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4 min read

Everything you need to go campingEverything you need to go camping [Camping Checklist]


Whether you have a great camping experience or a terrible one is based on just one factor: what you did or did not pack for the trip. 

This list of essential camping gear can make the difference between a restful vacation and a trip to the emergency room.

Of course, what is essential for your camping trip largely depends on how long you are going to be away. For example: Is it a weekend? a month? or maybe all Summer? Or perhaps you plan on camping in the winter months?

What I wanted to do for you today is make a really simple list for you of some of the basic necessities that I feel are the must-haves when you go camping.

Aquatainer



So this next item is something I wish I had bought years ago. I used to pack all of my water in plastic bottles. However, an aquatainer offers you both convenience and the ability to pack a large amount of water in just one place.

Sleeping bag.

For me, camping is not comfortable unless I can get a really good night's sleep. Camping is just not fun when you wake up tired from tossing and turning all night. I just can't get a comfortable night's sleep with a thin sleeping bag.

This is a must-have item because nighttime temperatures can drop significantly compared to daytime temperatures. 

First aid kit.


High on the list of essential gear should be a well-stocked first aid kit with both bandages and antiseptic. Small cuts and scrapes can be treated in just a few minutes if you have a first aid kit. Left untreated these cuts may become infected. In addition, your first aid kit should also contain both sunscreen and insect repellent. Trust me you will thank me later..

Headlamp



Walking around in the dark is a good way to break your ankle or worse. A quality headlamp is a much better option than a flashlight because of its hands-free abilities. 
That being said, consider buying a lantern for inside your tent as this comes in extremely handy when looking for something in the middle of the night.

Portable Stove



Anytime you cook over a fire,  your trip becomes more complicated. Usually, the ability to start a fire requires a little bit of experience and work.

My recommendation is to have a portable stove. Sometimes, in wet or cold environments, igniting a fire can be daunting. Portable stoves can save you a ton of precious time and energy. This is time that could be better spent having fun rather than gathering and prepping firewood. Portable stoves are small and light enough to carry easily. Additionally, you can cook a large variety of foods on a portable stove that you cannot on an open fire.

GPS or Compass and Map case.



Of course, having a GPS would be ideal. However, having a compass and a map as a secondary backup can’t hurt and maybe one day it will save your life.

Dry bag.



Whenever in the great outdoors, you need to be able to keep your valuables, equipment, food, and water both safe and dry. Spend some money here by purchasing a quality dry bag. 

Bug Netting



The biggest and best tip I can give you is to bring with you bug netting. Your entire trip can be ruined from insect bites. Just imagine being miserable all night long from constant barrage of bugs landing on you and biting at your skin. 

Remember, many of our insect friends are far more active at night. Without a quality mosquito net, you are taking a huge risk.


Bonus Tip



Of course, you want to pack as much gear as you can, without overloading your vehicle. There are some people that will haul around a 50lb tent and think nothing of it or perhaps they might fill a backpack to the rim because it has more room. For me, I try to keep it as light and small as possible 

Personally, I have quite a bit of camping gear. Anytime we go camping I always take everything out of the storage and lay it out on the floor to see what we might use or need. Or, conversely, what we won’t need for this trip. 

Laying it all out on the floor will make deciding what to leave behind much easier.

Although this takes a bit of extra work, the best way to really see what is essential and what is not is to pack everything twice. 

Conclusion



One of the biggest mistakes you can make when going camping is not packing the RIGHT equipment. What you decide to bring on your trip will have a direct impact on your ability to have fun.

The most important thing to remember about essential camping gear is to do your research first.  Make sure that you know the area and what type of weather you will be getting into. 

Every type of camping adventure will have its own particular requirements. These are just some of the things I have found over the years that have made camping much more enjoyable. I hope this list makes your next camping trip one to remember.


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