6 Camping Essentials Never to Forget

March 11, 2020

Since 2014, over 6 million people have taken up camping and it’s a trend that isn’t going anywhere soon. All the facts point to a huge upsurge in overnighting in the great outdoors. Before you plan your next adventure, consider this list of 6 camping essentials.

Hiking, fishing, and hunting are all awesome ways to spend time outdoors, but you haven’t really experienced the full glory of nature until you’ve closed your eyes to the sounds of the night and the flutter of canvas overhead.

We’re talking real camping, not the pampered RV kind of camping with solar-powered everything. If you want to rough it in the true sense of the word while car camping, these are the only camping essentials you need.

6 Camping Essentials:

1. Shelter

A tent is an obvious solution for protecting yourself against the elements. If you’re traveling solo, it’s easy to find a tent that suits your needs.

For a family camping trip, things can get a little more complicated. For starters, there’s no industry standard that dictates the per-person dimensions of a tent. So, a good rule of thumb is to go one size bigger than the advertised size i.e. if you need space for two people, pick a three-man tent.

If you’re planning to go camping in the wintertime, choose a suitable tent. A three-season tent is ideal for states like Florida that boast a mild winter climate. If you’re planning a trip to somewhere a little chillier, pick a four-season tent.  Some Florida outfitters, like Bill Jackson’s, carry “convertible” tents which convert 3 season to 4 season with the use of zip in panels for the screens.

Some campgrounds have small tent pads.  If you have a large number of loved ones, a large tent may not fit.  Consider a couple smaller tents.

2. Bedding

A bad night’s sleep can cancel out all the relaxing effects of your camping trip. Do yourself a favor and pack a decent sleeping pad. Air pads offer the best comfort when you’re going car camping.

One of the best tips for buying camping gear is to try it out first, and sleeping pads are no exception. Always lie down on a sleeping pad before you buy it. It’s the only way to figure out if it’s going to work for you.

Besides Cush, there is another reason to have a pad or mattress. A sleeping bag of the appropriate temperature rating will suffice, but when you get into it your body weight crushes the insulation under you.  The pad’s other purpose is to insulate you from the ground.

3. Fire and Light

Gas cookers and lamps are a nice-to-have, but they’re not essential. When permitted, campfires are great for warmth and to cook your meals.

Most campgrounds have firewood to purchase, and discourage collecting from the woods.  This is to keep impact on the surrounding area to a minimum.  Usually an axe is unnecessary, but a small hatchet for the purpose of splitting firewood into kindle is useful.

More necessary than fire is a light. Flashlights or headlamps are great tools to use while camping. Headlamps are particularly useful because you can use both of your hands to perform tasks in the dark of night.

4. Clean Water

Most campgrounds these days have access to clean water for bathing and drinking.

If your chosen site doesn’t have this basic necessity, you’re going to have to lug your own water supplies along for drinking or have a method of water treatment.

Don’t forget your toiletries. Sanitation does exist when camping despite what people think.

5. Food

You’ll need to pack provisions for the trip. This means you’ll also need some type of refrigeration for perishable items or utilize foods that don’t require it.

A good quality cooler works best with the lid closed.  It can keep food cold for days. Be strategic with how often you open it as it will shorten refrigeration time.  Keep stocked with ice when available or a battery-powered cooler if power is available. Other alternatives include dried goods or heading to the nearest restaurant if you’re not camping in a remote area.

You’ll also need things to help you prepare your meals and eat them, such as chopping boards, knives, etc.  Consider buying a nested cook set for camping to save space.

6. Sunscreen and Bug Spray

The last two camping essentials to never forget are sunscreen and bug spray. When you’re going camping, you’ll be outside all day. This means you have a higher chance of getting sunburnt than the average person.

Plus, bug spray is a must because you don’t want to deal with the annoyance of bugs while you’re relaxing. Bug spray can also save you at night, especially when your fire is the only source of light nearby. Another tip is to reapply on both sunscreen and bug spray at least twice a day for maximum protection.

Sunburn and insect invasions can really put a damper on your trip, so put these two items near the top of your camping checklist.

Stock Up on Camping Essentials

Camping essentials also vary according to where you’re going and your intended activities. Wherever you’re headed we’ve got the goods to ensure your stay is comfortable and convenient.

If you are debating between car camping and backpacking, it all depends on your level of comfort. No matter which adventure you choose, these 6 camping essentials are your must-haves!

Pop into our store for more advice on the best camping gear, or sign up for one of our awesome classes about outdoor activities.