The Essential Camping Checklist
If you’re thinking about heading off on a camping trip but have never done so before, then there are many things to keep in mind in order to ensure you are fully prepared. The gear that you bring will act as your lifeline while you are away, as it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to access any service stations or nip back home while on your trip. Due to this, extensive preparation needs to be carried out in order to ensure that you have all of the essentials to make your camping trip as comfortable as possible. But, where do you begin? How do you make sure you won’t miss anything? Read on to discover your ultimate camping checklist, equipped with everything you will need for a successful trip.
Your camping tent will act as your home for the duration of your camping trip, meaning you need to make sure you have the perfect tent for your party. Camping tents vary in size depending on how many people you need it for, so as long as you know how many people will be sleeping in the tent, the selection process should be pretty simple. The most important feature to look out for when purchasing a camping tent is whether or not it is waterproof. The weather can be extremely unpredictable at times, and if you spend a night in torrential rain, you’ll wake up to very wet belongings if your tent isn’t waterproof. Ideally, it’s wise to purchase a waterproof tent which has two layers; this not only stops water coming in but it will also prevent condensation dripping on your head!
Depending on the length of your camping trip, it’s likely that you will have lots of items to bring with you. From clothes to toiletries, and tools to food; you’re going to need somewhere to store it all. It’s not physically possible to carry several bags over long distances, so ensuring you’re equipped with a tactical backpack will make your camping experience a far more pleasant one. When you are looking for a tactical backpack, once again, ensure that it is waterproof. This will help to prevent harsh weather and spillages ruining all of your belongings. As well as this, a backpack with several compartments will be very beneficial in aiding safe storage. Lastly, as your bag is likely to be quite heavy, make sure that it has padded straps for ultimate comfort and even weight distribution.
You’ll be long gone from your comfy mattress on a camping trip, but this doesn’t mean that you should have an uncomfortable night’s sleep. Unfortunately, the ground can be very bumpy to sleep on, meaning you’re going to need as much protection as possible to distract you from the fact that you’re sleeping on the floor. Kit yourself with an insulated sleeping bag so that you’re kept both warm and comfortable as night falls. If you want to brave a night under the stars, then pitch up a hammock between two trees; just make sure that you’re wrapped up in your sleeping bag otherwise things will start to get chilly.
Bug Out Bag
The wilderness can be a very unpredictable place, which is why you need to be prepared for whatever mischief is thrown at you. A bug out bag is a specially designed survival kit, full of essential items which will help you to survive for up to three days. In the unfortunate event that you are stuck out in nature and can’t return to safety, this bug out bag will provide you with everything you will need.
As well as a bug out bag, pack essential first-aid items for daily bumps and scrapes. Focus on packing plasters, sun cream, antiseptic and insect repellent for all those pesky insects. If you can’t get your hands on some insect repellent, roll some deodorant over the bite to stop irritation.
Multiple Layers Of Clothing
It doesn’t matter whether you are camping in summer or camping through winter; the weather is going to drop as darkness falls. By packing multiple layers of clothing, you’ll be ready for whatever weather conditions are thrown at you! Start with thermal layers and work your way up with t-shirts, fleeces and waterproof jackets. Before you know it, you’ll be fully equipped with enough clothing to keep you warm and dry.
It doesn’t just stop at clothing, either. Ensure that you bring gloves, thermal socks, and a thick that when you go camping. This is particularly important if you are camping through winter, but it’s worth having these essentials tucked away over summer just in case you need extra warmth at night.
If you’re going to be hiking or hunting, then you’re going to need some waterproof boots that will keep your feet protected at all times. The type of shoe which you choose will depend on the terrain you will be camping on, so pay close attention to this when you go shoe shopping. The most important things to look out for when you choose your boots will be how strong their grip is and if they’re waterproof. A strong grip will ensure you have a safe experience, and waterproof shoes will avoid nasty problems which occur when feet get damp. Problems include athletes foot and corns. These will be the last things you want when you’re trying to enjoy yourself!
There’s no greater feeling than sitting outdoors, embracing the wonders of the natural world. Now, you’re going to want to be comfy while you do this, so treat yourself to a nice camping chair before you go on your adventure. The floor can get very uncomfortable after a while, so thanks to your camping chair, you’ll never have to leave a social situation or relaxation session ever again! The great thing about camping chairs is that they fold up very easily, meaning you can carry them around with ease. It’s recommended to make sure that your camping chair has cup holders so that your drinks never get spilled, and if you find the chair too uncomfortable, simply add a pillow or blanket for extra comfort.
Oh yes, the famous ‘sitting around the campfire’ scene. This isn’t a typical stereotype when it comes to camping, it’s fact. By igniting a fire, your campsite will be kept full of light and warmth through the night. You can sit around the fire with your camping chairs, discussing stories and roasting marshmallows. If you have a fire pit, then simply add some kindling and fire-lighters and get burning. If you don’t have any fire-lighters, then use hand sanitizer to get the flames going. Only let a trusted individual do this and don’t go overboard as this can be very dangerous.
You’re going to need some trusty tools on your camping trip. Tools which can get multiple jobs done in one quick motion. The solution? Knives. Pack a survival knife on your camping trip so that you can cut and slice your items hassle-free. A survival knife will come in handy when preparing food, carrying out challenging activities and setting up your camp. You will soon begin to realize that your survival knife will get a lot of use and that your camping experience would be very different without it!
