Camping has grown in popularity. Many people love sleeping outdoors, and it is refreshing. As we head into summer, you and your family may be gearing up for a visit to the nearest campsite in the coming months. Before you head into the wilderness, here are 12 things every camper needs for a safe and enjoyable experience.
Must-Have #1: Tent
You may dream of sleeping under the stars, but purchasing a durable tent is wise. If there are only two of you camping, consider purchasing a three-person tent to allow more room for your gear and belongings. A family of four would sleep nicely in a six-person tent. Going bigger is almost always better if your budget allows it, especially if you will be travelling in a car and can accommodate larger equipment.
Some other things to consider when choosing a tent are:
- Ventilation & Insulation: Mesh panels can help with ventilation and allow you to get a great view.
- Rainfly: This is a separate piece of rainproof material designed to fit over your tent. It can be used during times of inclement weather and help keep the inside of your tent warmer if you are somewhere that gets cool at night.
Must-Have #2: Sleeping Bag
Are you going camping in a place where it gets colder at night, or is it going to be hot all night long? Depending on this, you can decide what type of sleeping bag will keep you most comfortable.
Sleeping bags are rated by degree, with some of the most insulated ones keeping campers warm in below-zero temperatures. Classic sleeping bags or cotton-lined bags for summertime camping may keep you most comfortable in the warmer weather.
Must-Have #3: Sleeping Pad
Do not forget your sleeping pad, as this serves as the “mattress” to your sleeping bag. It provides comfort, but it will help you retain body heat in the cooler months. When choosing a sleeping pad for your upcoming trip, you will want to check essential dimensions like length, width and thickness. Additionally, some sleeping pads may be more insulative than others.
Must-Have #4: Flashlight or Headlamp (Or Both!)
Flashlights are a good option, but consider a headlamp to free up your hands. Lanterns can light up your campsite nicely, but flashlights and headlamps are ideal for those who may need to walk off-site to use the restroom or gather supplies.
Must-Have #5: Cooking and Kitchen Utensils
“Sporks” are a great option since they combine a spoon and a fork and cut down on the number of kitchen utensils you need. You will want some pots and pans placed directly over a flame to cook your meals, plus biodegradable soap and scrubbers for cleaning.
Must-Have #6: Cooler
Ensure your cooler has enough space for all of your perishable food items and room for some drinks. If your cooler is newer and thicker insulation, your ice will last much longer. Be prepared, however, to spend anywhere from $150 to $500 on a quality cooler that holds ice for multiple days.
Must-Have #7: Stove Top
A two-burner propane stove is an easy option, and it is helpful as you can cook your meals and brew your morning coffee without starting a fire.
Must-Have #8: Camping Chairs (Plus a Blanket!)
After a long day of hiking and being outside, you will want to be able to relax with your family around the fire. Camping chairs are a must for hanging out around the campfire. Furthermore, if you will be camping somewhere that gets cooler at night, bring a couple of blankets to keep yourself warm and cozy.
Must-Have #9: Backpacks
Backpacks are great for easily carrying your essential supplies - even if you are not backpacking to and from your campsite. Any time you leave the campsite, whether, for a hike or to gather supplies, a backpack can come in handy.
Must-Have #10: Water Bottles or Filters
While there is always an option to bring plastic water bottles on your trip, utilizing a reusable one may be more environmentally friendly. This is an especially appealing option if your campsite has a water fountain or water spout. You may also want to consider packing a small portable water filter.
Must-Have #11: Extra Battery Charger
Even though it is nice to “unplug,” and you may not have service, it is still nice to have your phone with you in case of an emergency. To be safe, you may want to consider grabbing a portable battery charger that can keep your phone charged during your trip.
Must-Have #12: Food and Water
You will want to bring food that’s easy to cook over a fire and hearty enough to keep you warm and satisfied during your trip. Include a few things that are easy to grab and go or snack on throughout your day, like granola bars, trail mix, dried fruit, and jerky.
While this not’t a comprehensive camping list, it’s an excellent place to start. Camping is a great time to connect with your family and friends and unwind from the chaos that comes with daily life. There is no better time to get outdoors than now, so make the most of your time together in the great outdoors with these bare camping essentials.
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