The great outdoors is full of wonder, beauty and revitalizing experiences. Kicking back by the campfire and going to sleep in your tent as the wind rustles through the trees is an unforgettable experience. When it comes to camping there are some basic essentials you will need. Here’s a guide.
The basic ingredient of any camping trip is the tent. Whether you want a ten-person behemoth or a snug little single or two-person tent, these portable homes will keep you comfy and well-rested during your wilderness adventure. Tents vary considerably in quality, style and construction, so read reviews and ask many questions of the salesperson before you buy. In addition, keep your eyes open for large sales and special clearances: you can save a bundle.
Another of the most important things to ask about in terms of a tent is whether it has a warranty, whether it is suited to rainy or cold weather if you are going to be in such climates, and how hard it is to put together.¹
The next absolute essential you’re going to need is a sleeping bag. These come in many sizes and styles but more or less the name says it all. Particular things to look out for are how good they are at handling cold weather as well as any warranty and price. Some sleeping bags are overpriced and, while you don’t necessarily want the cheapest bargain basement zip-up you also don’t need to shell out the big bucks for an extra flannel designer sleeping bag that’s made for boutique luxury weekends on the back veranda at the Hamptons either.²
Stove and Fuel
The next thing you’ll need to create an epic camping experience is a portable stove and fuel. Brands like Coleman have good options here of lightweight fold-out stoves with two or sometimes four burners that are super convenient for boiling water and making simple meals with pots and pans. You will also need a propane fuel tank to attach. Always remember to pack a backup tank of gas as well as some cutlery and plates and mugs for hot chocolate and marshmallows – and a pen knife because camping just isn’t camping without a useful, all-purpose knife for whittling, cooking and opening packages.¹
Food and Water
Next up you need the items that you will actually cook and chow down on and consume. This is your water, juice, bread, snacks and everything else that helps you go to bed at night with a happy stomach and makes your time around the campfire that much more enjoyable. Try to hit a comfortable medium when it comes to food. If there’s a store or town near where you’re camping you can always restock, but if you’re camping in a more remote location then make sure to bring enough drinkable water and chow.³
Clothes and Boots
Depending on the season and how long you’re camping for, you will want a wide assortment of clothes. Even if it’s summertime bring at least a few long-sleeved shirts and one jacket since nights can often get mighty chilly. Bring a sturdy pair of hiking boots if you’re planning to walk the local area or explore some hiking trails and remember to bring a back for any wet or dirty clothing so that all your clothes don’t get soiled and wet on the way home.²
Last but not least in terms of camping essentials is bug spray. No matter what you’ve heard there’s always a chance of mosquitoes, horseflies and all sorts of other pesky bugs that can bite you and make each day and night a miserable experience. Bring some bug spray just in case – you’ll be glad you did.⁴