It does not matter if you go camping once a year for a week or you like to have mini camping trips year-round with the kids; the right supplies ensure an experience that is safer and much more enjoyable. Whether you are planning your first outing, or you are just looking to pick up new must-have essentials for the season, this list will help.
Tent – Okay, you know you need a tent, but choosing from hundreds of varieties is pretty overwhelming. Obviously, size matters. Everyone should be able to sleep comfortably. There are dome, a-frame, and walled varieties available. It should be waterproof and easy to pitch. Inner side pockets are nice to have, as are lantern hooks.
Sleeping Gear – A sleeping bag is a must. A sleeping pad will give you a little cushioning and prevent the cold ground from stealing your body heat. You can also go with an inflatable camping bed.
Portable Barbeque Grills
– There are lots of portable barbeque grills to choose from. Get one that you are comfortable using and that suits your needs. You will also need cooking supplies, plates, cups, etc.
First Aid – Some assume a first aid kit is only needed for a long trip. Nope! Murphy’s Law should pretty much tell you that you will need a first aid kit when you are least prepared. It should include adhesive bandages, medical tape, gauze pads, disinfecting ointment, pain medicine, treatment for blisters and burns, gloves, allergy pills, and a pen and paper.
Lighting – A safe campsite is a well-lit one. Not only do you want to be able to see your surroundings, especially if you camp in an area with bears, wolves, or coyotes, you also want to see what is in your walking path. Tripping over a rock and breaking your nose on the picnic table will put a quick stop to your fun. Headlamps are great because they are hands-free. Solar and crank lanterns eliminate the need for batteries. There are even crank flashlights and lanterns that have a USB charging port.
Other – Now that you have the basics, start adding to your collection of supplies. There are an abundance of other things that will enhance your experience, even if you are just camping in the backyard with the kids. Other supplies include bungee cords, walkie-talkies, cleanup kit, cooler, fire starter, navigation tools, sun protective clothing, portable hammocks, knives or multi use tools, water treatment, whistle, clothes line and pins, folding table and chairs, laundry bag, hand warmers, portable propane heater, crank radio, and work gloves.