Any seasoned camper will tell you that forgetting just one essential thing can ruin your whole camping experience. Packing is the most critical stage of your camping trip. You want to pack everything that you will need in sufficient quantities but not too much stuff that will be tedious to drag around in the wild. In the spirit of preparedness, some campers especially novice campers may end up packing-up almost everything they own even though the trip may be just for a day. To save you from this hassle of deciding what to take or leave behind, we have compiled a list of eight must-have camping gear:
1. Pocket Knife
A pocket knife is one of the most versatile tools you can have on your camping trip. A pocket knife comes in handy when you need to cut anything. You can use it when setting up the tent, finding and preparing food, collecting firewood, among other endless uses that may come up. Its small size makes it perfect to carry around in your pocket.
2. Sleeping Gear
The choice of sleeping gear depends on the expected temperature and climatic conditions. A tent is needed in most cases but may be unnecessary if it is not cold at night or people who want to watch the stars as they sleep. You also need a sleeping bag for each camper and air mattresses if you need them. Another essential sleeping item that many forget is a ground mat. If there is rain, snow, or humidity, a ground mat will protect you ensuring you get a good night’s sleep. It also keeps crawling insects at bay.
3. Lighter or Matchbox
Let’s face it; if you are reading this, chances are you also don’t know how to start a fire with two sticks. You will need something to start a fire especially if you need to cook food. The nights can also get cold without a fire to keep you warm. Make sure you carry a bunch of matchboxes and a backup lighter in case it’s too windy to use a matchstick. Advanced campers could consider bringing along flint to start a fire. Look towards our article about how to use flint to start a fire. Using flint is a useful skill, not to mention it is also awe-inspiring if you can start a fire with it!
They make it look easy to capture a rabbit or boar in movies, but trust me, it’s not. You cannot rely on your non-existent hunting and food gathering skills on a camping trip. You need to pack enough food for every day you plan to be there and even extra in case you need it. You can have some of the food ready to eat and raw food if you have cooking gear. Canned foods, eggs, cereal, bread, meat, coffee, tea, energy food, and marshmallows are among the common food items. Ideally, the food should be easy to prepare and not too bulky.
When night falls, there are limited sources of light especially if you are camping in an isolated place. You need a flashlight to be able to move easily without knocking things over and if you need to search for something. The flashlight should be kept in a known place for easy retrieval when needed. Make sure it is fully charged or carry extra batteries if needed.
While many campsites have supply spots to gather water, it is vital to do your research before you go. You need to ensure you will have clean water to drink, cook, bathe, or any other purposes. Bring water from home if you are unsure if you will have access to water at the campsite. Bring more than you think you will need; running out of water is never a good idea.
7. First Aid kit
When you are in the wild outdoors, anything can happen. One wrong step can land you in a world of pain. Rocks can be slippery, trails can be rocky, branches can be sharp, and bees can be in a stinging mood. It is essential that you are adequately prepared for injuries especially if you know the campsite is far from any sources of medical help.
8. Garbage bags
Garbage bags are one of the things most campers forget. However, a garbage bag is vital as you’ll need somewhere to dispose of waste to avoid littering which is not only wrong but can also land you in trouble at some campsites. A garbage bag can also be used to pack clothes, raincoat, faux tent, among other uses. You should carry many garbage bags as they are cheap and weightless. Help protect the beautiful environment you are in as a guest!