Camping Essentials – A Checklist of What to Bring Camping

essential items you need for camping trip

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No matter how old we are or how many people are accompanying us on our journey, a camping trip is a must have experience at least once in a lifetime. According to a study in Leisure Sciences,

“Camping in natural areas such as national parks is an important social activity and provides a way of reconnecting with nature to achieve personal, social, and health benefits.”

While camping sounds very fun and exciting, there are a lot of technicalities involved. Camping is very different from the conventional trips we plan where we stay in hotels and dine out in restaurants.

What to Bring Camping – A Complete Checklist

Camping is closer to nature, a little more difficult, and definitely more prone to risks than an ordinary trip. However, if you make a list of camping essentials you need during your trip, there’s nothing to worry about. Here are your essentials to bring camping the next time you go:

Camping Tents

What’s a camping trip without your camping tent, right? Depending on the number of people who will be sharing the sleeping space at night, you need to purchase a tent suitable for the place you are heading to.

For example, if you have groups of four people staying in the same tent, then you need to choose a bigger tent. You can explore online resources for more details and understand how these are more spacious than your regular tents.

You also need to select the fabric of your tent as per the location you are heading off to. The most common ones are available in polythene, so there is no chance of water entering your tent even when it begins to rain.

For camping tents, Coleman is one of the most well known and respected brands. Here is an example of an affordable, yet, great Coleman camping tent:

First Aid Kit

There is absolutely no camping trip you can do without taking your first aid kit with you. You need to make sure you carry a kit which contains ointments for wounds, injections for excessive pain, painkillers, and band aids to cover minute scratches. When on a camping adventure, there are a lot of things that can go wrong.

From catching a flu to touching poison oak, you need to be well prepared for the worst.

Here is a complete first aid kit which should have everything you need for your camping trip:

Healthy Snacks

When you are off on a camping trip, you tend to burn more energy than usual and the need for snacks becomes more apparent. It’s easy to pack a few chocolate bars, but even if you are exercising a lot it is still not the healthiest option – and certainly doesn’t give you the slow release energy that you need.

Instead, you should take the time to pack or create a few quick and easy snacks that are both delicious, healthy, and offer the energy that you require to keep going. We have just the recipes for you.

If you are interested in more information on outdoor fun, such as camping and hiking check out Ultimate Info Guides for more details.

If you want to make your own healthy camping snacks, each of these recipes listed below is incredibly delicious, and we are sure that you are going to love at least one of them. Healthy and packed full of nutrients, these quick and easy snacks have everything you need to just keep on going.

Plus, many of them can be prepped ahead of time so that you don’t have to worry about making them when you are on the move. Your next camping trip is sure to be an amazing one if you bring these:

Cranberry Energy Bars

These energy bars are not only quick and simple to make, but they are also healthy, and you can make them before you leave so that you simply need to reach for one when you are on the trail.

Cooking Time: 0 mins

Makes: 18 bars

Ingredients:

  • 200g/7oz butter, softened
  • 200g/7oz light muscovado sugar
  • 100g/3½oz golden syrup
  • 50g/1¾oz sunflower seeds
  • 50g/1¾oz dried cranberries, chopped if large
  • 100g/3½oz sultanas
  • 50g/1¾oz desiccated coconut
  • 100g/3½oz crisped rice cereal
  • 150g/5½oz rolled oats

Method: Get a baking tin (23x30cm) and line it with cling film. Now, get a saucepan and place it over a medium heat – adding the butter, sugar, and golden syrup, stirring it until it has melted. Pour it into a large bowl, and then mix in the rest of the ingredients until well combined.

Then, put the mixture into the tin and spread it evenly before placing it in the fridge to set and chill for two hours. Once firm, remove from the tray and cut into 18 bars.

Additional Reading: Redd Bar Product Review

Apple Cookies

These are fun to make if you have kids with you, and while you do have to make them on the site, the ingredients are easy to take along with you.

Cooking Time: 0 mins

Makes: 8 (per apple)

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup almonds, sliced
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Method: Slice the apple into rings and then remove the core. Take the peanut butter and spread it over the apple before topping with the nuts, coconut, and chocolate chips.

