Just planned an exciting camping trip with your friends or family? Whether it’s a weekend trip or a month-long backpacking trek, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can capture your camping experience, so when you return home to your desk job or school life you can share your exciting adventures with your nature-loving friends and colleagues!
If this is a group outing- like a family vacation or a “mancamping” weekend- think of some activities ahead of time that the whole group will enjoy. The best social activities are often ones that require some relationship building. Why not utilize travel time to the campground to find funny nicknames for everyone on the trip? Everyone could choose their own– think favorite animals or hometowns- and the nicknames could change throughout the trip. The MVP title should go to whoever sets up the tent or lights the campfire. Be sure to refer to your friends as these nicknames whenever other campers are around too!
If nicknames aren’t your thing, try giving makeshift awards as a fun interactive activity. This is particularly fun for large groups or young campers with lots of room for creativity. I’ve seen these awards create a lot of laughs on service trips before. Towards the end of the stay, everyone is assigned a fellow camper to create an award for by drawing on a paper plate or brown lunch bag. The awards can refer to an accomplishment (Quick Climber Award), a positive personality trait(Mother Hen Award), an important camping skill Mr. Navigator Award), or simply an awesome moment from the trip. I once got a “Sharp Eyes” award for finding a ten dollar bill in a remote area of Zion National Park. Campers can choose to keep their awards after the trip- I still have mine and laugh whenever I see it!
Using disposable cameras is another fun way to capture impromptu social moments, and there is that element of surprise when you get the film developed. Whatever method you choose- be it disposable, phone, or GoPro-definitely utilize photography when you do any unique activities like climbing, hiking, or headstands. If you do any climbing, you are obligated in this day and age to take a picture of the cliff you conquered! Selfies aren’t required, but take advantage of this opportunity outside to capture your next profile picture and memorable group photo.
For nature lovers, at any moment you could be inspired by a vibrant sunset in west Texas, calm lakes in Maine, roaring rivers in Colorado or the towering Redwood trees of northern California. The go-to way to remember these landscapes will be to capture them on film. For most of us, the easiest way will be to bring along our iPhones- a quick draw and snap for photographers. Animal lovers anywhere would be thrilled to see a rare panther or large eagle, so you’ll want to be ready for that fleeting moment if you are so lucky. The panoramic option is great for landscape shots. One of the most useful apps for this type of photography is called The Photographer’s Ephemeris which helps determine the types of lighting at your location depending on time of day.
If you want to create more than just an Instagram page that your friends will fawn over, try an instant polaroid for a vintage (and tangible) result, or invest in a high-resolution camera. If you’re an adventure enthusiast, check out GoPro prices. There is a camera for everyone’s camping preference. The nature photography community is developed and abundant, so if you really start to enjoy this hobby there is a large and appreciative audience with which to share your masterpieces!
Art and Writing
Really want to connect with your creative side? Why not bring along some paper and art supplies? Drawing a landscape is extraordinarily relaxing and some of the easiest subjects for beginners are trees and bodies of water. Try pencil drawing or pastels for easy-clean up. Journaling is another great option for budding artists and allows you to write down all your memories as they unfold.