Destinations

Setting Up Camp

FAQs About Camping

Tips for Non-Campers

First Aid Packing List

Camping Chairs

Camping Accessories

Camping Pillows

Air Mattresses

Camping Stoves

Hiking Snacks

Planning a Camping Trip: The Complete Guide

camping trip report

Planning a camping trip begins with the desire to get outdoors. Once you have the itch, you'll only need to pick a date, find a campground, choose a route, prepare your gear, go grocery shopping, and head out.

Sounds simple, doesn't it? It actually is and it gets easier with each trip to the campground. Whether you're a new camper or a veteran, let's review some tips for planning your next outdoor adventure.

Where to Go

There are two types of campgrounds: Private and public. Both have their advantages but finding a good one can be hard. That is why it's a good idea to use campground reviews and ratings to guide you. Resources like AAA and Trailer Life compile all the information you need to see if a campground is right for you.

Take into consideration if you're staying in a tent or a camper or RV. Some campgrounds are more tent-friendly than others. Likewise, some have all the amenities and hookups necessary for campers.

Do you care if there's a shower and flush toilets or are you okay with roughing it for the weekend? This is a big factor for many campers and a campground guide includes this type of information. You can also choose public parks which tend to be rustic and offer a variety of outdoor recreation options or opt for modern campgrounds that may have a game room, store, or pool.

Be aware that some campgrounds require reservations, others offer it as an option or are first-come-first-serve. If you know it's going to be a busy weekend—Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day, in particular—be sure to get a reservation or show up early.

Another option is to head out to a festival that's centered around camping . They're great fun and offer music and other activities just outside your tent.

TripSavvy / Lauren Breedlove

Top Destinations

Campers love the great outdoors, pristine natural environments, and the adventures that inspire in the wild. While it's likely that there's a great campsite nearby no matter where you live, if you're looking for a destination to travel to, we have some ideas.

Every state has its fair share of national and state parks and these really do offer some of the best camping opportunities. Yet, some states are better known for having really great campgrounds to choose from . Also, if you have not camped at any of the  top national parks , add them to your bucket list. You won't regret it.

Glacier National Park in Montana is a favorite for many campers. Lake Tahoe is another camping destination to consider, and you can find some ​ nice spots along California's coastline .

Gather Your Gear

Do you need a checklist to make sure you've packed all your gear? While you might decide to bring along a few extra things, there are some items that are absolutely essential.

As far as camping gear goes, you will need three basic things . A place to sleep is most important, so grab a tent. Something to sleep on and keep you warm is good as well, which is why sleeping bags are necessary. Also, a few things to cook your meals will help out tremendously. 

Gear in hand, now you need the supplies . Food and water are essentials for obvious reasons. You might also want a backpack cooler , camp stove, some rain gear for everyone, a knife, and a lantern or flashlight (or both).

Don't forget the first aid kit , either. You'll be miles away from town and you never know when someone will get a cut, bee sting, or some other injury that needs a quick fix.

No shower house at your campground? There's no need to go without bathing, all you need is a camp shower that's allowed to warm in the sun while you're busy with the day's activities.

When you get to the campground, you'll need to check in at the office or camp host. Find a good site that looks like a place you could hang for the weekend. The campsites with the most shade are prime real estate, so try to get there early.

From there, you'll set up your camp . Select the site for your tent, set out your cooking supplies, and settle in.

One thing you'll quickly learn is that there are annoying campers. Don't be one of them and learn what not  to do on a camping trip . This includes many common sense things like respect your neighbors, keep the camp clean​ and understand that wildlife will be around.

When you're ready to leave and head home, be sure that your site looks how it did (or better than) when you arrived. The common phrase is "leave no trace" and that means you should take your trash with you, dowse your fire properly, and pack up all your gear. When you get home, unpack everything and let it dry and air out before storing it permanently.

Plan a Backcountry Trip

​Backcountry camping, or backpacking, is essentially the combination of hiking and camping in the wilderness. Don't let the unfamiliar landscape or worries of being in the wild keep you from going backpacking. It's a lot of fun and a real outdoor adventure.

If you've not backpacked before , it's a little different than grabbing a campsite at the state park. You'll be in a remote area without your car to rely on, so it's important to take only the essential gear you'll need. It's also important to choose the right campsite, though some popular backcountry destinations offer designated sites along the way.

Also, you should be fit enough to handle the hike and understand who to call or how to get to help in case there's an emergency. Check with the park ranger in the area about any important details like that and other tips they can give you.

Tips for RV Camping

Your RV is your home away from home. It is also the most convenient way to go camping because your RV has everything you need. Just hook it up to the truck or hop in the cab and you're off to a new adventure .

While RVing is a more luxurious way to camp, it does have its own concerns. First of all, you most likely need to reserve campsites to ensure you get the electrical hookups you need. You'll also want a dump station nearby.

Along the way (and before you go) you'll want to keep up on maintenance and do some routine safety checks . RVs are great, but they are one giant vehicle with a hundred things that can go wrong. Yet, if you know what to look for and how to maintain it, it can offer years of great fun.

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Ideas and tips for planning the ultimate camping adventure

From safety tips to packing advice, here’s everything you need to know about sleeping under the stars.

A man sits on a chair light illuminating their tent.

From rustic camping experiences under twinkling night skies to plush glamping retreats with electric blankets and air-conditioned cabins, outdoor overnights offer a refreshing escape for nature lovers who want to see more of the wilderness—and less of each other.

The call of the wild is increasingly turning travelers into campers. More than 66 million people went camping in the U.S. in 2021 and some 8.3 million tried camping for the first time, according to a 2022 camping report from The Dyrt , a popular camping trip planning website.

National parks have seen a surge in interest, too. Forty-four parks set a new record for recreation visits in 2021, and overall visitation in the National Park System has returned to pre-pandemic levels . Several parks have instituted a timed-entry reservation system between April and October to encourage people to come during off-peak times or explore lesser crowded recreation areas. After all, one of the pleasures of camping is getting away from crowds.

Whether you’re new to camping—or usually prefer resort beds to sleeping bags—these tips will help ease you into close encounters with nature that will bring discovery, joy, and a deeper connection to the natural world. You might even see a shooting star—if you can stay awake.

( Here are 14 campings hacks for families this summer .)  

Where to camp

Why it matters:   Location—whether in a national park or recreation area—can make or break a camping trip. “As you add requirements, location gets more important. What I mean by that is if I have a family and a dog coming on the trip, they all need to be comfortable and safe,” says Ryan Fliss, chief marketing officer of The Dyrt. Some campgrounds require reservations in advance, but plenty allow for walk-ins.

Think less popular:   Most reservations for campsites in the National Park Service (NPS) are made through Recreation.gov . But with some national parks experiencing record-breaking tourism , think about giving a little love to lesser-visited spots. Lake Clark , North Cascades, and Great Basin all have low visitation numbers when compared to their popular neighbors— Denali , Mount Rainier , and Zion , respectively, though it is worth noting that even the most popular of national parks are experiencing a drop in numbers right now. Other NPS lands with campsites include national monuments, preserves, and recreation areas, among others. National forests, which are managed by the U.S. Forest Service , also offer spots to stay.

Related: the 10 least-visited U.S. national parks

Trunk Bay in Virgin Islands National Park

Use maps: When looking at a map of a big-name park , zoom out and look around to find other places nearby. For example, near Great Smoky Mountains —which has consistently been the most visited national park, with more than 14 million visitors in 2022—is Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area . Its views and spaces are almost identical, if a little less mountainous, but with only a fraction of the visitors.

Explore alternatives : To find state parks, turn to each state’s Department of Parks and Recreation website. ReserveAmerica is another great resource to find potential spots, while Kampgrounds of America can assist with private campsites.

Go wild: With wild camping, also known as dispersed camping, you can just hunker down at some sweet spot, usually without a permit, fee, or reservation. While some national parks and forests do have a few spaces that allow for wild camping, areas overseen by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are the best bet. People can camp for up to 14 days within a 28 consecutive-day period on BLM’s public lands.

( Here are tips for visiting national parks safely .)

What to bring

The basics:   The right tent for you should take in two main considerations: sizing and season rating. Sizing is usually based on how many people a tent can sleep, and if comfort is the goal, bigger is always better. Season ratings indicate in what seasons the tent works best, and most are generally three-season tents, which means you can use them in the spring, summer, and fall. A four-season tent will cover the winter, with extra weather protection and heat retention.

A sleeping bag has the same considerations as a tent. Three-season bags are suitable for hot and cold temperatures and are identifiable by their temperature rating, which will display a range of 15 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Sleeping pads, which are just cushioned pads, can be used in conjunction with a sleeping bag to provide extra comfort and insulation, but can also be used on their own as a bed.

friends putting together a tent

Friends put together a campsite in the countryside in Germany.

a mother and daughter camping in Japan

Mother and daughter make camp along a stream in Ibaraki, Japan.

