Over 78 million American households camp every year, which shows how spending time outdoors is on the rise.

Whether you’re going with your family or a few friends, it’s important to bring the right equipment, so everybody’s comfortable on the trip. But perhaps you’re a camping novice, and you’re not sure what to bring along.

Sounds like you? No worries, we’re here to save the day. Here’s what to pack for a camping trip.

The Basics

It’s important to create a camping supply list, so you know what to bring. Start with the bare necessities, so you have shelter, warmth, along with enough food and water for the trip. Consider these, for example:

Tent

A robust tent should be at the top of your camping packing list, so you’re protected from the elements. Decide whether you want a three-season tent (spring, summer, and fall) or a four-season (winter) one. The former is lightweight and cooler in hot weather, whereas the latter is heavier. If you plan to camp in every season, consider getting on of each.

You should also decide how many people will sleep in the tent and whether you’ll keep backpacks inside so you can choose a model with the right floor area. And don’t forget to pack a tarp as it’s a great additional layer to slip beneath your tent.

Sleeping Bag

Wondering, “what do you need for camping?”

Make sure you’re all snug with a sleeping bag. Choose a season-appropriate one and if you’re planning to camp in fall or during winter, choose a waterproof model in case you’re stuck in a deluge. Or during summer, invest in a Grand Trunk hammock as it’s a fun, alternative way to sleep under the stars.

Solar Phone Charger

Staying connected is crucial, so pack a phone charger so you can contact friends or emergency services should a problem arise. Finding a plug socket is tricky, so invest in a solar-powered charger. Simply leave it in the sun, then hook it up to your phone, camera, or other electronic devices.

Light

If you’re wild camping, it’s crucial to pack a flashlight or headlamp, so you aren’t stuck in the dark. You can also find nifty travel lanterns, which are useful because they’re long-lasting and durable. Forgot about packing a flashlight? Then use your smartphone or download a flashlight app.

Sometimes it’s good to take a break from using your phone’s GPS. Challenge yourself and the kids to see who can use a compass and a map the best. You can even turn it into a scavenger hunt to see who can find the treasure first.

Kitchen Camping Gear

If you’re unsure what to bring camping, decide how you’re going to feed the family. This will help you determine which kitchen essentials to bring. For instance:

Camping Stove

You can’t always rely on building a campfire in case it rains, or there isn’t enough firewood. To avoid rumbling bellies, bring along a camping stove with fuel so you can whip up your favorite meals. But make sure you choose one that’s lightweight and portable.

Cookware

It’s difficult to cook intricate recipes while camping, so bring a pot and a frying pan. Remember to pack cooking and eating utensils, preferably metal or plastic, so they don’t break when you’re traveling.

Also, pack pre-packaged snacks like trail mix, so you don’t always have to cook hot meals. Plus, you mustn’t forget s’mores because camping isn’t complete without them.

Water

Don’t worry about this if you’re staying at a campsite because you’ll have access to potable water. But if you’re in the sticks, make sure you pack a method of water filtration, so you have enough to drink and cook with. It’s possible to get either water purifying bottles or tablets.

Personal Items

If you’re unsure how to pack for camping, imagine you’re packing for a regular vacation. Although you must be selective with personal items, it’s important to bring the necessities, so you’re comfortable. Such as:

Toiletries

Stay hygienic by packing a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste. It’s also wise to pack toilet paper, a hairbrush, and soap, so you stay fresh. And bring along hand sanitizer because you may be unable to properly wash your hands before eating.

Medication

Pack prescription medications, painkillers, and a first aid kit in case there’s an accident. You should also include bug spray and itch relief. Plus, plenty of sunscreen.

Entertainment

Don’t spend the entire trip glued to your screen, instead spend quality time with your loved ones. You don’t have to miss out on the fun either. There’s plenty of other entertainment on offer. For instance:

Travel-Sized Board Games

There’s no better way to bond with your family or friends than by playing board games. Not only do they relieve stress, but board games boost your self-confidence. And don’t forget to pack playing cards for endless rounds of Go Fish and Gin Rummy.

Outdoor Sport Gear

Regardless of where you’re camping, there’s bound to be a variety of outdoor sports to try. Whether it’s whiling away an afternoon fishing to kayaking in the lake, outdoor activities let you fully immerse in nature. Also, bring along bikes so you can explore the surroundings as a group.

That’s What to Pack for a Camping Trip

Now you know what to pack for a camping trip.

Make sure you have adequate shelter, food, and water, especially if you’re wild camping. Along with the bare necessities, pack plenty of entertainment from board games to kayaking gear so you can load up on family fun. Happy camping!

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