Stunningly Essential: What You Should Bring When You Go Camping

Setting Up Your Camping Trip: What to Bring When You Go Camping

Camping is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and bask in the peacefulness of nature. Whether it’s a weekend away with the family or an adventurous excursion with friends, every camper needs to consider the most important items to bring before setting out. With years of camping experience under my belt as a father of three kids, and having had countless outdoor experiences, I’ve narrowed down the essentials that you should include when packing for a camping trip.

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This is arguably the most important item to bring—after all, it’s where you’ll be spending the night! When picking a tent, consider the size you need to ensure that everyone is comfortable. It is also important to take the weather into account and purchase a tent that will keep you both dry and warm. It’s also worth investing in a tent with a coated waterproofing that will withstand long bouts of rain.

When setting up your tent, prospective campers should also bring enough equipment for erecting the tent—stakes, hammer, and mallet—to get the job done. It’s also important to bring along a couple of spare tarpaulins; these will come in handy during the rainy season.

person setting up a tent

Sleep Gear

Once you’ve picked your tent, you’ll need other sleeping gear to stay as comfortable as possible. Invest in an air mattress or a foam mat for padding, and bring along sleeping bags or blankets to keep you warm throughout the night. A pillow is also a must-have item on every camping checklist.

air mattress and sleeping bag

Camp Kitchen Supplies

You won’t get very far camping without food and water. Pack along both enough food and water for your duration, and make sure you have a camp kitchen with cooking supplies for preparing meals. Supplies such as a gas stove, pot, and fireworks are a must, as well as utensils for eating and drinking. You’ll also want to pack spices and condiments such as salt, sugar, and pepper for enhancing your meals.

stove with pots and pans

Lanterns & Lighting Equipment

When camping, you won’t have access to electricity, so make sure to pack designated lights such as lanterns, flashlights, and headlamps to use in the dark. Apart from lighting up the campground, you’ll need these to find your way around at night and make your dinner setup area brighter. Some campers also bring glow sticks to make the campsite more inviting, comfortable, and less spooky.

First Aid Kit

Safety is paramount, so it’s always a good idea to pack a first aid kit of supplies. This should include bandages, gauzes, medical tape, antiseptic, painkillers, antihistamines, and a thermometer. Even if you are an experienced camper, you should be prepared for any unexpected injuries or illnesses.

Clothing & Footwear

What you wear during your outdoor adventures matters, as it will affect your comfort levels. Pack different types and layers of clothing to ensure you stay warm and dry, even during unpredictable weather changes. This includes rain gear, warm hats, thermal base layers, and windproof layers. Selecting the correct type of shoe for camping is also important, as you’ll need sturdy and resilient footwear when exploring the outdoors.

Other Accessories

Apart from the abovementioned items, there are also other accessories you’ll need when camping. Even if you don’t plan on swimming in any rivers or lakes, bring a swimming suit with you. You’ll also need some speaker equipment to enjoy the sound of nature. It’s also a good idea to bring sunscreen and insect repellent to prevent any painful bites or sunburns.

Wrapping Up

Getting ready for your outdoor camping experience isn’t as daunting or difficult as it may seem. By taking my advice—and getting some advice from others—you’ll be prepared for whatever comes your way. Just plan ahead, and be sure to double-check your camping supplies list. I’m sure you’ll have an adventure of a lifetime.

To help you get started, watch this short video showing what I bring when packing for my camping trips.