Small but essential: Don’t forget a flashlight or headlight, batteries, a lighter (for a campfire), a first aid kit, bug repellent, sunscreen, and extra clothing. If you're backpacking or overlanding, bring printed maps as a backup for digital mapping apps.

Leave no trace:   We want to leave places better than we found them, so it’s crucial to avoid littering and to take any trash out. You never know what the trash bin situation is at the campsite, especially if you go the wild route, so bring your own trash bags.

The same principle applies to restroom needs. If there are no physical restroom locations, never go in small bodies of water and always make sure to deposit any human waste in a cathole 6 to 8 inches deep, about 200 feet away from water, campgrounds, and trails (cover the cathole when finished). Some retailers, ranging from your local discount store to REI offer travel-sized waste bags that you can use to go anywhere.  

Budget:   A camping trip can run the gamut from cheap to expensive, depending on the gear and where you’re planning on camping. Campsites that require reservations or fees can run as low as $5 a night but can also go well over $60. Gear in itself is an investment, but it doesn’t have to be. Companies like Outdoors Geek and Arrive Outdoors offer rentals on almost every kind of camping item, from tents to sleeping bags to cookware. “It makes it so much easier to know what gear you need, don’t need, like and don’t like when you've tried it first,” says Fliss. “And if you don’t enjoy yourself, you don't have to buy gear.”

( Go wild—and skip the crowds—at these 7 spectacular parks .)

What to eat

The basics: If you’re planning on making food on-site that requires a heat source, then you’ll need to decide whether you’re going to use a campfire or a campstove, and there are several things to keep in mind if going with the latter. Some areas have campfire restrictions or ban them entirely, while others have grills for public use, though you’ll have to bring your own fuel. As for cookware, pots, pans, plates, and utensils are other things that you might have to bring along depending on what you plan on eating. Bring what cookware you can from home and purchase recyclable versions of what you can’t.

No fuss cooking : You don’t have to cook while camping if you don’t want to, and can just as easily bring sandwiches from home. Another option is to avoid grocery shopping altogether and purchase meal kits that are geared toward campers, like the ones from REI and Patagonia Provisions , with dishes such as red bean chili and green lentil soup.

( Recreate camp experiences with Nat Geo Family Camp .)

How to keep safe

Stay in touch: Whether or not you’re camping with other people, always let someone know where you’ll be and if you plan on doing any other outdoor activities while camping, such as hiking or swimming. Share your phone’s location with other people, which is a great way for loved ones to check in to see if you’re safe and sound.  

Always bring a portable battery, which will come in handy if anyone’s cell phone runs out of juice. However, cell phone signals are notoriously weaker the further into nature you go, which can be tricky if you’re using it to navigate. The Google Maps and Gaia GPS apps allow users to download maps to use offline.

Keep your distance:   Embrace the outdoors but give wildlife their space . Research a place ahead of time to see whether there are issues with dangerous insects or animal sightings.

( Bear safety rules are easy to learn. Here’s how to prevent incidents. )

Watch the flames:   Fire hazards abound when it comes to using open flames in the outdoors. If you’re going somewhere that allows campfires, make sure to read up on fire safety beforehand . Never leave campfires unattended, always keep water nearby to put it out, and make sure it’s completely extinguished before going to sleep.

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Table of contents

The Ultimate Camping Checklist

camping trip report

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links

camping trip report

Whether you love planning logistics and packing for a camping trip or tend to leave it to the last minute, it’s important to make sure you have all of the essentials. At CleverHiker, we love for all things planning so we put together this checklist to help make packing easy and stress-free.

camping trip report

To determine what gear you need to bring on your trip, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the weather forecast for the specific area I’ll be in?  Look up the weather forecast for the entirety of your trip and take the lowest low and the highest high as the temperature range you need to plan for. If precipitation is in the forecast, you’ll need waterproof outer layers as well.
  • Are you going to a campground or a primitive campsite?  This will help you determine whether or not there will be picnic tables, fire pits, bathroom facilities, water, and electricity. You’ll obviously need to pack a bit differently for primitive camping.
  • What activities would you like to do?  You get to decide how you want to spend your time in the outdoors. Complete your gear list with the items you need to make hiking, fishing, biking, playing games, or just relaxing in camp enjoyable.
  • How luxurious do you want your camp to be?  Think of your campsite as a blank canvas where you can set up as much or as little as you’d like to make it your own. Some people take great pride in setting up elaborate, cushy camps, while others prefer to take a more minimalistic approach.

camping trip report

Starting from Scratch?

While this gear list may look intimidating at first, you don’t need every single item here, and you’ll probably find that you already have a lot of these items around your house.

Start by gathering the important basics like your shelter and sleep system first, then expand from there.

If you’re on a tight budget, consider renting or borrowing big-ticket items to get you started. Your camping supplies will upgrade and evolve as you go on more trips and grow to love camping.

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE PRINTABLE CHECKLIST (Change margins to ‘narrow’ when printing)

Site Gear/Furniture

  • Chairs ( camping / backpacking )
  • Hammock + tree straps
  • Outdoor rug
  • Tablecloth ( clips )
  • Clothesline ( clothes pins )
  • Clear plastic bins to store items
  • Insect repellent (or Thermacell )
  • Sit pads for insulation on chairs

Primitive Site Gear

(when water, toilets, & electricity aren’t available)

  • Water filter/purification
  • Collapsible water bottles or large water container
  • Trowel / shovel (when outhouses aren’t available)
  • Toilet waste bag
  • Portable camp shower


  • Tent ( camping / backpacking )
  • Stakes + guylines + mallet
  • Sleeping bag ( camping / backpacking )
  • Sleeping pad , mattress , or cot
  • Air pump or pump sack
  • Camping blanket(s)
  • Sunshade , tarp, or screen house ( stakes + guylines )
  • Duct tape + Tenacious tape (repairs)


  • Power bank & extra batteries
  • Phone & charger
  • Tripod & wireless shutter remote
  • Lantern or tent lights
  • Headphones or speaker to play music

camping trip report


  • Ice for cooler
  • Food & snacks (or freeze-dried meals )
  • Coffee/tea/creamer
  • Cooking oil or non-stick spray


  • Stove + fuel ( camping / backpacking )
  • Lighter or matches
  • Cookware ( camping / backpacking )
  • Cooking utensils (spatula, ladle, etc.)
  • Grill rack / dutch oven (to cook over fire)
  • Coffee maker
  • Travel mug(s)
  • Water bottle(s) or hydration pack
  • Dishes + utensils
  • Cutting board + knife
  • Biodegradable soap + sponge
  • Dishwashing basin (or plastic bin)
  • Pack towel or paper towels
  • Food containers , Ziploc bags + foil
  • Bags for garbage & recycling
  • Bottle opener / corkscrew
  • Measuring cups / spoons
  • Paracord + food bag (for bear country)

camping trip report


  • Hiking pants ( Men’s / Women’s )
  • Shorts ( Men’s / Women’s )
  • Short-sleeve shirt & sun shirt ( Men’s / Women’s )
  • Underwear ( Men’s / Women’s )
  • Down jacket and/or fleece jacket
  • Windbreaker and/or rain jacket (depending on forecast)
  • Base layers
  • Shoes & socks
  • Hats (1 warm , 1 for sun )
  • Swimsuit & pack towel
  • Sandals ( Men’s / Women’s ) or camp shoes
  • Bandana or washcloth


  • Knife or multitool
  • Wallet (cash, credit card, ID)
  • First-aid kit
  • Sunscreen + lip balm
  • Toiletries (shampoo, lotion, etc.)
  • Prescription Rx
  • Toilet Paper
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Travel toothbrush, paste + floss
  • Comb / brush
  • Ear plugs + sleep mask
  • Permits/reservations/fees/licenses
  • Check weather forecast

camping trip report


  • Fire starter (egg cartons also work well)
  • Matches or lighter
  • Firewood (if unavailable near campsite)
  • Tarp (to cover wood + protect car)
  • Roasting forks for s’mores


  • Games ( dice , cards, etc.)
  • Reading material, notebook / sketchbook & pen
  • Instruments
  • Fishing gear
  • Books / maps / field guides
  • Dog gear (dishes, leash, longline, bed)

camping trip report

Camping Tips

Staying organized.

