Camping Essentials – Checklist
On usual trips, if you forget to bring something along, you probably would grab it from a nearby store. However, it is a different story in the wilderness. If you are out camping and you left something behind, then there is nothing much you can do about it.
Don’t worry, in this article; we would run through the most basic camping essentials you would need to have an awesome camping trip.
Flashlight, Headlamps and Lanterns: It gets dark in the woods, so you need something that can help you see in the dark. A headlamp is one of the most viable sources to choose in the wilderness as they facilitate hand-free operations, and are portable to carry because they are lightweight, small, and have a long battery life. Packable lanterns and flashlights are also valuable. Flashlights usually have powerful beams that are helpful in emergencies.
Fire & Matches: Carrying mechanical lighters, fire rods or other devices that can create a spark is convenient, but carrying matches as a backup is always beneficial. However, the low-cost matches available in convenience stores are unreliable in the wilderness with the uncertainty of the weather they can degrade quickly. So, it is better not to count on them. Fire-starter, as the name implicates, helps to instantly start a fire. The one that ignites swiftly and sustains heat for some seconds is an ideal fire-starter.
Priming paste, candles, clusters of chipped woods soaked in the resin are also some popular easily available fire-starters.
Pocket Knife and Multi-tools: A pocket knife with at least 1-fold out blade or multi-tools with 1 or 2 flathead screwdrivers, these will be helpful for the purpose of gear repair, preparation of food and for first aid or other emergency situations.
Map & Compass (navigation): Relying only on your phone’s GPS is not a good option while you are camping. There can be good a chance you will not get cell phone service in the woods. In such situation, carrying a paper map or traditional compass is a preeminent backup. A compass and a paper map weighs almost next to nothing and does not depend on batteries. It is very easy to get a paper map, you can find one online and can take a print out.
Food & Water
Chances are that you will need to prepare food yourself as you will not get any sit-in restaurant in the wilderness. It is always beneficial to pack extra food such as pre-packaged snacks. It is still better to carry non-cooked food that can be stored for longer time. Such meals include energy bars, dry fruits and nuts. Also, pack up small containers of condiments and marinated meat if you are willing to cook. It is also vital to carry some utensils and cookware.
A Cooler is another item that serves as an indispensable backup. Save on your budget by getting the best cooler for the money. If you are camping with a huge crowd, then it is viable to use multiple coolers. Coolers help in maintaining the temperature whether it is cold or hot. When choosing a cooler, you need to ensure that it is well insulated with thick walls. There is some knock off Yeti Coolers, which provide the same value but for a lower price. This will help in keeping the food cold and avoid contamination.
Water is indispensable, and it is important to carry at least one water bottle as well as a collapsible water reservoir. Alongside it is also crucial to carry certain means for water purification, filtration, or water treatment tablets. Also, try to explore some possible water sources consulting your map.
Health & Hygiene
First Aid: You can at any time need a first aid kit while in the woods. To be safe pack some bandages, aspirins tablets, gauze pads, disinfecting ointment, and some pain killers. Also carry some hiking-specific things like bug sprays, Aloe Vera for burns, moleskin for blisters, and adhesive tape. Nitrile gloves can also be useful.
Sun Protection: Sun protection glasses are also imperative. However, if you are planning a prolonged ice or snow trip, then you will require some extra dark glasses. UV (UVA & UVB) rays are potentially harmful, and therefore, you need to be extra cautious while choosing sunglasses. Moreover, choose sunscreen of a grade SPF between 15 and 30. It will be required for your skin especially during hiking.
Dry Wipes: There is a possibility that you will be miles away from the shower. A disposable washcloth or dried wipes can drastically improve sanitation.
Clothing & Insulation
Clothing: Every ounce counts in your backpack. Hence, it is vital to choose lightweight fabrics so that you can reuse them for some time. You can also pack a lightweight hat, breathable waterproof jacket, and wool socks. A neat trick is to store your clothes in your best soft cooler, freeing space in your backpack.
Shelter: In order to deal with rain or the wind or any weather issues, shelter is important. Consider carrying a tent. It is not necessary to carry a heavy tent; tents come in varied sizes. Hence, you can select a small and portable tent. You can also carry some sleeping pads and sleeping bags with a light mattress for your comfort.
If you somehow still have space in your backpack these two items are worth squeezing.
A Spare Battery: It is a great alternative to have for emergency circumstances. There’s no harm, a pack of AA batteries is lightweight.
Insect Repellent: This will be very effective in backspaces. You can use it as a spray or lotion form to keep bugs away from you.