What You Need To Go Camping: The Quintessential Guide

Introduction

1. What is Camping

Camping is a pretty wonderful thing to do. Not only is it a great way  to bond with family or to get a little bit of time away from your 9 to 5, but it’s also a fantastic way to reconnect with nature.

When camping, you aren’t tied down to the responsibilities of everyday life. It’s just you and nature, and the beauties that the world has to offer. 

Of course, when you’re first getting started with camping it can be a little bit difficult to know everything that you need to bring. After all, it’s new territory for you and there are a lot of things to consider.

Thankfully, we’re here to help. Here are all of the things that you will need to bring with you when you’re going camping! 

What is Camping?

Before we get onto the list, the very first thing to consider is what exactly is camping? Understanding this is an important first step in your camping journey. 

Benefits Of Camping

2 Benefits Of CampingCamping comes with a whole bunch of fantastic benefits, so in case you aren’t already sold on going camping, here are a couple of the key benefits that you should keep in mind! 

It can help with problem solving

It’s easy for your mind to get all clogged up with the things going on in everyday life. For this reason, sometimes it’s good to get away for a while to clear your head.

What you may not know is that camping is a fantastic way to solve problems in your every day life since it helps to clear your mind. Not only that, but you are also introduced to new problems while you are camping.

You need to get used to things like knowing how to set up a tent, or how to deal when you’re out of supplies all of a sudden and you’re in the middle of nowhere.

You get familiar with all new things, which helps to broaden your horizons.

In truth, when you expose yourself to new challenges, it keeps your brain ticking over. It helps to keep your mind active, which is good for you! You may even find yourself feeling more confident after that family camping trip! 

It’s great for asthma sufferers

If you suffer from asthma, going camping may be a good way to clear out your airways.

The problem with living in the city or in highly populated areas is that you’re constantly exposing yourself to polluted air, which certainly isn’t good for you.

This pollution may make you more likely to develop a health condition such as asthma. 

When you’re camping, you’re likely to be in locations that don’t have this same level of air pollution. As such, you are breathing in fresh air which is good for your airways.

According to the Environmental Pollution Journal, being around trees and other natural things out in the wild can improve your quality of air quite significantly.

So, if you’ve been struggling with your breathing, it may be time to get outdoors! 

You’ll have more exposure to Vitamin D

Unfortunately, many of us don’t get anywhere near as much Vitamin D as we should in order to lead a healthy life.

Vitamin D is incredibly important, since it can influence the health of our bones and can have a huge impact on physical wellbeing in general.

It can also influence your mood. We don’t produce a lot of vitamin D on our own, and as such it’s often necessary to take Vitamin D supplements and foods with a high vitamin d content.

Getting a bit of sun every day is a good way to help you keep you nice and healthy, which is why camping is such a great idea. Of course, you’ll need to make sure that you wear your sunscreen when enjoying the outdoors! 

It’s good for your mood

Is everyday life getting you down? Is your mood suffering because of it? Well, going out for a vacation may be a good way to combat those every day blues.

We’ve all experienced that euphoria that comes with a relaxing trip away! In fact, when you’re camping you’re spending a lot more time outdoors, which in turn means that your body creates more melatonin.

This makes you feel a lot better! It’s also great for your stress levels if you are currently struggling with a lot of stress. 

More socialization

Whether you’re camping alone or with a group, camping is great for socializing. If you’re alone, you can talk to other people on your campground and may make all new friends.

If you’re going with family or friends, then camping is a great way to bond. Just try not to argue too much when you’re putting up the tent! 

More exercise

It can sometimes be difficult to get a lot of movement in during every day life, since many of us are sitting behind a desk. If you go camping though, the chances are that you’re going to get a lot more movement in.

You may walk to see new places, you may walk to the leisure facilities or maybe you’ll even try a little bit of cycling. In short, it’s great for your body and general health! 

Know your surroundings 

3 Know Your SurroundingsWhen you’re packing to go camping, one of the main things that you should keep in mind is where exactly you are going.

This is going to determine the sorts of things that you bring with you.

For instance, if you’re going to be camping in a really warm location in the middle of summer, you will want to bring airy clothes that you won’t feel overheated in.

 

If the location you’re going to has an active mosquito population, you will want to bring repellant.

By considering the place that you are visiting in advance, you can make more informed decisions about what to bring with you.

This way, you aren’t bringing a lot of unnecessary things with you, and you also aren’t going to be leaving anything important behind either. 

