Camping is an exciting activity that brings a lot of experiences and thrills. This is especially true when it’s done within the wild outdoors because there’s no way of telling what could happen there. Although it’s really fun, camping may also be risky and dangerous. There are many cases where people got lost or even died while camping, but this shouldn’t faze you from pursuing your plans.
All you need to do is to be prepared of what you’re about to face whether you know it or not. Whether you camp at a campground or hike miles in to find the perfect spot, having the correct gear is essential to make your trip as successful as possible. With tons of options to choose from it’s hard to really narrow down what you need your camping trip sometimes may end up being a total write-off for the simplest reason. That’s because we don’t get to do it very often. The right equipment and careful planning will help you and your fellow campers have a more enjoyable camping experience.
Check out these necessary camping items, and be sure to pack them for your next camping trip!
A Sharp knife
One of the most essential tools for camping is a good knife. While it might not do you much good if you run across a bear, a knife can help you survive in other situations. For example, how else are you going to chop up those onions for your hot dog? From fishing to setting up the tent to cooking and more, you’ll certainly need a sharp knife. In fact, you may want to take along two: a basic camping knife, and a multi-tool with several useful items.
A campfire is a must-do camping activity! You can spend your hard-earned cash on fire starters from the store, but it’s a better idea to make your own! The “DIY” factor adds to the epic status of your camping excursion, after all.
What? A pool float? This is a great budget option that works practically as well as a thermarest sleeping pad. Of course, you can always splurge on the more expensive option, but a pool raft does the job! It’s light, and it rolls up nice and tight to fit into a backpack. If you have the space, you could also opt for an air mattress. Bonus: if you hit a campground, you may have the chance to use it as intended – to relax in the pool.
It’s absolutely essential that you stay hydrated while camping, especially if your trip is during the summer months. Hydration packs are better than water bottles, since they are hands-free and can hold a lot more water. These come in all shapes and sizes, so shop around until you find one you like.
You’ll definitely need some kind of pot or pan for camping. The traditional cast iron pan is great, but it takes a long time to heat up and it’s really heavy, which makes it not exactly ideal for long backpacking trips. Frequent camper Adam Shaw recommends titanium cookware, saying, “titanium transfers heat extremely quickly… it is also very light! You save weight and fuel.”
A Sleeping bag
This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many campers head into the woods without one. A blanket and pillow won’t cut it—bring the sleeping bag so that you can seal in heat and keep out moisture.
Have you ever noticed that food always tastes better when you eat it in the woods? I’m convinced that this is literally the only reason that people actually buy dinty moore beef Stew. Aside from canned soups, other good camping foods include hot dogs, bagels, and, of course, s’mores. Definitely don’t forget the s’mores! To make it, all you have to do is create a ball of dough, fill it with chocolate, and then cook it on a stick over the fire.
Choose shoes that are comfortable and have thick soles with plenty of traction. Bring a durable pair that are waterproof and have a good rubber sole intact. Camp shoes serve several extremely important functions to keep your feet healthy in the backcountry.
Choose a tent that won’t collapse from a little water, and bring clothes to keep yourself dry. A warm, weatherproof coat is always a good idea. You should pack a tarp to lay out underneath your tent, so that no water will soak through the floor and into your sleeping bag during the night.
Be prepared for rain, but also be prepared for sun! Nothing ruins a camping trip like a horrible sun burn. Keep a bottle of sunscreen in your backpack, and be sure to apply it each morning.
this is the digital age, but that doesn’t mean you should rely on your phone for light. As we all know too well, iPhones don’t have particularly long battery lives. If you’re sleeping in the woods, you need to be able to see your way around, just in case. Be sure to bring a reliable flashlight with new batteries.
A first-Aid kit
Last but not least, be sure to pack a first-aid kit! You never know what you might get yourself into while camping. Maybe you’ll run into that bear (unlikely, but possible), and you’ll almost certainly get a cut or a blister. Make sure you have the proper first-aid equipment for minor scratches, bug bites, and scrapes, as well as more painful situations like burns and broken fingers. Camping isn’t really any more dangerous than tinkering around your own kitchen, but you can never be too careful, or too prepared.