12 “Must Haves” for Beginning Campers
For a lot of us, camping has always been a part of our childhood memories, but not all of us have kept the tradition going. Some have moved on to other interests, others just out-grow camping the way they’d outgrow a favorite toy. Today, however, more and more people are re-discovering the joys of camping. Perhaps it’s because of the bad economic climate and one of the advantages of camping is that it’s cheaper than going on a trip somewhere. Perhaps it’s because with all the virtual reality and constant input of technology today it’s nice to occasionally unplug and experience something real and tangible.
The good news is, summer is just around the corner and summer is a great time to go camping. For those who are just about to uncover the thrill of sleeping in the great outdoors or haven’t gone camping in years, here are 12 things you must bring with you on your camping trip:
It’s time to gear up! You wouldn’t want to be caught in the middle of nowhere only to find out that you forgot to bring the essentials of camping.
1. Tent – It may seem more natural or romantic to sleep under the stars, but when you consider the possibility of rain, cold, biting insects, snakes, and other wild life, a tent is usually a better choice. So, what kind of tent should you bring? It primarily depends on the number of happy campers. If it’s just you and a friend, then a double pop up tent will do. If you’re camping with your family, there are a lot of tents for families from double rooms to quadruple rooms available in the market today. If you are going to be doing some hiking too, make sure you get a tent that is light and compact. There are several good tent brands, including MSR, Kelty, North Face, and Coleman tents. If you’re just borrowing a tent, make sure the tent has the complete pegs and poles to go with it. Don’t forget a mallet to pound those pegs away.
2. Sleeping bags or an extra emergency blanket – Even in the summer it can get pretty cold at night, especially if you get wet. So, in case of a temperature drop, bring a sleeping bag or blanket. For extra comfort, you may want to bring an aerobed to get you off the ground. Uneveness of the ground, especially from plant roots can be very uncomfortable.
3. Camping lanterns and a flashlight with extra batteries.
4. Food that’s easy to cook or does not require preparation. Granola bars and dried meats are quick and easy. If you will be able to create a fire and cook, then bring something easy to prepare, especially food that you can just barbeque. Having a barbecue is always a fun thing to do when camping.
5. A cooler. This is a must if you are bringing perishable food. It’s also nice to have a cold drink available.
6. Camping foldable chairs and tables. OK, this isn’t really a “must”, but it’s nice to have as long as you aren’t hiking to your camping spot.
7. Insect repellent
8. Toilet paper. You really don’t want to have to use leaves, trust me.
9. A deck of cards. Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate. So, just in case it ends up raining and you get stuck in the tent, it’s nice to have something to do. A few books (maybe a Kindle) or magazines are also a good idea to bring.
10. An emergency first aid kit. An absolute must. You just never know.
11. Appropriate clothes. It’s nice to have a waterproof jacket/poncho. Also, when camping, layering is always a good idea. This will allow you the flexibility of un-layering if you get warm and adding layers in the evening. Bring an extra set of clothes in case what you are wearing gets wet. If you’re planning to do a lot of hiking on this camping trip, wearing nylon pants is a good idea. You can even get pants that zip off halfway down the leg, turning into shorts. Be sure to bring comfortable supportive socks and shoes if you plan to hike.
The important thing to remember when going on a camping trip is to enjoy it whatever happens. Sure it might rain all throughout your camping trip or little accidents may occur, but as long you’ve remembered the s’mores, you’ll have fun whatever the weather.
Barry Rodgers - About the Author:
Barry Rodgers is an outdoors enthusiast. He has a love of the outdoors lifestyle and has hiked in the USA and many European countries. Currently living in Greece, he is often found hiking and camping in the mountains and on the beaches of southern Crete with his friends on an Aerobed in Coleman Tents or on his own with a small pop up tent.