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Be Prepared For Your Next Camping Trip

Updated on August 22, 2008

Create a 'ready kit' and save time and money

We can all get a little absent minded when we're preparing for an activity or event with short notice. We gather everything we think we need and go over it 3 and 4 times so we don't forget anything. Naturally it's not until we are three hours away from home when we realize we've forgotten the batteries for the flash light, or the sheets for the air mattress, or bandaids in case the kids get cut, or our shampoo and conditioner that we just bought yesterday, or the advil in case we get a backache from hiking too much. We wind up stopping by a gas station to fill up and case every aisle in search of what materials we're lacking for our activity or event. We don't want to have to find the local Wal-Mart and waste an hour collecting our items there and standing in those horrible lines, so we buy from the 'convenience' store. Of course everyone in the car has to use the bathroom so they go in too and now decide they need a drink, chips and candy, hence wasting more money. Since we dodged the local Wal-Mart, we've just spent twice as much money than we should have and now instead of eating at the I-Hop for breakfast we gotta hit up the dollar menu at McDonald's.

Had we of had a 'ready kit' so to speak, we may have avoided all the aggravation, saved some cash and gotten to enjoy those fluffy pancakes at the I-Hop.

So what is a 'ready kit?' I like to think this is a container, bag or box that contains all of the necessary items you will need to efficiently execute an event or activity by just grabbing it and going. Each different event or activity that is commonly attended to should have their own 'ready kit.'

If you go camping frequently some items you may want in your 'ready kit' may consist of:

  • flashlight and extra batteries
  • pocket knife
  • battery powered radio
  • compass and map
  • list of local emergency numbers and directions
  • poncho
  • matches
  • air mattress
  • patches for the tent and air mattress
  • hand air pump
  • skewers for marshmellows and hotdogs
  • fire starter log
  • shower shoes
  • set of sheets
  • pre-paid gas card
  • bug spray
  • sun block
  • citronella candle
  • shampoo, conditioner, soap
  • hand towel, wash cloth and bath towel
  • band aids, burn cream, neosporin, gause, plastic tape, alcohol pads, peroxide etc.
  • grocery list of ideal foods for quick reference to the grocery store
  • disposable camera
  • non parishables , such as a can of nuts

Every different event or activity requires different items. If you have your 'ready kit' prepared and re-stock it after your return you are likely going to have a more relaxed and fun-filled experience. Before attempting to make your 'ready kit' you should ponder making a list of the neccessities on paper and communicate with your friends and family as to what their ideas may be. I would recommend that you check or replace your batteries regularly and if you include any non parishables check your expiration dates on a routine basis.

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