The Great Outdoors

Camping Trails

Created and Maintained by Russell Yates


Which camping task did you decide on? Each task has a separate "trail" to follow to reach its end. Follow the links here to get on the proper trail, then, putting one step in front of the other, follow the steps to the trail's end. Before you get too far along your trail, you should visit the Camper's Evaluation page. This page lets you know how your learning will be evaluated and will give you some targets to aim for.

 1. Plan the itinerary for a 2-week camping trip  2. Make a model of a perfect campsite  3. Pack a backpack for an overnight hiking trip  4. Plan the menu for a week long camping trip


1. If you want to plan an itinerary for a 2-week camping trip, task 1, follow these steps.

You are going to plan a 2-week (14 days) travel camping trip visiting Washington State Parks. To do this you are going to figure out which parks to visit and in which order you will visit them. You will also need to decide on how long you would like to spend at each park. Listing what activities are available at each of the parks may help you decide how long you want to stay at each. You need to plan on camping at three or more parks and be sure the driving distance each travel day is a reasonable one for your family. Below are the steps.

a. Go to the Washington State Parks: Park Information webpage ( and explore the different regional state park maps.

b. Decide which region (or regions) you wish to visit. Be sure that you don't choose parks in regions that are too far apart.

c. Decide which parks you want to visit. You will probably want to visit those parks that have activities that you like best. For instance, Crow Butte State Park has lots of boating, water skiing, and windsurfing opportunities in addition to swimming and camping. If you like to boat and swim you may want to go there, but if you would prefer surfing and clamming, Crow Butte wouldn't work out as well as Pacific Beach State Park.

Tip: Some parks do not have camping facilities. You may wish to visit them on a travel day, perhaps a lunch break, but you will need to plan on staying only at parks that permit camping.

d. Now that you have a list of parks you want to visit, decide which order you would visit them. Be sure that you base your decision on driving distance, you don't want to spend any extra time on the road criss-crossing parts of the state when you'd rather be camping! A state map when combined with the state park maps you have already looked at should help you decide on this. Here are two online Washington state maps to choose from:

Tip: With both of these maps, be sure to pay attention to the scales. They will help you figure out the approximate distance between the parks.

e. You have decided on which parks to visit, what order to visit them, and approximately how far it is between the parks. Next you need to make a decision about how long you should camp at each park. To make sure to leave enough time for you and your family to take advantage of all the opportunities available, list all of the activities you plan to do at each park for each day.

f. Now it is time for you to put together all of the information you have gathered. First get a large piece of tag board or poster paper. Draw a map of the portion of Washington state you plan on visiting. On this map include the following:

  • state parks you will be visiting.
  • towns and cities you will be traveling through or that are nearby.
  • important lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water.
  • roads that you plan on following between your home and all of the parks you will be visiting, include approximate distances between planned stopping points.
  • other features that you think are important to include.
  • label all features of your map.
  • include a map key and compass rose.

g. Next to the map, glued onto the same piece of poster paper, include a written copy of your itinerary. List all of the parks, when you will be visiting them, what you plan on doing each day you are at the park, and other activities available there. Don't forget to plan for travel days to and from your home, and between parks.

h. Present your map and itinerary to the class, we can't wait to see what your perfect state park camping trip looks like!



2. If you want to make a model of a perfect campsite, task 2, follow these steps.

a. Go to the following websites and read about setting up a camp. Take notes on what you think are important things to keep in mind when setting up a campsite.

b. Keeping in mind everything you learned from reading about camping, draw a detailed picture of the perfect campsite. You will use this drawing as a plan for your diorama.

c. Use your plan/drawing of what you have learned to make a diorama of what you believe would be a perfect campsite. Be creative with the materials you use. The sides of the box can be painted to look like a forest. Small twigs can be cut and used as miniature tent poles. Pebbles can be glued to the bottom of the box in a circle that would represent a campfire ring. If you choose to include a river, paint the river course blue, glue a few pebbles in the middle of the river and some more along side, then attach a piece of plastic wrap to act as the surface of the stream. Use your ingenuity to make your model campsite look as real as possible.

d. Write a description of the important parts of your campsite and glue it to the side of your box. Be sure to explain why it is a perfect campsite so that others can learn from you.

e. Present your perfect campsite to the class. Be prepared to answer questions.



3. If you have decided to fill a backpack with everything you need for an overnight camping trip, task 3, follow these steps.

a. It seems that every camper and hiker has their own list of "essential" items to take camping. Read the following equipment lists and take some notes (or perhaps print them out with your teacher's permission).

b. From what you have read and using your notes, create your own equipment list. Use a computer program like AppleWorks or MS Word for your final draft.

Tip: Use the outline and checklist features of your computer program.

c. Go to the following links and read about the best ways to pack a backpack. Don't forget to take some notes.

d. Using your equipment list and the notes about how to pack a backpack, gather all of the equipment you will need for an overnight camping trip and pack it in a backpack.

e. Bring your fully loaded pack to school and share it with the class, taking out the items and explaining why they are needed as you do so. It would be great if you could give each of your classmates a copy of your equipment list, check with your teacher to find out if he can make some copies for you.



4. If you want to plan a camping menu for a week-long trip and bring samples of one of the menu items to share with the class, task 4, follow these steps.

a. First create a blank menu plan for seven days. Be sure to include space for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. You might make it look like a list or like a table (examples below).

Example of a Menu Plan - List

 Day 1

Breakfast -

Lunch -

Dinner -

Snacks -

 Day 2

Breakfast -

Lunch -

Dinner -

Snacks -

Then repeat this for seven days.


Example of a Menu Plan - Table
   Breakfasts  Lunches  Dinners  Snacks
 Day 1        
 Day 2        
 Day 3        
 Day 4        
 Day 5        
 Day 6        
 Day 7        

Be sure to leave lots of space in each box to write in (more than in shown).

b. Food always tastes best on a campout, I don't know why but it does. Read through the camping menu links below. Take notes on which foods you think everyone on your trip would like. Don't forget to include some variety and keep your meals nutritionally balanced. If you have some favorites, please feel free to use those too.

c. Make the final decisions for your menu and write them on a piece of paper, leaving LOTS of room for notes you will take at the grocery store. Try and list ALL of the items you will need for everything on your menu, this will become your grocery list.

d. Set up a time to go to the grocery store with your mom, dad, grandmother, grandfather, or someone else who has shopped for groceries. You won't be actually buying the food on your grocery list, you will simply be doing some research about the cost.

e. At the agreed upon time, go to the grocery store with the person you have made the appointment with. Have them help you list all of the food items you will need for each meal (Hint: If you didn't already include all of the ingredients to your grocery list, you may need to bring along copies of some of your recipes). As you are listing each item, write down the cost. Also make sure that you are getting the right amount of food for four people, no one wants to go hungry and you don't want to spend money on food you won't be eating.

f. When you have finished, go home and use a calculator to figure out the total cost for all of the food on your menu.

g. Write out a final draft of your campout menu. Include the total cost for the food you plan to take.

h. With your parents, decide on one of the items on your menu to make. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, just fun. Make enough of the item so that everyone in your class can have a small sample.

i. Set up a time with your teacher to share your menu with your classmates. Bring the camping food you have made and share it at the end of your presentation.



Camping Tasks

Back to the Campground

Extensions for More Camping!

You are here:

Camping Trails

Teacher Page

Camper's Evaluation

 Conclusion of Your Campout

Camping Credits


copyright © 2007 by Russell Yates