Preparing for a camping trip is vital to ensure you have a fun and safe time at the campgrounds. This is true whether you’re taking your first camping trip or you have been camping countless times in the past. If you are new to camping, you should expect to spend more on your first trip. This is because you’ll need to buy essential supplies and equipment. Fortunately, you can reuse many of these items on future camping trips.
Get a High-Quality Backpack
You’ll want to pack most of your supplies in your backpack, and that means you’ll need to rely on it heavily throughout your camping trip. Many people choose to buy military backpacks since they are designed to last in rugged environments. They also have extra pockets and storage space to allow you to carry more when hiking.
Think About Your Power/Fuel Needs
You won’t rely strictly on a campfire when you’re out in the wilderness. You’ll want to bring along propane-powered lanterns, a cooking stove, and other equipment. On average, people use about half a pound of propane for each day of camping.
It can’t hurt to bring a little extra in case you use more than the average. Don’t forget to bring along a reliable lighter and matches for lighting stoves, lanterns, etc.
Bring a Sleeping Pad
It goes without saying that you should have a warm sleeping bag with plenty of padding. Additionally, buy a sleeping pad to lay beneath your sleeping bag. The pad will serve two purposes.
First, it will serve as an extra cushion between you and the ground. Second, sleeping pads have R-values much like home insulation. The R-value will help regulate your body temperature as you sleep.
Pack Clothes for Every Situation
Even though you’ll check the weather before you leave, you should still pack both warm, winter clothes and lighter clothes. Depending on where you’ll be camping, the temperature and winds may vary or feel different.
You won’t be able to hibernate in your house if you get cold. You should also keep in mind that your clothes might get wet in an unexpected rain shower. Packing extra outfits is an important part of planning a successful camping trip.
Prepare for an Emergency
Make sure you have enough first aid supplies for everyone at your camping party. Injuries and colds are more common when you’re consistently exposed to the wilderness, so make sure you’re prepared to treat those conditions. Bring pain relievers, antihistamines, and prescription medication as well.
Bring Two Pairs of Shoes or More
Each person should have at least two pairs of shoes for the camping trip. One pair should be good for hiking, running, and general use. The second pair should be reserved for swimming or wading in lakes, creeks, and rivers.
If you don’t have an old pair of sneakers or flip-flops, you can buy water shoes that are specifically designed for swimming. Wearing footwear in the water can save you from stepping on sharp rocks and they will protect against bites from water-based animals.
Research Camping Restrictions
It’s important to reserve your stay at a campground as early as possible. Unless you’re camping during the off-season, space will be limited. Once you know where you’ll be camping, take the time to read the rules and restrictions for those campgrounds.
There will be regulations regarding the use of propane, building campfires, and addressing other safety precautions. Additionally, reading the rules can help you discover extra amenities available to guests.
Make Sure Someone Knows Your Plans
While emergencies are rare, they do occur and you will want to be prepared. If you notify a loved one of your camping plans, they will be able to send help to you if you’re not back on time. It can help to buy a set of two-way radios and leave one radio with your emergency contact. If they can’t reach you via the radio or your phone, they will be able to summon help sooner.
When it’s time to head out on your camping trip, don’t forget to bring a pen and pad with you. There will be things you’ll forget and items you didn’t realize you would need. Write these items down in your notebook or pad so you can remember to get them for your next camping trip.
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