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Top 5 Tips For Camping with Your AircraftTop 5 Tips For Camping with Your Aircraft

The best camping need-to-knows that are usually forgotten

Maybe you’ve gone camping or maybe you haven’t. Either way, we have you covered with our top 5 tips to make the next camping trip you take with your aircraft successful
AOPA Pilot Gear

The rainy spring months are finally winding down and warm weekends are starting to become more of a normal occurrence. This means more time to embrace more outdoor activities such as camping.

Camping in July, August, and September can be enjoyable, but we prefer June. The days aren’t consistently hot, and the nights are still crisp and cool—the perfect time for s’mores.

While we can’t quite explore all our favorite summer vacation spots, we can pack up our tents, fill the cooler, load our aircraft, and go camping. Yes, there is nothing we’d like more than a virgin strawberry daiquiri by the pool with all our friends, but nothing truly beats going to an isolated place and enjoying the scenic views that the gorgeous United States has to offer.

Sure, you have gone camping before. You may have even gone camping with your aircraft, too. So you probably know the basics by now like packing extra clothes and food, sunscreen, rope to tie up your trash so bears can’t get to it, and a first aid kit. But there are small nuances to camping that you may not have thought of before. So, we did the research for you and came up with our top 5 hacks for camping with your aircraft.

  1. Make a list. Okay, this might be the first thing you think of when you plan a camping trip, or any trip, but we figured it was worth noting because it can make a huge difference, especially if you are going to a remote location. Create a list of everything that you are bringing and separate it into categories: camping equipment, aircraft equipment, food, bedding, personal, hygiene, and misc. Once you have it created, copy the list so you have two; refer to the first copy when you are packing to leave and the second when you are packing to return home. It reduces your chances of not only forgetting something important but leaving anything at the campsite that you will need when you get home or for your next camping trip.
  2. Do your research and plan accordingly. Yes, that sounds very simple, but seriously. If you are going to a remote location, you will need to make sure you are prepared to bring a portable camping grill and/or extra water to clean dishes and utensils. You only want to bring the necessities. If you are flying to a campground, double-check the amenities they offer. Do they have grills and water spigots? What about a bathroom? This can drastically change what you will need to bring.
  3. Get a water filter or water bottle with a water filter so you don’t have to bring extra jugs of water. As long as there is a flowing body of water, you can collect the water, run it through the filter or place it in a filtered water bottle and with each sip, the water will be drinkable. See this water filter from REI.
  4. Pack prepped frozen meals. Depending on the size of your aircraft and how long you are going camping, bringing a cooler full of food might not be an option. To avoid additional weight and things to pack, you can precook food, freeze it, and bring it with you. It reduces the amount of food you as well as the size of the cooler you’ll need. Really, anything you can do to reduce the number of items you are bringing is preferred.
  5. Rent camping gear. If you are flying to a remote location, you will obviously need to supply all camping gear. However, if you are flying (and perhaps driving after you fly) to a camping location, see if there are stores that have tents and other camping equipment that you can rent. Not only will this save you packing time and room in your aircraft, but money if you don’t have all the things required for camping (e.g. tarps and a tent).

Overall, you want to reduce the amount of stuff that you have to lug with you. Camping requires a minimalist attitude and mindset. Now all you have to do is plan your next trip, and get going!

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