It’s really easy to keep your camping gear organized by using clear plastic bins with lids. You can see what’s inside each one at a glance and slide them easily in and out of the car. The bins also keep your items contained and protected from dust and critters in camp. And, as an added benefit, your stuff will always be stored in one place at home – ready to go for your next adventure. All you’ll have to do next time you want to head out is quickly go through the bins with your checklist, add clothing, restock consumables, and you’re good to go.

camping trip report

Camping Food

The camp kitchen and your food system will vary greatly depending on how much or little you want to cook on your camping trip. Some people prefer to bring mostly cold or prepared foods, while others enjoy whipping up gourmet meals at their campsite.

Deciding whether you’d prefer not to cook, to cook on a stove, use a grill, or over a fire will help you figure out what to pack and what kind of food to shop for. We usually prefer to prep and combine some ingredients at home, then do some simple cooking on a stove in camp. Taking the time to make a meal plan before your trip will make your role as camp chef much easier and more fun.

Check out our Easy Camping Recipes That Taste Gourmet post for meal ideas. We also have a ton of other food-related resources that work for both camping and backpacking.

camping trip report

Stay Cool, Cooler

A quality cooler will have thick insulation to help keep it cold for a long time. But even the best cooler will lose its cool after a day or two on hot summer trips.

Use these tips to help your cooler perform to its max potential, keeping food safe and drinks ice-cold, the way we like ‘em:

  • Pre-chill both your food and your cooler before you load it for the best start
  • The fuller your cooler is, the less trapped warm air has to cool, so choose one that isn’t too large and top it up whenever possible
  • Separate your drinks from your food in two smaller coolers instead of one large one to reduce the number of times people open them
  • Cover your cooler with a blanket, sleeping bag, or pad, and keep it in the shade

If you’re in the market for a new cooler, check out our list of the  Best Coolers .

camping trip report

Garbage in Camp

It’s a good practice to keep your campsite clean and free of litter to keep birds, rodents, bears, and other wildlife from getting a taste for human food. It really doesn’t take much to follow Leave No Trace protocol and it improves the way you experience your campsite too.

We try to separate garbage from recyclables whenever we can. Dispose of garbage in campground receptacles when you leave your site unattended or store foods items and garbage in your car. In bear country, it’s a good idea to keep your food in a bear locker, store it in your car, or properly hang a food bag like the Ursack .

camping trip report

First Aid Kits

You can’t be prepared for absolutely everything, but you should have what you need to take care of minor cuts, scrapes, sunburn, bug bites, upset stomachs, and headaches. Check out our Best First-Aid Kits list to find the best one for you and your camping needs.

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  • Our recommendations are completely independent and based on hands-on experience.
  • We test outdoor gear for a living – we’ve logged over 20,000 trail miles and 1,000 nights in the wilderness.
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  • We field test every product we recommend, which is sadly not the norm.
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Adventures with a Ford Lightning & Truck Camper

Adventures with a Ford Lightning & Truck Camper

Mario Marez Growing up in the 70s and 80s my fondest memories were taking family camping trips in my father’s 3/4 ton truck and a medium size camper. Fast forward decades, my parents and I were each temporarily displaced from our homes during the 2021 Caldera fire in Pollock Pines and South Lake Tahoe. We both knew what it was like to be temporarily homeless and knew the fear of possibly never coming back to our homes. That experience led both of us to have discussions about purchasing a trailer or camper together for fun and as an emergency use if evacuating would ever be necessary again in the future, or worse.  In 2022 I purchased an F-150 Lightning extended-range battery Read More…

Four Wheel Truck Campers & Turtleback Trailer A Dynamic Duo

Four Wheel Truck Campers & Turtleback Trailer A Dynamic Duo

By Gary Matos My wife once told me that there is nothing wrong with owning two motorcycles—as long as they serve different functions. That led to the purchase of a KLR650 in addition to my dirt bike. I promptly pocketed this axiom of wisdom for the future. Eventually, I decided to see if would apply to trailers. Background Most of our travel is done in our truck camper—a RAM 3500 6.7L Cummins diesel equipped with a Norweld Aluminum Tray and a Four Wheel Camper (FWC) Hawk Flatbed. It is our custom home-on-wheels and is equipped to take use of just about anywhere we want to go. The under bed and dinette seat storage in the flatbed camper are game changers. Even Read More…

Instagram Star Shares Uplifting Message While Traveling in Four Wheel Truck Camper

Instagram Star Shares Uplifting Message While Traveling in Four Wheel Truck Camper

By Kristin Hanes If you watch Scott Tatum on Instagram and TikTok, you’ll be struck by his message. He’s open, honest and REAL: staring right into your eyes as he gives you his daily “friendly reminder,” which encourages you to know your worth, live your best life, and take care of yourself. They sound a little like this: • “You are the CEO of your own life and accountable for everything that goes with that. So hire, fire and promote accordingly.” • “Great things take time. I’m talking about you, you’re the great thing. Know your worth.” Visit Scott’s Instagram @ucanoutdoors to see videos. Scott didn’t plan or expect to be a social media celebrity when he started out as Read More…

Experiencing the Unknown Overland from Europe to Australia

Experiencing the Unknown Overland from Europe to Australia

“Shipping?” was the comment of my wife Ute when I told her to ship our camper to Australia. “We gonna drive there!” The project was born. After some deep analysis of the possible routing, whether via China or via India, we found out that some South-EastAsian countries do not allow to enter with your own vehicle. So, we decided to book an organized group tour with the agency “Abenteuer Touren”. The advantage of using this agency is that they organize all the visa, road permits, camp sites etc. Also, they provide a vast sightseeing program. However, you can drive freely and not in a convoy. It took us about six months to prepare our Toyota Hilux and our Four Wheel Read More…

Recap: Four Wheel Campers’ Earth Day Volunteer Event in Arizona

Recap: Four Wheel Campers’ Earth Day Volunteer Event in Arizona

The first time I visited Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, I felt like I had traveled back in time to the Wild West. I was blown away by the vastness of the Sonoran desert grassland, and the next morning I was treated to some of the most incredible alpenglow I’ve ever seen on the Baboquivari Mountains. It was at that exact moment that I fell madly in love with the place. On my final day, I bumped into two seasonal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service volunteers, and I left feeling inspired. I returned a few months later to document their work for Arizona Highways — and to spend several days volunteering with Friends of Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge (Friends of Read More…

Exploring and testing Four Wheel Campers’ Ram 3500 truck

Exploring and testing Four Wheel Campers’ Ram 3500 truck

“What is this?” “Wow!” “Are you serious?” “This is unbelievable!” Those were just a few of the questions and comments I received when I test drove Four Wheel Campers (FWC) new vehicle/camper build. Over a four-week period, I tested the vehicle/camper in the wilds of Montana and Wyoming (view recent web article: Western Ramble on the OutdoorX4 website HERE). Simply put, it performed exceptionally. As I conversed on the phone with Dan Welty, FWC’s Vice President, he informed me that FWC intentionally built this vehicle/camper combination to accommodate and highlight long term travel and adventure. Sounds like a recipe for van life, right? Well, the combination of a diesel-powered truck, a flatbed, and pop-top camper created much more than a Read More…

Adventuring out west with a Four Wheel Camper Hawk Flatbed Camper

Adventuring out west with a Four Wheel Camper Hawk Flatbed Camper

The nation’s first national park, Yellowstone, remains an awe-inspiring place with geysers, mud pots, and wildlife. However, a unique attraction presented itself in the parking lot outside Mammoth, Wyoming: the Four Wheel Campers (FWC) Hawk Flatbed Camper. Tourists gawked and took pictures of our adventure vehicle/camper. The Hawk Flatbed Camper, mounted to a Norweld aluminum tray, and sitting on a 2021 Ram 3500 made this the ultimate Yellowstone attraction. Ha! It creates the ultimate adventure vehicle. “Hello.” “What’s this?” A tourist asked. “It’s a Four Wheel Camper.” I replied. “A what?” Another tourist remarked. Much of the exchanges followed that pattern as my family and I adventured for a few weeks in the states of Wyoming and Montana. And lucky Read More…

A Trip to Remember – 6 Weeks in a Four Wheel Camper Flatbed Hawk – Truck Camper Adventure

A Trip to Remember – 6 Weeks in a Four Wheel Camper Flatbed Hawk – Truck Camper Adventure

Six weeks of dirt, dust and dog food has been cleaned from our camper. We brought home enough of the Southwest, Midwest and Utah to amend a garden. It was a very successful and memorable trip. We saw some incredible sights and were able to connect with family and friends, while comfortably traveling in our new Four Wheel Camper Hawk Flatbed. We even learned a few things about our camper that made us very pleased with our decision to build out a flatbed. But first, let’s wind the clock back. For six years, my wife Gretchen and I enjoyed our beloved Toyota Tacoma equipped with a Four Wheel Camper Fleet. It was nimble and reliable and provided cooking and sleeping comfort Read More…

