Camping continues to be a popular recreational activity year round. In 2017, there were an estimated 40 million campers who camped with cars, tents and recreational vehicles in the US. One way to stay a “happy camper” is to know what to bring camping to make the trip pleasant.
If you have plans to escape civilization and get back to nature soon, then this article is for you! Use this handy camping gear list to make sure you have all the supplies you need. Make this trek to the great outdoors a safe and memorable one.
Keep reading to find out more!
What to Bring Camping
Camping is a great way to relax and leave the grind of modern society behind. But the truth is, you still need a few supplies to survive in the great outdoors. Whether it’s backpacking in the mountains or camping on the coast, your camping checklist should include these basic necessities.
Your first piece of camping gear is your shelter- a tent. Make sure that you have all the necessary poles, rain tarp and stakes you need to put it together. Pack a rubber mallet or hammer to help drive the stakes into the ground.
If you’re shopping for a tent, double check the tent’s measurements and buyer reviews. You’ll get a good idea if the tent you want is big enough for all the people in your party. You can see options here for different tent styles that fit your camping needs.
Air mattresses and inflatable sleeping mats can give you a cushion against any roots or rocky areas in the ground under your tent floor. These devices will inflate quickly with a battery operated pump. Some sleeping pads can help circulate heat back to your body.
Don’t forget to bring your pillow and sleeping bag as well. Your sleeping bag should have a lower temperature rating than the coldest evening temperature you’re expecting where you will be camping. Be prepared to have a pillow that smells like campfire smoke a few days after you get home, so consider having a different pillow just for these outings.
It’s entirely possible to have a functional outdoor kitchen in the great outdoors. If you’re not camping somewhere that has on-site fire pits or barbeques, you’ll need to bring a portable cooking stove. You should also remember to bring the stove’s propane tank or gas cartridges and any spares if you think you’ll run out.
Dishes, bowls and eating utensils should be non-breakable and high heat safe. A long skewer for heating food over the stove or fire can create a delicious grilled meal. Be sure to bring cutlery, knives and a can opener if you think it’s necessary.
Cooking pots and pans can be either cast iron or aluminum. Aim for bringing a frying pan, small saucepan, and a larger boiling pot. This boiling pot can pull double duty boiling large amounts of water for cooking or washing dishes.
Water and Nonperishable Food
Check to see if your intended campsite provides running water ahead of time. If they don’t, plan to bring gallons of bottled water for cleaning, cooking or washing hands. You can also pack individual water bottles to keep campers hydrated throughout their travel.
It’s best to plan meals that use nonperishable food. These food items will stay safe and cool in jars, boxes, and cans until you’re ready to cook them. You can store these food items in your car or in bear-resistant bags that can protect your food from even the hungriest bear.
Perishable food, such as eggs, meats, or cheese need to be stored below 40˚F. These foods are unsafe to eat if they have been outdoors for at least an hour in temperatures over 90˚F. You might try to bring multiple coolers, one for food and one dedicated to drinks.
Be sure to use every inch of space when packing a suitcase for your camping trip. Traveling light is ideal for camping, so only bring the clothing essentials.
Synthetic material like Gortex and polypropylene are helpful to keep moisture away from the skin. Your jackets and outer layers should be made from these weather resistant materials. Bring gloves and hats to help trap body warmth that can escape from your hands and head.
Choose a thick, durable pair of shorts or pants. These are your “assigned” camp pants to wear when you’re cutting wood or tending fires. You’re most likely to get dirty while doing these tasks so keep the same clothing for these dusty tasks.
Hiking shoes or boots should also be on your camping supplies list. Lighter street shoes like tennis shoes can handle the terrain closer to camp. Bring a pair of slip-on shoes or sandals for convenience between shower areas or near your tent.
If you’re camping during the summer months, bring t-shirts and shorts with vents for comfortable daytime wear. You should also consider bringing long-sleeved shirts and pants that can protect against sunburns or mosquitos. Don’t forget to bring your heavy layers to wear when the night time chills creep in.
Toiletries and Personal Hygiene Items
Most campgrounds will have flushing toilets and working showers that allow you to maintain your personal hygiene routine. Pack your soap, shampoo, toothbrush, and toothpaste that you think you’ll use. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and any prescription medication you may use.
Restock your first-aid kit if your agenda includes biking, hiking or other physical outdoor activities. Include fresh sting-relief pads and antiseptic burn spray. Be sure to replace any damaged bandages or gauze.
Flashlights and Lanterns
Flashlights are another must-have for your camping checklist. Bring multiple flashlights and extra sets of batteries. Lanterns are helpful because they cover a wider area of light in all directions.
If you’re ready to join those 40 million campers who are enjoying the great outdoors, the best thing you can do is to plan ahead. The first place to start is to take inventory of your current equipment so you’ll know what to bring camping.
Check your air mattresses for leaks and update your first aid kit. Try doing a test-run in your own backyard to make sure everything is in perfect working order.
Don’t forget to check out my website for more helpful travel information like this post on apps for vegan travelers. The world is your oyster. It’s time to go out and see it firsthand.