Camping Checklist and Things to Do While Camping
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It’s about that time of year again here in the mid-west, and soon the nature reserves and national and state parks will be full of campers looking to reconnect with nature. I know I pack up the gear and drag the kids out camping at least a couple of times per year, and I admit it many of those years we arrived only to realize that something was left behind. I know; I know it’s camping; you’re supposed to rough it, right? Well that’s for each to decide and there are many different levels of roughing it. I have put some real thought into it and tried to remember the things that we brought and forgot. The following is a basic camping checklist, for fair weather camping in the mid-west. It is likely a good list for many regions and climates with some exceptions depending on the weather, area, and length of the trip.
- First Aid Kit (I like to add a sewing kit)
- Weather radio (extra batteries)
- Tent (unless your in an RV or cabin)
- Screen tent (for bug free dinning)
- Bedding (airbeds, pump, sleeping bags, blankets, pillows)
- Insect repellant
- Hygiene products (shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, Q-tips, razors, shave cream, hairbrush, comb)
- Towels and washcloths
- Lighter, matches
- Hatchet, and knife
- Plates, cups, bowls, and silverware (disposable or reusable) Plastic washtub if you go with reusable
- Napkins (especially if you have kids)
- Hand sanitizer or wipes (to clean your hands)
- A pot and pan
- Lantern or two (Coleman fuel or propane)
- Camping stove (Coleman fuel or propane)
- Flashlights (extra batteries)
- Skewers (for hotdogs and marshmallows)
- Cooler (powered or with ice)
- DC to AC transformer (to run small electrical appliances or chargers)
- Camping Chairs
- Folding Table
- Clothes (a change for each day plus one extra day)
- Shorts (don’t forget your shorts)
- Toilet paper (at least a roll or two)
- Rope (you never know when you may need to tie something down or up)
- Acoustic guitar (if you have one and someone knows how to play)
- Games (bad mitten, frisbee, corn hole, football)
I didn’t include firewood because of the growing problem of invasive pests such as the emerald ash borer being introduced and spread through the transportation of firewood. Only approved firewood that has been inspected should ever be taken with you to any camping destination. Most parks and reserves have fire wood for sale near by, or you can find it at many locations along the way.
There are usually lots of activities close by to camping destinations, unless of course you are not in one of the reserves or parks. If you are more out in nature you may have to look a bit harder to find activities nearby, though you probably just want to camp if you choose this type of location. Of course, you may want to fish, swim, go boating, water skiing, or tubing if there is water nearby. The following is a checklist of some of the things you might want to bring for some water fun on your next camping trip.
1. Zip-lock baggies (to keep things dry)
3. Fishing poles
4. Tackle box (stocked with extra line, hooks, bobbers, lures, sinkers, tools)
5. Fishing bait (worms, liver, corn, dough ball, minnows)
6. Life jackets
7. Sand toys, beach ball
8. Beach umbrella
9. Boat (extra gas or oars if not motorized)
10. Ski equipment (skis, ski rope, gloves, goggles)
11. Tow tube
There are many other adventures that a-wait probably close by your next camping destination. Some ideas you might check in to and be prepared for are hiking (bring hiking gear), bicycling (bring bicycles), horse back riding, sight seeing (bring a camera), cave exploring (bring spelunking equipment), checking out the local shops (bring some extra cash).
I found a really nice place to ride zip-lines through the hills of Brown County Indiana called Holler Hoppin Zip Lines. I included a video at the beginning of the hub of one of the “Jumps” as they called it. It was a really fun activity, the kids loved it and I must admit that I did as well. Where ever you are there is likely some place near by where you can enjoy and just be among nature, while you rejuvenate your self and find a peace that you just can’t seem to find in the crowded streets of civilization. So get out there and see what you can find in nature that eases your mind and helps you connect with the natural world as it was meant to be. Thanks for reading and I hope your next outdoors adventure is safe, fun, and provides lots of great memories with family and friends.