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What are the essential pieces of camping gear?

Camping gear needed for a trip can vary greatly depending on the type of camp trip you are going on.

The basics will include shelter, sleeping gear, cooking equipment, a light source and fire starting supplies. Shelters can include backpacking tents for 1 or 2 people, to family style tents for 4+ people. Keep in mind how many people will be sleeping in the tent and how much room you wish to have. Sleeping gear will vary from your personal preference but will include a sleeping bag, pillow, and can also include a sleeping pad, cot or inflatable mattress. Some prefer sleeping right on the ground but many will have at the very least a sleeping pad. Sleeping pads are lightweight and easy to pack but for those not worried about space, a cot or air mattress can be a great option. Camp cooking equipment offers you the ability to cook up some great meals giving you the comfort of home while camping. Cook equipment can include camping stoves and grills to something as simple as a hot dog and marshmallow fork for cooking over the campfire. When it gets dark you are going to want to have either a flashlight or a headlamp. A working flashlight or headlamp can help you find your tent, the bathroom and is crucial if there is an emergency situation. Fire is indicative of camping and being prepared is the key to a quality campfire. Be sure to have a fire starter whether it is a lighter, matches or a strike and spark fire starter. You will also want to either bring your own dry firewood or be sure the campground has firewood readily available.

What sleeping gear will I need in the wilderness?

The sleeping gear you will need for the best trip will depend on what type of camping you are doing.

The basics should include at least a Sleeping Bag and a Sleeping pad. When backcountry camping a sleeping bag and sleeping pad, and maybe an inflatable or packable pillow, will be all you want to pack in order to save weight and minimize the space taken up. For car camping or family camping you can have more luxurious sleeping conditions using an inflatable air mattress or a nice cot. Make sure to pay special attention to the sleeping bag you choose as sleeping bags come in various temperature ranges and shapes. Find a temperature rating that meshes well with the weather conditions in your area, and be sure to check out the various shapes to accommodate your sleeping style.

What other items do I need to take with me camping?

Some Items you may want to bring with you when camping can include, but are not limited to a hatchet, portable hammock, map of the area, chairs, water, insect repellent, sunscreen and pet gear.

The list goes on and on but these are the items that can make your camping experience the best it can be. A hatchet is great for rustic camping when you may have to scavenge for your own firewood. Portable hammocks are great for lounging during the day or even sleeping in at night. Also, kids love hammocks and can give them somewhere to hang out during the day. A map of the area can give you ideas on activities to do or can help you get your bearings if you wander too far from camp. Camping chairs range from small and portable to large and extravagant but no matter the style or design, having a place to sit at the end of the day is not something to overlook. Water, this one is very important. If the campground has no running water you will want to bring a good supply and if the campground has running water you will want to bring a jug to transport. Insect repellent and sunscreen can really make your camping trip more enjoyable. When it comes to sunscreen it’s good to know that even an overcast day or a sunny day in the dead of winter can give you sun damage so always protect yourself. Pet gear for camping will include a quality leash tie out, bowls for food and water, a pack for backpacking, a cooling vest, or even a life vest for dogs going for a swim.

What are the best activities to combine with camping?

Fishing, kayaking, biking, reading, swimming, boating, card and board games, or any type of yard style game.

There are endless activities one can do when camping or you can choose to do none of these activities and just rest and relax. Camping is an open book and gives you the ability to hit up a hiking trail, kayak a river, bike a couple miles, or even open a book and have a good read! Card and board games are great for when it gets dark and everyone can gather around the lantern together. Yard games like bean bag toss (cornhole), blongo (hillbilly golf) or some of the good old standbys like soccer, baseball or football can get everyone together for some fun and competitive activity. There are so many activities to do when camping but make sure cleaning your campsite and respecting the nature around you is number one on your list!

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