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Six Must Have Items for any Camping Trip
We have all gone on vacation and forgot something. In doing so, we have just jumped into our car and went to the local superstore to purchase the item. When you go camping, whether it be campground or primitive, that luxury is not always available. To prevent this from happening, it is always a good idea to have a checklist of items that you need.
1. Shelter. This is one of our basic needs and it is very important to have the correct shelter. The first thing you need to look at is how many people are going to use the shelter or tent. If you are not primitive camping, it is always better to go up in size. This leaves room for cots and/or air mattress that many campers like to use. If, on the other hand, you are backpacking and primitive camping, go for the smallest tent. Each additional person that is listed on a tent’s capacity adds weight and bulk, which equates out to a heavier load for the hiker. Also, consider adding a tarp to the supply list for the tent. Laying out a tarp first and then setting up the tent on the tarp will reduce the chance of poking holes into the floor of the tent.
2. Cooking Equipment. This includes pots and pans along with a cooking stove. If you are backpacking a simple mess kit will do. You can cook on it and eat out of it. If you are camping at a campground, you could consider bringing along the good old-fashioned cast iron cookware, which can be used to cook main dishes and desserts. Also, consider what to cook on. Before you decide this always contact the campground or backpacking area to see if you can utilize a flame. If you are primitive camping, consider using a “pocket rocket,” which is a collapsible mini stove that utilizes an isopro fuel canister. If you are camping at a campground, consider bringing charcoal. Not all campsites provide or have available firewood so having charcoal can provide you that heat or cooking source. To make your life easier, do not forget the fire starting kit.
3. Sleeping Equipment. Nothing beats having a great day in the wilderness and then being able to bed down in a comfortable sleeping bag or bed mat. But what makes a restful slumber for one can become a nightmare for another. Choosing the right sleeping bag is critical to a good night’s sleep. If you are primitive camping consider using a mummy bag. These bags save space but if you are camping in the summer, they can be too hot. These bags are designed for temperatures such as 40 below, 20 below, and zero degree. On the other hand, if you are camping in a campground, a square-sleeping bag works wonders. This type of bag provides more room and is designed for warmer temperatures. If you do not have a sleeping bag, you can create your own bed mat, which consists of old blankets and sheets.
4. Insect Repellent. Regardless, if you are going to be sitting around a commercial campsite or out in the backcountry, it is very important to use bug repellent. While it is very important to understand the importance of applying bug spray, it is just as crucial to know what kind to use and when. Insect repellents work in two ways. One, it repels the insect. The common chemical used for this is DEET. This can be used on the skin. The other type kills the insects when they come in contact with it. The chemical used for this is permethrin. This should only be applied to clothing and tents. Prior to your camping trip, review the type of bug repellent you have and apply accordingly.
5. Let there be Light. Having light at your campsite addresses our collective fear of the dark and creates a safe haven for all. Depending on where and how the light is going to be used will determine the type of light you choose. Lights that are going to be taken into tents should never have a flame source. Flashlight and LED lights are the best choices. If you plan to have a light that is placed in a permanent location, such as a table, consider using a lantern that is fueled with some form of gas. Regardless of which you choose, always check the batteries, fuel level, wicks, mantles, and whether the light actually works. Campers have had their camping experience ruined when they assumed that the flashlight from last year was still working.
6. Camping Luggage. What do you carry all this equipment in, one may ask. The answer is simple if you are camping in a traditional campsite but what do you do out in the backcountry? The answer is a backpack. These primitive camping suitcases come in both internal and external frames. If you are going to be carrying a lot of materials, consider using an external frame backpack. This metal frame on the outside of the pack, gives you an additional surface area by which you can hang stuff off of plus the frame helps keep the pack off your back.
Gathering all your camping materials together and checking them out prior to ones trip is the first step to planning the perfect camping extrusion. As many campers can testify to, those who fail to plan plan to fail and camping is no exception.