Practice using your gear before you hit the road. Photograph by Kai Gradert/Unsplash.

STEPHANIE AND JEREMY PUGLISI spend more than 80 nights of the year in their RV. The parents of three help take the guesswork out of planning an adventure in their new guidebook, Where Should We Camp Next? (Sourcebooks). Here are their tips for cutting stress and ensuring a relaxing time on your next trip.  

Find quiet. Consider a Sunday-through-Thursday trip to avoid weekend crowds and have an extra bit of space to yourself. “Keep in mind that campgrounds with more amenities tend to be busier as well,” Jeremy says. 

Troubleshoot ahead of time. Practice using your gear at home before showing up—ideally before dusk—at a campground. “Setup can be challenging and stressful,” Jeremy says, “especially when it’s hard to see and other campers are sleeping around you.” 

Choose a site wisely. “Create your punch list of overnighting preferences—whether that’s your king bed parked at a full-hookup resort or a bivy sack in the backcountry
—and find sites that are a good match,” Jeremy says. “If there’s a state park that’s always booked, look for something more remote. And always check for cancellations: Things do open up at the last second.”

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