There are a few essentials every camper needs when spending time in nature, but sometimes it can be hard to distinguish what is important and what is not. Having the right gear can often determine if your trip will be a success or a nightmare. Luckily, we have come up with a few essentials you will definitely need to bring with you.
Trust me, you don’t want to spend two weeks eating sandwiches and crackers. For longer camping trips, camp stoves are essential. Being in nature is healthy, but eating junk food while doing so defeats the purpose. Also, not many people know their way around a fire, and cooking a whole meal could prove challenging. Besides, many campsites prohibit open fires, especially if the area is often struck by wildfires.
First Aid Kit
You never know when you might need one, but it’s a lifesaver when you do – first aid kits are the number one priority for every camper. There are a few mandatory items every first aid kit should have, like gauze, bandages, tape, aspirin, alcohol, tweezers, moleskin, pain relieving gel, antacid and antidiarrheal medicine. However, you can add whatever you want to your kit to make it more personalized.
Something that seems obvious, however there are a few things to note when it comes to tents. Firstly, consider the size of your tent and the number of people it can fit, will it accommodate your group? Sometimes it’s better to have multiple smaller tents, than one large tent, it all depends on the site.
Big tents are great if you have a large group of friends and if your campsite has enough space. Secondly, big tents are very heavy, so it’s better if you divide the load or to carry a few smaller ones – that way you won’t have to do all of the heavy lifting.
A sleeping bag keeps you warm and cozy during cold nights in the woods, and it also keeps away any unwanted nocturnal visitors, like beetles or lizards. Most campers opt to bring a sleeping pad too, but that isn’t particularly necessary, especially if you are a sound sleeper.
By this we don’t mean an extra shirt or pair of underwear. When spending time in nature, expect the unexpected; it can easily start raining or you can step in water, and spending time in damp clothing can not only be unpleasant, but it can be dangerous in cooler weather. This means you will need an extra pair of shoes, even an extra jacket, if you don’t have a waterproof one.
The pocket knife is a camper’s best friend. Whether it’s to cut a fishing line, open cans or peel bark, or even cut tinder, a good knife is a mandatory piece of equipment. Without this multipurpose tool most mundane tasks in nature become nearly impossible. Having compact automatic knives that are reliable and safe to carry can really make things a bit easier for you, since they retract and can’t accidentally cut anything.
Map and compass
Never go hiking without a map and compass to help you with orientation. Many unprepared campers have ended up lost, wandering for days before getting rescued. Getting stranded anywhere far from civilization is no child’s play, especially with limited water supply. Even going for a light stroll in the woods can end up becoming a nightmare if you take the wrong turn.
That’s where maps and compasses come to the rescue. Ideally, you should study the maps of areas surrounding your campsite, and try to memorize any landmarks. However, the changing light can disorient even the most experienced hikers, that’s why you need to know how to use a compass.
If, by any chance, you get sidetracked, and you end up having to spend hours finding your way back, a survival kit just might help you get through the ordeal. Nobody can predict if they’re going to spend an extra five hours getting back to the campsite, so an extra supply of essentials comes in handy at those times. You can buy ready-made kits, or you can make your own.
Even though there are campsites that prohibit fires, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared in case you need one. If you decide to spend a night away from your campsite, you will definitely need the warm, cackling safety a good campfire can provide. Whether it’s matches, flint and steel, magnesium fire starter, or a lighter – make sure your fire starters are protected from moisture.
While these are some essentials every camper should bring with them, there are plenty more items one can think of taking along, especially for a longer stay. Consider our list as a guideline and feel free to add anything you like that will make your trip more enjoyable.