A great camping trip starts with great gear. Know what you need to make your next outdoor excursion the best one yet with these camping gear tips.
Camp in Comfort
Camping is supposed to be fun and relaxing, not uncomfortable and miserable. The gear you choose will largely dictate whether your trip is 48 hours of serenity and being one with the earth or 48 hours of wishing you were anywhere else but the middle of the woods. Be sure to have the clothing, sleeping gear, cooking items, and so much more that you need to make your campsite feel like home.
Good Hiking Shoes
Many campers spend their days hiking nearby trails and taking in all that the natural world has to offer before retiring to their campsite to hunker down for the remainder of the evening. Bad walking boots, blisters, and aching feet can turn a weekend of hiking, camping, and adventure into a weekend of misery and pain. Hence, having proper shoe wear is an absolute must when it comes to camping and hiking gear. Purchase a pair of waterproof hiking boots, like Gore-Tec, that will stand the test of time and last throughout your camping years.
A Dry Tent
Waking up in a cold puddle of rainwater will make the most avid campers begin to question why they didn't just book a room at the Holiday Inn. Sure, battling the elements is part of the "whole living in nature for a spell" experience, but you will still want to stay dry during your sleeping hours. Tent campers know that a well-made tent that keeps out the rain is at the very top of the needs list when it comes to camping gear. Start with a tent groundsheet to keep puddling water at bay. Campers need to purchase a groundsheet that is large enough to house the tent and is made from durable fabric.
Sleeping Bags Made for Snoozing
There is nothing like burrowing deep down into your sleeping bag for a snooze. Sleeping bags designed for camping come in all different shapes and sizes and are made from various materials. Consider your camping needs and choose a sleeping bag that will keep you warm while exploring the great outdoors in cool temps and, if backpacking, will pack up tightly and not weigh you down during any treks.
Keep It Clean
Whether you are partaking in some tent camping fun or living it up in an RV, keeping your space clean will make the entire experience more comfortable. Yes, you are basically choosing to vacation in the dirt, but that doesn't mean you need to go full-on Pig Pen while you camp. Camping experts rely on specific gear to help them welcome in the nature and breeze while keeping grime at an arm's reach.
- For tent lovers, buy a tent that has a vestibule or make-shift porch attached to it. Leave sandy clothes and other items that collect grime through the day in the vestibule, not the sleeping section of the tent.
- Two words: Dust Buster. Put fresh batteries in this bad boy, turn him on, and suck up the debris that has found its way into the nooks and crannies of the tent or RV.
- Bring meaningful mats. Rubber car floor mats are great for setting outside the door of your tent or your RV.
- Bye-bye bugs...you can love nature and not love mosquitos. Those who make camping a major part of their life know that bug bites make for long nights of scratching and discomfort. Bring along bug spray, pack a mosquito repellant candle and utilize sage as it naturally repeals the little pests.
Dine Like a King
When cooking meals in the wilderness, you'll find that your food options will naturally be more limited than they would be had you stayed home and cooked in your kitchen. Camping enthusiasts know that the right cooking gear and techniques can lead to an outdoor dining experience that is easy to execute and so delicious to consume.
There are several ways to feed yourself while camping. You can cook in the kitchen built into your RV, prepare meals on a camping stove or cook over the open flame of the fire you fashioned yourself. If you are camping in a tent, you might want to bring a camping stove with you. Stoves control heat and temperature better than open fires. They are easier, faster, and cleaner than creating wood fires, and they cut down on the possibility of fires getting out of hand, spreading, and causing damage to surroundings.
If you're using a camp stove, check the stove's parts and give it a good old test run before packing it up and taking it with you. Be sure to purchase the correct fuel for your camping stove and bring that along as well.
Many campers put reliable water storage at the top of their essentials list because, without water, you are not doing much camping! Those in RV's likely have refrigerators and water lines to provide them clean water, but campers in tents and pop-up trailers will need to score fresh water in other ways. Bring along storage for water that easily folds up, is made from durable material, and holds enough water to meet your needs. If you are backpacking and drawing water from a natural course, invest in water purification tablets or filtration systems. Consuming unclean drinking water will ruin your trip in a hot minute.
Coolers and Food Storage
Never store food in your tent or car, especially if you are camping in a space that bears call home. Wild animals will smell your food out with ease, and before you know it, unwelcome evening visitors will be rummaging through your belongings, searching for a midnight snack. Expert campers can all agree that bringing along something sturdy for food and beverage storage is a must.
A reliable cooler and refrigeration system will also ensure that foods with a tendency to spoil stay at proper temperatures during your camping trip. Food poisoning in a tent will haunt your dreams for years to come, so don't chance such a thing occurring.
Tent camping and RV camping alike, meals have to get made. Before you leave for your camping trip, research trusty recipes to try during your camping getaway. Choose easy creations to fill your belly or try out some one-pot meals. Consider pre-making what you can. Because of limited ingredients, cooking utensils, and preparation space, anything that can be done at home before leaving for your camping trip will make life in the outdoors easier on the backend.
Can Not Forget Coffee
Even if your camping experience turned out to be freezing cold, filled with pouring rain, or packed with buzzing little bugs, coffee can help you forget that sometimes a week in the wilderness is not all roses and sunshine. There are tons of ways to get the caffeine running through your veins that do not require you to haul your Keurig along. Consider instant coffee, cowboy coffee, pour-over coffee, or a fancy French press designed for camping.
Space Saving Prep Station
Even high-priced RV's often lack the counter space for cooking and food prep. A folding table set outside your tent or RV will double your kitchen space, giving you room to slice, dice, and marinate meals more effectively. When it comes to utensils, you don't have to bring along too much. A good pot and pan and reusable cutlery that packs away tightly make meals much easier to prepare while living in the wilderness. Cups and bowls come collapsible, perfect for RV's and tents that are tight on space. Cookware designed for camping comes in various metals, all with its own unique set of pros and cons. Decide which type of meal prep gear meets your camping needs.
Make Room for Fun and Games
Those headed out for a camping weekend will think about clothing, cooking gear, and sleeping items, but they sometimes forget to pack for the downtime. When the weather doesn't cooperate, or the evenings are feeling dull, be sure to have games and activities on hand. Camping games and activities for couples, activities for kids, and even fun camping pranks are where the real memories are made.
Check It Once, Check It Twice
Never underestimate the power of a good checklist. Even if you have been camping for years without a reliable checklist, you are bound to forget a thing or two. Checklists are such a crucial means to make sure nothing gets left behind. You'll want more than one on hand. Have a checklist specific to tent camping or RV camping. Consult a first aid checklist in case an emergency arises, and have an extensive supply list to look over before heading out. If you are taking camping on in the colder months, a winter gear checklist will help you to stay warm and safe.
Trust the Experts
Those who make it a major part of their life to be one with wilderness know a thing or two about safety and comfort in nature. Trust the camping experts in their suggestions and build upon your camping knowledge until knowing the ins and out of the experience make you a camping expert yourself!