You won’t have any lamps or electricity to rely on out in the wild, meaning as soon as night falls, you’ve got to make your own light. In order to avoid any awkward encounters while fumbling in the dark, pop a headtorch on so that your path is well lit. This is particularly helpful for when doing a nighttime toilet-run or food search. Once you’re back in your tent, find a place to hang your headtorch and use it to light up your temporary home. If the LED light is a bit too bright, place a clear water bottle over it so it’s not too harsh on your eyes. For the ultimate lighting situation, bring a camping lantern with you so that you never run short on visibility.
Camping usually involves being in the middle of nowhere, meaning you are likely to be unfamiliar with your surroundings. Due to this, you’re at risk of exploring a bit too far out and struggling to find your way back to camp. To avoid the stress that comes with getting lost, keep a GPS device on you at all times. Your GPS will be able to keep you informed with where you are, meaning you can stay on the trail and find your way back to safety easily.
If your GPS is solar powered, then ensure it stays in sunlight to get some charge. However, if it isn’t solar powered, ensure that it is fully charged before you head off on your trip. If you are going to be camping for longer than its expected to last, then it’s crucial that you remember to pack a portable charger and batteries.
Gadgets are wonderful things, but sadly, they’re no good without any energy. Always bring a pack of spare batteries with you on your camping trip so that you’re never faced with a dilemma if something was to run low on power. This is particularly important with your GPS system, mobile phone, and camping lantern.
For the gadgets which don’t run on battery power, you’re going to want to pack a portable power bank, as mentioned earlier in this checklist. Don’t be afraid to spend a bit more money on a more powerful portable charger, as in the long run, it will be far more likely to last the whole camping trip and will prevent you from needing to pack multiple smaller ones. Remember to check the power level on your portable charger before you go camping, as it will be no good if it doesn’t have any charge itself!
You won’t be anywhere near a fridge or grocery store on your camping trip, meaning you’ll have to carry out some serious food prep before you head off. This shouldn’t fill you with dread though, as camping trips give you an excellent opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try new things!
If your trip is going to require lots of energy, then pack dehydrated foods. These food packets are the most practical for when it comes to camping as you won’t have to waste time trying to cook up an edible dish. Dehydrated foods are not only practical when it comes to preparation, either, as they are also far lighter than normal food cans and will take up far less space in your backpack.
For the campers who wish to cook their meals, a disposable BBQ will be the safest and easiest option. So, if you like your bacon extra crispy in the morning, chuck it on the disposable BBQ and let it work its magic. To ensure that you are kept well fed throughout the whole trip, get each member of your team to bring their own disposable BBQ so that there will be enough cooking utensils to last the duration of the camping trip. The great thing about using a disposable BBQ is that you can throw it away once used, meaning you have less to carry back home with you!
Personal hygiene is an interesting one when it comes to camping, and for a lot of people, the idea of being away from a shower puts them off spending a few nights outdoors altogether. Although you might not have your home comforts of a warm shower, you should by no means miss out on the amazing opportunity of a camping trip because of this. To keep yourself feeling clean and sane, have a wet-wipe wash every day and use dry shampoo when necessary.
If possible, make your own shower by simply assembling a water bottle and watering can. This hack is not expected from all campers, but if you need a shower to function or will be camping for long periods, you’ll find that a DIY shower will suffice.
When it comes to toiletries, be sure to buy a travel-sized body wash and shampoo so that your bag is not weighted down by large bottles. Hang your toiletries on a lanyard or keep them safe in a Dopp kit so that you have easy access to them while making do with your personal hygiene.
Spare Carrier Bags
Believe it or not, carrier bags are going to become your best friend while camping. Hear us out…
Carrier bags can be used for absolutely everything, and the great things about them are that they are usually waterproof, take up very little space, and can be recycled once finished with. In terms of keeping organized, segregate your clothing into categories and stash each niche in a separate carrier bag. For example, you could pack thermals in one carrier bag and underwear in another. By doing this, you’ll be able to find your desired piece of clothing far easier than you would by rummaging through a messy bag.
Carrier bags are also perfect for storing food and drink in, as they are durable and made for these exact items. If you’ve run out of room in your backpack, then simply fill up a strong carrier bag with your desired goods and you’ll be ready to go.
It’s also worth lining your camping backpack with a carrier bag to act as an extra waterproof layer in the unfortunate event of a storm. Although your backpack should be waterproof anyway, the carrier bag will provide extra protection for your clothes; you really can’t risk getting them wet. Wet clothes will be impossible to wear while camping, as they’ll make you feel extremely cold. Camping is all about keeping yourself warm!
Lastly, carrier bags make excellent rubbish bins. Once you’re finished with a carrier bag, simply set it to one side and chuck all your disposable items into it. This way, you’ll have a tidy campsite and far less to carry on your journey home.
A Positive Attitude
Camping can be challenging, but it will never stop being rewarding. No camping trip is ever the same, meaning even if you’ve been on hundreds, you’ll still find something different that amazes you each time. When it comes down to it, camping is all about having fun and trying something new, so approach the adventure with a positive attitude and you’ll find yourself smiling all day and night. Make a journal so that you remember the good times made from camping, and enlighten your friends and family on what an amazing experience it is.
With this checklist in mind, your camping trip will be well on the way to being the best thing you’ve done all year. Now all that’s left for you to do is to find the most perfect camping spot! Once it’s been found, you’ll be ready to step out into nature and see what it has to offer.