In 2020, Americans discovered that camping is the perfect way to get outdoors during a pandemic. In fact, camping in remote locales increased by almost 80 percent between 2019 and 2020. If you and your family or friends are gearing up for a camping trip, a camping checklist is a must—especially if you’re heading out into the backcountry where there are few amenities.
Read on for our guide to what to take with you when going camping, so you don’t get caught short when far away from the stores.
Obviously! This should be the first item on any camping or overnight hiking checklist. Even if you’re planning to make the most of the clear summer skies and sleep under the stars, you’ll still need some kind of waterproof shelter in case the weather turns.
Assess the size of your camping party to decide what size and style of tent you need. For example, a family of four may need a sizeable cabin-style tent, while choosing a hammock rain fly that’s compact is more important for a single hiker.
While it’s statistically safe to sleep outside on bare ground while camping (depending on the weather, of course), your friends and family might not feel the same way. You open yourself up to insect and animal attacks, aches and pains, lack of sleep, and the risk of hypothermia.
In a tent, go with a high-quality sleeping bag and some kind of sleeping pad at minimum. If you’re looking for a more straightforward option, shop around for the best hammock you can find.
The camping industry is set up to make you think you need an enormous amount of gear to have a great trip. However, if you’re just heading away for the weekend, all you really need is a tent, bedding, food, water, and suitable clothing.
That includes a lightweight rain jacket, a pair of sturdy, weatherproof pants, climate-controlled undergarments, hiking socks and boots, a hat, and a backpack to carry everything in.
A Fire Starter
A camping trip in the American wilderness isn’t quite the same without a soothing, practical campfire. How else are you going to get those s’mores toasty? You’ll need to pack something to start your fire with: a lighter, magnesium fire starter, flint and steel, or waterproof matches.
Ideally, your pack will contain not one but two starter options as well as some kindling like newspaper, dryer lint, or dry twigs. You can’t always rely on finding kindling out in the forest.
Camping Checklist: Don’t Skip This Task
An unprepared camper is an unsafe camper. Don’t put yourself or your family at risk by forgetting to consult your camping checklist before you jump in the car. If you have everything you need and want, from food and water to extra tent pegs, you’re setting yourself up for a fun-filled, relaxing vacation.
For more advice on getting out into nature, read the other articles on our blog.