When you’re camping, preparedness is everything, especially for the weather. It can rain or be sunny, cold or hot, and you want to be prepared for anything. While you might already have a tent and sleeping bag, do you have all of the must-haves? These essentials will make your camping trip as comfortable as possible and will ensure that you are ready for any situation when it comes up.
First Aid Kit
The first thing people think of when they hear the word “essentials” is a first aid kit. This is a must-have item when camping because accidents can happen anytime. A basic kit should have bandages, gauze pads, adhesive tape, and antibiotic ointment. You can find small kits in any pharmacy or sporting goods store. Whether someone gets burned by hot coals or stings by a bee, having extra bandages and ointments in your first aid kit can help alleviate pain and heal wounds faster.
Consider a larger kit with more supplies if you’re serious about camping. If possible, try to bring along an actual medical professional who can assist with any major injuries that occur during your trip. This will eliminate the need for you to go out and buy additional supplies in an emergency where someone needs medical attention immediately.
A good sleeping bag is a must-have item on any camping trip. When choosing a sleeping bag, remember that size is less important than warmth. A too-small bag will limit your comfort level, while an overly large one can lead to drafts and allow cold air inside.
The best way to determine what size you need is to know how many layers of clothing you’ll be wearing when you sleep. Ideally, you’ll have a lightweight synthetic-fill down bag for summer camping, a midweight synthetic-fill down bag for spring and fall camping, and a heavy synthetic-fill down or synthetic-fill quilt for winter camping.
Tent or Shelter
Tents are a great way to escape the elements and enjoy nature. The right tent can make or break your camping trip. Many types of tents are available, ranging from one-person to family-sized tents. If you’re going alone, then a one-man tent is perfect. If you plan on bringing your dog along on your trip, then a two-man tent will be best as it can accommodate you and your pet.
And if you have children who want to come along with you, then go for a family tent that will accommodate all of them comfortably. Tents can be made from many materials, but nylon and canvas are the most common.
Camping Stove and Fuel Source
Cooking over an open fire can be extremely dangerous, so we recommend using a camp stove. A camping stove is lightweight, easy to use, and can be used for everything from boiling water for tea or coffee to cooking meals for the whole group.
The propane-fueled stoves burn hotter than wood-fired stoves and are much safer for cooking on when appropriately used with proper ventilation, and care is taken when handling them due to their high heat output. Be sure to read up on how safe it is for you and your family members before attempting anything like this, as there have been cases where people have gotten injured.
A tarp is an essential piece of gear for any outdoor enthusiast. It can be used as a tent topper, rainfly, and ground cover. A tarp can also be used to make a shelter in case you are caught in a storm where it is too dangerous to stay outside. It’s also easy to set up and take down and will fit almost anywhere.
A tarp has many applications in the outdoors. The uses for a tarp include:
- Shelter: A tarp is great for providing shelter from the sun, wind, or rain. Waterproof tarps can be used as makeshift tent and even comes with their floor. Tarps are also useful when you need shelter from bugs such as mosquitoes or ticks when out in the woods.
- Ground cover: If you have ever set up camp on wet ground, then you know how important it is to have some sort of ground cover to protect your tent from getting soaked. This can be achieved by using a large plastic garbage bag, or even just using one side of your tent as a ground cover will do the trick. Tarps are great because they provide additional protection from bugs and keep your tent dry at night.
When packing for your next camping trip, it’s important to remember that preparation is key to keeping yourself safe and comfortable both on the trail and around the campfire. The supplies and gear you bring will impact where you’ll be able to go, how long you’ll be able to stay out, and what you’ll be able to do when there. Make sure your bag is stocked with the following five essentials before hitting the trail to focus more on the fun stuff.