How to Pack for a Camping Trip

Packing For a Camping Trip in Five Easy Steps

Camping is a pastime enjoyed by people of all ages.  Packing up the car and setting off to a location in the forest or at the lake can bring individuals closer to nature and help them forget about the little things that life throws at them.

Having the right equipment on hand can make the outdoor experience even more enjoyable.  Unfortunately for the inexperienced camper, knowing what to bring on their adventure can be a daunting task.  Without prior notice, important items needed to secure stakes into the ground or keep the rain off the tent are left behind.  That is why it so important to know what to pack and why it might be needed.

Determine the Details of Your Trip

Take into account the number of days that you will be gone and the people that will be with you.  Do they require special accommodations or will one tent do?  What do you plan on eating?  Are you going to cook over a fire or live out of an ice chest?  Once you have come up with a solid plan, you will have a better idea of what you need to bring with you.

A weekend trip will require less supplies than a week long jaunt into the woods.  The same can be said about a trip that includes a pair of friends versus a family with small children.  Taking note of the length of the trip, the people that are going camping together, and the level of comfort that they expect to have will allow you to pack the things that will be the most useful to you.

Inventory the Items That You Already Have

Physically account for the items that you plan on taking with you.  Examine your tent and air mattresses for holes that need patching.  Assemble a mess kit with plates, cutlery, and a cup for each individual going on the trip with you.  Also, make sure to have an adequate amount of bug spray on hand to ward off the gnats and mosquitoes.  Write down anything that you think you might need as you go along.

Purchase the Items That You Need and Do Not Have Available

Take a trip to the outdoor section of your favorite retailer and see what it has to offer.  Purchase those items that will be beneficial to you while you camp.  Remember that you will want adequate bedding so a good sleeping bag is highly recommended.  A can opener can make meal preparation go much smoother.  A canteen or jug is great for storing water or iced tea.  A tarp will keep the rain off your tent and ultimately you.

Plastic tablecloths can be spread out on the ground and sat on.  Children can also lay down on these and color with crayons.  Disposable cutlery, cups, and plates save time and reduce the need to wash dishes.

Pack the Trunk of Your Car or Truck

The night before you leave, pack the items that you want to bring with you.  Double check to make sure that you haven’t forgotten the First Aid kit and the tent stakes.  If you have children, make sure to bring some toys, games, and books to keep them occupied.  If you’re bringing a dog along, make sure he or she has a dish for water and a dish for food.  It wouldn’t hurt for you to bring a toy for them to play with as well.

If it makes it an easier for you, refer to a checklist.  Cross items out once you have placed them in your car or truck.  Put stars beside the supplies that are the most important.  Pack these items first if at all possible.

Make Sure That You Have a Car or Solar Charger Handy

Emergencies happen without notice.  Having a car or solar phone charger available when you need it can make a big difference.  Although the idea is to commune with nature, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need a connection to the outside world.  Access to a fully charged cell phone adds an element of security that isn’t always obtainable in the outdoors.

Packing for a camping trip can be fun.  Involve your family in the process and get things done in half the time.  Just remember that things are hard to come by when you’re out on the lake or in the middle of a national park.  By planning ahead, you ensure that your time in the wild is well spent.  No one likes to go fishing and then realize that they forgot their bait at home.

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