To get ready for camping trips, you must first dust off your sense of adventure! Once you have that intact, you can refer to the following list of essentials. To keep track of things as you pack, it may be best to have an area designated to collect all the camping gear.
1st is the tent or camper of your choice. Be sure it is cleaned out, aired out, and bug free (for the most part anyway). Make certain that all pieces needed are accounted for such as tent stakes, tarp, blocks for wheels, etc.
2nd prepare our bedding. Bring sleeping bags, pillows. Pack sheets or blankets if they are needed. If you use air mattresses or camping mats, be sure those are with your gear.
3rd unless you are camping in a nudist colony, you want to be sure and pack your clothes! If you are hiking into your campsite you will want to keep your clothing choices to a minimum. One alternate change of clothing is good. However, if you will be parked right next to your campsite, you can pack more.
Plan to dress in layers since mornings may be cold and the day might heat up. If you camp in a climate where it gets very cold at night, pack a winter hat, warm socks, and possibly gloves. The hat and socks will help to retain your body heat while you sleep.
If there will be swimming access, don’t forget your swimsuit and towel. For hiking around the woods, a good pair of shoes or hiking boots is essential. A rimmed hat can shade your eyes and head from the sun.
Do remember, if you are camping in woods that are also home to bears, mountain lions, or other dangerous predators, you should not sleep in the same clothes you cook in. The scent will attract these animals.
4th don’t starve! While true woodsmen can live on roots and slugs, you may consider something more substantial! Plan meals that will work well for whatever preparation area you have. If you are camping in an RV or camper, your options may be limitless. If you are using a camp stove or truly roughing it and cooking over campfire, it takes skill and preparation but you can have healthy meals.
If you are cooking over a campfire, it is helpful if you have a tripod and hanging pot or a grill grate and good cookware. Do NOT use Teflon.
Sticks at the campsite are good for roasting hot dogs, campfire bread, and marshmallows! You might also bring silverware, plates, cups, spatula, tongs, and a poker. Hobo stew is great in a pot. A creative cook can even make hamburgers! Check websites and cookbooks for camp recipes.
Pack the ice chest with the cold essentials you can’t do without. Snacks in a box or bag along with a loaf of bread and some Peanut Butter and Jelly will curb appetites until the next campfire meal.
5th arm yourself. Deep Woods Off will save you from itching all night. Bear spray if you are camping in bear country is essential. Pack sunscreen to avoid burns and aloe for when they occur. Most importantly in arming yourself, remember the first aid kit.
6th last but not least, pack matches and fire starters. Camp chairs and a camp table aren’t required but they certainly are nice. A blanket to spread out on the ground for sitting on is a lot better than dirt and rock! Back up toilet paper, tooth brush and paste, soap, rag and towel can make roughing it not so rough.
An IMPORTANT note to remember is that, if you are camping in territory where there are bears, mountain lions, or other predators woman should NOT camp or hike if they have their period. Predators are attracted to this smell and WILL attack.
If you are packing kids too, don’t forget some simple toys, books, games such as a deck of cards, and the camera! Camping is a wonderful time to make memories.