Shelter 

2. Shelter

So what’s the most important thing to think about when you are getting your gear ready to go camping? Your shelter, of course! While it’s certainly nice to sleep under the stars it isn’t always an option.

Sometimes it may rain, in which case you don’t want to be drenched outside in the rain! Here are some things that you need to have with you when going camping in regards to your shelter.

Tent

4 TentThe most obvious thing that you need to get is a great tent.

There are a few different types of tents out there, but there are a few things that you need to think about before you buy one.

The first thing is the waterproofing – you will want to get a tent that is waterproof so you don’t get wet while you sleep as it rains outside.

You should also look for breathability aspects, since it may be hot some days in which case you will need some air flow into the tent. 

One other important thing to consider when you’re choosing a tent is how easy it is to assemble. Tents are notorious for being hard to put together, so it’s a good idea to look into a tent that’s slightly easier to put together.

Finally, you will also need to consider how many people you are going to be camping with, since this will influence the tent size that you need.

Ground Cloth

5 Ground ClothGround cloths are an essential item for camping. They go hand in hand with your tent. But what exactly do they do?

Well, to put it simply a ground cloth is there to protect the flooring on your tent from debris that exists underneath it, such as sticks and stones.

They are also useful for keeping water out of your tent, and can be used for a wide range of other things while you’re out camping.

Now that we’ve established that a ground cloth is a good item to have while camping, you may be wondering how exactly you can choose the right one for you.

A good rule of thumb is to get a ground cloth that’s at least 2 inches shorter than the floor of the tent.

The problem with having a ground cloth that’s too big is that the fabric can often collect any water underneath the tent, which basically defeats the purpose of the ground cloth.

You should also ensure that the cloth is durable, since you don’t want to have to replace it in a couple of months! 

Extra Stakes/Pegs

6 Extra Stakes PegsYour tent will likely come with a number of pegs and stakes to allow you to tie your tent down.

You don’t want your tent to fly away when it gets windy outside, after all! The pegs that come with your tent may not be enough, however.

You may be short on a few pegs, or the peg could break.

In this case, it’s a good idea to ensure that you bring a few extra pegs and stakes with you when you are camping.

Having extra pegs is also really handy when you’re caught in inclement weather conditions. Some pegs that you should grab include:

  • Plastic tent pegs
  • Wire tent pegs
  • V tent pegs
  • Screw tent peg
  • Rock peg

Before you pitch the pegs though, always check the ground first. Plugging away at the ground for ages can be avoided when you do this, saving you a lot of time and effort.

Sleeping Bag 

7 Sleeping BagYour sleeping bag will basically be your best friend while you’re out camping!

It’s incredibly important to make sure that you’re comfortable while you’re camping, especially since you’re sleeping close to the ground in your tent.

Make sure that you get a warm sleeping bag – you can check things such as the insulation and the warmth rating.

 

There are also a range of different kinds of sleeping bags too, such as mummy shaped ones that replicate the shape of your hips and your shoulders.

You may also wish to get something like a sleeping bag liner too. For those cooler summer months, you should also consider the breathability of the sleeping bag so you don’t get overheated while you sleep.

Air Mattress / Air Pump

8 Air Mattress Air PumpOf course, you don’t have to sleep right next to the ground while you are camping. You can also invest in an air mattress that you can sleep on.

Air mattresses help to protect you from the harsh contours of the floor, and give you a comfortable surface that you can rest on top of.

Make sure that you consider the amount of people that will be sleeping on the mattress, since you can get singles and doubles.

Consider the durability of the air mattress too – there’s nothing worse than having your air mattress deflating as you sleep.

Finally, you’re also going to need a high quality air pump to inflate the mattress each time you use it. 

Pillows

9 PillowsSo you’ve got your sleeping bag, now you need to get some comfortable pillows!

They may take up a little bit of extra space in your backpack, but it’s worth it for a restful night’s sleep.

If you don’t have a lot of space, you can even invest in blow up pillows to save some space.

It’s pretty important if you still want to have plenty of energy to tackle the day ahead! 

Camping Chair

10 Camping ChairSince the goal of camping is to relax, you’ll probably want somewhere to hang out when you have a little bit of downtime.

A camping chair is an essential that you should get, even if it’s just so that you can stay nice and comfortable near the campfire!

Look for camping chairs that can fold up, since this will save some space in your car.

You will also need to check the durability and the weight capacity to ensure that the chair in question is the right choice for you. 