Serve and enjoy.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

These cookies are classics, and they are perfect for giving you the energy boost that you need when you are out hiking or camping. Plus, they are nice and easy to make before you head out, so you are fully stocked.

Cooking Time: 8-10 mins

Makes: 4 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup(s) (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 Cup(s) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon(s) vanilla
  • 1-1/2 Cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon(s) Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon(s) salt (optional)
  • 3 Cup(s) Uncooked Oats
  • 1 Cup(s) raisins

Method: Heat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Then add eggs and vanilla. Next, add the combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt before mixing well. Add oats and raisins.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonful’s onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely.

Store in a tightly covered container.

Guacamole and Flatbread

Guacamole is a delicious and healthy campsite snack – especially when combined with flatbreads instead of tortilla chips. Avocado is packed full of essential nutrients, and this recipe will leave the whole family wanting more. Just remember not to add the avocado until you are on site!

Cooking Time: 0 mins

Makes: 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1 minced jalapeno
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • ½ minced red onion
  • ½ bunch of chopped cilantro/coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • Juice of two limes

Method: While you are at home, take all of the chopped and minced ingredients (leave the avocado) and mix them well with the seasoning and lime juice. Add them to a Ziploc bag and ensure that it is sealed before taking it to the campsite in a cooler.

Once there, take a bowl and smash the avocado inside it until it is a little chunky.

Then, add the ingredients from the Ziploc bag and mix well. Serve with a selection of flatbreads.

Trail Mix

This is a simple recipe to make, as well as a classic for hikers and campers everywhere. There are many variations available, but the traditional recipe is always best – and has a good combination of fast and slow release energy.

Cooking Time: 0 mins

Makes: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of nuts (your choice, peanuts are our top pick)
  • 1 bag of dried raisins
  • 1 bag of M&Ms (classic)

Optional Extras:

  • Shredded wheat cereal
  • 1 bag of seeds (your choice, but we pick sunflower seeds)
  • Coconut flakes

Method: Take the ingredients and mix them all together. Place into a large Ziploc bag (or four separate ones) before packing them away and enjoying when you need quick energy.

You can alter the ingredients according to your own tastes and preferences.

A Portable Grill

If you’re not sure if there are barbecues available at the campground you are visiting, bring your own portable gas grill, this way you will be able to have hot and healthy meals wherever you are in the woods.

A BBQ feast doesn’t have to rhyme exclusively with meat. You can prepare a delicious grilled fish directly on the grill or cook it in foil with fresh veggies. Coleman grills are generally considered the best grills for camping. Here is a high-end Coleman grill that will suit all your needs for grilling while camping:

Campfire Supplies

necessary supplies for camping

No matter how “close to nature” our camping trip is, it is impossible to fully rely on the natural items to grant us everything we want. Therefore, having campfire supplies is a must. You need to take gasoline, lighters and an ax to ensure the fire can be started anywhere you want.

So in case you are unable to start the fire as cavemen do, you always have a backup to make sure you’re not cold all night. These supplies make your lives easier and let you enjoy your trip without constant physical effort.

A Portable Toilet

Traveling with a portable toilet can provide you a reliable solution for when you know you will be without a restroom, but you know you will need to go!

I know you are thinking, well how can I bring the “John” along with me and what does it mean? Well as the name tells you, these toilets come with you wherever you are going.

A bit of history if you are interested. They come in different heights and are lightweight making them the perfect companion when Mother Nature calls!

Now we have passed over the what, now let’s get into which one would you would choose. There are several types on the market.

First is the bucket toilet, which is the easiest to transport to your favorite spot. However, you will need to take care of the emptying of waste in a bag or by other means.

These are basic no frills, just a toilet seat and as the name suggests, a bucket. Here is an example of a quality bucket toilet:

The second type is the foldable toilet. This one is a space saver but just like the bucket toilet, you will have a comfortable spot to sit but the waste goes into a bowl with a plastic bag that will need to be disposed of. The pricing on these is a bit more expensive than the bucket toilet as well.

Here is an example of one:

The last will be the gold standard for portable thrones, and it is the flush. These give you more of an at home experience, and they are higher in cost than the above ones but as with anything you get what you pay for. Usually one side holds the water, and another compartment holds the waste.

