Getting the right supplies can be tricky when it comes to camping, especially if you live in more than one climate. You have to certain, good quality items with you for the trip to be an enjoyable experience. It is easy to make rookie mistakes when first starting out camping, so I hope this article will help you have an enjoyable camping trip. However, if you are looking for something beyond these 10 essentials, then the ultimate camping checklist is for you.
There is so much that plays into picking out the right one, and choosing this essential item can take the longest of the ten.
There are many different factors that have to be considered to get the right one for your needs. Some of these include:
- Its weight:
- Pertinent if carrying with your rucksack full of other camping stuff.
- The number of parts and how complex/simple it is to put up.
- Practice pitching your tent prior to the trip!
- The style of the tent.
- There are a variety of styles to choose from: tunnel tents, dome tents, semi-geodesic and geodesic technical tents, inflatable tents, and tipi tents.
- How big it is inside.
- If you plan to camp alone, you do not need one that will fit a whole family, but you might need more room to share it if you camp with others.
- Facing the weather:
- How will it stand up to wind and rain.
- If you live anywhere that has bad weather, you need to consider how durable it is.
- You might need to get the right tent that can withstand many different kinds of weather and strong winds, which can be tricker.
- You might need to consider a double-skinned tent or a groundsheet.
- Heat can cause as much discomfort as cold unless you keep a close eye on tent ventilation.
- Ventilation flaps (especially at a higher level) and mesh inner doors can help.
2. Sleeping Bags
For this article, we are going to place sleeping bags in two categories: camping and backpacking.
The difference between these two is that a camping one has a lot more room to move around in it, while a backpacking one is meant to be light to carry, (so it is snug to sleep in).
Important things to consider when choosing a sleeping bag include:
- Do you need a summer (30 degrees and higher), three-season (20 degrees and above), or winter (20 degrees and below) sleeping bag?
- What temperature rating do you require?
- All sleeping bags have temperature ratings, which indicate the minimum temperature that the bag is designed to handle.
- Temperature ratings should be taken with a grain of salt however, because as of now, there is no standard, universal method for determining ratings.
- What insulation material does the bag have?
- Down (the lightest, most efficient insulation you can get) or synthetic (generally a fluffy polyester material that doesn’t absorb water, making it a smart choice for any camper who might be faced with wet conditions).
- Shell fabric: This really only comes down to one decision: do you need a waterproof bag or not?
- What shape would you like?
- Mummy, rectangular, or semi-rectangular.
It is advisable to ‘try before you buy’.
3. Camping Stove
Warm food is a great thing to have when you are camping and having finished a long day of adventuring.
Now, many people like to cook their food over a fire, and it is a great way to cook some food. The thing is that something might happen where you cannot cook over a fire, such as the weather making it hard or making a fire is banned.
If it is raining (very hard), there is no way you can use a fire to cook your food. That also means you need to make sure your stove is safe to use in a covered area, which might mean your tent if it is large enough.
There are different kinds of stoves, such as liquid gas and wood-burning, and it is vital to get the right one for you.
4. Eating Utensils
It is essential to have the proper utensils with you when you are camping to eat correctly.
That means you should have knives, forks, and spoons (KFS) with you when you go camping, and I would recommend having some that come in a container that they can be packed away neatly and safely. The container can keep your utensils safe, but it also makes it much easier to tuck away when not in use.
Another eating utensil needed to be packed includes plates and bowls, and I even pack some mugs with me for those cold nights when I want some hot chocolate with my s’mores to enjoy before going to bed. It would help if you always cleaned everything before putting it away to keep everything safe and hygenic.
Water is an important commodity to have plenty of when you go camping.
Yes, nature provides water, but you never know what might be in the water. You have to be sure the water is safe to drink, so you do not get sick, which can be dangerous when you are out camping, especially by yourself.
And, of course, there are ways to get make water for drinking while you are out camping, but it can be a tricky thing to do. Only a select few people know how to make water safe to eat because the water has to be sanitised and thoroughly cleaned.
You must/should take extra water with you when you are hiking. For example, if you become stranded or injured, that spare drinking water could be a life saver.
It is always important to pack plenty of food when you go camping and, as a general rule, always pack at least one day more than you need (i.e. take three rations for a two-day camp).
The thing to keep in mind is that you need to have foods that will last for some time and provide you with all the nutrients you need. I know this sounds boring, and you are probably longing to put those marshmallows, candy bars, and graham crackers into your bag for your camp fire in the evening (LOL).
Take them with you, but jJust make sure to take plenty of other healthier foods as well. I always make s’mores when I go camping because a camping trip would not be the same and enjoyable without s’mores to enjoy.
Some people prefer to have flashlights or headlamps, but I prefer a lantern.
A lantern gives me a tremendous hands-free experience as well as 360 light. A flashlight or headlamp can only produce a small light beam, but a lantern can give off a sizeable light circle.
The one drawback of having a lantern is that the light is spread out, and can be harder to focus on one thing. I prefer battery-powered lanterns because it is easier for me to carry extra batteries with me when I go camping, but some people prefer gas-powered because of the strength of the light produced.
Both require space for fuel, whether that is gas or batteries, and therefore extra weight.
Matches are crucial to have with you at all times, even when you are not at your campground. You never know when you might need light to see or to start a fire.
The important thing to remember is to keep your matches in a waterproof container. You do not want them to get wet because then they cannot be used!
A number of suppliers offer windproof/waterproof matches, which have been on the market for a number of years now.
9. First-aid Kit
It is extremely important to have a first-aid kit when you go camping. Some basic things should be in a first-aid kit, and the first-aid kit should be waterproof to protect what is inside the kit, and you should personalise the kit to fit the things you might need while camping.
Recommended contents for a first aid kit include:
- Wound Covering: antiseptic pads, adhesive bandages/plasters (various sizes), gauze padding (various sizes), medical tape, eye dressings/pads, crepe bandage, safety pins, cold compress, and triangular sling bandage.
- Medicines/Creams: antiseptic cream, distilled water, hydrocortisone cream, antihistamine tablets, painkillers (Paracetamol/Ibuprofen), cough medicines, aloe vera gel, hydration salts, eyewash, and water purification tablets.
- Tools: scissors, tweezers, thermometer, emergency foil blanket, disposable sterile gloves, notebook and pen, and first aid manual.
It is essential to consider the kind of weather you will encounter when you go camping.
Depending on the area it could be blazing sunshine (enough to give you sunburn) in the morning and sleet and hailstones in the afternoon.
Although the weather forecast is essential to know prior to camping, the weather variable especially when traversing up and down mountain ranges.
You need ensure you have the right types of clothing, such as layers for colder weather or clothes that can block out the sun during the summertime. Even the dress you plan to wear when you are asleep has to be chosen carefully to protect yourself during your camping experience.
Preparation is key to every kind of camping trip. Buy your tent well ahead of your first trip – things will go much more smoothly if you have had the chance to practice pitching your tent a couple of times. You will also have the chance to work out what accessories or storage you might need to organise the tent interior.
Now that you know the most important things to make sure you have when you go camping, I hope you can have the best possible trip. Just make sure you create a personal checklist and have everything before you head out on your camping adventure.