Cooking

3 Cooking

What’s another great thing about camping? The barbeque food, of course!

You’ll need to ensure that you have all of your key cooking gear with you while you’re camping to make sure that you’re well fed during your trip. Here are some of the things that you will need.

Camping Stove

11 Camping StoveIf you want to eat great food when you are out camping, you are going to need to have a good camping stove!

You can use these handy devices in all sorts of different places and climates, and they can come in a range of different forms.

For instance, you could get an all in one stove system, which is very efficient and boils quickly.

 

They’re rather compact and can even work in higher altitudes or sub zero conditions.

When buying a camping stove, you will need to think about whether the stove uses fuel, and if it does, whether you can access that fuel easily where you are.

If you are going backpacking while you are camping or if you intend to go hiking, you will also want to consider how portable the camping stove is so that you can carry it around easily.

To use a gas stove, all you really need to do is connect the stove onto the canister of gas – the instructions will tell you how to do this.

Then, you light the burner and wait for the cooker to heat up. You will need a little bit of patience, but eventually you will be done.

Just make sure that you don’t use the camping stove inside of your tent, since this can be dangerous. The area will need to be well ventilated to ensure that you are kept safe while you are cooking.

Cutlery and Utensils 

In order to eat your food, you are going to need some cutlery and utensils! Investing in a good cutlery set for your camping trips is always a good idea.

Look for cutlery that’s made out of durable materials, such as titanium. You could theoretically get plastic cutlery but this may not last as long since plastic can be a little bit fragile.

It’s also important to invest in some utensils for the cooking process too, since you will need them in order to serve the food.

Pots and Pans

The next thing that you’re going to need is some pots and pans. These will allow you to fry and boil your food while you’re out camping.

You can often get cooking sets that are designed specifically for camping, so it’s certainly worth considering investing in one of these sets. Look for cookware that is scratch resistant and handles the heat well.

You don’t need to get anything super fancy, you just need something durable that’s compact enough to store easily while you’re out camping.

Water Carrier 

Leaving your camp every single time that you need to get water can be incredibly time consuming and tedious.

To avoid this issue, you can simply just invest in a water carrier in order to make life at camp that much easier for you! You can just keep a large container of water next to your camp.

You can get a range of different sized water carriers, so consider what you need based on your personal circumstances.

Just make sure that you know where to go in order to get the water – visitor centers, beaches and parks are all good choices.

Tin Opener/ Bottle Opener

When you’re out camping, there’s a strong chance that you’re going to be cracking open a lot of bottles to enjoy with friends and family.

In addition to that, you may need to open that tin of beans that’s been eyeing you up all weekend.

For this reason, you should make sure that you have a trust tin and bottle opener by your side so you can enjoy your camping trip without panicking that you don’t have them.

Food 

There’s no point in having all of this cooking gear if you have no food to cook, after all! Having some great food is one of the best things about going camping, so make sure that you have a decent amount with you.

There are a few main foods that you should think about bringing with you when you are going camping. This includes:

  • Bread
  • Cereal
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Pasta 
  • FruitsPost
  • Vegetables
  • Sauces
  • Sugar
  • Tea
  • Long life milk
  • Barbeque food (if you have a barbeque!)

Of course, you can bring anything with you that you feel like bringing. It’s just important to mention that you may need a cooler box or something to keep your food chilled if it isn’t in a can or preserved in some other way.

Lighter / Matches

12 Lighter MatchesIn order to get your camping stove to work or to get your campfire running, you are going to need some lighters or matches.

You can get lighters and matches that are designed specifically for camping, too.

Lighting a fire can be pretty tricky if you’ve never done it before though, so make sure that you know what you’re doing before you embark on your journey.

It may even help you later down the line if you decide to audition for Survivor! 

Tools / Equipment

4 Tools Equipment

In order to set up your tent and have general success with camping, you will also need to ensure that you bring some key tools with you! 

Mallet/ Hammer

13 Mallet HannerThe most obvious tool that you will need when you go camping is a mallet or a hammer.

You will need this in order to hammer things like pegs into the ground.

To make things even easier for yourself, you could also get a hammer that has prongs in the back that will allow you to pull the pegs out of the ground more easily when you’re done. 

 

Penknife

Sometimes people like to go foraging for food, in which case a penknife can be very beneficial.

Penknives can usually be folded down so you can put them in your pocket, so they’re handy to carry with you when you’re camping. You never know when you may need one, after all! 

