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9 Must Have Items For Any Camping Trip

Updated on August 29, 2014

I love to go camping. Primitive style I have heard it called. Basically tent, fire and the woods. Great time spent with family and is a fairly cheap activity to get you out of the house, and of course, making those precious memories that will last for a lifetime. There is always that moment though, when the realization of your forgetfulness is brought to light. The decision of the missing items importance and if you should go back for it. Tent is set up, cars unpacked and then of course you figure out the dreaded. Whatever it is, is it worth having to go all the way back to town, leaving your belongings behind. So here are a few things that I have forgotten or am thankful I did not.

Can Opener

Yes seems simple, but I cannot tell you the inner feelings when you realize that all of the planning and packing is worthless because you forgot the can opener. Is it enough to go back, probably not. However, no one likes to cut the jagged hole in the top of the can, only to surely prick your finger till it bleeds.

Toilet Paper

Sure, sure, normal reasons apply, especially primitive camping where you have to use outside facilities. There is another point to this item, tinder. When you decide to go down to your local KOA campground and buy the bundle of wood, there is no tinder and no woods to get them from. A tight ball of toilet paper with a little candle wax can be a very nice tinder ball to get the large logs going.

Magnesium Block (Fire Starter)

These are great for starting fires anywhere, even when the wood is soaking wet. The magnesium is highly flammable when it is scraped off with knife. I have used this tool right after a storm when everything was wet and was able to make the fire that kept me from hypothermia. I would also like to point out that the savings should be concentrated into a pile to get enough combustion to get your tinder lit.


Cannot stress that enough. No jagged holes can be made in the cans, packages will need to be opened. You will need a knife to scrape off the bark for your hotdog sticks. Many, many uses. It can also create the spark needed for your life saving fire, as well as maybe help cut fire wood or trees for such.


Nothing worse than getting lost in the middle of the woods, trust me. I mean sure there are numerous way otherwise. By the stars or by the sun, however if you are not sure enough to put your life on the line, I suggest you don’t. A map is always good to accompany a compass, however even a general direction should be known to find your way back to civilization. There are also many survival items that will also have a compass, such as knives and waterproof match boxes.


This is a great item to have, especially if you are camping or hiking alone. Many times, a hiker will somehow injure themselves and be stuck without food or water where they landed. A whistle can be a great way to signal rescuers when a person’s voice is gone. A whistle has saved a few lives in their days.


A mirror is another double duty item. Not only can you use it to signal as well, especially good for airplanes. Mirrors or any other type of reflector can also be used to concentrate the sun’s rays to produce a fire. And of course, will help you to put your makeup on in the morning.

Metal canteen or cup

Any kind of metal holder can be used to purify water by means of boiling. It should be able to just go down right in the fire until the water comes to a roaring fire. Beyond survival, metal cups are great to heat baby bottles in a pool of water or make a nice hot cup of coffee or chocolate around the camp fire.

Metal Tongs

This is great for pulling out cans heating in the fire, as well as safely moving logs as needed to tend to the fire safely. I like to get the ones with the thick plastic coated handle to avoid from it getting hot.


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    • kaiyan717 profile image

      kaiyan717 4 years ago from West Virginia

      Yeah I should have added a flashlight to the list, would definatly help if you got lost in the dark. I am glad you found your way to your car, could be pretty scary stuck out in the woods at night.

    • ajwrites57 profile image

      AJ 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I checked the list and had all but two that I've taken on camping trips--the whistle and mirror. Good ideas! I wasn't camping but sort of hiking in the woods one evening. The forest was so dense that as soon as the sun set it got almost pitch black. The thing that saved us was the fact that our car was white. It was the only thing we could see! We weren't expecting to be in the forest that long--no flashlight either. But a whistle might have saved us even if we had no flashlight. Primitive is the only way to camp--cabins--bah! lol :0)

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 5 years ago from America

      All very good ideas if your camping. I don't camp...I camp in the yard with my kids but that was as far as I would go. I know so many people that just love to camp. Very interesting hub voted up.