A camping trip is one of the best ways to get away from everyday life and relax in a natural setting. From cooking food over a campfire to exploring the area, there’s a certain joy that comes with camping that can’t be matched.
The one thing that can take away that joy is being unprepared. It is easy to accidentally leave behind certain supplies, so here’s our top 10 checklist of what to bring on a camping trip so you can be as prepared as possible.
When discussing what to bring on a camping trip, a tent is one of the first necessities, but there are a lot of things to think about when purchasing one. Make sure the size of the tent is large enough to accommodate everyone and is equipped to handle the weather you’ll be camping in. Consider features like peak height, floor space, number of doors, ease of setup, ventilation, water resistance and pockets.
Not all sleeping bags are created equal. Make sure your sleeping bag fits you and that it caters to the temperatures you’re camping in. If you’re going cold-weather camping, then a two-season sleeping bag isn’t going to cut it. Some sleeping bags include pillows, but if yours doesn’t, be sure to pack one so you can catch some Zs. A good night’s rest is essential for all of the activities you will be doing on your trip.
Your sleeping pad will give you some cushion and provide thermal insulation. Before purchasing your sleeping pad, consider its R-value and the weather you’ll be camping in. R-value is measured by the pad’s ability to resist heat loss to the ground. The colder the weather, the higher of an R-value you’ll need.
Some Type of Light
Don’t count on your cellphone to act as a flashlight. It is best to bring along a separate headlamp, flashlight or lantern when camping so you are able to see around you when it gets dark.
Even if daytime temperatures are warm, when the sun sets the temperature is likely to plummet. Be sure to bring enough layers to stay comfortable.
Fuel / Fire Starter
What is a camping trip without a toasty fire to huddle around and tell stories at night? Fuel and a fire starter or matches are necessary camping supplies to get your campfire started and maintained.
Food and Cooking Utensils
Whether you’re only making s’mores or you intend to work on your chef skills while you’re camping, you’ll need enough food and proper cooking and eating utensils.
A cooler is great to have so you can keep your drinks cold and make sure your food doesn’t spoil. Consider the type of camping you’re doing before purchasing a cooler. If you have to hike several miles to get to your campground, you probably don’t want to lug around a 48-quart cooler.
Bug Spray and Sunscreen
There are many pesky bugs like mosquitoes that are common in camping areas that will swarm you around the fire at night. Bringing bug spray will repel them and prevent any itchy bites. Even though camping is not like the beach, sun rays can find a way to burn you. Putting on sunscreen every few hours is a great way to make sure sunburn doesn’t make you uncomfortable during your amazing camping trip.
Basic First Aid Kit
A lot of unexpected things can happen while you are camping. It is wise to bring along a small first aid kit that includes things like your medications, bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze, a multi-tool, etc. Having a multi-tool is one of the most practical camping supplies to have and it can really help you get out of a bind, should one occur. A good multi-tool will have things like a knife, scissors, pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters and a bottle opener.
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