Ice Fishing With A Truck Camper – Truck Camper Magazine

Ice Fishing With A Truck Camper – Truck Camper Magazine

In the deep cold of Minnesota winter, Ken Barry takes his Four Wheel Camper to frozen lakes and goes ice fishing.  How he stays warm and comfortable is an important lesson for anyone interested in extreme winter camping. As snowbirds who drive south the moment we smell cold, the mere idea of driving onto a frozen lake to ice fish sends chills through us big enough to set off distant seismographs. Of course, we weren’t always so thin-skinned.  Just a few years ago we lived in Pennsylvania, and we were quite accustomed to the annual wintery onslaught.  What’s that weatherman?  Snowmageddon?  Snowpocalypse?  Snow-my-goodness?  Snow-what!  Bring it. The lesson here is simple.  Be very careful with snowbirding.  Once you fly south Read More…

Justin Chatwin: The Balance of Acting and Adventure (Truck Camper)

Justin Chatwin: The Balance of Acting and Adventure (Truck Camper)

When Justin Chatwin isn’t on set, you may find him on a remote Baja beach, or in a small village in South America.  On camera or in his Four Wheel Camper, he finds purpose, play, and peace between his two extraordinary worlds. The proverb, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” dates back to 1659 and still resonates, but the next line is equally important; “All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.” No matter our station in life, we need a healthy balance between work and play to remain centered and happy.  Without this equilibrium, we are often anxious and unsettled.  The proverb remains true, 362 years later. Reading 38-year old Justin Chatwin’s extensive resume, it would Read More…

One Week In A Four Wheel Pop Up Camper – Bucket Magazine

One Week In A Four Wheel Pop Up Camper – Bucket Magazine

The  open road. Nothing compares to that feeling of freedom when the windows are down and there is only open road in front of you. I love plotting out my route: finding the best parks to hit up, places to camp, obscure historical spots to visit, and a few hot springs to soak in. Usually, a road trip with me requires packing the car with all of the camping gear: tent, sleeping bags, cooking gear, sleeping pad, cooler, etc.—the whole shebang. So if  I’ve left enough room for the passengers I’ve done a good job. Even with all of the work that goes into a camping road trip, I’d never considered RV camping. I really enjoy pitching my tent, and the Read More…

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camping trip report


Scout Camp Planning: Schedules, Activities, And Gear⚜️

camping trip report

Weekend campouts are one of the troop activities that practically every Scout loves. During these camps, members of Scouts BSA often participate in fun, action-packed activities like hiking, swimming, outdoor cooking, campfires, patrol challenges, and more!

In this article, I’ll be giving you a full overview (along with some tips) so that you’ll be extra-prepared to have an amazing Scout campout with your troop! Get ready to learn a great camp planning process from an Eagle Scout who’s gone on countless troop campouts. 😉

How do you plan a weekend Scouting Camp? Typically, Scout campouts run from Friday night to Sunday morning and are planned 2-3 troop meetings prior to the event. Scouts meet in their patrols beforehand to decide on the camp menu, duty roster, and activities.

So, what should every Scout (or parent) know when it comes to getting ready for a troop campout? If that’s what you’re wondering, great question! There are 3 main things that every scout should be prepared with before departing on any camping adventure:

  • A pack stocked with the Essential Items For A BSA Campout (Troops often supply a few of these).
  • A timeline/agenda of what you’ll be doing, along with a camp Duty Roster .
  • An understanding of each activity you’re planning, along with the necessary tools to make it happen.

Below, I’ll be helping you ace points 2 and 3 by giving you an example weekend camp itinerary and explaining each activity. Plus, I’ll also share with you my best tips for having the perfect Scout campout! For gear-packing tips, check out my Ultimate Scout Camp Packing Guide . 🙂

If you plan for it correctly, camping with your troop can be one of the most exciting and memorable parts of Scouting. My goal with this article is to help you to be ready to have an awesome time at your next campout! Now, enough said. Let’s jump into your typical camp schedule!

A Typical Weekend Scout Campout Agenda

Having a clear campout schedule will help every Scout be organized and prepared. Before we get into the details though, I’d encourage you to watch part of the video (16:52) below to see an awesome troop campout for yourself!

While my troop was a bit different from the one above, and every troop has its own unique way of holding campouts, understanding the basic components of a successful weekend camping trip will surely help your plans to run more smoothly!

To learn a ton of other awesome campout tips from your fellow Scouts and Scoutmasters, check out The 61 Amazing Troop Camping Tips article . It’s crowd-sourced, and should give you at least a few gems of advice that you can try out during your next camp!

Now that you know how much fun a troop campout can be, take a minute to thoroughly read through the example weekend camping schedule below:


Saturday , preparing for your scout campout.

Now that you know what a weekend troop campout agenda looks like, it’s time for more tips and details! Below, I’ll be providing a quick description of each activity I’ve outlined above. Closely read through each section and, by the time you’re finished, you’ll be a troop camping expert! 😀

Friday’s Camp Schedule

As mentioned earlier, you and your troop should be trying to arrive at your campsite before sunset. Having available light will make the camp setup much easier and more leisurely. Arrival times could vary though, depending on the camp’s distance and your schedules.

In my troop, we’d first all meet at the storage container where our gear was held, usually around 4:30 or 5. After splitting the equipment, having the patrols fall in, and setting up rides, we were good to go! Make sure you have everything and everyone accounted for when arriving — before it gets too dark.

When you get to camp, you should immediately begin setting up for the weekend. Time is of the essence! This means putting up a dining fly, along with tables, chairs, lanterns, and stoves. Then, pitching up the tents you’ll be sleeping in, and preparing your fire pit as well.

Protip for Setting up Camp: When setting up main elements like the cooking area or fire pit, assign these tasks to groups of 2-3 scouts. By delegating work and ensuring that everyone is doing something, you can be sure your campsite will be set up much faster!

Some of the best things about camping are the awesome campfire snacks you can make! Some troops call this time cracker barrel , where you all the scouts gather around the fire to share campfire snacks such as hot dogs, popcorn, and smores!

Friday Cooking Tip: Instead of a cracker barrel, you could also simply prepare patrol meals. I’d recommend selecting something quick and easy for your first meal, like hotdogs, hamburgers, or spaghetti, as you likely won’t have as much time available after setup.

Regardless of what you choose, these first camp dinners are a great time to hang out with your fellow scouts and take a break after all that work getting set up. These were always one of my favorite parts of a campout, so I hope you enjoy it too! 🙂

During any campout, your troop should have a few hours of unstructured time set aside for scouts to hang out with each other. Free time is there for scouts to relax, talk, try fun Troop camping activities , explore their environment (when safe), do activities like fishing or knot tying, and so much more!

Scouting Free-Time Tip : If you’d like to be a great leader in your troop, try to help everyone feel included during free times. In my troop, playing cards or telling stories were some of my favorite ways to spend this time, and I’d always try to get other scouts involved and having fun!

Although it’s important that you learn about Scouting-related topics, you should also be sure to build friendships with your fellow scouts. Free times are perfect opportunities for this! Whether you’re playing cards, talking, or participating in fun Scout camping activities , aim to become better friends with those around you. 🙂

After a certain time, usually between 10-12, all scouts and leaders are expected to follow quiet hours. This means keeping conversations to a hushed talking tone and lowering the noise out of respect for those trying to sleep. Honestly, some of my life’s best conversations happened during scout quiet hours!

Saturday’s Camp Schedule

Sometime early in the morning, scouts and leaders will be expected to wake up and start preparing for the day. During wake-up time, you’ll wash up, brush your teeth, possibly fall in with your patrol, and ensure your fellow scouts are awake.

After that, many troops hold a BSA Flag Ceremony in the mornings (at least, we always did in my troop!) with a lashed flagpole constructed by a few older scouts. For info on how to do this, check out my ultimate guide in the link!

The best way to start the day is with a delicious, nutritious breakfast! During camp, breakfast usually consists of easy-to-cook items like bacon, eggs, potatoes, sausage, fruit, toast (cooked on a pan, naturally), and anything else like that.

Camp Breakfast Tip : Scrambled eggs and sausage/bacon along with some fruit like bananas or cuties are, from my own experience, the easiest and most filling camp breakfast to make. You could also consider making a large pot of oatmeal and putting things like chocolate, apples, and other toppings in it.

Your troop may choose to do something a bit more elaborate, such as breakfast burritos or breakfast sandwiches, but usually, camp breakfast is a quick meal that doesn’t require too much work. So, leave your quiche and eggs benedict recipes at home! 😉

After every meal, there’s a clean-up period where a few scouts on the duty roster wash any dishes, cooking utensils, and pans used to prepare the food. I’d suggest soaking your pots and pans while you eat so that the food residue comes off easier!

