What to bring camping

what to bring camping
what to bring camping

If you're an experienced camper, you already have your gear down pat. If you're new to camping, though, the thought of sleeping outdoors might seem daunting. There's a lot to consider: tents, stoves, sleeping bags… well before you become paralyzed by the choices (trust me I've been there), let's focus on what's essential for any camping trip. Here are three things to think about when packing for your first camping trip:


A tent is a great way to stay out of the elements and get some privacy. Tents come in all shapes and sizes, so you can find one that fits your needs.

  • A sleeping bag: An important part of your camping kit, this will keep you warm at night.

  • A pillow: If you have an extra one, bring it! Otherwise, use clothing stuffed inside your bag as a substitute for cushioning (just make sure it's clean).

  • Blanket or comforter: You'll want something soft to lie down on after hiking or sitting on the ground during meals.

  • Pillowcase: This may seem like an unnecessary item until someone stops by with their sleeping bag full of sand after falling asleep outside their tent during an earthquake drill...and then they wonder why everyone else is laughing at them in their panicked state. It happens all too often when camping! You don't want this happening to you—or anyone else—so think ahead and don't forget this essential item!

Sleeping bag

The first thing to consider when purchasing a sleeping bag is the temperature rating. A good rule of thumb is that your sleeping bag should have a temperature rating at least 20 degrees lower than what you think it will be. When we bought our first tent, we didn’t think about the fact that tents are not well insulated and can get very cold if you don’t have enough layers on underneath your sleeping bag. If you plan on camping in higher altitudes, make sure you invest in an advanced high-altitude rated sleeping bag and add some additional clothing items like gloves and toe socks.

It's also important to buy a comfortable, snug fitting mummy style or semi-mummy style (sometimes called "three-season") bag for maximum warmth efficiency—this will help you stay warm with minimal movement inside the confines of your tent! Another great tip: measure yourself before buying since there are different sizes for men & women!

Warm clothes and rain gear

You should also bring clothes that are warm and water-resistant. If you're camping in a tent, you'll want to make sure that you're staying dry as well. For example, if it's raining outside, or even if it isn't raining but just feels cold and damp, it's best to have a rain poncho with you at all times. Also consider bringing a warm jacket or coat that will keep the wind off of your body when necessary—and don't forget the gloves! A hat is also important to keep out any sunburns on your face while in the woods (or even just sitting around in camp). A scarf is great because it can double as an accessory while keeping warm at night—and don't forget about rain boots! These items will come in handy if it rains too much during your trip and threatens flooding so be prepared for anything!

First-aid kit

You should also bring a first aid book. In an emergency, you would be grateful to have this guide at hand to help you treat injuries and illnesses. The following items should be added to your kit:

  • Bandages of different sizes and shapes (such as butterfly bandages)

  • Gauze and tape (bandage tape works well)

  • Small pair of scissors

  • One or two small bottles of pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol)

In addition, consider adding the following travel-sized items:

  • Antiseptic wipe: These are great for cleaning wounds or hands before bandaging them up; some come individually wrapped so they don't take up much space in your pack! Just make sure it doesn't contain alcohol if you're going camping where bears might wander through camp at night — this can bother their sensitive noses when it gets on their fur.

  • Adhesive tape: This comes in very handy when trying to cover large cuts tightly enough that they won't reopen during activity levels that may cause trauma to surrounding tissue (like walking around after dark).

Fire starters

The first step in starting a fire is finding kindling. This is the small, dry twigs and pieces of wood that you can use to build your fire. Lighter fluid and matches are great for getting a campfire going, but if you're trying to be eco-friendly, consider using other ways to start a fire.

Fire starter logs are made of compressed sawdust that burns slowly and steadily without producing smoke or odor. They're usually made from pine or cedar wood, which burns slowly but steadily with minimal smoke production—ideal for starting your campfire without causing environmental damage! Fire starter logs come in different sizes depending on what you'll use them for: fireplace or cooking stove? Campsite cooking pit or backpacker's footlocker? Each size has its own benefits depending on what application it's intended for: Smaller options are perfect for backpacking because they weigh less than larger ones; large-sized ones last longer as they contain more material—but take up more space (which means less room).

Good knife

A good knife is a must-have item when camping. A knife can be used for cutting, chopping and slicing. You can use it to cut food, rope or wood.

A knife is also a multi-purpose tool and as such should have multiple blades (other than a blade). These include:

  • Can opener

  • Bottle opener

  • Screwdriver

Water bottles or hydration pack

You're going to need water, so bring a water bottle or hydration pack. Yes, even if you're only going on a short walk. Bring one anyway just in case.

Hydration packs are great for hiking, biking and long walks because they hold all the things you'll need while also keeping them safe from dirt and bumps along the way (which is especially important when traveling with expensive gear). The downside is that they can be bulky and heavy—though if you're planning on doing a lot of walking or biking with your gear then this might not be an issue for you!

Food and cooking supplies

When it comes to food, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got something that will last for days on end. There are some foods that are great for camping because they don’t require any refrigeration or special preparation—think cheese, nuts and dried fruit. If you want something a little more substantial, cereal bars are also good options (and easy to pack). You might even consider bringing some canned goods if there is room in the cooler—canned tuna and beans go well with crackers or tortillas!

There are many great things about cooking outdoors; however, one thing not so great is not having an open flame nearby when it comes time to cook lunch or dinner. One solution is bringing a portable stove such as this Coleman propane camp stove. With this device, along with fuel for it (which can be found at most grocery stores), you can cook anything from hot dogs to pancakes! Another option is this Everdure Portable Stove which runs on butane cartridges (like those used in lighters) so no need for carrying around heavy bottles of propane gas either!

You need lots of stuff to go camping

When you go camping, you’re going to need a lot of stuff. A tent is just the start—there are other things that are essential for a good time in the woods.

You need warm clothes—a hat and gloves that cover your hands and arms will keep you from getting frostbite. You also need a sleeping bag; not only does it keep you warm at night, but it doubles as home base when there’s no shelter available!

Of course, if nature calls during your trip and there isn't a bathroom nearby or anywhere else within walking distance...you'll want to bring along some toilet paper just in case (or perhaps even a trowel).

A first aid kit is also essential when camping: blisters on feet can make walking difficult at best; cuts can lead to infection if left untreated; dehydration can be life threatening without proper hydration while out there in nature experiencing its beauty firsthand...so don't forget this item!


So now you know what to bring camping. When you get back in your car and drive to the campsite you can be fully prepared. At least have a water bottle and a packed lunch in your car. It's easy to pack everything else, but without water and food there is no point in going at all.

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