If you are planning on going on a camping trip, it is important that you get the right outdoor camping gear. The right equipment will not only stand up well to the rigors of outdoor use, but will also keep you safe in unforgiving outdoor environments. Spending time in the great outdoors has always been a wonderful thing, and it’s a great way to unwind in a stressful time when so many are cooped up at home as being in nature is the original social distancing. However it goes without saying that failure to pack the right camping supplies and equipment is bound to have a negative impact on your overall camping experience.
All this adds up to outdoor camping being more popular than ever. However, you need to get the right outdoor camping gear for your trip. The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether you will be driving directly to your camp site or parking close by and hiking there. Depending on who you ask, camping can mean hiking up a trail with a pack on their back or pulling up in a vehicle and setting up camp around it. What you do factors heavily into the specific kind of outdoor camping gear you’ll need.
What type of tent do I need?
Regardless of whether you are driving or hiking to your destination, your tent is probably your most essential piece of camping equipment, but how you are getting there can determine which tent you choose. If you’re going to be backpacking, you should look for something light in weight, often V-shaped or dome tents with just enough room for two. If your camping trip will involve primarily hiking and you’ll be setting up new camp sites along the way, choose a tent that is not only lightweight but that can be quickly and easily set up and broken down.
Car camping means you can pack something bigger and heavier, possibly even a multi-room family tent with space for people to stand up comfortably. Whatever you get, be sure it’s waterproof and capable of resisting most animals.
Modern tents come in many different colors, frames, fabrics, and styles, and the right camping tent should be able to comfortably accommodate all intended occupants, whether that’s just you or your entire family or a group of friends. Last but definitely not least, be sure to choose a tent that is perfectly suited to the season and expected weather conditions in which you’ll be camping. Four season tents can be used for camping in any season, while three season tents are not designed for use in winter.
Sleeping bags and gear are often your next decision. A good night’s rest will guarantee that you wake up energized for the adventures of each new day while camping, and for this you’ll need the right sleeping bag. Again, if you’re backpacking to your campsite or if this is a backpacking camping trip, you’ll need something that strikes a balance between serving your body’s rest at night while also being small and light enough to minimize your load while on the trail. Simple foam or self-inflating pads are common, whereas vehicle camping, sometimes known as tailgating, means you can possibly pack an inflatable air mattress, complete with a power pump you can run from your car.
One factor that is consistent across all kinds of camping is being ready for the season. Subzero thermal sleeping bags are too heavy for summer, but thin bags are dangerous to use in winter. Three season sleeping bags can be used where temperatures are expected to vary from 10 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer sleeping bag however should only be used where temperatures are expected to be 35 degrees Fahrenheit and above.
Size also matters when it comes to choosing a sleeping bag. The right bag should allow plenty of room to adjust your sleeping position and not leave you feeling constricted.
First Aid Kit
A lot can go wrong in the great outdoors, therefore it is important to pack a first aid kit for your camping trip. In addition to pain killers and bandages, you should also include bug sprays and tropical application products to treat burns and other common camping related injuries.
First aid kits are always essential in all kinds of camping, but they get especially tricky based on what kind of camping you are doing. If you are camping in a place with your vehicle parked right there, you can always drive someone to an emergency room or urgent care facility. Then again, you can also carry a larger first aid kit with more resources in it.
Hikers will want to choose something small and light, but they must make sure that it includes a good supply of all of the supplies they may have a need for while in the woods.
Unless you can get pizza delivered to your campsite, you’ll need to take food. Hikers have to rely on prepackaged items and freeze-dried items that pack less in weight but more in nutrition. They’ll also need a portable stove for cooking and water prep. Fire cooking is great, but in the event there is not a supply of dry wood, or in inclement weather, or if camping in an environment where building a traditional fire is not safe, a portable stove will prove invaluable.
Vehicle campers can carry and store more food as well as more cooking options in their cars and easily set up a grill or complete outdoor kitchen. Fire cooking may be the preferred option here too, and the ability to carry accessories such as cast iron cookware or large pots and pans will make fire cooking even better. The ability to carry larger camping stoves, grills and even outdoor camping ovens can greatly expand your meal options.
When choosing between these different types, consider your level of experience. Fire cooking might be a breeze for experienced campers, while modern camping stoves make the job easier for beginners.
You need to have the right pair of shoes for camping. While sneakers are a great option for the urban environment, considering the outdoor nature of your planned adventure, hiking shoes or boots are probably a better option. Again, whether or not you will be near your car or spending the entire time in the wilderness is a major consideration here. Either way, you will need a pair of shoes that are not only comfortable but also a fit for whatever activities you intend to engage in while outdoors.
Vehicle campers may have one type of shoes for lazy days spent at the camp site, and a completely different pair for the hiking or fishing trip that they have planned.
Due to the space and weight concerns of a backpack, hikers are generally left with only one outdoor camping gear option when it comes to shoes. In this case, the right shoes should have a generous amount of padding and ankle support to ensure that your feet are comfortable and stable even on uneven ground. In addition, to keep your feet dry and warm, the right shoes for camping should be waterproof, and always make sure you have at least one more pair of dry socks than you think you will need.
Once you have an idea of all the gear you will be carrying for your camping escapades, you will need to find a camping backpack to carry it. Though backpacks are essentila for hiking trips, they are not as important for vehicle camping.
Vehicle campers may choose day packs that can carry a small amount of essential items, whereas hikers and backpackers will need to choose between long haul or overnight backpacks that can carry everything they will need for the entire length of their trip. Day packs are small and only carry supplies for a day of hiking; overnight bags are larger and can carry some clothes and camping essentials, while long haul bags can carry all your camping supplies for the entire trip.
Whichever you choose, it is essential that the bag fits well, is comfortable enough to carry, and offers the right amount of back support. A sore or injured back is the last thing you’ll want to bring back from your trip, and for backpackers a back injury on the trail can be devastatingly dangerous.
We have attempted to cover the basic outdoor camping gear needs in this article, but there are probably more items that you can add to this list depending on your own preferences and the type of trip you are planning. Most importantly, the gear you choose should ensure that all of your bases are covered so that you all you have to worry about is making this the best camping trip ever.
Have fun and stay safe!