If done the right way, camping can be a truly enjoyable and breathtaking ride. Make sure you get the full experience by equipping yourself with all the essential camping gear listed below.
Essential Camping Gear Checklist | What to Bring on Your Next Camping Trip
When the word “camping” is mentioned, perhaps the very first picture that pops up in people's minds is a tent. No camping trip would ever be complete without one as it will be your primary shelter and protection from elements such as wind or rain.
Tents vary in style, size, and brand. Make sure to get one that suits your needs. A typical tent can accommodate up to two campers. Bigger variants, however, have room for as many as six people.
Fortunately, today's tents are also a lot lighter, sturdier, and simpler to put up. Make sure you know how to assemble this iconic piece of outdoor equipment before going on your camping trip.
2. Sleeping Bag
Now that you have your tent set up, it's important to have something to keep you extra warm and comfortable while you sleep under the elements. This is exactly what sleeping bags are for.
Depending on where you might be camping out, you can use your sleeping bag either inside the tent or outside directly underneath the open sky.
When choosing your sleeping bags, make sure to take note of the temperature rating. This identifies the lowest temperature at which the sleeping bag is able to keep the camper warm and comfortable.
Among all the things you'll bring on your trip, your sleeping bag might be the bulkiest. However, it's not necessarily the heaviest.
More sophisticated sleeping bags are typically lightweight and are able to pack down into a smaller bundle. Just be prepared to pay a premium for their cutting-edge designs and advanced materials. If you're a true outdoor warrior, though, it might be worth investing in a top-level sleeping bag.
3. First Aid Kit
Every camping party has to be equipped with a fully-stocked first aid kit. Some of the mandatory contents of this include:
- Antiseptic wipes
- Antidiarrheal medication
- Topical pain-relieving gel or lotion
- Triple antibiotic cream or ointment
Make sure to also bring prescription medications that you might need. Arrange the contents of the first aid kit in an orderly manner, and make sure the kit itself has a bright color. These measures should help make sure that both the bag and its contents are easy to find in an emergency.
4. Water and Water Bottle
Water is an invaluable resource when it comes to survival. In fact, a 2009 study shows that the human body can survive for up to two months as long as it has water. Without both water and food, however, it can only last for up to 21 days.
Our tip? As much as possible, do not go camping without at least one large container filled with drinking water. If carrying water around isn't for you, then at least make sure you have a water purifier. This will allow you to draw clean, pathogen-free water from almost any natural water source out there.
Equally as important as the water itself is the water bottle to carry it in. Old school canteens made water taste somewhat funky. They also had narrow mouths that limited their flexibility.
Fortunately, there are millions of new water bottle designs available in the market today. Make sure to choose one that is durable, leak-proof, and equipped with a sturdy and tethered cap so you never have to lose it.
A multitool is one of the most essential camping gear that is crucial to any camper's backpack or utility belt. It is essentially the Swiss army knife of modern-day outdoor warriors.
Beginner multitools typically feature a knife blade, scissors, pliers, and maybe a screwdriver. The more sophisticated models contain pretty much any outdoor gear you can think of.
Just like the other essential camping gear on this list, though, you will also have to balance out weight, utility, and luxury. Make sure to consider these factors before making a choice.
6. Fire Starter
When it comes to the outdoors, fire just might be your best friend.
It not only provides light but also warmth, the capability to boil water and cook, and of course, the unspoken magic you experience when you gather around it with your friends. With that said, it is only reasonable to pack a reliable fire starter that will help you get a fire going.
Waterproof matches and lighters are typically at the top of people's minds when talking about fire. A more traditional and durable option, however, is the use of pharaoh rods or similar striker systems. These systems produce a blast of hot sparks regardless of the weather condition.
7. Emergency Blanket
Exposure to the elements is one of the most common and deadliest things that can cause you harm while you're out there. This is exactly the reason why almost all the essential camping gear on this list help combat the possible effects of overexposure to mother nature's harsher elements.
Exposure to cold elements such as windy conditions or low temperatures, for example, can cause your core body temperature to plummet. Left unattended, this can quickly incapacitate you and, at worst, lead to your death.
An emergency blanket, otherwise known as a space blanket, is a cheap, light, and extremely easy-to-use answer to this problem. They reflect the infrared heat energy produced by the body, helping it stay warm in any condition.
Its use is also very diverse. You can simply wrap them tightly around your shoulders or use them to supplement your tent or other forms of shelter. You can also use them as a reflector around your campfire, thus maximizing the heat it provides.
An often overlooked must-have in camping is the right outerwear. Too many people fail to bring outerwear that is suitable for both hot and cold temperatures. Instead, they bring clothes simply to look good.
Regardless of the situation, make sure to pack outerwear that is specific to the local climate and the current season. No matter the forecast and the current weather conditions, you should be prepared for both low nighttime temperatures and sun exposure.
This should help make sure that you are not left numbing and shivering should the weather turn against you.
The same goes for footwear. Traditional sneakers, tennis shoes, and other fashion footwear are not enough when going on a hike. Opt for some rugged trail shoes or a sturdy pair of boots instead. These are light, durable, and provide adequate comfort and grip.
9. Bug Spray
Even the most perfect camping trips can be ruined by a few, tiny, blood-sucking pests. Mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, fleas, and other similar bugs and insects thrive in environments like these. What's worse is that more than being annoying, they can also cause some serious diseases.
Make sure to stay safe against these creepy crawlies by bringing along some bug spray or lotion on your camping trip. Apply it regularly as stated in the instruction on the packaging. The last thing you want is to have an exciting camping trip end up being the cause of some terrible, lifelong complication.
Now that you're fully equipped with all the essential camping gear you'll need, check out this video courtesy of Alpha Paw for some genius camping hacks:
Camping trips, if done the right way, can be exhilarating and relaxing adventures. Make sure you maximize the experience by equipping yourself with all the essential camping gear on your next camping trip.
Do you have other essential camping gear in mind that's not on the list? Share them with us in the comments section below!
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