What’s more terrifying than a scary story around the campfire? How about being in the wilderness and realizing that you forgot some of your camping supplies. Now, that's scary!
If you and your family are planning on taking that first big camping trip, or the first in a while, then it's time to start thinking about what you want to bring with you. While there's plenty to see while enjoying Mother Nature, there is also a lot to be wary of, so having what you need is imperative.
Are you sleeping in the RV, in a tent, or under the stars? What do you do if someone gets bit by a wild animal? Did you pack the right clothes for those chilly evenings? These are all questions that you may ask yourself during your trip. But if you have these essential camping supplies, then you can handle just about anything.
What to Consider When Packing Camping Supplies
There are many different camping supplies available on the market today. Go to any sports merchandise store, and you will see everything from tents and sleeping bags to a wide array of survival tools. However, if you try to bring everything you find onto your camping trip, then you could be wasting a lot of time and money.
Instead, think about the activities that you and your family will be enjoying during the trip and plan accordingly. If your plan is just to pitch a tent and make s’mores, then you will need the basics. If, however, you are planning on going fishing and hiking during the trip, then you will need to think about additional equipment, such as fishing poles and hiking accessories.
During the week before the trip, put a list up on the refrigerator. As you and your family go about the week, encourage everyone to put items on the list that would make up their ideal camping trip. Then, in the days before the trip, start narrowing down your list while thinking about what you really need. Your list should include items that will protect you from the elements as well as some fun things like books to read around the fire or special foods that you want to cook over the fire.
Once you finalize the list, make an event out of shopping for everything you need.
Essential Camping Supplies
While there are a lot of optional camping supplies that you can bring along for the ride, there are some items that are essential for an enjoyable camping trip. These supplies will keep you warm at night, safe from pests, and prepared for those long nights around the fire.
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No camping supplies list will be complete without insect repellent. It doesn’t really matter where you live. If you are out in the wilderness, you will encounter pests.
When choosing an insect repellent, you may want to find a product made with DEET. This chemical is the most harmful to pests, and it can give you around 90 minutes of pest protection with one application. However, some DEET repellents are not safe for children, so be sure to read the label on your insect repellent and follow the directions given.
If you've chosen a weaker, more family-friendly repellent, remember to reapply often. If you are camping with the kids, it is best to apply the repellent for them. Keep it off of their hands and don’t go too close to the mouth, so they don’t breathe it in.
- Camping chair combines a cOuncey design with a convenient built in cooler. Roomy 24 inches seat
- Built in 4 can cooler pouch keeps cold drinks within reach
- Fully cushioned seat and back provide support and comfort
If you really want to rough it, then you're welcome to sit on the ground. However, it's best to make a comfy chair high on the camping supplies priority list. Most people opt for a mesh chair like those you would use at the beach. It is always helpful to get a breathable fabric, so you are not sweating while sitting in it.
You can get a chair that allows you to sit back or one that keeps you in the action. Buying one with a cupholder is always a plus. If you plan on going hiking then consider a chair that folds up and fits in your backpack.
- CLEAR BASEPLATE with MAGNIFYING GLASS, RULER & SCALES for topographic map reading
- FLUID HOUSING & PRECISE INCLINOMETER - the bezel adjustment dials in the exact bearing
- GLOW IN THE DARK - Fluorescent needle & directional arrow. Shows true north
At some point, you will probably wander away from the RV to do some hiking and exploring. When you do, you will want to have your compass included within your camping supplies. The wilderness can be a big place, especially when you get turned around. Sometimes, that little dial and magnet can be your best friend by getting you out of a jam.
When choosing a compass, you have the option of a digital or analog compass. If you plan on taking long hikes, then an analog version is preferred. The reason is that it does not run on batteries, and as long as the North and South poles stay in place, you will always know how to get back to the campsite.
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- Heat treated and chrome plated to resist corrosion
- Securely housed in a handy blow molded case
While you maintain your RV regularly, you still want to be prepared in case anything malfunctions. This rule is especially true if you plan to camp in a less populated area. That is why a comprehensive toolkit should be part of your essential camping supplies.
