How do I plan a successful camping trip without overstressing so I can enjoy it too?


I’m supposed to be planning a camping 3day 2night camping trip for about 10-15 people. We want to keep it cheap and this is my first time planning my husband’s squadron camp-out and it’s still two weeks away and I just can’t keep things organized and I’m having a hard time getting people to cooperate. Any suggestions?


My wife and I used to do this…a LOT!

We cooked breakfast every morning. Lunches were on your own. Dinners were we cooked the meat and the other campers provided the side dishes.

Everyone paid toward the meals we provided. That didn’t cover the actual cost, but it came pretty close because I used a lot of things from home that I already had. Salt and pepper shakers, cooking oil, margarine, etc.

Pancakes are cheap. Scrambled eggs with bits of ham and cheese is easy. Potatoes are cheap. I had an electric table top griddle that I used for breakfast. We camped where they had hook-ups.

Everyone is responsible to provide their own sleeping equipment and ice chests, etc.

You either want to get what is called a “group site”, or several camping “spaces” together. Ask the park ranger how many vehicles are allowed per space. The more people you can get in a space, the cheaper the space.

Find out if there is someone in the squadron that has access to free firewood.

Distribute lists of what each person is responsible for. They need to bring 2 lunches for themselves and provide a side dish for 2 dinners for the group. Their , will provide 3 breakfasts and 2 dinners. They need to bring their own plates. utensils, and drinks.

Have set meal times for breakfast and dinner. Since they are on their own for lunch, you will have all day to enjoy yourself.

You can plan some games, or get someone else who would like to do that. Water-filled balloon toss. Hairy man contest. Whatever you think would work with the group you have.

Sitting around the fire in the evening is a great time to share “The Most Embarrassing Moment” story, or who can tell the biggest lie.

You can do any variations on this you want. Depending on budget, where the money comes from, what if anything you are able to get donated. You may find a store that is willing to donate if “Squadron” indicates your husband and other campers are in the military.

You can find junk in your garage, such as an old fuel pump or something and write “Hairy Man Trophy” on it with a magic marker. Much more fun than the real thing.

You are limited by your imagination much more than you are by lack of helpful participants. You will be finding people willing to help out when you actually get there.



One thing I have found that works is to plan nothing, relax and enjoy the adventure. If something is missed in the packing, you didn’t need it anyway.

Stressing out about plans and schedules defeats the puropose.


get everyone together at your house like a week before it and discuss your plans and maybe get everyone to pitch in their share.


pick a date, pick a location, if you need reservations make them. Notify everyone when and where the event will be and what (if anything) you are bringing for the group. If you are hoping for a pot luck one of the nights email and say, I’d like to do a potluck (and which night) we can plan if at the campground.

see you there

see? easy.


Get with MWR- someone there has seen this before and will probably have a checklist (you KNOW flyboys are all about checklists) to help you out with it.

Remember cheap is all relative. Inexpensive= hamburgers instead of steaks. Cheap= Chef Boyardee.

If nothing else do a search through google on camping trips and you should come up with something. The biggest thing is RELAX. Nobody is going to want the trip to be regimented. If it is it’s not R&R it’s going on manuevers!

Have fun!

Jen M

Oh, that is a lot of people to plan for. Luckily if they camp they probably have the equipment they will need.

Maybe ask one of the other wives who have planned it before for advice. Plan out the food and then let people do what they want activity wise.

You might ask someone to do the Fireside each night as to what you might do like a program but, mostly people will just gather around to talk and roast marshmallows.

Don’t forget snacks and trail mix…and other fun stuff like S’Mores or Banana boats and such. Trail mix is a must if anyone wants to go hiking.

Don’t forget Tin Foil dinners are cheap and easy to make, Tin Foil…hamburger, potatos, vegetables…toss it all in some foil and cook in the hot coals of the fire.


Keep the food stuff simple. hot dogs, macaroni etc.
some marshmallows. pop, water, juice. pancakes or cereal for breakfast. Instant oatmeal is good. Canned beans.
Take full advantage of grocery store convenience. There is no need to buy $6.00 dehydrated food when your local grocery store has the same thing for $1.00
The point is easy cooking and easy cleaning. (yes to paper plates)

A first aid kit. (with bandaids and sting lotion)

I assume everybody will supply their own sleeping gear and tents. They will want some padding for the ground, either foam or air matresses.


A Squadron camp out,,,# 1 Cold beer, #2 Cold beer and the 3rd thing,,,,,,Cold beer,,,,,,,,,the word Squadron says it all …….

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