Planning a trip to the back country? Before you head out to that campsite, consider making a camping checklist that you can use every time you’re getting ready for your next adventure. A little advanced planning will make your camping trip safer, more comfortable and more enjoyable. You can use the list over and over, so you’ll never forget to take important camping supplies. But how much and exactly what should you include? That’s a tough question. Part of the answer lies in figuring out what kind of camper you are, what your comfort level is and what style of camp you want to have. This is the first step to making a comprehensive camping checklist.
There are several categories of gear you’ll need: basics, fire building, dining and cooking, lighting and miscellaneous extras you might not think of. Well cover all these categories in this article.
Are you a minimalist who can do without creature comforts and a lot of extra (and to you, extraneous) equipment? The minimalist is willing to take the wilderness as it comes, adapting as needed to weather conditions and terrain. Minimalists disdain all the extras favored by other many campers, preferring to sleep on the ground, rather than on camping cots . The minimalists camp is sparse, with a fire rather than a stove and small candles rather than lanterns. These campers try their best to experience the outdoors on its own terms. Their camping checklist is short and sparse by choice.
Gear-oriented campers are the people who like to be comfortable and prepared for anything. Their campsites are fully furnished with tables, stools, stoves,cots and other conveniences. While enjoying and respecting the outdoors, gear-oriented campers also prefer the little amenities that make a back-country trip safe and secure a home away from home. Their camping checklist will be much more extensive than the minimalists.
In this article, well focus on the gear-oriented camping list. Its always easier to remove items from a list than it is to realize you’ve forgotten some crucial piece of camping equipment on a cold rainy night. Gather the basics first. It goes without saying that you’ll need some basic items: a tent (preferably with a rain fly and at least one window), a good-quality sleeping bag, camping stove, camping food and water.
Here’s a list of some other gear that can make your campsite more accommodating:
- Air mattress or pad for under sleeping bag
- Large plastic boxes or buckets for food and equipment storage
- Emergency blanket; also called a space blanket
- Tent seam sealer
- Folding tables
- Outdoor furniture camp stools are a good choice
- First aid kit
- Tarps with grommets that can be rigged for shade or used to keep firewood dry. These are also good for using under your tent to protect the tent floor
- Rope, cord, twine or string
- Small shovel
- Portable toilet
- Toilet paper
- Moist towelette or baby wipes
- Personal care items: soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.
- Insect protection
- Bear pepper spray
- Tool (such as a hammer or mallet) to pound in tent stakes
- Backpack, daypack, or fanny pack
- Towels and washcloths
Rita Liotta is a successful freelance writer offering guidance and suggestions for consumers regarding camping stoves, pocket knives, compass and topographical maps. Her many articles give information and tips to help people save money and make smarter decisions.