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How To Plan A Safe Camping Trip: Have The Right Tools and Camp Gear

Updated on November 24, 2013

Safety First When Camping!


Planning a Camping Trip?

It's getting to be that time of year again! The birds are chirping, the flowers are budding and you are starting to get Spring Fever.

It's time to start thinking about Planning Your Camping Vacation and this Guide will help you to have a Safe and Enjoyable Camping Trip!


Make A Custom First Aid Kit!

Minor Cuts and Bleeding
Mesh Bandages
For wrapping
Adhesive Tape
For fastening bandages
Calamine Lotion
For rashes like poison ivy
Antiseptic/Antibacterial Wipes or Lotion
For cleaning cuts
Sterile Gauze Pads
For moderate or serious cuts
Cotton Balls
For cleaning a wound
Great for removing splinters
Small Scissors
For cutting bandages
Bee Sting Kit
For people with severe allergic reactions to bees
Allergy Medicine
Benadryl or other
Sunscreen and Insect Repellant
Keep skin protected
Personal and Contact Information of Waterproof Card
In case someone finds you unconcious they know who you are and who they should contact
Emergency Blanket
To prevent Hypothermia
Small Mirror
In case you have to signal rescuers
Antibiotic Cream
Prevents infections in minor cuts
Pain Reliever
Aspirin, Tylenol, etc.
Hydrogen Peroxide
Helps clean out cuts
Sunburn Relief Lotion
Just in case you get a sunburn
Hot/Cold Packs
If you get sore from a long hike!
Small Flashlight
Always good to see what's in your first aid kit!
Emergency Coins for Phone Calls
Bring a feww dollars in mixed change in case you need to use a pay phone
Mole Skin
Works great for hiking blisters!
First Aid Manual
Learn how to treat injured people correctly
Nail Clippers
Useful tool for many things!

Things To See While Camping!

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Where To Start

Whether you are a seasoned camping and outdoor enthusiast or planning your first camping experience, this guide will get you started in the right direction for planning your outing.

Always remember that safety is the key to having a good time and creating memories for a lifetime.

Here are some helpful safety guidelines for staying safe while camping in the wild:

  • Know Your Territory! Before embarking on any outdoor adventure you should be familiar with the area and terrain of the places you plan to camp. Pre-Plan your trip by consulting maps and informational brochures or do research on the web.
  • Be Prepared! Most accidents and outdoor mishaps are caused by lack of preparation and planning. Weather can change very quickly in remote areas, particularly at higher altitudes. It can be 90°F at the bottom of a mountain and 30° at the top. Always bring warm clothing just in case!
  • Bring a First Aid Kit. Although we hope to never have to use it, packing a First Aid Kit could save your life. Reference the chart to the right to see what items should be in your First Aid Kit. Make sure you pack these goods in a waterproof container.
  • Outline Your Entire Trip In Writing and Share It With Someone at Home. In the event that you get lost, stranded or injured, help can be sent quicker if someone not on the trip has your trip information. Include where you plan to stay, for how long, and whatever hiking trips you plan to go on. Many hikers run into trouble when they get lost because they do not have the proper clothing and they didn't tell anyone where they are going!
  • Be Aware of Wildlife in the Area. Wild animals behave according to seasons and often move around a large area when mating or looking for food. You should be aware of the population of moose and bears and familiarize yourself with how to deal with an encounter. You should never taunt a bear! If you see one, do not run away or it may chase you. You may desire to carry a loud foghorn to scare them away. You can make loud noises or play dead if the bear is walking towards you. Never approach a bear, particularly a mother bear with cubs. They can be extremely aggressive when protecting their young! Always be careful when storing food in bear country. Never eat in your sleeping quarters or you might get an uninvited visitor during the night! If you are in bear country, hang your food high in a tree (at least 25') so the bears can't get it and are less likely to smell it.
  • Be Familiar with Camping Tools. If you have never set up a tent before you should consider practicing at home before you go on your trip. Some tents can be complicated to set up and it would be horrible to start your camping trip by trying to set-up your tent in the dark! If you plan to use and Ax or Hatchet make sure you are familiar with safety and use of these tools. Make sure you understand how camping stoves work and never use a stove inside a tent!
  • Only Pack What You Need! Whether you are going low-impact camping or camping at a luxurious campground, don't pack everything but the kitchen sink! Just bring what you need and leave the rest behind. If you bring too much stuff from the real world then your camping trip will be like any other day in your life with the exception of sleeping outside. Consider leaving computers and other electronics at home so that you can really enjoy the outdoor experience.