Scouting Duty Roster Tip : Ensure that each scout in your patrol has at least 1 cooking and clean-up slot on your duty roster. Also, try your best to pair them with scouts they might not normally work with. This is how new friendships are built, bringing a patrol closer! You can check out my other article to learn how to make outstanding Troop Duty Rosters .

There are several ways to wash your dishes while camping, but the most common wash method is to set up a three-station wash line: A soap & water station, a rinse station, and a disinfectant station.  This method also helps you to save water, which is good for the planet!

After breakfast, you’ll likely get into some of the structured activities your troop had previously planned for the weekend. Some of the (many) troop activities that scouts do at camp include:

  • Campsite Restoration Service Projects
  • Knot Tying and Lashing Practice
  • Learn how to start a fire with just a flint and steel
  • Work on Easy Merit Badges
  • Compete In Patrol Games and Scavenger Hunts
  • So Much More!

Having planned activities also gives scouts an opportunity to socialize with troopmates outside of their patrols, which is another great way to encourage friendship-building! Remember, your imagination is the only limit when suggesting awesome troop activities for your next campout. 😀

Now it’s lunchtime! Like breakfasts, camp lunches are also often not super complicated to make. In my troop, we’d often go with sandwiches, along with fruits and chips on the side. However, I’d encourage you to feed your troop even better — maybe prepare a pan-fried chicken and salad! 

Camp Cooking Tip : When it comes to preparing great food on campouts, nothing beats the experience you’ll gain from earning your Cooking merit badge . Completing Cooking will teach you about food safety, nutrition, and even different prep techniques. You can check out my guide (linked earlier) if you’d like a briefer!

Lunchtime cleanup is essentially handled in the same way as breakfast cleanup. A few patrols members use the 3 bucket method to ensure that all mess kits and cooking utensils are squeaky clean! During this time, the rest of the patrol typically relaxes or works on requirements.

After lunch, your troop will probably launch into its second set of activities. Usually, afternoon activities are different from the morning ones so that the scouts have the opportunity to experience as many outdoor experiences as possible! 🙂

Camp Activity Tip : In my troop, I noticed that we often did 2 types of activities: educational activities and physical activities. I’d recommend choosing one educational activity, like merit badge work or knot-tying practice, and one physical activity, like a Scout skill relay race !

Also, keep in mind that the two activity slots and lunch can be combined into one. For instance, if your troop loves hiking and wants to go on a 10-mile trek, you’ll most likely be having lunch on the trail and wrapping things up in the afternoon. Because of this, feel free to change this schedule to fit your preference!

Any good campout has ample periods of free time for scouts to relax or get requirements signed off! Usually, you’ll have a second free time on Saturday afternoon, leading up to dinner. Make sure to use it wisely and start ranking up!

Camp Free-Time Tip : During free times, I’d always have a few requirements set aside to work on with a Scoutmaster. I’d say that definitely helped on my journey to Eagle, and was one of my best strategies for quick rank advancement . To learn my other strategies, check out the linked article!

You can also use your free time to work on merit badges, play games with other scouts, explore the surrounding areas with a buddy, read a book, or even just take a short nap. Free time is truly your time, so enjoy it however you’d like!

Most scouts can continue their free time until just before dinner, but the chefs from each patrol should start preparing their meals a little early — usually at least an hour before it’s actually time to sit down and eat. These camp diners are always a real treat!

Saturday Evening Camp Dinner Tip: If your troop doesn’t go all-out on these meals, you should really convince them to give it a try. Since you have quite a bit of time to cook Saturday dinners, you’ll be able to make some incredible (and surprisingly simple) dutch oven recipes !

If you need a reliable Dutch oven to get started, I’d recommend trying the Overmont Camping Dutch Oven (Amazon referral link) or something similar, as it’s the right size for camp cooking, heats evenly, and is extremely durable. For amazing meals, you should also check out my article on the Best Scout Camp Cooking Tips !

Dinner clean-up is pretty much like every other clean-up that’s happened, except there are usually a lot more dishes! I’d recommend setting up 2 wash stations if you have more dishes that need washing. Also, be sure to soak the pots and pans while your patrol eats, for an easier clean-up process.

Some troops may choose to hold special activities at night, such as retiring an American flag, stargazing, holding a PLC meeting that every scout can attend, and more. These activities are often great chances to make fun, lasting memories with your troop!  🙂

These final campfires were always one of my favorite parts of any campout! During this campfire, we’d make smores, perform Hilarious Patrol Skits , tell jokes, recite scary stories, and simply enjoy each other’s company. The entire program would typically be planned by one or two older scouts.

Before all that happened though, our Scoutmaster would almost always deliver an Impactful Scoutmaster Minute to help inspire us all to become better scouts, leaders, and citizens. Sometimes, the older scouts would even share wisdom from their own lives!

After the main campfire program is over, scouts usually have some free time before lights out. During this time, we’d often sit around the campfire and talk, or go to each other’s tents and play cards. Our evening free time was almost always spent relaxing and not working on badge requirements.

Here’s a video (5:34) explaining how to play our all-time favorite card game (we called it Egyptian War though):

Lights out begins after the last free time period. Usually, scouts are pretty tired from a full day of activities, so many go to sleep right away. Sometimes though, my friends and I would stay up whispering for hours, as we knew we could sleep once we got home the next morning. Such good times! 🙂

Sunday’s Camp Schedule

Sunday morning typically signals the end of a great Scout camp. To be prepared to get going on time, scouts should wake up early, quickly get ready, and begin breaking down their tents. The schedule I outline here is a bit slow, so feel free to get going faster if your troop is up for it!

On Sundays, a more simple breakfast is usually served to save time and simplify the clean-up process. Dishes like oatmeal or pre-made muffins were what we typically ate so that we could begin the breakdown of camp as early as possible. The earlier you get going, the more of your Sunday you have left to enjoy!

Usually, there isn’t too much time needed to clean up a Sunday Scout breakfast so, in my troop, each patrol member washed their mess kit individually. We also made sure to locate and put any trash around the campsites into the trash bags we had tied to the dining fly.

In most cases, breaking down camp will take quite a while as equipment will need to be dismantled, organized, and packed into the vehicles. By the end of this, all tents and tarps, along with the entire kitchen area should be packed and ready to bring home.

Camp Breakdown Tip: Having solid leadership is especially helpful for making a camp breakdown go smoothly. By having your SPL delegate certain parts of the camp breakdown process to each patrol, I promise that you’ll save a ton of time!

You can also prepare for the camp breakdown process even before Sunday morning! By making sure that everything is organized, kept clean, and accounted for throughout the whole camp, you’ll have a much easier time getting everything ready to store in the cars when the time comes. That’s preparedness for ya!

The final campsite cleanup involves picking up any trash, burnt firewood, or any other foreign objects in the campsite area. As the Outdoor Code and Leave No Trace principles state, “Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints!”

Campsite Cleanup Tip: During clean-up n my troop, we would all stand in a line on one end of our campsite and slowly walk across with our eyes pointed downwards, picking up any trash we saw along the way. This method was super effective for getting everything! After we crossed, our SPL would look around for any trash we had missed. If they found anything, we’d repeat the process. This kept going until there was no trash to be found. Talk about leaving no trace!

Cleaning up is an incredibly important part of the breakdown process, as you don’t want the campsite to become a dump. Out of respect for future campers and the beautiful slice of nature you made your home for the last few days, make sure your cleanup is thorough!

Once everything is packed up, all the scouts are accounted for, and you’ve finished falling in one last time, it’s time to depart from the campsite with your troop. Hope you had a fun-filled weekend! Congrats, you just finished a successful Scout camp! 😀

After-Camp Tip: If it rained during the campout and your tents are wet, in my troop the scouts with available yard space would take a tent home to rinse off and then pitch in the shade for a few hours to dry off. They also counted the poles and stakes, which helped ensure our gear was ready for next time!

Once you return home, you should make sure you haven’t forgotten any of the belongings you brought. If so, simply let your troop know online, or during your next meeting. Here are some other things to take care of after a scout camp:

  • Look over your rank requirements and take note of whether you can get anything signed off from the campout.
  • Make sure to remove any opened food from your backpack to avoid attracting bugs.
  • Replenish any parts of your first aid you used during the camp.
  • Start a load of laundry right away! Often, camp clothes get smellier the longer they’re left out. :O
  • If your flashlight is rechargeable, charge it.
  • Make sure your backpack is completely dry before storing it.
  • Make sure your sleeping bag and mat are also completely dry. I’d wash my sleeping bag every other camp, if dry.
  • Clean your knife/mess kit/additional equipment if it’s still grimy or oily. It’s hard to wash well during camp!


