If you’re an inexperienced camper and the thought of planning your very first camping trip seems overwhelming, you’re not alone! While there is a wide array of possible equipment that could be used for camping, the best thing to do is to start with the basics. Before you set out on a shopping trip for supplies, make sure that you include these five things every person needs on a camping trip:
- A tent. The first question to ask yourself before purchasing a tent is how many people does it need to hold? Keep in mind that the given capacity for a tent is the maximum it can hold, so in order to be more comfortable, some people prefer to get a larger size in order to have some extra space (i.e. buying a four-person tent for two people). If you will be camping with a larger group, it may be more convenient to take two or three smaller tents instead of one big tent.
- Sleeping bag. Instead of bringing numerous individual sheets and blankets on your trip, keep it simple with a sleeping bag! Be sure to check the weather forecast for the camping spot you’ll be visiting so that you will have a sleeping bag with an appropriate temperature rating. A 20-degree bag is a versatile option that works well in most climates. In this example, the 20 means that the sleeping bag should keep you comfortable in temperatures as low as 20 degrees.
Instead of placing your sleeping bag directly on the hard floor of the tent, be sure to also bring an air mattress to make your night significantly more comfortable!
- Fire supplies. If you don’t expect to find firewood readily available around your campsite, be sure pick some up beforehand that can be used for a campfire. Don’t forget the lighter, matches and firestarter! The firestarter can be especially helpful in rainy or windy conditions that cause matches to go out.
- Light. A campfire may provide some light at night, but if you walk away from the campsite or want to see inside of your tent, you’ll need a good portable light. Battery-powered flashlights and lanterns work well, or try a headlamp for a hands-free option.
5. First aid kit. This is an item that you hopefully won’t have to use, but it’s good to have on hand just in case! You can create your own or buy a pre-assembled kit. Band-aids, a disinfectant, bug spray and sunscreen are some key items to include, but make sure to be prepared for any individual issues such as asthma too. Bring enough supplies for the number of people traveling in your group.