Duct Tape

You may be wondering why you would need duct tape for camping. In reality, duct tape can come in handy for a wide range of different things when you’re camping.

It can be used to seal up food packages, can be used to make ropes and most importantly, it can be used for repairing things like tears in your gear.

It’s particularly useful if something like your tent fabric ends up getting damaged. In short, it’s something that you should certainly have with you when you’re camping, since it has a wide variety of uses.

Flashlight / Batteries

14 Flashlight BatteriesIt can get pretty dark outside at night, and you never know when you’ll need to walk around in the dark when you’re camping.

For this reason, you should invest in a flashlight.

Get one that’s fairly bright so that you can see where you’re going in the dark.

You’re also going to need batteries.

Some flashlights have rechargeable batteries which can be useful if you don’t want to constantly replace the batteries in the flashlight, but you should probably ensure that the flashlight has decent battery life.

You don’t want it to be switching off in the middle of a walk! 

Map

15 MapIf you’re out camping, there’s a strong chance that you may be in an unfamiliar place.

This can be super exciting, but you don’t want to get lost.

Make sure that you get a map of the area so that you know where you are going.

Learning to read a map first will also be beneficial if you aren’t familiar with using one.

 

Google Maps can certainly be helpful, but you may not have mobile connection when you’re camping so having a backup method of navigation is very helpful.

Compass

16 CompassA compass may seem a little bit old fashioned, but it’s an important tool to use alongside your map.

It will help you to keep the map oriented and help you to find your way whenever you’re lost out in the wilderness.

Learning how to navigate using a map and a compass is an essential skill when you’re camping.

 

Health / Hygiene 

5 Health Hygiene

Sure, you’re camping, but that isn’t an excuse to be dirty! Consider bringing these key hygiene and health items along with you while you are out camping.

First Aid Kit

17 First Aid KitIt doesn’t matter what you plan on doing when you are camping – a first aid kit is essential.

It’s potentially one of the most important things to bring with you when you are going camping.

Since you are in the outdoors, there’s a higher chance that you may get injured, or that others around you could get hurt.

 

 

It may also be a lot harder to get healthcare immediately when you’re camping since mobile signal isn’t always great.

Having a first aid kit can be a life saver. When you are buying your first aid kit, there are a few things that you will need to have.

For instance, you should have gear for covering wounds, such as safety pins, medical tape, cold compresses, band aids and antiseptic pads for treating wounds.

You should have a few medicinal creams with you too, for instance cough medicine, eye wash, antiseptic cream and painkillers, to name a few.

Finally, make sure that your first aid kit contains some essential tools, such as scissors, emergency foil blankets, thermometers and sterile gloves that you can dispose of after use.

Soap/Shower Gel

This one is a given! You’ll need to bring some soap and shower gel with you so that you can keep yourself clean while you are out camping. Of course, large bottles of soap and shower gel can be a little inconvenient to carry around.

Thankfully, you can actually get pocket sized versions in your local supermarket that you can keep in a small bag when you go camping. This is a really handy space saver! 

Toothpaste/ Toothbrush

It’s worth buying a new toothbrush and toothpaste set when you plan on going camping. After all, you don’t want to displace it while camping and then not have a toothbrush and toothpaste at home.

Buy yourself a small portable toothbrush and a little tub of toothpaste – again, you can get smaller versions of these to save space while you’re camping.

Deodorant/ Sprays

This is another situation where you check the miniatures section in your local supermarket – check for roll on or small containers of deodorant, since these tend to be smaller and thus save more space while you’re camping.

Anti-bacterial Wipes

Not all surfaces are as clean as we would like them to be. For this reason, you will want to invest in some anti bacterial wipes to clean down any surfaces, especially before you are eating.

Campsite facilities can sometimes be a little unsanitary if they haven’t been cleaned in a while too, so it’s better safe than sorry.

Alongside anti-bacterial wipes, you may also want to bring some hand sanitizer. This will help you to repel any nasty germs when you’re camping, and you can simply slot the bottle back into your backpack once you’re done.

Sunscreen 

18 SunscreenYou’re most likely going to be spending a lot of time out in the sun while you are camping, so it’s important to ensure that you have some sunscreen with you to protect from those nasty UV rays.

Look for a sunscreen that has broad spectrum protection with at least an SPF 30 protection rating.

