Camping Essentials Check List (and some nice items to have too)
If you love spending your time outdoors during the summers months, the perfect type of adventure might be a camping trip. Camping is a wonderful way to be away from technology and enjoy bonding together outside in the elements and away from modern distractions.
If you want to plan a great camping trip for your family or your friends this summer, here are some of the essential items you need to pack in your car before you go. With everything on this list, you’ll be sure to have an amazing adventure.
A Good Tent That's Easy To Assemble Quickly
Unless you are deciding to go to a campsite which has its own accommodation like Glamping, the first thing you need to invest in for your trip is some great camping tents. If you are going as a family unit or a small group of friends, there are single tents which can offer somewhere to sleep for eight people. However, if you want to sleep in separate ones, you can all bring your own tents as couples or families. A good quality tent should have great weatherproofing, it should have a decent amount of room for sleeping, and enough room for you to place and secure all of your belongings.
First Aid Kit To Help Handle Inevitable Cuts and Bruises
When you are out in the wild and away from your comfort zone, chances are that someone will end up hurting themselves during the trip. It could be a splinter from picking wood for the fire, a cut from tripping in the woods, or even a burn on your hands from cooking over the fire. A good first aid kit should have cooling gel, plasters, bandages, scissors, safety pins, rubbing alcohol and a few other items to make sure you are covered for any minor injury.
Not all of us had the experience of being a Boy Scout during our younger years, and unless you are a master of lighting fires in the woods you might want to bring a packet of matches with you. It might not be as fun as trying to start a fire yourself, but you can use it as a convenient backup plan when you don’t manage to light one with your bare hands. This will ensure that on those cold summer nights you will be able to cuddle up by the fire together and eat some great food.
Speaking of cuddling up by the fire, you will want to bring along a few big blankets for you all to enjoy the trip. This will not only be great for the evenings out in the open, but you can bring them back into the tent for some extra comfort while you sleep in the tent overnight. A big fluffy plush blanket is the ideal choice here because they are super soft, easy to bring along, and they are machine washable so you can wash them off when you get home.
A rope has a lot of different uses around a campsite, so it is always worth having some good quality rope around while you head off on your adventures. If you don’t know many knots, you can buy yourself knot tying book which can show you some great knots to use for your shelter, for towing vehicles in the mud, and even to hang your clothes at night as they dry after a wet day.
Even when you are going on holiday in the height of summer, you can never guarantee a totally dry week away. To make sure that you are prepared for all weather conditions, bring along a sheet of tarps and you can use it to divert water away from your tent during the night, or even as an extra bit of shelter while you sit around the fire at night.
Camping Friendly Foods
Keeping safe and a comfortable is only half the battle - camping is about having fun! That means special camp friendly recipes and childhood favorites that work best over an open campfire or while roughing it in the woods.
Peanut Butter in a Plastic Jar
Most people love peanut butter, and if there is any ingredient which packs a punch of flavor, protein, and versatility in the kitchen, it’s this item. Peanut butter lasts for a long time once opened so it is ideal for long journeys away from home. You can use peanut butter when frying chicken over the fire for an Asian flavor, use it for protein pancakes at breakfast or even eat it right out of the jar. It’s a wonderful ingredient and definitely one you should consider bringing.
Travel Friendly Spice and Seasonings Kit
When you are cooking on an open fire in the middle of nowhere, it can be difficult to imagine cooking anything too flavorful. But as long as you have a pan and some spices with you, you can create some really amazing dishes during your trip. One night you could cook a beef chili with cumin, paprika, and chili powder: another night could be steak with garlic and herbs: and another night could be a chicken stir fry with Chinese five spice and peanut butter. Food can be flavorful and fun if you bring your spices with you.
A camping trip just isn’t the same without roasting some Marshmallows on the fire and making them into gooey sandwiches. S’mores are really simple to make, and if you want to avoid bringing the chocolate and biscuits separately, you can exactly bring biscuits covered in chocolate and then use these to sandwich the marshmallow between. It will be melty, sweet and the perfect treat at the end of an active day in the sun.
Flashlight and Solar Powered Lantern
Whether it’s a lantern, a headlamp or a flashlight: having lights with you during a camping trip is essential for your safety. It will be difficult to see in the dark so make sure you have plenty of lights and plenty of batteries to keep you going during the trip.
Battery Powered Phone Charger
Although you might be coming into the open to get away from your mobile phone, to will still want to have access to a phone during the trip just in case anything happens to you or a member of your family. You can buy battery powered phone chargers and bring them with you for the trip to ensure that you always have the ability to contact someone if you need to.
Maps and Compass
When you set off into the woods and camp out in the forest, you most likely won’t have any internet signal to use the GPS on your phone. Even though the GPS will work - at best your phone will simply show you on a blank screen since it won't be able to load the map. Because of this, you need to take some time before you go on holiday to learn how to read a map properly. You can buy a map specific to your area and bring a compass with you too to make sure that you are always able to find your way back to the campsite after a day hiking and exploring the area.
As much as we would love to trust the weather forecast when leaving for a trip, it is really something that we need to be cautious with when out camping. You won’t have access to any clothing shops or indoor areas when you are camping so you need to bring extra clothes to suit every possible climate. Bring a sturdy raincoat, a comfortable jumper, trousers you can walk in, solid shoes, and then some summer wear in case the weather is great all week. It is better to be prepared than end up stuck in the wild with nothing to wear.
Camping cookware is essential when to go away. If you plan on being able to enjoy a few home-cooked meals during your holiday you need to bring some basics with you. A saucepan, frying pan, utensils, a jug, a bowl and plenty of washing up equipment to use.
When you are out in the middle of nowhere for a week, you will want to bring some form of entertainment with you for the evenings after you have eaten. Card games or small board games can be the perfect addition to your travel bag and it will allow everyone to enjoy an activity together in the evenings after you’ve spent the day exploring.
A Portable Speaker
Everyone loves music. If you want to bring a fun atmosphere to your campsite and have something to sing and dance along to in the evenings, a portable speaker is a perfect thing to bring. You’ll be able to power it with batteries and then either play the radio or your favorite playlist for the trip.
Extra SD Cards For Your Camera
If you are going to spend a week in the most beautiful environment and have lots of crazy adventures, it will be a jungle waste if you don’t bring a camera with you! Spend your holiday taking photos and making some amazing memories for everyone to remember for the rest of their lives. It will make a huge difference and it means that your Instagram can be filled with awesome photos when you get back home!
With all of these items, you should have no trouble at all having the most amazing camping trip you’ll ever experience. Go and have fun, go for adventures and eat lots of marshmallows along the way.
- Written by James Hills
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