You will not get the satisfying whoosh of a flush like at your house, but it does the job since they are designed to conserve on water.

The waste in the other tank when full will need to be emptied at a pit site, home toilet, or sewage dumpsite.

In the end, it is up to you as far as comfort, budget, and how much you want to deal with it when it comes to a portable toilet.

The height of one is important because you want to make sure you get one that is comfortable for you. The flushable ones do come with tank indicators, so you will not overfill the waste section and have an accident. The Coleman is one example of a flushable on the market.

Related Reading: Health Tips for Truck Drivers

Flashlights

Living in nature has its perks but is also a little dangerous. There are a lot of insects and animals crawling around in the forests. While not all of them can be detected and stopped, you need to keep flashlights with you so you don’t step on them and disturb their natural course of action.

In case you hear beetles and flies, it is always better to be able to find out they are instead of being paranoid all night.

Flashlights also help in finding our way back to the main road or to our car without constantly stumbling. You can even carry a gas lantern in case you don’t want to carry a flashlight! EverBrite is one of the most well-respected names in flashlights. Here is an example of quality EverBrite flashlights:

Gear for Sport Activities

Try to include as many sports activities as possible on your camping vacation. Go on a bike ride, take an afternoon to hike or climb a mountain. Look around your campsite to find out if there are places where you can go canoeing, kayaking  or even fly-fishing.

Use a yoga mat to do lower body and core workouts, and to stretch. In addition to keeping you fit, sports activities will allow you to visit new places and see beautiful landscapes.

Organic Bug Spray!

From spring to summer insects begin to reproduce and populate the air, annoying all of us in the process. Luckily, we have developed incredibly effective bug repellent that can keep us free from bug bites, and the potential diseases which can be carried by them.

However, these insect repellents could be just as harmful for our bodies as the insects that they are repelling!

Instead of dealing with constant mosquito bits, flea bites, or other insect annoyances, you can protect yourself with organic bug spray and natural bug repellent.

Similar to how it is always advisable to use organic and natural lotions, soaps, and shampoos; using an organic and natural bug repellent is very helpful for keeping your body healthy, and away from bug bites.

The main component of any insect repellent that you should look to avoid is called DEET. DEET was originally used as an insect repellent by the American military during their war in Vietnam, but was invented to be a pesticide to protect farm products.

DEET was believed to protect against insects by blocking certain smells that were produced by the human bodies sweat and breath, however it is no more understood that insects simply dislike the smell so much that they stay away completely.

DEET is very effective for repelling insects, but it is not something that you want on your skin either!

DEET is a dangerous pesticide, and you should try your best to never buy a product containing it; even though many insect repellents on the market still contain it in full-force.

Luckily, nature has crafted many natural essential oils which can repel insects with the same effectiveness; and are actually good to apply directly on your skin!

Essential oils such as lavender, black pepper, lemon balm and lemongrass, soy oil and citronella are all examples of natural products which have shown to repel insects effectively.  There are certainly more essential oil options than this even, but these are just a few!

In fact, soybean oil alone has shown to be nearly as effective as DEET in repelling insects when used as a spray during advanced studies, even though it is a natural product! Although it does not last as long, the effect is similar in strength.

The summer months do not have to be torturous for you and your body, and you can easily defend yourself from mosquitoes and other annoying insects; without the risk of applying a deadly chemical to your skin!

Using organic bug or insect spray is a healthier alternative to traditional insect repellent. If you do happen to get bit, there are also natural and organic ways to treat flea bites or other insect bites as well. Organic bug spray and natural insect repellent is great because you can use them without worrying about additional negative impacts on your health.

For example, you can spray your sleeping bag while camping and keep your bed safe from flea infestation without breathing in dangerous chemicals while you sleep.

You can also check your pets and if they are getting bit constantly, you can spray them as well.

If you are interested in learning more about the best essential oils to get rid of bugs and insects, check out Organic Daily Post.

Concluding Thoughts – Camping Essentials Checklist

There are a variety of other items you can bring camping, but these are a few of the most important camping essentials. If you make sure to bring these, you will be safe and set for your camping adventure!

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