Tent and Tent Accessories
You can choose to sleep outside, but it’s not always a good idea. Investing in a good tent is a great way to stay warm, keep away the bugs, and feel safer. In wooded areas, it often gets a lot cooler at night. Using a tent can keep the frigid air away from you as well as the morning dew.
In addition to a tent, you will need tent poles and stakes. Most tents come with tent poles and directions for assembly. Place your tent on a level, smooth surface with no rocks, if possible. Stake your tent down securely just in case it’s windy. Make sure you have enough tent space for everyone.
Tarps will keep you dry if it rains, keep the sun from beating down on you, and keep tree sap, leaves, and bugs from falling on you and your food. Set up tarps to go over your tents if possible to help keep them dry if it rains. Also, place tarps over your picnic table or eating area. Make sure you have extra tent poles and lots of rope to tie up your tarps.
Sleeping Bags and other Sleeping Essentials
Sleeping bags are the quintessential set up to sleep in while camping. They will keep you warm and cozy and are much easier than using sheets and blankets. If it’s very cold, you can always add extra blankets. Make sure you have a sleeping bag for everyone.
Another option is to have air mattresses or sleeping pads. The ground can be cold and hard and using something to keep you off the ground will make sleeping much more pleasant. Make sure you don’t have leaks in your air mattresses and that you can blow them up. Car pumps work great.
Stove and Cookware
A camping stove is an easy, simple way to get food cooked while your camping. You just need some propane and you’re ready to cook. You can use the fire, too, but a camping stove is great for percolating the morning coffee and cooking the side dishes. Save the fire for barbecue and s’mores.
You will also need cooking accessories such as a pot, pan, tongs, spatula, spoon, forks, knives, plates, cups, etc. You don’t need to have a kitchen cupboard-full amount, just enough to accommodate those in attendance. Also, make sure you some sort of washing bucket and dish towels to clean the dishes.
Matches and Firewood
A fire is an absolute must when you are camping. Bring plenty of firewood or buy some from the park. Make sure it is dry and seasoned so that it burns easily. Don’t forget matches, or you’ll have a very hard time starting a fire. Matches will also be necessary for lighting the stove, candles, etc.
Lantern and Flashlights
You can use propane lanterns or make life easy with a battery operated lantern. Just make sure you don’t keep them lit near the tent or near people at night because they will draw the bugs in. Flashlights are also a must for traveling around when it’s dark.
Hatchet and Hammering Mallet
A hatchet is a great tool to have to cut up twigs and small pieces of wood. You may find other uses as well. A hammering mallet is good for hammering in and removing the stakes for your tents and tarps.
Dust pan, Broom, and Rug
There’s nothing worse than a dirty tent. Keep your shoes outside the tent if possible and use a dust pan and broom to brush out anything that gets inside. This is also good to do before you pack up the tent to leave. A rug outside the door is a great place to wipe your dirty shoes and store them while you’re sleeping.
Water cooler, Cooler with Ice, and Food
Keep a cooler full of ice to store your food in. Bring enough food, but don’t go overboard or you’re car may be too packed. When sleeping, store your food in your car to keep pesky friends from bothering you.
Citronella Candles and Bug Spray
Bugs can be a big problem when camping. Use citronella and bug spray to keep them away.
You can sit in the dirt, but camping chairs are much more comfortable. They even make rocking chairs and recliner chairs now.
Make sure you bring plenty of extra clothes just in case and regular hygiene items. Camping is a time when everyone’s a little dirty, but don’t let it get out of hand. Don’t forget a first aid kit, either.
Make a list before you leave just to make sure you don’t forget anything, and enjoy your camping trip!