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Essential Gear for Camping

Updated on November 10, 2012

Getting Ready for Camping

Looking for an adventure in the great outdoors? Want to get away from the constant buzzing of your normal day to day life? Camping is a great way to escape the usual, and become one with nature, or maybe just start to appreciate it.

So now that you've decided you would like to try camping, now you need to evaluate what kind of camper you are. Some people love getting out there and really roughing it, and others still want some of the comforts of home while out in nature. It's a good idea to do a little self reflection to decide what kind of camping experience you will actually enjoy.

Determining Your Camping Needs

Finding out what kind of camper you are is fairly easy, you just have to ask yourself one important question. Would you be comfortable sleeping on an air mattress or pad on the ground? If so, a tent will suit your trip. If not, you might want to look at a camper or RV. The campers and trailers available today can contain some to all the comforts of home depending on what your needs are and how long your camping vacation is. Many are equipped with toilets, showers, and a full kitchen including fridge and stove. If you would like to be in a camper, I recommend renting one for your first couple of camping trips, from there you can decide how much camping you would like to do and if it is worth purchasing your own RV or camper. When choosing your tent or camper, make sure to take into consideration how many people you need to accommodate, and if you have the right kind of transportation to store or tow your equipment. You may have to think about renting a vehicle for your trip as well.

Everything Else

There are, of course, things you need to bring that do not fit in a plastic bin, and here is a quick list for those.

  1. Cooler and ice
  2. Camping Chairs
  3. Sleeping bags (appropriate for outdoor temperature)
  4. Rain Coats (just in case)
  5. Air mattress (if you prefer)
  6. Outdoor games (frisbee, baseball glove and ball, football, horseshoes, etc)
  7. Magazines
  8. Stereo
  9. Wood for the campfire

Camping can be a big expense if you're just starting out, but once you have the gear, camping is one of the most frugal vacations you can take, and the most fun. You can enjoy years of camping with the above equipment, and years of wonderful memories too.

Camping Gear Bin

There are a lot of smaller things you need for camping, no matter what you are sleeping in, so instead of talking about every item, I am going to make a list. My family and I are tent campers, and we go camping a few times each season. We have a plastic bin that we fill with all our camping needs, and this is what it usually contains.

  1. A grill for cooking over the fire
  2. Frying pan
  3. Medium size cooking pot
  4. Tongs
  5. Spatula
  6. Plastic reusable utensils, bowls, and plates
  7. Lighter and newspaper (to start a fire)
  8. Toilet paper (you know)
  9. Bug spray
  10. Dish soap and washing tub
  11. Dish drying rack
  12. Rope
  13. Tarp
  14. Flash light and batteries
  15. First Aid Kit
  16. Garbage and recycling bags
  17. Tin Foil
  18. Salt & pepper
  19. Coffee press
  20. Small axe
  21. Scissors
  22. Knife
  23. Extendable forks for roasting marshmallows or cooking hotdogs
  24. Lantern

These are just the basics, you could really get a big bin and fill it with every piece of equipment they have out there for camping (and there is a lot), it's really up to you, but this is what we use and need to survive the wilderness. Like I said, we camp in a tent and we cook everything over a fire.


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