Years ago, my husband and I would go camping with just a sleeping bag, an iron skillet, pancake mix for the morning meal, and some corn meal and cooking oil for frying fish. All this fit into the trunk of our car. We slept under the stars, and truly enjoyed our days camping by the lake. We stopped doing that when our 18 month old son got out of my sleeping bag before I woke up, and we found him at the edge of the lake!
No matter how you do it, camping is a great way to spend quality time with family. When you choose to go camping it is important that you have everything that you need. One way to make sure you have everything you need is to make a Camping Check List. The list can be elaborate, or simple. The main thing is that you need to make sure that the essential items are on the list, and packed to go with you.
- Sleeping bags and pads
- Flashlights or headlamps
- Camp chairs and table
- Fuel and stove
- Firestarter or matches
- Cooking pots and utensils
- Frying pan
- Plates and bowls
- Cups or mugs
- Water bottles
- Sharp knife
Most campsites have drinkable water. Bring water on your own or be prepared to treat water if you don’t have drinkable water at the campsite.
Clothing and Footwear
The choice of clothing and footwear should be done based on the weather conditions prevalent during the months you choose to go camping.
A wrong choice of clothes and footwear will ruin the entire experience.
- Long sleeve shirts
- Moisture resistant underwear
- Quick-drying pants and shorts
- Sleepwear (pajamas)
- Boots or shoes depending on the terrain
- Gloves and mittens if the temperature is quite cold
Health and Hygiene
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Toiletry kit
- Quick-dry towel
- First aid kit and supplies
- Insect repellant
- Toilet paper
- Hand sanitizer
If you are camping with kids you should pay extra attention to what you want to pack. You will need books, toys, a favorite blanket or toy or stuffed animal, games, headlamps and other essentials.
And last, but not least, is what to pack for your vehicle. If you are camping in a remote location, or a very rural place, here are some things you may need, just in case you get stuck in the mud or sand. You’ll be glad you had them with you:
- A shovel
- A rake (for raking up leaves or pine straw to put under the wheels that are stuck. )
- A flare gun, so you can send a signal for help.
- Make sure the spare has enough air in it.
- A jack
- Water for the battery
Make the camping trip fun for everyone, and memorable for the stories told around the campfire, not the ones told later about the horrible times you had because you forgot something you needed.