The success of a camping trip depends on proper preparation. One thing that goes wrong can quickly make things uncomfortable and even dangerous, depending on how remote is your campsite and how many days you plan to spend away. Although the logistics of camping take a while to master, once you learn what critical items to pack for each type of situation, nothing can stop you from conquering the outdoors.
To help you out, we’ve put together a checklist of essential items that guarantee a safe and enjoyable camping trip. The importance of packing a tent, warm clothes or a cooking stove is common knowledge, so we will refer to items that are more likely to be forgotten in our rush to get out the door.
Flashlight or Headlamp
No matter how well you prepare in advance, a camping trip is an unpredictable journey. Going to a glamorous glamping site is no exception. Even if you don’t plan to be outdoors at night, having a flashlight or a headlamp can prove handy in many situations. It’s a huge relief to know you can reach it anytime in case you might need to venture outside in the dark.
On an active trip in nature, things like cuts or scratches can easily happen even to the most experienced campers. Pack a first-aid kit to account for this kind of emergencies. Even if you think the chances of something happening to you are low, maybe you encounter someone on the journey who needs your help.
If you plan to go on an extended camping trip, a water filter is a must. However, they can be useful even for shorter trips because running out of water is never fun. Drinking from random sources without filtration is a health hazard due to bacteria. There are many types of water filters so you can choose one with the right size and features for your specific needs.
You never realize how useful rope is until you find yourself in a remote place. While at home we have a specific tool for each possible need, on a camping trip all these tools disappear. Want to hang your clothes to dry? Want to fasten your backpack after breaking a zipper? Need to tie yourself while crossing a rough ridge? Rope can be immensely helpful in these situations.
Camp Chair or Hammock
Although you can survive a camping trip without a foldable chair or a hammock, the beauty of camping is that it puts you into the right mood for relaxation and contemplation. You will want to rest for a bit and soak up the beautiful scenery. Having something to rest on comfortably while gazing at the surrounding views will make your experience much better.
Food and cooking utensils are naturally on top of a camping packing list, but many people neglect to throw some spices too into their bag. Having to eat an under-seasoned dinner when feeling hungry and exhausted after a full active day outdoors is a bummer. Add some spices to your camping bag so you can enjoy a delicious dinner at the campsite. Besides improving the taste of your meal, spices also come with health benefits.
Matches or Lighters
Without fire, your food options are limited and you will struggle to warm up in the cold evenings and nights while camping. Not to mention that a campfire is a quintessential element of a camping trip. To ensure you can always start a fire easily, buy matches in bulk or add one or two lighters to your bag. It’s difficult to predict how much flame you will need to start a fire, so it’s a good idea to carry extra.
Maps and Compass
With GPS on our smartphones and in our cars, we often neglect the usefulness of a compass and actual maps. However, the possibility of being left without a signal in remote locations is high, so be prepared for the moments when your digital navigation tools might fail you. Maps can also be useful when you get conflicting data from your GPS systems and need to cross check before moving forward.
Going on a camping trip forces us to re-evaluate how we perform even the most basic daily activities. Being resourceful and creative can go a long way, but there are things nobody can do without. If you want to stay safe and relaxed while away in the beautiful outdoors, use our list to check if you haven’t forgotten something essential before heading out.