The warm weather is finally here! If you’re like 40.5 million other Americans, this probably means that you have at least one camping trip on the horizon. So it is important that you gather the essential camping gear to make your trip a success.
Even if you’ve got your heart set on sleeping under the stars, a tent is a must for anyone who’s got a camping trip coming up.
You never know when it’s going to rain. The forecast may be clear, but it’s still a good idea to have a shelter you can turn to in an emergency.
Look for a tent that is large enough to fit everyone in your camping party, and make sure that it’s made of durable material.
If you’re not interested in spending hours hammering stakes into the ground and pitching a tent in the traditional way, look for a freestanding tent that’s easy to set up, take down, and move around.
In addition to a tent, a sleeping bag is another essential piece of equipment you’ll need for your next camping trip.
Many sleeping bags come with a temperature rating that lets you know which season they’re ideal for. For your summer camping trips, look for a summer season sleeping bag. You can also buy a 3-season sleeping bag if you plan to start your trips early or extend them into the fall.
You might also want to consider buying a center-zip sleeping bag instead of a side-zip. This style is easy to open if you have to get up in the middle of the night, and the zipper won’t dip into your hip if your sleep on your side.
For an extra comfortable night’s sleep, you may also want to invest in a high-quality sleeping pad. Look for one that is thick and supportive to avoid waking up in the morning with any aches or pains.
You can also find sleeping pads that are made with materials that enhance body-heat reflection. If you tend to get cold at night, these are a great option.
Look for a camp stove that is lightweight and easy to set up. It can also be helpful to buy a model with adjustable legs so that it’s easier to manage on uneven surfaces.
In addition to something to cook on, you’ll also need some materials to cook with.
The specific pieces of cookware you buy will vary depending on the number of people you’re camping with and the type of food you plan to prepare. But, in general, you can’t go wrong with the following items:
You’ll also need utensils (unless you want to eat your food with your hands). Many camping supply stores sell knife-spoon-fork combos that are perfect for all of your meals.
It’s great to have something on hand to keep drinks cold and food fresh. But, it’s not fun to haul a bulky cooler into the woods, especially if you have a long hike to your campsite.
Look for a lightweight, collapsible cooler that’s easy to store in a backpack until you get to your destination.
Living by firelight for a few nights is fun. But, sometimes, it’s nice to have a little extra light. LED flashlights have really advanced in recent years. So adding a compact, lightweight lantern is an essential part of your camping gear.
A heavy duty lantern will give you plenty of light so that you can find your way when the sun goes down.
You may want to look for a lantern that has a dimmer option. That way, you can use the light to help you find something without waking up everyone in the campsite.
There are a variety of styles of lighters out there, and everyone has their own preference. A waterproof style is usually a good option, and you may also want to buy one that works well in windy conditions.
Plasma lighters are particularly beneficial since they don’t require lighter fluid and come with extra safety features to help you avoid accidents.
There are lots of affordable filtration systems that are easy to use, but they’re not the most portable option. If you want something that’s very lightweight, you might want to consider using iodine tablets to purify your water instead. Be sure to add to your camping gear list since this one is most often overlooked–and fresh drinking water is the most-needed item when going off the grid!
For your average camping trip, you’ll probably be fine with just a pair of sneakers. But, if you’re planning on doing a lot of hiking, a pair of durable hiking boots is a great investment. Boots will support your ankles and help you avoid injuries while you’re walking and climbing.
Hiking boots can be expensive. But, if you buy a quality pair, they’ll last for quite a while, so the extra cost is usually worth it.
Finally, make sure you bring a well-stocked first aid kit with you on all your camping trips. You never know when an accident is going to happen, and you need to be prepared.
Some good items to keep in your first aid kit include:
Keep all your supplies in a small, waterproof case so they’re in good condition when you need them.
Are you ready to start shopping for these camping essentials? Don’t have time to drive around to a dozen different outdoor supply stores?
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