Camping can be an excellent fun, bonding activity, but you absolutely need to make sure that you brought all the necessary things for camping outdoors. Some things can be forgotten, others will make the trip miserable, but still others will make for a dangerous situation. Here is my advice for having a memorable trip – just without all the misery.
Necessary Things for Camping – Do your Homework
My first piece of advice is actually one of the most overlooked things that people might forget. Figure out where you are going and plan out how you will go about it. For example, some mountains may have multiple trails that you can take, and they’ll all have different difficulties, times, and scenery. Coordinating with your group can help make sure that everyone is happy.
Along these lines, if you plan to fish or hunt on your trip, you will probably need special licenses from your county or area’s parks, fishing, and recreation department. Similarly, these types of activities tend to have limits and seasons. And, sometimes it might take a while for all the paperwork to clear, so you definitely want to start early.
With camping, you’ll need to stay somewhere. Camping out in the open air tends to not have any restrictions, but sometimes there are some. You’ll want to know your rules as they’ll have a hand in shaping what you do on your trip, where you go, and where you stay. If you need to make reservations, you’ll also want to do that ahead of time, too.
It’s always best to do your paperwork and payments ahead of time, so when the big day comes with all the different things going on, you won’t forget. If something happens with your paperwork or process, you’ll have time to sort it all out and re-send the correct paperwork.
So, as a recap:
- Plan and coordinate with your group
There’s a saying in the wild that a man can survive 7 days without food, 3 days without water, but only 20 minutes in horrid weather. Shelter is most important because you need to feel safe while your body rests and re-charges. For this, I recommend you have all the necessary things for camping, plus some extras. But don’t be fooled, it’s more often than not that those extra items turn out to actually be needed items:
- Tent stakes, if they don’t already come with your tent
- Extra tarp
- Duct tape for anything unusual that might come up
- Sleeping bags
- Extra blankets
A hungry camper is a cranky camper! I recommend having more food and snacks than what you’d need. Don’t forget that when you’re moving constantly your body is burning much more energy than it was at a sedentary environment like an office job, so it will need more fuel. Along those lines, combine this with the weather homework research you did. If it’s going to be very cold, your body will also burn much more energy than you’d be used to, in order to keep warm. So I recommend these things:
- Camping stove, camping fuel, lighter of any sort
- Cooking implements like pots, pans, silverware, plates, napkins
- Beverages like sports drinks, water, and coffee
- Food for all meals of the day
- Snacks for energy and fullness
- Comfort food snacks for when your party is feeling down
- Trash bags
If you are fishing, you will want to bring these things also:
- Rods, bait, tackle box along with extra line and repair tools
- A fish cleaning knife
- A bucket of some sort with ice to keep the fish fresh after catch
If you are hunting, you will also want to bring these things:
- Bright hunting clothes in case of other hunters in the area
- Hunting equipment, along with all the necessary safety, cleaning, and maintenance gear
- Size appropriate ice box with ice for freshness
- Hunting knife
- Prey whistle or decoys, as appropriate
Keeping warm and dry is also important. I recommend these things:
- At least 1 extra change of clothes
- Extra clothing layers
- Rain gear
You’ll want to bring some other things for yourself rather than the whole group, like these:
- Toiletries, grooming, and bathing supplies
- Flashlight with extra batteries for yourself
- Pocket knife
- Camera if you’d like to take pictures
And then there are some things that I would always recommend for a camping trip with other people. You may claim that they are for yourself, but oftentimes they get used for other people, for everybody. I recommend these things:
- Phone just in case of any emergencies
- Map of the area or trailhead
- Toys and games to keep yourself or others amused
- First aid kit
- Aloe vera sunburn lotion or gel
- Insect repellent
- Extra blanket
- Extra jacket
Bringing children can be difficult as a parent or relative never knows when the child might grow impatient or erupt next. However, I feel these things might help:
- Wildlife bingo or other, similar, observing activity or game
- Toys and games to keep busy with during rest time
- Comfort items for smaller children
- A 2nd extra change in clothing as they are bound to get wet
- Diaper and formula bags for very small children or toddlers
I hope that your next camping trip is a wonder-filled, happy experience with full stomachs and sore bodies from all the climbing and working. I also hope that you’ll be able to see some fabulous wildlife, along with other visual experiences like landmarks.
Lastly, I also hope that you and yours will be able to feel at peace and at home away from home, with everything that you need to unhook from your home refrigerator, kitchen, and living room couch and television. Just make sure to follow this guide on the necessary things for camping and I’m sure that you won’t forget anything important.