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10 Things You Must Take When You're Camping

Updated on February 15, 2011

You're heading off to your campsite, and you hope you've remembered everything important. It will really ruin your trip if you forgot something crucial!  Let's look over the list of ten things you must take with you when you go to your campsite.

Dynas Campsite Gwynedd
Dynas Campsite Gwynedd

Food and Drink

1. Food is very important when you go camping. Even if you plan to catch dinner in the river and cook it over the fire, you should have some alternate meals along just in case the fish don't like your bait.

2. Water is the ultimate beverage to have along when you go camping. You may think there will be water available onsite, in a stream or camp faucet. If you know it is reliable, you may be fine. But you should still carry some water, just in case. And water purification products if you plan to use to local water. Remember - you will need water for many purposes: cooking, washing dishes, washing hands/faces/bodies, and to drink. If you'll be doing day hiking away from your campsite, you'll also need a way to carry water with you in your backpack. Some people like the backpacks that have a built-in hydration system, like a Camelbak. Others are content with water bottles.

Shelter and Warmth

3. Tents protect both you and your stuff, as well as helping you stay at a pleasant temperature. They come in many sizes and types - pick one large enough to hold your group if you want to maximize the warmth factor!

4. Sleeping bags help you stay warm enough at night. They can be bought at various levels of warmth, and unless you're heading for deep snow country, the commercially available ones should be adequate.

5. Clothing is also important to consider. Even if it is hot at home, plan for cold weather at night. Be sure to take extra socks, too!


The worst thing while you're at your campsite or day hiking is for there to be an emergency. If there is a problem, you'll be grateful you brought these items.

6. A first aid kit can help you deal with medical emergencies at your campsite until you are able to get more help. Whether just a small cut or a broken arm, the items in a medical kit - along with a little medical knowledge can help you cope.

7. Repellents are important, depending on where you are camping. If you're near water, you will want bug repellent so that you don't get mosquito bites. If you're near bear country (like in Yellowstone National Park) you'll be glad you brought along bear repellent to make sure they leave you alone.

8. Cell phones aren't really an essential item to bring along to your campsite, but if there is an emergency, they can help you reach help. Of course, if you're out of cell range you might still be stuck, but it is worth a try.

9. Maps are worth having around. Whether you opt for a traditional paper map and compass or a high-tech GPS, they can help you figure out where you are and where you need to go.

10. A Swiss army knife can be used for so many things - it is a great essential to bring along on any camping trip!


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