Are you a back country camper? Or just a leisure family camper? Camping creates memories. It's the start of many stories. It's the definition of summer - for me, at least. The campfires. The s'mores. Ah....all the memories. Whether you are a seasoned camper (well, you probably won't need this list), or a tenting novice, here are 10 camping essentials (in addition to the basic tent and sleeping bag) you should include in your next outdoor stay.
Obvious, maybe, but very important. It's pretty much inevitable that someone will get a cut, scrap, burn or something a little worse, so it's good to be prepared with antiseptic, bandages and dressing. I like this checklist from The Red Cross. Be sure to keep your first-aid kit stocked and updated.
Cause those campfires aren't going to light themselves. And that food is not going to cook itself. AND those marshmallows are going to roast themselves. Either way, you're probably going to need a few matches to light a fire. Be sure to keep a full stock of matches in your camping essentials kit.
A downpour tends to spoil your camping trip. Having a tarp in your kit will save you from cold heads and soggy clothes and provide you with a little extra shelter.
Again, another obvious essential. You don't want to get caught somewhere in the dark and limited vision - from midnight snacks or late evening hikes to pre-sunrise bathroom breaks.
Cause if you're anything like me, you get lost often. So a map is important. I prefer Google Maps, but that's not is always possible. To go with your map, have a compass, too. You don't want to get lost while hiking the back country or driving to your campsite.
This one might seem a little weird, but think about it. Peanut butter doesn't need special storage and it has a good dose of protein and healthy fats. It's portable, and it tastes DELICIOUS!
Pack for the weather you think you will experience. I will admit: I am an overpacker, but I never regret being prepared rather than sorry. Have an extra set of clothes just in case you get caught in bad weather.
Protect yourself from the sun by including lots of sunscreen in your camping essentials kit. As someone who naturally has fair skin, sunscreen is so important. You don't want to spend your entire camping trip with raw shoulders, so be sure to bring a few bottles with at least SPF 30.
Rope has so many great uses: clothesline, create a shelter (with that tarp you're bringing, too), getting out of tough spots. It can literally save your life, so be sure to pack one. Make most of your rope and learn some basic knots.
This is probably a good tool for life. With so many attachments, it has so many uses, from opening bottles to cutting rope. And because it is so compact, it is easy to pack.
Other essentials I would include:
- paper towels (P.S. if you need a good laugh, check out this video. It's related to paper towels.)
- duct tape
- insect repellent
- bear spray (if you're camping in bear country)
- toilet paper
Of course, this kit is not exhaustive and will vary based on where you are camping and how much experience you have. What are your favorite camping essentials?