While your first camping weekend may feel a bit overwhelming, trust me when I tell you that the more troop campouts you attend, the easier (and more fun!) it’ll get. Soon, you’ll be 100% prepared for anything and ready to outdoors with your fellow scouts and scout leaders! 

Going on camping trips is one of the best times you can have as a scout, so I encourage you to attend as many as you can! Once you know what to pack for camp , how to schedule your time, and what to do for each activity, you can even begin to step up as a leader in your troop! Now that you’re practically a pro at planning troop campouts, you might be interested in earning your Eagle-required Camping merit badge . Now that one’s a lot of fun! In completing it, you’ll learn survival skills, camping tips, and more! You can check out my ultimate guide through the link above.

Great work making it to the end of this article! I hope the work I’ve put into writing this has helped prepare you for plenty of fun-filled campouts ahead. See you back here at ScoutSmarts again soon and, until next time, best of luck on your Scouting journey! 😀

I'm constantly writing new content because I believe in Scouts like you! Thanks so much for reading, and for making our world a better place. Until next time, I'm wishing you all the best on your journey to Eagle and beyond!

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There's Something Wrong With Aunt Diane: How Many People Died in the Taconic Parkway Crash?

Disclaimer: The article contains mentions of death. Reader discretion is advised.

While driving back from a camping trip in July 2009, Diane Schuler crashed her minivan into a sports utility vehicle. Reports indicate that Schuler drove in the wrong direction for nearly two miles before crashing her car into another vehicle. When authorities arrived at the scene, they discovered that Schuler was accompanied by her two children and three nieces. The tragic accident has been covered extensively in the HBO documentary  There’s Something Wrong With Aunt Diane .

According to  The New York Times , Diane Schuler spent the day with her family before heading home. However, as they were returning from the camping site, she began driving her minivan in the opposite direction on the Taconic Parkway in Westchester County. Moreover, she lost control of the minivan and crashed it into an SUV. The unfortunate accident killed eight people, including one of Schuler’s children and three nieces.

The New York Times also reported that Schuler’s second child, Bryan, was the only person who survived the crash. After the accident, authorities sent Diane Schuler’s body for autopsy and found a high blood-alcohol level. Investigators also examined her phone to find out who she called right before the crash. The case, which garnered a lot of attention, was considered one of the worst accidents in Westchester’s history.

Did the police file any criminal charges against Diane Schuler?

After announcing the autopsy results, police announced that they won’t be filing any criminal charges in the case. Authorities noted that she had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19 percent. Referencing the toxicology report,  The New York Times  mentioned that Schuler had nearly six grams of alcohol in her body. The medical report also indicated that the examiner discovered marijuana-related chemicals in her body. Subsequently, the assessment also suggested that Schuler’s body consisted of 113 nanograms per milliliter of tetrahydrocannabinol.

After examining the autopsy results, police concluded that Diane Schuler was the only person who could have been criminally charged in the case. Citing the police,  The New York Times  mentioned, “Diane Schuler, as you know, died in the crash, and the charges died with her.”

Did Schuler face problems while driving the minivan?

One of the crucial observations in the toxicology reports was how the doctors found alcohol in her brain and urine. Experts revealed that such a high level of alcohol in one’s system would have made things difficult for her. The expert  noted , “She would have had difficulty with her perception, with her judgment, with her memory. Around that level of alcohol, you also start to get what's called tunnel vision, where your perception is changed so you can't see peripherally all the time.”

Diane Schuler’s husband, Daniel, hired a private investigator to examine the results of the toxicology report. According to  NBC New York , the private investigators claimed that the report didn’t mention that Schuler showed any signs of cirrhosis. This meant Schuler was not a habitual drinker. Her family and friends also asserted that Schuler never had a history of substance abuse.

However, the comments made to the public displeased the victims’ families. The attorney for two of the men killed in the  accident  noted that the comments made by Schuler’s family are “painful to my clients.” The lawyer said, “The lengths these people are taking to deny reality are just astounding and painful to my clients.”

There’s Something Wrong With Aunt Diane is currently available to stream on HBO Max.

The post There’s Something Wrong With Aunt Diane: How Many People Died in the Taconic Parkway Crash? appeared first on ComingSoon.net - Movie Trailers, TV & Streaming News, and More .

There's Something Wrong With Aunt Diane: How Many People Died in the Taconic Parkway Crash?

3 bodies recovered in Mexico are likely those who went missing during camping, surfing trip

FILE -- Mexico's police officers stand guard at the Ensenada station in Ensenada, Mexico,...

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Three bodies recovered in an area of Mexico’s Baja California state are likely to be those of the two Australians and an American who went missing last weekend during a camping and surfing trip, the state prosecutor’s office said Saturday.

While there has not yet been confirmation based on forensic examination, physical characteristics — including hair and clothing — means there is a high likelihood that the bodies are those of the three tourists, local TV network Milenio reported, citing chief state prosecutor María Elena Andrade Ramírez.

“It is presumed that (the bodies) are the ones being investigated,” an employee of the state prosecutors’ office who was not authorized to be quoted by name told The Associated Press.

The bodies were found in a well where investigators also found another body that authorities said would be investigated.

“A fourth body was located. It is not related to the three foreigners. The fourth body had been there for a long time,” the official added.

The site where the bodies were discovered near the township of Santo Tomás was near the remote seaside area where the missing men’s tents and truck were found Thursday along the coast.

The men — identified by family members as brothers Jake and Callum Robinson from Australia and American Jack Carter Rhoad — went missing Saturday. They did not show up at their planned accommodations over the weekend.

The U.S. State Department said: “We are aware of those reports (of bodies) and are closely monitoring the situation. At this time we have no further comment.”

Baja California prosecutors had said Thursday that they were questioning three people in the case. On Friday, the office said the three had been arrested on charges of a crime equivalent to kidnapping. It was unclear if they might face more charges.

Andrade Ramírez, the chief state prosecutor, said evidence found along with the abandoned tents was linked to the three people being questioned about the missing foreigners.

Milenio reported that she said the suspects appeared to have stolen the surfers’ truck and some of its parts were found in another truck belonging to one of the suspects.

On Wednesday, the missing Australians’ mother, Debra Robinson, posted on a local community Facebook page an appeal for help in finding her sons. Robinson said Callum and Jake had not been heard from since April 27. They had booked accommodations in the nearby city of Rosarito.

Robinson said one of her sons, Callum, was diabetic. She also mentioned that the American who was with them was named Jack Carter Rhoad, but the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City did not immediately confirm that. The U.S. State Department said it was aware of reports of a U.S. citizen missing in Baja, but gave no further details.

In 2015, two Australian surfers, Adam Coleman and Dean Lucas, were killed in western Sinaloa state, across the Gulf of California — also known as the Sea of Cortez — from the Baja peninsula. Authorities said they were victims of highway bandits. Three suspects were arrested in that case.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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3 surfers from Australia and the U.S. were killed in Mexico's Baja California. Here's what we know.

Updated on: May 7, 2024 / 4:08 PM EDT / CBS/AP

Two Australians and an American were doing what they loved on the stunning, largely isolated stretch of Baja California's Pacific coast. Their last images on social media showed them sitting and gazing at the waves.

What happened to end their lives may have been as random as a passing pickup truck full of people with ill intent. The  surfers were shot in the head , their bodies dumped in a covered well miles away. Here's what we know:

Who were the victims?

Brothers Jake and Callum Robinson from Australia and American Jack Carter Rhoad had apparently stopped to surf the breaks between Punta San José, about 50 miles south of Ensenada, and La Bocana, further north on the coast.

Callum Robinson's Instagram page showed several images from the trio's Mexico trip: enjoying beers with their feet up in a bar, lazing in a jacuzzi, eating roadside tacos, looking out at the surf.

Mexico Missing Foreigners

Callum, who was six-foot-four, had played in the U.S. Premier Lacrosse League, which left a  message on its website  saying the lacrosse world was "heartbroken by the tragic loss" of the trio.

"We offer our hearts, support and prayers to the Robinson and Rhoad Families, as well as all who loved Callum, Jake and Jack," it said.

On social media, his devastated girlfriend shared a black and white photo of the couple kissing, with the message: "You are one of one. I will love you forever."

In another photo she shared, in which the two can be seen embracing,  she wrote: "My heart is shattered into a million pieces. I don't have the words right now."

Jake Robinson was a doctor in Perth, according to Australian media.

Rhoad was engaged and set to marry Natalie Weirtz on Aug. 17 in Columbus, Ohio, according to a  Zola  online wedding registry. A GoFundMe which was launched to "rally support for Natalie" had raised over $57,000 as of Tuesday morning.