Being prepared is the most important thing to consider when preparing for a camping trip. Remember to be safe and make sure that you are fully ready and prepared for the unexpected. Nature follows it's own set of rules and weather can change in an instant. Use your head when encountering wildlife and when using potentially dangerous camping tools. If you do, you can have many enjoyable camping memories for years to come!

Do You Like Camping?

How Often Do You Go Camping?

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Use a Checklist While Packing for Your Trip!

The checklist below is a list of just about anything you may need while camping. You may add things to the list or leave things that are not important to you at home. Feel free to bookmark this page or print out the checklist for later use!

Camping Checklist

Enough for the length of the trip and extra in case clothing gets wet. Always dress appropriately for the weather!
Pocket Knife
Useful Tool
Used under tent to keep floor dry
For staking down the tent against the wind
To hammer stakes into the ground
Hatchet or Ax
For chopping firewood
Dustpan and Brush
To sweep dirt of tent floor
Sleeping Bag
Appropriate for weather
Extra Blanket
Kept in water-safe bag in case sleeping bag gets wet
Air Mattress/Cot/Pad
Optional if you don't want to sleep directly on the ground!
Battery Powered Air Pump
To inflate air mattress. Make sure battery is fully charged prior to your trip. Consider bringing a car charger as back-up
Air Mattress Repair Kit
In case you get a hole in the air mattress
Camping Stove
Propane, Gas, or Other Options Available
Waterproof Matches
If you can't find waterproof matches, dip the match tips in melted candle wax and keep in a film canister
Cast Iron Skillet and Dutch Oven
For out-door, open-fire cooking
Tablecloth and Holders
For use on picnic or other table. Holders attach easily and help when windy
Plates, Drinking Cups and Eating Utensils
Paper or Stainless Steel
Paper Towels
For Minor Cleanups
Trash Bags
Carry-In, Carry-Out!
Dish Soap
To wash dishes
Potholders or Oven Mitts
Usefule when cooking with cast iron cookware over open flame
Cooking Utensils
Whisk, Spatula, Tongs, etc.
Folding Table
For food preparation and eating
Cutting Board
For chopping and cutting up food
Cleaning Utensils
For washing pans. (Never use abrasive pads like steel wool or copper on Cast Iron Cookware!)
Spices and Seasonings
To add flavor to your food!
Shower Shoes
To avoid being barefoot in a public shower room
For cleaning dishes and some for swimming and showering
Body Soap
To stay fresh and clean!
Tooth Brush and Tooth Paste
To keep your pearly whites shiny!
So animals don't think you are one of them!
So that you are not mistaken as a bear!
Feminine Products
Just in case Mother Nature Calls!
Toilet Paper
For blowing your nose among other things...
Prevent Sunburns!
Know where you are at all times!
Bring extra batteries!
Camp Lantern with Extra Fuel and Mantles
So you can see at night!
Insect Repellent
Keep those bugs away!
In case you need help or get lost or injured
Water Purifiers
In case you can't find safe water to drink
Bring extra batteries, film and a car charger
Area Maps
Be familiar with the terrain
To pack all your gear when hiking
Fishing Gear
Be sure to learn local rules and regulations and get a fishing license if required
Camping Chairs
To sit around the campfire!
Sunglasses and Hat
For head and eye protection
First Aid Kit
Just in case!
Enough for the trip
To keep food fresh and safe
For bird and animal watching
To make a clothes line and other uses
Water Bottle or Canteen
For use when hiking away from camp
Games, Playing Cards, Puzzles, etc. for that rainy day!
Duct Tape
For a "Quick Fix" when you are in a bind
Pen and Paper
For writing things down
Cell Phone and Car Charger
In case you need to contact the outside world
Camp Shovel
You may have to create drainage around your tent in heavy rains
Work Gloves
Prevent splinters while gathering firewood

Get Great Deals on Camping Equipment from Amazon!

