A camping trip with family or friends is absolutely an exciting and fantastic adventure for anyone. But if you’re a first time, you need to do the right preparation to ensure you won’t have a bad camping experience. To make your nature outing worthwhile, we’ve listed the top essential camping items you’d want to have before leaving your home.
- Tent and sleeping bags
Buy a camping tent that’s enough for your group. For guaranteed comfort and space, opt for a tent with a capacity of at least twice the number of people who will use it. If you’re a group of four, it’s better to get a six-person tent or more if you want more space. As for sleeping bags, choose the type that is suitable for the climate. If you want a much comfier night’s sleep, take some air mattresses with you too.
Another thing you need to survive your first camping trip is any fire starter. The easiest one to get is matches. You’d also want to store them in a waterproof, airtight container for safe-keeping. Consider getting strike anywhere matches for more convenience. Other options you have are a cigarette lighter, a flint and steel, and a magnesium fire starter.
- Water bottle
You will definitely need some water to survive the great outdoors. Don’t attempt to rely on ponds or lakes for your drinking water as they might have bacteria that can cause serious illnesses. Take a large water container for at least a day’s supply. In case you have no choice but to get a refill from a stream, make sure to have water purification tablets or a filter with you. If you got a hydration daypack, take note that most of them can only keep you hydrated for a couple of hours with 50 oz containers.
Bringing a multi-tool has always been recommended, and for great reasons. Having one allows you to bring in several tools in one light and convenient piece. The multi-tool may feature scissors, screwdrivers, knife blades, pliers, can or bottle opener, tweezers, reamer, and magnifying glass, depending on the type. The smallest ones are key or credit-card sized, while there are types that fit on a belt-mounted pouch or trouser pocket.
- First aid kit
While life-threatening incidents aren’t likely to happen during your trip, expect to get blisters or scratches on hiking. If you don’t treat those right away, it’s most likely for them to get infected. That’s why having a first aid kit is necessary. Bring bandages, scissors, gauze, CPR mouth barrier, antiseptic, adhesive, bug and mosquito repellent, and soap. You might also want to bring sunscreen with you for sunburn or some allergy medications just in case one of your camping buddies need it.
- Weather-appropriate clothing
Camping requires clothing that can protect you from hungry bugs and sunburn. Get a battered baseball cap or a wide-brimmed sun hat, or anything comfortable to protect your head. Invest in a good pair of shoes for hiking or water shoes for some beach fun, as well as pairs of wool socks that are comfortable and snugly. Your overall clothing may depend on the weather conditions, but generally, you’d want to bring a jacket or sweater for cold nights or a rain suit if the sky goes bad.
- Camping stove
A campfire is not always guaranteed, so it’s advisable to bring a portable camping stove with you. Confirm first if you can also bring a camping grill grate or dutch oven as some campsites have a fire ban. A camping propane stove would be more ideal, though. Look for a stove that is easy to set up, lightweight, and affordable, of course. It’s recommended to bring one portable stove for two campers if you want to cook more food every time.
- Lanterns and flashlights
Factors to consider when picking the right light source for your trip are portability, battery life, lighting needs, and durability. If you’re thinking of lighting the trail to your restroom, setting up evening snacks, or playing cards with your camping friends, bring some LED lanterns for the trip. On the other hand, a headlamp is ideal if you need to light up your route hands-free. If you’re opting for something with strong focusing or signal lighting, flashlights are a better option.
These are just a few of the essentials for a camping trip, and there are definitely tons. Check the needs of your group and the weather condition to decide better what things to bring. Make your own camping checklist starting with the items listed in this guide for better planning.