In today’s internet fueled world people from all walks of life are stuck indoors focused on their electronic devices. Life has become too stressful and hurried.
Spending time outside or even better, going camping with friends and family provides a momentary escape from the stresses of life. Plunging oneself into outdoor activities helps people get a very necessary change of scenery, observe nature, and enjoy new experiences.
Spending time outdoors can be fun; if you have the right equipment. Before you go out to explore what the outdoors has to offer, getting a few essential pieces of equipment ensures a fun and safe camping trip.
First Aid Kit
Camping trips can provide a slight reprieve from civilization. While it can be relaxing to be far away from light pollution and honking horns, it also means limited access to medical supplies in case of emergencies.
The number one essential supply to always have on hand is a first aid kit. First aid kits are one of the many essential supplies to take camping because the chance for burns, cuts, scratches or bites are often times far greater than just sitting on your couch in front of a tv. Bringing along a first aid kit ensures emergency preparedness for you and the group. When compiling your first aid kit, you will want to include things such as:
- Bandages, gauze pads, first aid tape, bandage wrap, scissors, tweezers, and antibiotic cream
- Antiseptic for cuts, scrapes, or burns
- Prescription and allergy medications
- Antihistamine cream and Hydrocortisone
- Mosquito and bug repellent
Matches / Lighter
Whether it’s to start a campfire on a chilly night in the backwoods, cooking food, or lighting your bug repellant candles, starting a fire is essential. Matches and lighters make building fires easier and often times quicker, and they’re convenient to carry. For those that are inclined, there are also matches that are packed in recycled material and have less of an environmental impact compared to plastic lighters. But if plastic lighters are not available for whatever reason, it is very important to keep matches dry or even buy waterproof matches.
Tent and Sleeping Bag
Setting up shelter is one of the first tasks to do once you reach your campsite. A nice 1-man, 2-man or a family sized camping tent protects from the weather and insects as well as provides some privacy. Tents have many features and it can be difficult narrowing it down to exactly what is needed. When deciding on a tent, assess the conditions where it will be used and the sleeping capacity. Tents come in sizes to fit one adult all the way to an entire family and everything in-between.
Once inside the tent, a sleeping bag or camping quilt is often needed to provide warmth and comfort. Be sure to look at weather conditions before heading out to spend time in the wilderness and pairing the tent and type of sleeping bag with what is expected weather-wise.
Rope / Paracord
Rope and paracord can come in handy in a surprisingly large number of ways.
It is not always needed, but it is almost guaranteed to make camping more enjoyable
if do. It is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
Combine paracord and a tarp, and a shelter is not far off. Directly tie the line between two sturdy objects, preferably trees, that are at the desired roof level and lay the tarp over it. If the paracord has run out, put rocks at the point where the tarp meets the ground to secure the bottom and keep the makeshift shelter taut. If there is plenty of paracord, easily tie the corners of the tarp to other trees or secure objects to keep the shelter in place.
A tarp is a versatile piece of camping equipment. It’s a useful tool when you need to protect the bottom of your tent from water, mud or abrasive ground or it can be used to build shelter at your selected campsite. It can also be used to keep off rain or limit sun exposure while cooking, eating, or lounging around after a long hike.
Camping often includes various activities that require a variety of different tools for things such as sawing a branch, opening a can, or filleting a fish. A multipurpose knife like a Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman multi-purpose tool provides a variety of camping essentials in a nice little package. Often times, they include such things as a knife, corkscrew, pliers, small scissors, tweezers, magnifying glass and more in an easy to pack compact size.
Inclimate Weather Apparel
Weather can be unpredictable; the weather forecast might predict a sunny day with no rain only to spend the whole day soaked and huddling under your tarp waitng for it to stop.
There is no telling when the weather will take a turn, so it’s better to be ready for sudden weather changes. Bring an extra set of dry clothes; including socks, water repellent outer wear (rain coat and pants), and maybe a fleece layer if there is even a slight chance for colder weather.
Remote campsites without any power can be challenging if you plan to stay up past dark. Whether you’re reading, sneaking a midnight snack, or stumbling to the campground bathroom, a light source is essential for a more comfortable stay in the outdoors.
A battery powered lantern is sufficient to last a few hours into the night, but often times it’s too heavy to back into the woods. A fuel powered lantern is also effective but cumbersome and potentially dangerous if you don’t know how to properly operate it. Or maybe know is the time to try an environmentally friendly solar powered lantern.
Solar powered camping lanterns can recharge its batteries in the morning so that it’s ready to light up the night. It’s a sustainable and natural way to reduce one-time use batteries. Some might say that solar lanterns aren’t suitable for camping as they used to be big, bulky, and unreliable. However, many solar lanterns are now designed to be portable enough to be moved as quickly as a flashlight and can be kept anywhere without worrying about space and weight. And once your camping trip ends, throw them into your emergency preparedness kits and ready for use when the power goes out in your neighborhood.