The White Mountains of New Hampshire: Beautiful Country Here!

Things To Do For Fun While Camping

So you have planned your trip, let people know where you are going and for how long. You have packed your first aid kit, maps and everything else you need to be safe. What happens when you get to camp? Here are some suggestions for making the most of your camping trip:

  • Do Some Fishing!
  • Go For Hikes
  • Go Swimming in Ponds and Lakes
  • Have Campfire at night and tell Scary Stories and sing songs! Got an Acoustic Guitar? Brink it along!
  • Roast Marshmallows and Hot Dogs over the Fire!
  • Build A Lean-To Shelter
  • Carve Something out of Wood
  • Go Bird Watching
  • Meet Other Campers!

There are plenty of fun things to do while camping. Relax, enjoy yourself and above all, be cautious. Camping is a great activity for families and friends. Escaping to the outdoors is a great way to relieve stress and forget about work and everyday life. So start planning your trip and get outside this summer!


Are Your Ready For Your Camping Trip?

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© 2012 JS Matthew


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    • J.S.Matthew profile imageAUTHOR

      JS Matthew 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Drtruthman: Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed taking the quiz! I wish I had more time to go camping too! I always appreciate your comments and votes, Lee. Thanks again for stopping by!


    • Drtruthman profile image


      7 years ago from Harlingen, Texas

      Great Hub. Very helpful. Loved the quiz. Wish I had more time to go camping. I voted UP all across. Lee

    • lobobrandon profile image

      Brandon Lobo 

      7 years ago

      That's cool :) We never made our very own custom kits ever and it's surely a cool idea if at all I go camping anytime soon!

    • J.S.Matthew profile imageAUTHOR

      JS Matthew 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @Ardie (aka "Ardimus"): Haha! I told you I would throw that into a comment someday! I love camping too and I used to go twice a month year-round (yes, tent camping in the snow!) when I was a teen. I volunteered at a summer camp during the off season to do various projects around the camp. I built erosion walls and steps, cleared paths and roads, and had a lot of fun in the process!

      I swear the bear pictures are real and that I took them personally! They are grainy because I had to scan them from a photo and they didn't come out as good as I hoped. I took those while a bear visited my campsite in Tamworth, NH about 12 years ago. It was pretty cool and wasn't that scary because the bear wasn't aggressive. I kept my distance, took some pics and then went into my car and honked the horn! He ran away pretty fast!

      I appreciate your comment as always, and I am glad you enjoyed the "uses" section in the chart! I was hoping someone would notice! Thanks again Ardie!


    • J.S.Matthew profile imageAUTHOR

      JS Matthew 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      @lobobrandon: Hello! Nice to see you again! When I was a Boy Scout we always made our own custom first aid kits. You can include individual medications for the people going on the trip as well. The 30/30 is finally winding down! It has been very exciting and fun and I have learned a lot in the process. Thank you very much for your comment!


    • Ardie profile image


      7 years ago from Neverland

      I love to go camping and this is a wonderul list - thank goodness we dont have bears where I camp!!! My favorite part of this was the list of items to take camping and their uses hahah chairs - to sit around the camp fire!

    • lobobrandon profile image

      Brandon Lobo 

      7 years ago

      Great hub and I loved the custom First Aid kit :)

      You've gone deep into the topic and I doubt you've left out anything. Its a great hub and is perfect for the contest and your 30 in 30 challenge as well!


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