So you’re planning a camping trip! Camping can be a fun adventure and almost anywhere you go caters to campers whether you arrive in an RV rigged with all of the comforts from home, a tent trailer with some essentials, or a tent with the bare bones basics. Each has their own appeal, but tent camping certainly presents a different set of challenges and needs than those camping in an RV or other enclosed hard walled rig. If you’re planning a camping trip with a town nearby, you’ll need far less than if you’re heading into the backwoods with only your own resources to guide and keep you. If you’re heading out on a tenting trek, let’s take a look at a few must haves so that your trip goes off without a hitch.
Duh! This is the most obvious but you’d be surprised at how many campers are underprepared. Ensure that your tent provides enough sleeping space for everyone, but also enough space for entertainment if you should run into rain or other yucky weather. Before you head out, check for holes or other weak spots and test the zipper and room dividers. A tarp and rope is great for setting up a simple extra space out of the elements. Don’t forget the tent poles!
Sleeping bags and mats
Oh sure, we know you’re tough, but there’s nothing worse than trying to sleep with a tree root, rock, or gravel sticking into your back. Ensure that your sleeping bag is rated for the weather you’re heading out in; too hot or too cold will impact your ability to get a good night’s rest. A matt or thermarest is a great option for padding up your “bed” and avoiding a long night.
Cooking & food
A camp stove is easy to come by and they’re made so little these days that they don’t take up much room. You’ll need a lighter or matches, and with a little fuel you’re set to whip up some delicious camp fare! Meals can be pre-packed or bought and many places sell dehydrated meals that are great tasting and simple to serve 3 times a day! Make sure to pack a few snacks for when the munchies hit!
Safety gear & other essentials
Especially if you’re backwoods camping, you’ll need to pack a first aid kit that carries (at the very least) some band aids, disinfectant, Tylenol, and tensor bandages. Some water purifier (this could be tablets, liquid or even a filter with a pump) could come in handy, and it’s always a good idea to take some form of hunting knife with you. Hand and toe warmers are great if you unexpectedly get hit with a cold spell, and no matter what type of camping you do, bring your axe for getting firewood or even for cutting down shelter poles.