If you are planning on doing intense outdoor activities such as sports or hiking, you may also want to think about getting a sunscreen that has been designed specifically for outdoor activities.

These sunscreens usually resist sweat and water, so you’ll still be protected. You should apply your sunscreen even when it’s not super sunny outside, too. It’s better to keep your skin nice and safe! 

Bug/Mosquitos Repellent

It’s always a good idea to get a tent that has a mesh screen so you can avoid bugs getting into your tent, but what about when you’re outside?

Those pesky bugs can be much more bothersome when you’re outside, since it’s where they tend to reside.

To save yourself getting bitten by mosquitos and other bugs, you should buy some repellent. You can also do other things to get the bugs away, such as burning citronella coils or candles. Fly zapper rackets can be useful, too.

Towels

You’re also going to need to have some towels with you when you go camping.

Towels are useful for cleaning up messes on surfaces in your camping area, but they’re also important for drying off your face and body after you’ve been in the shower.

It’s best to get a lightweight microfiber towel rather than aunty other option though, since these will dry you off much more quickly. You don’t want to be soaking wet out in the open air, after all.

It’s not always very pleasant, especially since you will immediately need to put your clothes on after you get out of the shower.

Clothing

6 Clothing

Wearing the right clothing is essential when you’re camping! Here’s what you need to bring.

Extra layers as the night gets colder

Even if you’re camping during the summer, there’s no guarantee that it’s always going to be hot outside.

Usually the weather gets much colder in the evenings when you’re camping, and you don’t have central heating to rely on when you’re practically sleeping in the open air.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to bring a few extra layers with you to keep you warm.

This could consist of something as simple as an extra cardigan and a warm pair of jeans, or a light jumper to ensure that you aren’t shivering during the colder evenings.

Clothing depending on weather

19 Clothes Depending On The WeatherIt’s always best to be prepared for every eventuality.

Don’t just assume that it’s going to be sunny every day of the week – there may be times when it’s raining, and you aren’t going to be happy if you get soaked in a pair of shorts and a crop top.

Bring a few changes of clothes, and consider the variations in weather conditions before you embark on your camping trip.

 

Don’t be afraid to pack a few extra items if need be, and if you have the extra space.

Oh, and don’t forget to bring some bathers with you – you may find that you’re near a body of water and you want a quick dip! 

Towels for shower/swimming

You’re going to need towels for the shower of course, but what about when you take a trip to the beach, or to a nearby lake? For this, you are going to want to bring some extra towels.

Just bring a few spares along with you so that you can have something to dry off with when you go swimming. Again, microfiber towels are a good choice since they will dry you off much more quickly.

Optional Extras

7 Optional Extras

Here are a couple of extra things that you may need when you’re going camping! 

Camping Table

20 Camping TableNot every campsite has benches that you can use when you want to eat your camping food.

In this case, it can be useful to bring a camping table.

You don’t need to bring a fully assembled table along with you, of course.

Instead, you can get a specific camping table that will fold down when you aren’t using it.

These are super handy when you want to eat your evening meal or when you’re serving large amounts of food.

Windbreak

It seems pretty obvious to say, but sometimes it can get really windy when you’re camping outdoors. For this reason, having a windbreak can be super helpful.

Windbreaks help to protect you and your tent from extra wind, which is important for ensuring that none of your more flimsy gear gets damaged when it’s hit by a gust of wind.

If you think it’s likely to be windy on your camping trip, it’s certainly worth investing in one of these. They’re also great for privacy too.

Hookup for Electric

You don’t need to have electricity with you in order to have a fun camping trip, but having a hookup for your electric can certainly be helpful.

You can usually buy electric hookups online for a couple of dollars – it’s a small price to pay in order to have all of your favorite creature comforts in your home away from home.

Flares

While nobody likes to think that they will be caught in an emergency situation while they’re enjoying a camping trip, it’s important to be realistic.

It is possible that you may get caught in an accident or in an emergency when you’re away from home, and you may not have the signal on your cell phone to get in contact with someone.

For this reason, a flare can be incredibly useful for signalling distress to people nearby. You should certainly carry one of these while you’re out camping.

You can also use other modern alternatives, such as personal locator beacons, since they do the same thing and are less dangerous than flares.

Summary

Now you’re ready to embark on your camping trip! Get the tent packed up and get all of your gear into your trunk, because you’re now prepared to have a fantastic vacation away from home!

If you remember to bring the key items listed here, you’re sure to have a successful camping trip free of any problems. 

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