To save yourself big trouble when you blow a tire, spring a leak, or lose a part, the key is preparation. A useful toolbox should include the basics, such as a screwdriver, hammer, wrench set, pliers, utility knife, and work gloves to make repairs easier. Basically, if you would reach for it to repair something at home, you'll want to have the same tool in the RV. Sometimes you won’t be able to perfectly solve a problem out in the wilderness, so also add duct tape, zip ties, and a strong glue product so that the problem will stay together until you get a permanent fix.
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Nature offers a lot of beautiful things to see during the day. However, once night comes around, you’ll need the services of a good lantern. A lantern can give you a dependable light source that you can carry back and forth as your needs permit.
Most lanterns are powered either by LEDs or propane fuel, depending on your preference. Another great thing about a lantern is that the better ones will work in all elements, even rain, and will not extinguish.
If a lantern doesn’t make your list, then make sure to have a few flashlights to use in its place.
When you are at home, and someone leaves the room and tells you that “nature calls,” you know exactly where they are going. Everyone has a good laugh. However, when you are really out in nature, and you find yourself without the proper toiletries, it's no laughing matter.
When buying these camping supplies, necessary toiletries include biodegradable soap, shampoo, and toilet paper in case there are no facilities available. Deodorant, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and Chapstick or lip balm fill out the must-haves list. The less essential but still important toiletries include a hairbrush, face creme, lotion, a razor for shaving, and a mirror.
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Bring some of the comforts from home on your trip with a nice portable stove. These days, many campsites have fire bans. Even if they don't, it takes skill to cook food over an open flame. Instead, the campstove is one of those camping supplies that can make life a bit easier. There are several fuel options and many come with multiple burners so you can cook a three-course meal.
Sure many RVs are equipped with kitchenettes, but some are not. And, cooking in your RV -- especially strong smelling foods like onion and fish -- may leave your home-away-from-home smelling more like an armpit in a fish market than you'd like. Even better, a cookstove makes a good backup, in case your RV cooktop gives up the ghost unexpectedly, or it is too hot to cook indoors.
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Once you have your food prepared, you can bring some civilization into the forest with some proper eating utensils. There are many camping utensils sets out on the market that combine a fork, spoon, and knife into one handy kit. Also, consider getting an outdoor tableware set that comes with plates, bowls, mugs and silverware in one compact package.
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- Versatile fixed-blade outdoor knife with a 4.1-inch hardened Sandvik 12C27 stainless steel blade is ideal for carving,...
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A camping knife can be one of those camping supplies that can help you out of a jam. A good knife can have a million uses out on the campsite. A knife is useful for food prep, to cut down wood for a fire, and open cans. Plus, a knife can be a good defense against wild animals if such a situation occurs.
If you don’t feel comfortable with a knife, then you should at least consider a dependable multi-tool. With a number of included functions such as scissors, mini saws, and toothpicks, a good multi-tool could come in handy.
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When you leave the comfort of your home, and you are at the mercy of the elements, you will want to be sure that you stay warm on those cold or rainy nights.
One of the many camping supplies that experts always recommend is at least one pair of clean socks. Keeping your body warm starts with your feet, especially on colder days. Plus, you never know when you might step in water or mud. An extra pair will keep your feet warm and comfortable.
During colder months, be sure to have your hat and gloves ready. If you plan on doing a lot of hiking, make sure to have comfortable shoes or boots.
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While camping is a relatively safe activity, Mother Nature has her way of throwing you a curveball here and there. Whether it is getting stung by an insect, rolling your ankle while hiking, or getting that unexpected scratch, if you get hurt while camping, you will want to have a first aid kit nearby.
Bandages, tweezers, scissors, sterile wipes, hydrocortisone cream, antiseptic creams, and sunburn relief spray are all camping supplies that should be in your first aid kit. Optional items that are less likely to be used but still hold importance include super glue, duct tape, sunscreen, and an emergency blanket.
Before taking your first camping trip, it is a good idea to take some time to research some common wilderness injuries and what to do if you encounter them.
Be Prepared So You Can Focus on the Fun
It is a smart idea to have all the necessary camping supplies. That way you don’t have to worry about what you don’t have when you need it most. Camping is not supposed to be about making checklists. It's about spending time exploring nature with your best friends and family.
If you plan on camping more often, then keep all of your camping supplies in one place so you can bring everything you need at a moment’s notice. When you are confident that you have what you need, get onto the important stuff, like telling those ghost stories!