What to Bring Camping

When trying to decide what to bring camping, a checklist will act as your best friend. This list will help you keep everything organized and make sure you bring the camping gear you need. For any easy list, break things into camping, personal, safety and meal equipment.

Camping Equipment

  • Tent: A tent is the most important things to bring camping, unless you plan on sleeping in the open. Make sure you are familiar with the tent and know how to set it up. Remember, bringing a tent also means bringing the stakes and hammer to set the tent up with.
  • Tarp: A tarp can be vital to comfortable camping if there is any chance of adverse weather. The tarp can be set under the tent to prevent ripping or water seepage. It can also be hung over the tent to help prevent dripping and protect you from heavy winds.
  • Sleeping bags: These are important for keeping you warm during the night. Make sure your sleeping bag is suited for the camping conditions. If the sleeping bag does not have a built in pillow, it's important to bring a pillow too.
  • Sleeping mats: Sleeping mats are not actually needed, but most people prefer to use them. Without a sleeping mat, you'll be sleeping directly on the hard ground. This can cause bruising and soreness, not to mention a bad night's sleep.
  • Camping chairs: Such chairs are not vital, but they come in handy. Light chairs that can be easily folded and unfolded give you a comfortable place to rest without having to sit in a pile of dirt.

Personal Equipment

  • Proper clothing: Proper clothing is a must for a pleasant camping trip. Match your clothing needs with the season your camping during. Remember that even in the summer, the nights can get cold or it can rain, so make sure to include a warm and waterproof jacket. It's also wise to bring some wool socks, gloves and hat.
  • Toiletry items: Toiletries, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste and soap, are important if you plan on keeping up your personal hygiene while camping. You'll need a washcloth and towel too. Depending on where you're camping, you may also need a cup or bowl to hold the water for washing and brushing.

Safety Equipment

  • Light: A camping lantern and flashlights are important once night falls when you're camping. Make sure the batteries in these items are fresh. Some matches or a fire lighter are also vital if you plan on having a campfire.
  • First aid gear: Gear should always be brought camping. You can buy or put together a first aid box. Make sure to include everything you'll need, such as bandages, antiseptic, tweezers, scissors and bandages. You may also want to throw in some non-emergency items, such as sunscreen and bug spray.

Meal Equipment

  • Food: Food is going to be needed when you're camping. Try to bring easy-to-prepare food that does not need refrigeration. The less preparing, cooking and clean-up the food requires, the more time you get to spend enjoying your camping trip.
  • Food prep: Food preparation items will be vital to your eating needs. You'll need pots and pans for cooking and dishes and utensils for eating. You'll also need soap, rags and a bucket for washing the dirty dishes. If you use canned food when camping, remember to bring a can opener. If you don't care for cold food, you may also want to include a camping stove or fire grill. A stove or grill may also require fuel, charcoal or wood.
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