10 must-pack camping essentials for your next trip to the woods
If you are looking to make your next camping trip your best one yet then you have come to the right place. In this article, you’ll find a guide to 10 camping essentials that can take you from a casual camper to someone who is prepared for anything.
Setting out camping knowing you have the following 10 items with you will keep you relaxed and able to focus on having a good time. Knowing that you’re prepared for anything.
#10 – Sunscreen
While it is important to wear sunscreen every day of the year. It is extra important to wear it while you’re camping. As you will be spending a lot more time in the sun.
No matter your skin colour it is important to wear sunscreen – even if you are someone who doesn’t burn. The sun’s rays are made up of UVA and UVB rays. These have been proven to damage the skin, speed up ageing, and cause skin cancer.
You should be wearing a minimum of Factor 30 on your body and Factor 50 on your face.
If you are going to be taking part in strenuous activities like hiking or swimming then you should invest in some waterproof sunscreen. This is particularly important if you are swimming as the water magnifies the sun’s rays making you burn faster. While the water cools your skin so you don’t notice it’s happening.
The first essential time everyone should take on a camping trip is sunscreen. You may also want to bring some after-sun or Aloe Vera gel with you in case anyone does get burnt.
#9 – Waste disposal system
It is incredibly bad for the environment to dump human waste into it. We have seen people say that when camping you should go out into the woods and bury your waste there.
The bad news is that this doesn’t work unless you bury it more than 4 feet underground. If you don’t bury it deep enough animals both big and small can unearth it. This can lead to the animals getting sick and passing it on to other animals.
Burying waste in the forest can also lead to outbreaks of disease in humans. It is particularly dangerous because diseases like e-Coli can live for days outside of the human body.
So, what should you do with your waste?
Well, your best option is to get a portable toilet. If you are looking for a more environmentally friendly way to dispose of waste then you should look into composting toilets.
These toilets use natural ingredients like sawdust peat to speed up the decomposition process of human waste. The sawdust makes the waste easier to transport and smells better.
The best place to dispose of human waste is a waste dump point (this can often be found at gas stations in popular camping areas) or putting the waste into a landfill (this is the best legal option for your waste).
#8 – A thermal sleeping bag
Most people think that if they go camping in the summer then they can get away with a thin sleeping bag. While this may be true in some very warm parts of the country – odds are that you will need to purchase a thermal sleeping bag for when temperatures drop at night.
Many states don’t even average daytime temperatures of 68F during the summer. The average daytime-to-nighttime temperature difference in the US during summer is over 20F. So, even if it is warm in the day, the likelihood is that you are going to see a substantial temperature drop at night.
To keep yourself warm you should look into purchasing a thermal sleeping bag. These should be lined and have food that is easy to seal.
Another important feature of a successful sleeping bag is that they are easy to store if you are hiking or on the move a lot. They should be able to fit into a small case with ease.
#7 – A good set of knives
When you are camping, you’d be surprised by how often a good set of knives comes in handy.
During our long history of camping, we have used our knives for the following:
- Freeing a trapped lamb from a fence
- Cutting bandages down to size
- Repairing our car
- Repairing one of our tents
- Making emergency shelters
- Picking up things we have dropped in the campfire
- Cutting up firewood
- Digging tent pegs out of the ground.
When you’re looking for a good set of knives there are many things that you should consider. Firstly, think about price – you don’t want to be overpaying for things you don’t have to. You also want to think about the length of the blade and the type of handle it has (we like wooden handles). Finally, you should think about the hardness of the blade – on our favourite, the 3Cr13, hardness is 54 HRC.
A good set of knives is the ultimate multipurpose tool for your camping trip.
#6 – A camping stove
This seems like an obvious camping essential, but you’d be surprised by how many people think they can get away with cooking everything on the campfire.
While this is something you can do in good weather, as soon as you get a little bit of rain that option becomes infeasible. If you don’t want to be at the mercy of the weather then you should pack a gas-powered camping stove.
You should also remember to pack spare matches (see below) and spare gas. This way, no matter the weather you will be able to enjoy some warm food.
#5 – Dry matches
We mentioned in the section above that you should always pack spare matches. We would like to take this recommendation a step further and suggest that you always carry a set of dry matches with you while camping.
What we mean by a set of dry matches is a few matches that you keep in a water-tight container on your person, at all times. You never know when you might need matches when you are away from your tent or campsite.
To keep your matches dry you should put them in a tin or pouch and then wrap them in a waterproof bag or some cellophane.
This way you will always have dry matches if you need them. They are particularly useful if you need to keep warm during freak changes in weather. This is one of the most important items on this list – so make sure that you always have a set with you.
#4 – Spare batteries
This is another item that you can never have too many of. Spare batteries are infinitely useful and you will always be glad that you have packed them. Like the dry matches, you may find it useful to always carry a set with you – especially a set that fits your flashlight.
One of the inconveniences of camping is that you don’t have access to the mains. Because of this, the value of batteries will increase dramatically. Many of your most important camping items (including your flashlights, radios, and portable chargers) will be battery-powered.
For that reason, you will find it useful to have as many spare batteries as you can make space for. Make sure that you are aware of what type of batteries you will need – for example, your radio may use bigger batteries that don’t fit your flashlight.
Spare batteries are small items that can bring a lot of value to your camping trip. Make sure you have packed enough batteries.
#3 – A fully stocked First Aid Kit
If there is only one thing that you take from this list, it should be that bringing First Aid Kits for camping trips is essential and can save lives.
Not only should you bring a first aid kit, but you should make sure that you bring a well-stocked one. One that includes as many different items as possible.
Your kit should include the basics like band-aids, bandages, antiseptic wipes, and after-sun. But you should also think about including painkillers, burn gel, and foil blankets.
We also recommend that when you go out hiking or out to do other activities in the wild, you bring your first aid kit with you. Having a fully stocked kit can be the difference between an accident and a disaster when you are in the middle of nowhere.
You should also be aware of where the local hospitals are and what kind of emergency services are based in the area.
A fully stocked first aid kit is one of the most essential items you can bring with you on a camping trip.
#2 – Wet weather clothing
The weather is a fickle thing. If you want to be fully prepared for a camping trip then you should be traveling with a set of wet weather gear.
Even if the weather forecast predicts blazing sunshine for your whole trip, it will be worth giving up the space for these clothes.
If you are caught in a freak weather change (which happens very often in high-altitude locations) you will be glad that you can change into these. They will help to keep you warm if the weather changes. This is important because getting wet and too cold can lead to you developing infections, illnesses (like pneumonia), and even getting severe blisters.
When you are taking camping trips away for easy access to health care you want to be prepared for things like heavy rain and cold snaps.
#1 – A plan
We have talked about the importance of being prepared when it comes to camping, as it can save lives. We also think that you should plan what you want to do on your holiday so that you can make the most of the time you have.
You don’t have to make a strict schedule accounting for your whereabouts every minute of each day. But it is a good idea to do some research into the best walks in the local area. As well as the best restaurants, beauty spots, and other things you won’t want to miss out on.
By planning ahead you can maximize the amount of fun you can have on your trip. You don’t want to get there and realize you don’t know where anything is or if there is anything to do in the area.
A “good times” plan is an essential item to bring on your camping trip.