The question of what to take camping is a controversial one. Some people believe that taking as few items as possible is the best option while others believe in bringing all their modern conveniences with them so that they do not have to spend too much time “roughing it” out in nature.
No matter how you look at camping, the fact is that you probably only have a limited amount of space in your vehicle and so may not be able to bring all the things you want or even think you need. Naturally, you will want to pack items that you simply cannot do without first and then include optional items if you have room inside (or on top of) your vehicle.
What to Bring for Camping – The Bare Essentials
- One or two changes of clothing (depending on how long you are camping for)
- Hiking boots
- Sleeping Bags
- Water bottles
- Pan or pot for cooking food
- Cooking utensils: pot holders, serving spoons/ladle, can opener, bottle opener, etc.
- Cell phone
- Sheet for picnics or fold up picnic table and bench set
- Tableware: plates, forks, knives, etc.
- Mosquito repellent
- First aid kit
- Flashlight and batteries
- Any prescription or over the counter medication that must be taken on a daily basis
- Personal hygiene items: feminine napkins, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.
If you are camping with a baby or small toddler, then you will naturally want to add baby formula, diapers, extra changes of clothes and a potty to this list. A few toys for small children may also be in order, although these should be limited in number as most children would much rather explore the great outdoors than sit in a tent and play with the same toys that they play with at home.
Items that are Good to Have
If you want to know what you need for camping, then the above list is a good starting place. It is quite short but encompasses all that you truly need in order to enjoy your time out in nature. However, if you have more room in your car and want to take some extra items with you, then the following list provides a helpful overview of some items that are nice to have on hand:
- Books and magazines
- Fishing rods and bait
- Life jackets
- Inflatable swimming boat or raft
Tips on Choosing Camping Equipment
Those who need to buy expensive items such as a tent, sleeping bags and backpacks will find that online retailers usually offer better prices than the average store. Furthermore, online retail outlets often provide product reviews that will help you to see if the item you are about to purchase is indeed a good buy. Newbie campers should make sure the tent being purchased is easy to set up.
Camping as a family can be a lot of fun. There is so much to see and do in nature that everyone is sure to enjoy themselves no matter how long the camping trip lasts. Even children who initially feel that they cannot live without computers and other modern conveniences adapt quickly to an outdoor lifestyle.
In order to ensure that the camping trip preparation is as simple and easy as possible, be sure to only pack items that you will actually need and are likely to use while on your trip. Bringing only essential items with you will enable you to bond as a family without unnecessary distractions.