How Long Should a Camping Trip Be?

Camping is fun, thrilling, and re-energizing. You get to unwind and enjoy peace in the wild without having to worry about your usual routine. It’s the perfect way to reconnect with family and friends, or just relax and take time off the urban hustle.

There are many things to consider when planning for a camping trip, and knowing how long you should be camping is crucial for successful planning. You don’t want to carry a week’s supply while you only needed to be out for days. You also don’t want to cancel a fortnight’s camping plan because you only brought a week’s worth of supplies.

If you are wondering how long your camping trip should be, or you are worried that you may under/over-estimate the provisions for your camping trip, this post is definitely worth your time. Here is everything you should consider when figuring out the ideal length of your camping trip.

The Ideal Camping Trip Length

According to the 2017 American Camper Report, just over half of people go camping for 1-2 nights, while 35% of people spend 3-4 nights camping. However, some people take camping trips that last for weeks.

Length of Camping Trip Graph

Many factors inform your ideal length of camping time. The main factor I find is people’s schedules. Lots of people have busy schedules and families, often making longer stays difficult. This is why weekends are ideal for most people.

Your experience and camping equipment may also be a factor in the length of time you can spend on a camping trip. As a first time camper, it’s best to go on shorter trips to build experience before camping during longer trips and not make yourself hate camping.

The purpose of camping also influences the length of time that you need to stay in the wild. While some people may love camping because it helps them refresh from urban life, others may practice camping as a hobby or even as a part of their lives. These factors should come to play while determining how long you should camp.

For most people, however, the ideal length of a camping trip is 1 or 2 days. Most people only have a weekend to spare for camping, so this makes sense. It’s also convenient because you get some time to relax and unwind without interrupting your weekly routine.

Short Camping Trips

Weekend long camping trips with friends are what I prefer personally. It’s not super long where I’m getting bored or burned out, but not too short that I didn’t get enough rest and relaxation.

Here are some pros and cons to short camping trips:

Pros

  • Easy to plan and can be done even on weekends. This is especially true if you have a large group of friends that have different schedules.
  • Fits within your regular life, without disrupting other routines such as work or school for your children.
  • Cost less and can be done with minimal spending.

Cons

  • You might not get all the fun and relaxation you need.
  • Your camping experience may be interrupted by your regular daily plans. 
  • You can’t travel too far as you need to spend time traveling to and from your campsite.

Long Camping Trips

If you’re camping for longer than a few nights, you’re probably more experienced. Beginners can go camping for this long, but I wouldn’t recommend it for the first time. Generally, the longer the trip, the more planning that needs to happen beforehand.

Pros

  • You get more time to reflect and relax while living a minimal life in the wilderness for longer.
  • Long trips help you appreciate the natural world. You learn how to lead a sustainable lifestyle

Cons

  • If you will be camping for long, you will often have to deal with sore feet, back pains, stiff necks. Even with a comfortable sleeping bed in an RV trailer, the long hours spent outside your home will strain you physically.
  • It takes time to plan for a long trip and the cost of resources needed during the trip is also high.
  • Whether with friends or alone, long camping trips might feel boring.

Tips for First Time Campers

If you are planning a trip for the first time, here are some tips:

  • Bring your family or friends. Not only is it more enjoyable, but you’ll be able to share resources.
  • Camp at a campground not too far from home. If you forget anything or want to go home, it’s not a big deal.
  • Make sure there are stores close by. If you need extra food, water, or supplies, they are only a short trip away.

So, How Many Days to Spend Camping?

In summary, the length of your camping trip is best advised by the planning involved. Resources and other factors such as children, and the purpose of your camping experience will also inform the time you spend camping. While most people ideally go on a camping trip for 1 or 2 days, your camping trip can be suited to fit your needs and can last as long as you wish.

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