5 Tips for Camping Together

03 October 2022

If there’s one thing that you have to understand about adventures and working together as a team, it’s that no matter how good your friendships or relationships are, they will be tested. One of the biggest mistakes you can make about any adventurous undertaking is assuming that everything will be smooth-sailing. Ultimately it is the tense, often emotional, moments that will bring you closer together.


However, if you are unable to understand that disagreements, arguments and the odd tantrum are all part of the experience of camping together, you’re probably best going it alone or not at all. That being said, there are ways of structuring your team, motivating others and pitching in yourself that can help make sure these moments are few and far between. That way, the problem moments don’t overshadow an expedition.





Get to know your adventure comrades.

The best team for an adventure is a group people you know well. When you have an understanding of what makes them tick, it’s easier to motivate them and keep your team on the same page. If someone isn’t a morning person, give them more evening responsibilities and make sure they are given a wide berth at the crack of dawn. If someone’s a bit of a procrastinator, make sure they are the first to start the task so hopefully they won’t be the last to finish.

If you know the eccentricities of your friends and team you can often work around the small nuances. Sometimes you won’t know your team very well and you’ll have to figure each other out on the go – be sensitive to other’s needs as you start your trip and take time to figure out their pain points.


Don’t give a task to someone who is unable to do the job.


Everyone likes to try something new – and chances are at some point on one of your adventures you’ll have a novice along. No one likes to feel like an idiot because they’ve been tasked with something they can’t do – and it can leave them frustrated and even put you and the rest of the team in danger. Give team members tasks you know they can do and do well, and pair them up with someone who knows what they are doing on another task so that they can learn. (Make sure your leaders are patient people). This is one of the best ways of motivating others to stay involved.


Train your team before you go.


In the same way you don’t want to give someone a task they don’t understand, do what you can to help your friends or teammates learn new skills BEFORE the adventure starts. Do they know how to use a compass? Have they put in the training miles before cycling across a continent? Can they pitch a tent, start a fire, create an emergency splint? Meet up a few times before camping together, not just to bond, but also to hone the skills you’ll need.




Don’t be lazy.


As tired as you might be, it’s important to pitch in and help out – especially if you’re perceived as the group leader. If you do need to take some time away through injury, illness, or just plain tiredness, put someone else in charge and make it clear to your team you will pick up the slack the next day. Tempers inevitably flare when one person shoulders the burdens on an adventure – so do what you can to make sure everyone – including you – has a job to do and does it well.


Institute a no-whining policy.


Nothing brings a team down quite like a constant complainer. We’ve all been on trips with a Debbie Downer who doesn’t like the food, isn’t in shape enough to handle the day’s plans, or is just constantly voicing an opinion on how hot it is, how heavy the pack is, how much further you have to go, how wet it is, how nice it would be to sleep in a bed and so on. In fact – we all have those thoughts at one point or another. But when everyone is tired and frustrated, it doesn’t help anyone to have a complainer in the group.


Set no-whining guidelines and consequences – maybe you have a ‘whine jar’ and everyone who whines has to contribute a dollar to be spent at the pub when you get home – or maybe the whiner gets extra chores at the end of the night. Whatever you decide, just make sure you do this in such a way that if any of your teammates have legitimate complaints – such as an injury or illness – they don’t feel they can’t voice them.


Compromise when camping together
The secret to a happy adventure and motivating others is compromise. If you want to find yourself at the sharp end of an ice axe, put your willingness to compromise aside and see where that gets you. When your team sees you willing to compromise and work with them, you’re likely to see a more motivated group.


Mind you, even the best teams won’t always get along. There may even be one particular team member who gets on everyone’s nerves. If you can’t spot this person on the first team outing, chances are it could be you. Be mindful of your own idiosyncrasies and try to tone them down for the sake of your teammates when you’re camping together.


By: Max Willcocks

Images copyright of: Corepics VOF, Fotovika, mmarcol, Diego Cervo


Enjoyed reading this? Check out How to Pitch a Tree Tent.




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