Some people may be able to don a pair of hiking boots and grab a bag of beef jerky and be ready to camp out for a week. I am not one of them. I need a certain amount of creature comforts, yet travel light enough to get the full camping experience. To be a happy camper, makes sure you pack these 9 must-have camping essentials the next time you head for the hills.
Not just any tent will do. A tent that can pitched by one person is a must-have. All those poles and tie-backs only lead to frustration. The tent interior should also be tall enough to stand up in and have hooks to hang lanterns and clothing on.
A light-weight, easy to pitch canopy cover to put up over your camping tent will help keep you cool and dry. A tent, set outside in the sunshine, will heat up like the interior of a car and make sleeping impossible. A canopy cover will prevent the tent from becoming an oven and in the event of rain, a canopy will also keep the tent dry.
A midnight run for the bathroom or snack will require exterior lighting and a headlamp can’t be beat. It gives light right where you need it while keeping your hands free.
Battery power is the way to go. No fumes from gas, no forgotten wicks, take along at least one battery powdered lantern for use inside your tent.
A backpack is the best way to carry your camping gear, but what you do while camping will determine the type of backpack you need. If you must walk a long way to and from the campsite, or if you plan to do a lot of hiking, a hydration backpack is a must-have. Hydration backpacks have a pouch that houses a large bladder of fresh water and places a drinking tube near your mouth. You can keep your hydrating while walking and never miss a step and the reusable bladder eliminates the need for water bottles.
When camping in a remote site, you will need something to cook on. A grill rack placed on rocks over an open fire does the trick quite well or you may want to invest in a medium-sized, folding portable grill to take care of all your cooking needs.
Consider height, weight and temperature rating when buying a sleeping bag. The bag height should be about 6 inches above your height. The bag should be light weight so you can carry it on your back comfortably and the temperature rating lets you know what is the coldest temperature at which the sleeping bag will keep you comfortably warm.
A must-have for a good night’s sleep. Select a self-inflating, vinyl sleeping mat to place under your sleeping bag at night to keep you warm and dry.
Showers and running water are not always available along the camping trail, so to take care of personal hygiene and sanitation needs, take along a container of wipes designed for the camper.