Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and bring the family together. There are many places you can go to hike, canoe or sightsee. Having the correct camping gear will help make your experience more fun and ensure you are not caught in situations without the proper equipment. Before embarking on your trip, make a list of all supplies you need to ensure everything is packed and ready to go.
Decide whether you want to rent an RV, pop-up camper, or use a tent. Using a tent is a fun and inexpensive way to get back to nature.
Tents are available at most sporting good stores and can also be found at discount stores. They are easy to set up and are a great way to spend a bit of time bonding when you first get to the camp area. Choose tents that are water resistant, but also bring along a large waterproof tarp to hang over the tent in case there is a lot of rain. Get sleeping bags that are warm and the right size to comfortably fit the individual. Sleeping mats, air mattresses, or folding cots that go under the bag are ways to make sleeping more comfortable. If you opt for an RV or camper, these can be a bit pricier but will better protect you from the elements and will also provide other amenities such as beds, a stove and a refrigerator.
Attire and Food
Do not pack a lot of clothing as space is limited. Choose warm, water resistant clothing and good shoes or hiking boots. Pack several pairs of socks and bring both cool and warm weather clothing even if you are camping in summer. It often gets chilly in the evening. Make sure you have hats and sunglasses to protect you from the sun. Bring coolers to store food and beverages. Pack plenty of water and snacks such as trail mix that will give you energy and are easy to eat.
Backpacks will help carry food and water during trips outside the camping areas. Do not pack them too heavily as you may be wearing them for long periods of time. Pack a compass so you can gauge where you are in case you get lost. A flashlight is helpful in case of an emergency or to see at night. Make sure to pack any cookware needed for campfire meals. A tripod that goes over your campfire is a great cooking tool, and the best pans for cooking over a campfire are cast iron. Cast iron is heavy though. If you are going to be doing a lot of hiking and are going to be carrying all your gear, purchase a lightweight cooking vessel. A Swiss Army knife can be handy for many tasks including cutting twigs for a fire or roasting marshmallows. Waterproof matches will help light fires and can be used even if it is rainy.
A walking stick can be useful on hikes to help ascend steep slopes and combat fatigue.
Bring sunscreen and insect repellant to protect you from sun and pests. Apply often for maximum protection. Depending on where you will be camping, you may want to invest in bear spray. This is similar to pepper spray for people but is more powerful. A first aid kit is essential and should never be forgotten. Make sure it is fully supplied. These are available pre-made at many sporting good stores and can also be found in pharmacies.
You should also carry plenty of rope. A cellular phone may not always get reception but it is advisable to have one just in case.
Camping is a fun way to spend quality family time. Always make sure you are prepared for emergencies and changes in climate. Keep the bulk of supplies at your campsite and take only what is needed, including emergency supplies, on short treks. Use backpacks to carry food, water and first aid items.
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