5 Camping Essentials You Need to Pack for Your Trip
Camping is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and escape to a more serene, natural environment. It’s a way to truly connect with nature, your family, and even yourself. Whether you are eager to for a weekend of hiking and fishing or you are looking forward to campfire songs and roasting marshmallows, one thing is true – the success of a camping trip depends on packing the right gear. Check out this list of five camping essentials and enjoy a stress-free trip filled with natural beauty and outdoor adventures.
First Aid Kit
The first item on your list for camping essentials is an emergency medical kit. Since you might find yourself far away from efficient health care, this is truly a camping must-have. Love the Outdoors suggests including bandages, medical tape, antiseptic wipes, gauze, scissors, bug spray, sunblock, aspirin, burn ointment, poison ivy cream, and personal medications. Additionally, take into account your destination and add any items that might be useful in that environment. Headed to an area with lots of snakes? Be sure to pack a snake bite kit. The source noted that if you are a frequent camper or plan to take a lengthy trip, you should consider taking a CPR or first-aid course.
Maps and Compass
This might seem like old-fashioned advice in this age of advanced technology, but if you are headed into the wilderness, chances are you will end up in an area with no cell phone service. This means that your handy smartphone GPS will most likely not be able to help when it comes to navigating. Reserve America suggests getting a map of your area, in addition to a compass, so you are prepared in case your electronics do not work or run out of battery power.
Appropriate Clothing & Personal Care Items
A key part of enjoying the great outdoors is dressing for the elements. Reserve America recommends checking the weather before you set out on your adventure so that you have a solid idea of what clothing you should pack. Some standard items that should always be in your travel bag include hiking boots, socks, pants, T-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, and jackets. Even if the forecast shows weeks of nothing but sunshine, it is always a good idea to pack rain gear, noted the source. No camper would ever be caught without an extra set of dry socks and shoes (if you can fit them in your pack).
If you live in an area prone to ticks, it’s a great idea to always wear a head covering. It’s often difficult to spot ticks amidst your hair, particularly for people with long, dark, or thick locks, so a hat or scarf is good protection. Additionally, some bug repellent will help keep away mosquitos, ticks, and other pests you don’t want ruining your good time. Be sure to check the proper use instructions and choose the bug spray that best suits your needs.
Sleeping Bag & Tent
While you might have a jam-packed schedule of fun outdoor activities, you need to rest your head at some point. Make sure you pack the comfortable sleeping gear to cuddle into once the sun goes down. If you are headed to a cold climate, make sure the bag you choose is well-insulated with a material like goose-down, recommends Men’s Fitness magazine. Be sure to check the weather patterns for your camping spot. Some climates, like desert areas, have hot days and chilly nights. Your camping gear should accommodate all conditions.
Although sleeping under the stars sounds thrilling, it is a good idea to bring shelter to keep you safe from the elements. Woman’s Day magazine suggests choosing a tent that is large enough to stand up in and easy to put together in under 10 minutes. Additionally, make sure your tent is large enough to fit everyone in your party. Pro tip: Use a durable tarp under your tent as an additional layer of protection from the earth. If you tuck the edges of the tarp under your tent bottom on all sides, you’ll prevent water from pooling between the tent floor and the tarp, should a surprise rain storm pop-up.
The accessories on your list for camping essentials will make your site as comfortable and safe as possible. Bring plenty of lanterns and flashlights for both the inside and outside of your tent so that getting ready for bed is not a matter of reaching around haphazardly in the dark. If space allows and electric power is available, outdoor fans can help provide a cooling breeze for summer campsites (plus they help keep flying bugs away). Lasko’s Misto® Outdoor Misting Fan can be used with or without a standard hose hookup and is designed to withstand the outdoor elements. If electric supply isn’t readily available, you can opt for a battery operated fan. Lasko’s Rechargeable Battery Operated Fan features a powerful lithium ion battery. When fully charged, it will run for 15 hours on the low setting! It can be used safely inside your tent or outdoors, too.
Grab a portable grill, as well, so you can cook a variety of meals instead of living on granola bars during your trip. Depending on where you’ll be camping, you might want to bring along supplies for a campfire, too. They are a fun way to cook (hot dog and marshmallow roasts – yum!), plus they provide a great place to sit back and relax. Just check local guidelines to ensure campfires are safe and legal — particularly during hot and dry months.