How Many People Should You Camp With?

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A group can consist of two or more people, but camping with more than six people can be problematic.

A group can consist of two or more people, but camping with more than six people can be problematic. Most campsites are set up for two or three tents. Two is probably more realistic; ask anyone who's tried to find two spots in the same campsite that offer even, fairly level ground free of rocks and roots. You'll also have to determine whether you're going to sleep alone inside your own tent, or share a tent with someone else. Space is rather tight in most tents; you won't have the same privacy as you would sleeping alone.

But before discussing who you're going to get into bed with, consider the bigger picture.

Deciding where to go will be equally difficult (if not more so) among four or five other people. It takes time to gather maps, brochures, and assorted publications; study them; decide on a group plan; and then bring your plan to the group for approval. You might benefit from someone else's experience, especially if somebody in the group knows of a destination and can steer the group toward that plan of action.

You should consider some other things too:

  • Put together a group of compatible people who are energetic and willing to embrace the 'gestalt' of the outdoor adventure.
  • If you're renting camping equipment, someone should research and price what's available, and then make the arrangements. Someone should also be in charge of making campsite reservations and securing permits and fishing licenses (if necessary).
  • Check out the status of campfires at your destination. If they are prohibited, you'll have to use a portable stove for cooking.
  • One person in the group should be in charge of food—buying it and packing it included. This person could also be in charge of designating the cooking rotation (if there is one).
  • Another person should be in charge of cutlery, cooking pots, pans, and assorted 'hardware' needed.
  • Check water availability. Make sure there's water at each campsite and decide how you will treat it: iodine, filtering, or boiling.