"In the wake of the heartbreaking loss of Carter Rhoad, Callum Robinson, and Jake Robinson, our hearts ache with grief for their families, friends, and community," reads a separate GoFundMe set up for Rhoad's family.

What happened to them?

The three friends were attacked there on April 28 or 29.

As soon as police arrived at their last known camp site, it was clear that something had gone violently wrong.

There were bloodstains and marks "as if heavy objects had been dragged," leading to suspicions of an attack, the Baja California state prosecutor's office said in an attempt to reconstruct the scene.

Chief state prosecutor María Elena Andrade Ramírez described what likely would have been moments of terror that ended the trip for the three men.

She theorized the killers drove by and saw the foreigners' pickup truck and tents and wanted to steal the truck's tires and other parts. But "when (the foreigners) came up and caught them, surely, they resisted."

FILE PHOTO: Members of a rescue team work at a site where three bodies were found, in La Bocana

She said that's when the killers would have shot the men. She said they were likely not attacked because they were tourists. "The evidence suggests they (the killers) did not know where they were from."

Andrade Ramírez said the reconstruction of events was based on the forensic examiner's reports, noting all three had bullet wounds to the head.

There was a hurried attempt to destroy evidence. The foreigners' tents were apparently burned. The pickup truck was driven miles away and burned. The assailants' truck was later found with a gun inside.

Then, at "a site that is extremely hard to get to," the bodies were dumped into a well about 4 miles (6 kilometers) away. Investigators were surprised when, underneath the bodies of the three foreigners, a fourth body was found that had been there much longer.

"They had to have previous knowledge of it," Andrade Ramírez said of the attackers, acknowledging the possibility they were behind the previous killing.

The well had been covered with boards. "It was literally almost impossible to find it," Andrade Ramírez said. It took two hours to winch the bodies out.

Who are the suspects?

Prosecutors have said they were questioning three people in the killings. Two were caught with methamphetamines. One of them, a woman, had one of the victims' cellphones when she was caught. Prosecutors said the two were being held pending drug charges but continue to be suspects in the killings.

A third man was arrested on charges of a crime equivalent to kidnapping, but that was before the bodies were found. It was unclear if he might face more charges.

The third man was believed to have directly participated in the killings. In keeping with Mexican law, prosecutors identified him by his first name, Jesús Gerardo, alias "el Kekas," a slang word that means quesadillas, or cheese tortillas.

Andrade Ramírez said he had a criminal record that included drug dealing, vehicle theft and domestic violence, adding, "We are certain that more people were involved."

She emphasized that she could not discuss anything related to the suspects, or their possible statements, because that was not allowed under Mexican law and might prejudice the case against them.


Andrade Ramírez noted that the victims' families said the brothers and Rhoad had come many times to the seaside spot and never had any problem. This time, however, "there was no way to ask for help when the attackers showed up."

What's next?

In a statement to CBS News, the FBI said it "continues to work with our international law enforcement partners in resolving this ongoing situation" and has been in contact with the family of the American victim.

"While we cannot comment on specifics to preserve the sanctity of the investigative and legal processes, along with protecting the privacy of those impacted, we can assure you that we are assessing every tip. If credible, we will pursue those leads with rigor," the FBI said.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Tuesday he had requested an opportunity to speak to the brothers' parents Deborah and Martin Robinson.

"This is a terrible tragedy and my heart goes out to them. To identify these wonderful young men and they have been travelling in Mexico. We've been dealing with them through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. I've indicated that I wish to speak to them at an appropriate time of their choosing," Albanese told reporters in the Queensland state town of Rockhampton.

AFP contributed to this report.

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3 bodies in Mexican well identified as Australian and American surfers killed for truck’s tires

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Relatives have identified three bodies found in a well as those of two Australian surfers and one American who went missing last weekend, Mexican authorities said Sunday.

Baja California state prosecutors said the relatives had viewed the corpses recovered from a remote well about 50 feet (15 meters) deep and recognized them as their loved ones.

Thieves apparently killed the three, who were on a surfing trip to Mexico’s Baja peninsula, to steal their truck because they wanted the tires. They then allegedly got rid of the bodies by dumping them in a well near the coast.

The well was located some 4 miles (6 kilometers) from where the foreigners were killed, and also contained a fourth cadaver that had been there much longer.

Three suspects are being held in connection with the case, which locals said was solved far more quickly than the disappearances of thousands of Mexicans.

The three men were on a camping and surfing trip along a stretch of coast south of the city of Ensenada, posting idyllic photos on social media of waves and isolated beaches, before they went missing last weekend.

Chief state prosecutor María Elena Andrade Ramírez described what likely would have been moments of terror that ended the trip for brothers Jake and Callum Robinson from Australia and American Jack Carter Rhoad.

She theorized the killers drove by and saw the foreigners’ pickup truck and tents and wanted to steal their tires. But “when (the foreigners) came up and caught them, surely, they resisted.”

She said that’s when the killers would have shot the tourists.

The thieves then allegedly went to what she called “a site that is extremely hard to get to” and allegedly dumped the bodies into a well they apparently were familiar with. She said investigators were not ruling out the possibility the same suspects also dumped the first, earlier body in the well as part of previous crimes.

“They may have been looking for trucks in this area,” Andrade Ramírez said.

The thieves allegedly covered the well with boards. “It was literally almost impossible to find it,” Andrade Ramírez said, and it took two hours to winch the bodies out of the well.

Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers expressed sympathy for the Robinson family. “I think the whole country’s heart goes out to all of their loved ones. It has been an absolutely horrendous, absolutely horrific ordeal and our thoughts are with all of them today,” he said at a news conference Monday in the capital, Canberra.

The site where the bodies were discovered near the township of Santo Tomás was near the remote seaside area where the missing men’s tents and truck were found Thursday along the coast. From their last photo posts, the trip looked perfect. But even experienced local expatriates are questioning whether it is safe to camp along the largely deserted coast anymore.

The moderator of the local Talk Baja internet forum, who has lived in the area for almost two decades, wrote in an editorial Saturday that “the reality is, the dangers of traveling to and camping in remote areas are outweighing the benefits anymore.”

But in a way, adventure was key to the victims’ lifestyle.

Callum Robinson’s Instagram account contained the following slogan: “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room.”

At the news conference, Andrade Ramírez was questioned by one reporter who expressed approval that such a massive and rapid search was mounted for the foreigners, but asked why, when local people disappear in the area, little is often done for weeks, months, or years.

“Do you have to be a foreigner in Baja California in order for there to be an investigation if something happens to you?’ asked the reporter, who did not identify herself by name. “Every investigation is different,” Andrade Ramírez replied.

As if to underscore that point, dozens of mourners, surfers and demonstrators gathered in a main plaza in Ensenada, the nearest city, to voice their anger and sadness at the deaths.

“Ensenada is a mass grave,” read one placard carried by protesters. “Australia, we are with you,” one man scrawled on one of the half-dozen surf boards at the demonstration.

A woman held up a sign that read “They only wanted to surf — we demand safe beaches.”

Gabriela Acosta, a surfer, attended the protest “to show love, solidarity and respect for the three lives that were lost.” Acosta said that surfers in Baja are aware of the dangers.

“We are women and we would sometimes like to surf alone,” Acosta said. “But we never do that, because of the situation. We always have to go accompanied.”

“I think that what happened to them is just an example of the lack of safety in this state,” she said.

Surfers later performed a “paddle-out” ceremony where they formed a circle on their boards in the ocean.

Baja California prosecutors had said they were questioning three people in the killings, two of them because they were caught with methamphetamines. Prosecutors said the two were being held pending drug charges but continue to be suspects in the killings.

A third man was arrested on charges of a crime equivalent to kidnapping, but that was before the bodies were found. It was unclear if he might face more charges.

The third suspect was believed to have directly participated in the killings. In keeping with Mexican law, prosecutors identified him by his first name, Jesús Gerardo, alias “el Kekas,” a slang word that means “quesadillas,” or cheese tortillas. Andrade Ramírez said he had a criminal record, and that more people may have been involved.

Last week, the mother of the missing Australians, Debra Robinson, posted on a local community Facebook page, appealing for help in finding her sons. Robinson said Callum and Jake had not been heard from since April 27. They had booked accommodation in the city of Rosarito, not far from Ensenada.

Robinson said Callum was diabetic. She also mentioned that the American who was with them was named Jack Carter Rhoad, but the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City did not immediately confirm that. The U.S. State Department said it was aware of reports of a U.S. citizen missing in Baja, but gave no further details.

