We all want to get outside more but sometimes it can be difficult to wrangle work back into its box. Sharona gives us some practical tips to make sure you get out there and adventure for as many weekends as possible.

I love camping, but I also have an often-stressful 9 to 5 job (sometimes 9 to 6 or 7), which means by the time Friday afternoon rolls around, the very last thing I feel like doing is packing up the car, driving for multiple hours, making a campfire, and cooking.

So on a good number of Friday nights, I’ll succumb to the call of my criminally comfortable couch, Are You The One, and maybe some Korean fried chicken. But I’ll wake up on Saturday with regrets.

A few months ago, my boyfriend and I decided that we were over it, and made a pact to go camping more often — a pact we’ve kept! If you’re in the same boat, here are five small but effective things we do to make those weekend camping trips, all the more possible.

1. Plan Before The Day

I like to think that I’m a spontaneous person and planning feels antithetical to that. Hop in the car and hit the open road, baby—isn’t that what adventuring is all about?

Well yeah, but as Benjamin Franklin said, failing to plan is planning to fail. By the time the week’s over and my brain resembles a bowl of soggy clam chowder, I’m in no shape to be planning a trip.

I’ve taken to planning my trips midweek — when I’m sick of the fluorescent lights and raring to get outside and amongst it.


Work 9-5? Here Are 5 Tips to Help Get You Camping Every Weekend, Sharona Lin

2. Pack Early, Pack Often

Another thing I’m often reluctant to do on a Friday night is pack.

To get around this, I’ve taken to stocking a seasonal duffel with essentials. Right now, it’s stuffed with my flannel, scarf, beanie, gloves, underwear, and thermals, as well as my sleeping bag and sleeping mat, a lighter, and some newspaper (for fires, not for reading).

That little bit of organisation makes me feel way more spontaneous. It means I can just throw one bag in my car, jump in, and go.

It also pays to keep a copy of a packing list handy, so you don’t forget something vital, or worse, have an ever – growing and moving checklist taking up your brain space all week long.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace

3. Rally a Crew

This one is dependent on your friendship group. My old housemate would rather have committed seppuku than go camping, and most of my other friends have work, dog or other weekend commitments  –  but when we do make plans to camp, we follow through.

Friends will keep you motivated to go and can help share the load of organisation, gear, and food!


Work 9-5? Here Are 5 Tips to Help Get You Camping Every Weekend, Sharona Lin

4. Meal Prep For Your Return

After one too many greasy Sunday evening Deliveroo orders with a side of what-the-hell-am-I-going-to-take-to-work-for-lunch-tomorrow?, I’ve come round to the revolutionary concept of meal prepping for Sunday night.

It doesn’t need to be elaborate, but having a homecooked meal and lunch for the next day ready in my fridge or freezer after a big weekend outdoors makes the end of the weekend way less stressful.

5. Don’t Stress About The Weather

Perfect camping weather, for me, is a cool and crisp evening, and a gloriously sunny morning. Unfortunately, the weather has thus far seemed to be indifferent, and sometimes actively malicious, when it comes to cooperating with my weekend camping plans.

The solution? Don’t bother checking the weather. Checking a forecast and seeing rain is normally enough to make me feel a bit skeptical about leaving the house.


Work 9-5? Here Are 5 Tips to Help Get You Camping Every Weekend, Sharona Lin


It sounds drastic, but provided the weather isn’t going to actually be dangerous (that is, no cyclones, storms, flooding or fires), I’ve found that ignoring the weather forecast has meant I’m more likely to leave the house.

I just make sure to bring a rain jacket with me!


Feature photo by Mitchell Quinn