Your coolers packed, the truck’s gassed up and you’re ready to hit the road.
But wait…. Are you sure? Did you miss anything?
Just to be on the safe side, check out our list of essential, must-have supplies down below! Then you can leave feeling confident that you’ve got everything you need for a fun-filled weekend.
And we know it didn’t make our list, but we sure hope beer, bacon, and botche ball made yours.
#1 Proper Shelter
This is probably the most important thing you’ll bring with you on your trip. It’s key when it comes to keeping you comfortable and protected. Unless you’re rolling in style in a spacious RV (and yes, that is the dream).
A person’s shelter needs will vary depending on who they are, the type of trip they want to have and the people they’re camping with.
- Some people like to travel alone. This means they only need a small, one-man tent. These tents are designed to fit into a backpack and only give you enough space to sleep.
- Most of us are social campers, though. That means we need a little bit more room. A two-to-four man tent is a great place to sleep and store your clothing.
- And for those of us looking for even more space, family tents are the perfect solution. They sleep five or more and do so comfortably. That way you can keep an eye on the little ones all night long.
#2 A First Aid Kit
Whether it’s your friend impaling himself with a tree branch or your drunk Uncle Doug hurting himself mid tree-chop, camping brings with it a slew of unavoidable situations that almost always require a first aid kit.
It’s an essential part of anyone’s camping gear, so make sure your kits fully stocked.
- Antibiotic creams
- Burn and bug bite ointments
Also, pack some Tylenol. It’ll help with those pesky headaches you’ll undoubtedly get in the morning.
A QUICK REMINDER:
Don’t forget to replace everything you use once the trips over. Nothing is worse than ripping into your kit for a Band-Aid, only to find that someone didn’t replace the ones they used last summer.
#3 Garbage Disposal Items and Clean-Up Materials
What does garbage attract?
You guessed it. Bears.
Bring odor-reducing trash bags and use bear-safe methods for storing your garbage. Hanging your trash in trees has proven effective for seasoned campers.
It’s not just about our furry friends, though. Being a slob is never cool. Especially in our beautiful country. Bring a small, folding shovel with you to clean up any spills. When you buy dish detergent and hand soap, choose organic, all-natural products that won’t harm the environment.
Feel free to pollute your body with delicious snacks and tasty, fermented beverages all weekend long, but don’t pollute your campground. Come prepared with the appropriate means to clean up after yourself. Also, remember to bring proper storage containers with you, so when the weekends over, you can take larger waste home.
Sometimes the weatherman gets it wrong. Just because you heard it’s going to be +25 all weekend, doesn’t mean you should only pack your speedo and a bottle of Hawaiian Tropics suntan lotion.
The keyword here? Layers. Bring lots of them.
- Tank tops
- Rain Jacket
Make sure you’ve got enough clothes to keep you warm at night and cool in the afternoon.
You’ll Also Need…
- Socks: Bring light and heavy ones.
- Underwear: Bring extras. Bring those sexy long-johns your wife begged you to throw out last year too. Pack extra swimsuits.
- Footwear: If you’re hiking, bring a pair of durable boots. Flip-flops and sandals are perfect for beach days, while runners are great for long walks and colder nights.
- Laundry bags: Also useful when you want to separate your dirty clothes from your clean ones.
- Hats: Protects your face too.
- Shorts: Show off those beautiful legs of yours.
- Jeans: Just in case it gets cold.
Eventually, as it always does, the sun will go down. When this happens, it’ll be time to round the kids up, get the fire going and start on supper. And chances are, you’re going to need light to do all of it.
- Hand cranked rechargeable flashlights
Even candles can be a great source of light around the dinner table. They can help ward off unwanted dinner guests too (like those pesky mosquitoes).
A QUICK REMINDER:
For light sources that aren’t rechargeable, make sure to pack an extra set of batteries. And if you bring torches, pack fuel.
#6 Cards/Board Games
What’s more fun than crushing your friend in a rousing, edge-of-your-seat, round robin Yahtzee tournament?
Well, probably a lot. But still….
It’s a great way to keep the kids occupied when it rains. So have a couple board games on hand for those slow times in the afternoon. A deck of cards for an after-dinner activity is always a good idea too.
The tent’s set up, the first beer’s been cracked and everyone’s settled in for a nice, relaxing weekend of sunshine and lawn bowling. Everything is great until you discover someone’s left the tarps behind.
Tarps are versatile and can be used in a variety of situations:
- They shelter your tent and your eating area from the rain
- They protect any gear you might have that needs to stay dry
- They also keep you and your bedmates safe from unwanted bugs
#8 Cooking Supplies
Camping meals are probably some of the best eats you’ll have this summer. Here’s a stacked list of everything you’ll need in order to make the best snacks around.
- Coolers and ice
- Plates/bowls (paper or plastic)
- Campfire or BBQ grill (matches, newspaper, gasoline, coal)
- Dutch oven/Tin stove (fuel, propane)
- Thermos, water jugs, and buckets
- Silverware and measuring cups
- Matches, lighter
- Tablecloth (with tacks to secure it)
- Plastic wrap, aluminum foil
- Can, bottle and wine opener
- Skewers, cooking forks, spatula
- Pots and frying pans
- Cans for grease storage
- Rubbermaid for leftover food
- Mixing bowl
- Mugs, cups (paper or plastic)
- Cutting board
- Ziploc bags
- Seasonings, condiments, sugar, cream
- Dish towels, washcloths, scrub pad
- Potato peeler
#9 Proper Bedding
The better your sleep is, the better the next day will be. It’s just common sense. That’s why you want to make sure you’ve created a comfortable, warm and inviting spot to lie down in after the day is done.
- Clean sheets/blankets
- Sleeping bag
- Air pump
- Repair kit (in case your mattress springs a leak)
#10 General Safety and Survival Tools
We understand that different people need different things. It all just depends on what you’ll be doing over the course of your trip. What we’re trying to say is, this list isn’t exhaustive.
Some will be interested in exploring the outdoors every day, while others will want to spend more time at camp, socializing with friends and family. We’ve listed a few, last minute things that we think, regardless of how you’ll be spending your time, will be useful.
- Pocket knife
- Duct Tape
- Bungi Cords/Straps
- Safety pins
- S’mores ingredients
Morale of the Story?
Stay dry, stay full, stay warm.
And have a great time.