In 2015, two Australian surfers, Adam Coleman and Dean Lucas, were killed in western Sinaloa state, across the Gulf of California — also known as the Sea of Cortez — from the Baja peninsula. Authorities said they were victims of highway bandits. Three suspects were arrested in that case.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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After 3 Tourists Go Missing, Bodies Are Found in Baja California

Mexican authorities recovered the three bodies as a search went on for two Australian tourists and a U.S. citizen who disappeared while on vacation.

An overhead view of three pickup trucks and a group of people in an off-road area along the sea.

By Emiliano Rodríguez Mega

Reporting from Mexico City

A dayslong search for three missing tourists who disappeared near a surfing town close to the U.S.-Mexico border ended tragically on Friday as the authorities said that they had located three bodies in a water hole.

Two Australian brothers, Callum and Jake Robinson, and their friend, Jack Carter Rhoad, a U.S. citizen, had been on vacation surfing and camping along the coast near the Mexican city of Ensenada when they disappeared on Saturday.

Debra Robinson, the mother of the brothers, said in a social media post on Wednesday that they had booked an Airbnb in another coastal town north of Ensenada but never showed up there.

“Reaching out to anyone who has seen my two sons. They have not contacted us,” she pleaded to the more than 120,000 members of a community Facebook page created for people interested in touring Mexico’s Baja California peninsula.

She added that Callum was a Type 1 diabetic.

The state’s attorney general, María Elena Andrade Ramírez, said in a news conference on Thursday that prosecutors were investigating three people related to the case but that crucial time had passed since the disappearance of the three men.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t until the last few days that they were reported missing,” Ms. Andrade Ramírez told reporters. “So, that meant that important hours or time was lost.”

In an interview, Ms. Andrade Ramírez said that after close examination of a 50-foot-deep water hole in La Bocana beach, near the town of Santo Tomás, Mexican authorities found three male bodies early on Friday. The already decomposed remains, she added, “meet the characteristics to assume with a high degree of probability” that they are the Robinson siblings and Mr. Rhoad.

Researchers will perform DNA tests to confirm the findings.

Prosecutors also believe that the three people tied to the deaths tried to seize the victims’ vehicle. When they resisted, Ms. Andrade Ramírez said, one man took out a gun, opened fire and then tried to dispose of their bodies. That person has been arrested.

“This aggression seems to have occurred in an unforeseen, circumstantial manner,” she added. “We pledge that this crime will not go unpunished.”

Human remains of a fourth male body, which has not yet been identified and is not connected to this case, was also found at the same site.

In 2022, 192 American citizens died in Mexico, State Department figures show , but most of those deaths were accidents or suicides. Only 46 were ruled as homicides.

The big waves in Baja California have long attracted throngs of surfers and travelers, many of whom have dealt with rising crime rates for nearly two decades.

But record levels of violence have hit the state in recent years. Government data shows that Baja California currently holds first place in vehicle theft and second place in homicides, most of which are related to drug dealing or organized crime, Mexico’s secretary of defense, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, said this year.

An official familiar with the investigation, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said a white pickup truck that the missing tourists had been traveling in was found charred near La Bocana beach. Other belongings and pieces of evidence were also being analyzed, the official added.

The swift effort to find the tourists was a rare exception in a country where nearly 100,000 people remain missing, according to the latest count provided by Mexican officials in March.

A majority of cases remain unsolved. Family members and volunteers are left on their own to follow up on leads, but the presence of cartels and a lack of support from the authorities make searching a dangerous mission .

The recent case in Ensenada recalled an episode in 2015 in which two Australian surfers, Adam Coleman and Dean Lucas, were killed as they drove across Sinaloa, another state in northern Mexico. Local authorities arrested three people who said they shot the two friends after they resisted a robbery. Their bodies were found inside their van, which had been doused in gasoline and set on fire.

Emiliano Rodríguez Mega is a reporter and researcher for The Times based in Mexico City, covering Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. More about Emiliano Rodríguez Mega

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9 places to nosh on bagels in southern Maine

From old-school spots to foodie favorites, there's a 'hole' lot to try.

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Bread and bagels at The Works Cafe in downtown Portland. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

From New York-style boiled bagels to Montreal-inspired wood-fired ones, there’s lots of great bagels in southern Maine and several shops have the accolades to back that up.

In 2023, Bon Appetit named bagels from Rose Foods and Rover Bagel among the best in the country.

Two years before that,  Food & Wine Magazine put Rover, Forage and Scratch Baking Co. on its list of best bagels in the U.S.

Whether you like yours toasted with cream cheese or as the bread for your breakfast sandwich, you can find plenty of styles and flavors from Biddeford to Brunswick.


The offerings at Beach Bagels include a French toast and marble bagel, and the cream cheese menu comprises spreads like strawberry, olive and honey walnut. Along with breakfast sandwiches, Beach Bagels has hearty breakfast options like omelets and pancakes. Best of all, you’re steps away from a beach stroll. Just don’t let the seagulls steal your bagel. Advertisement

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily WHERE: 34 Old Orchard St., Old Orchard Beach. beachbagels.yolasite.com ______________

Dutchman’s opened in 2022 as a pop-up housed at Nomad pizza in Brunswick’s Fort Andross building. It’s since become a permanent fixture there and uses the pizzeria’s wood-fired ovens to bake its bagels. The hand-shaped, honey-boiled bagels come in plain, roasted garlic, poppy and a bagel-of-the-day flavor.

WHEN: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday to Sunday WHERE: Fort Andross, 14 Maine St., Brunswick. dutchmans.me ______________


Making bagels at Forage Market involves a two-day aging process. The bagels are naturally leavened with wild yeast starter and baked next to a hardwood fire. There are usually five flavors available, including sesame and garlic. Breakfast sandwiches (including vegan options) are available. Forage also has a location in Lewiston. Advertisement

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday WHERE: 123 Washington Ave., Portland. foragemarket.com _____________


There are 10 or so Mister Bagel locations in Maine, including South Portland and Falmouth. It all began with the Portland location, which was the first bagel shop to open in Maine. The late Rick Hartglass started Mister Bagel in 1977, and it is still a family business. Music fans will appreciate the breakfast sandwich menu, which includes The David Bowie (bacon, egg and American cheese), the Jimmy Buffett (egg with roast beef and cheddar) and The Lady Gaga (avocado, salt and pepper, with or without egg).

WHEN: 6:30 a.m. to noon Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday WHERE: 599 Forest Ave., Portland. misterbagelforestave.com ______________

At Rose Foods, the menu varies depending on the day, but there are usually six to eight flavors available. For example, should you pop in on a Friday, you’ll find a poppy and onion bialy (a cousin of the bagel that is not boiled). Rose Foods also makes a number of bagel sandwiches, including the Classic Nova with Nova lox and the Classic Whitefish. Advertisement

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily WHERE: 428 Forest Ave., Portland. rosefoods.me



At Rover Bagel, you’ll find wood-fired plain, poppy, sea salt, sesame and everything bagels available most of the time, and the spread game here is strong with cream cheese options like lemon-thyme-honey cream and chili-garlic.

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon Sunday WHERE: 10 West Point Lane Suite 10-204, Biddeford (Pepperell Mill). roverbagel.com

______________ Advertisement


You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced the line of devoted fans waiting for Scratch Baking Co. to open, especially on weekend mornings. Along with the popular Maine sea salt, plain and other everyday flavors, Scratch has a daily special bagel. There’s honeyed rosemary on Wednesday and jalapeno cheddar on Thursday. Scratch is also famous, at least to locals, for its P-Cheese spread. It’s a pimento cheese recipe made with cheddar, mayo, roasted red peppers and seasoning and was passed down to co-owner and head baker Allison Reid by her grandmother, Mern.

WHEN: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to noon Sunday WHERE: 416 Preble St., South Portland. scratchbakingco.com ___________


The Maine Bagel is a drive-thru with several breakfast and other kinds of sandwiches available. With a bagel list that features egg and bialy among the standards, the family-owned spot is the perfect place to stop on your way to Pine Point Beach. The Maine Bagel really shines with a dozen kinds of cream cheese spreads, including raisin-walnut, lox, strawberry, cranberry-nut and bacon-chive.

WHEN: 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. WHERE: 117 Route 1, Scarborough. themainebagel.com Advertisement


The Works Cafe is an institution on the edge of the Portland’s Old Port. It opened in 1990 as Bagel Works before it changed its name in 2002. The original shop in this regional chain opened in Manchester, Vermont, in 1988, and there are 11 locations around New England, though just the one in Maine. Gone are the ’90s-era banana-walnut bagels and cold pizza cream cheese, but The Works Cafe is still a reliable place to grab a salt, multigrain or cinnamon raisin bagel, among others. The menu also has bowls, sandwiches and smoothies.

WHEN: 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily WHERE: 15 Temple St., Portland. workscafe.com

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