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What Is a Camping Checklist?
A camping checklist is a comprehensive list of items to bring when one is planning to or about to go camping. The items on the list may be grouped into different sections depending on the function it serves.
The National Park Service constantly reminds campers and visitors to strictly adhere to the 7 Leave No Trace Principles. These rules are summarized as: plan ahead and prepare; travel and camp on durable surfaces; dispose of waste properly; leave what you find; minimize campfire impacts; respect wildlife; and lastly, be considerate of other visitors.
Examples of Camping Essentials
Like in most things, we can often compartmentalize our needs and wants, or our essentials and non-essentials. The same goes for camping. Camping is like going on a trip; we take what we need and if there’s room, we bring some extra items just in case. The items listed below are common camping essentials:
Types of Camping
Gone are the days where camping was only confined to an area in the woods or when it was just a pastime for a particular set of people. Nowadays, camping has evolved and branched out into many different subtypes; and a lot more people are taking it up as a leisure activity or hobby. From modern, ultra-convenient glamping to basic survivalist camping, there are different types of camping that will suit anyone and everyone.
How to Create a Camping Checklist
To make a comprehensive and practical camping checklist, take note of the step-by-step guide below:
Step 1: Research is Important
To begin planning your camping trip, researching is a good and practical first step. When coming up with your list, it’s helpful to keep in mind these two main factors: the where and when. Location is key so you’ll have a better idea of what items to prepare and bring. A lot of information is available online. Read up on reviews or other people’s personal experiences of the site you’re planning to go to. Many young people and outdoor enthusiasts blog about their personal camping adventures and it’s fairly easy to find or access their online blogs. It’s good to get an idea of the camp location from people who have gone there before you. If you’re planning to put up a campsite at a national park, do prior research of the park’s rules and regulations. Call ahead if you’re unsure of park rules or cannot find information online. Lastly, look up weather forecasts before your trip. It’s good to plot your camping trips during appropriate times of the year so you’ll have ample time to prepare.
Step 2: Establish a Timeline
The where and when are equally important. Regardless if your goal is a quick weekend getaway or an extended urban escape, establish how much time you’re planning to spend at camp. Some people are satisfied with a few days nature recharge, while others can go months on end living amongst the birds and the trees. Just like prepping for an out of town trip or a hotel staycation, you need to have an idea of how long you intend to be away to adjust your camping checklist accordingly.
Step 3: List Down the Essentials
After you’ve established a general idea of the campsite and the duration of your trip, it’ll be a lot easier for you to come up with a curated checklist. To make sure you don’t neglect or accidentally forget anything, it’s best to start with the essentials. Cover the needs first such as tents, food, water, first aid kit, and other essential equipment and gear. Group your items into categories like cooking, clothing, toiletries, etc. For instance, soap and shampoo would fall under toiletries. Cutting board, can opener, and condiments would fall under cooking.
Step 4: Include Some Add-ons
If you have extra room or allowance, you can also include some leisure items like books or magazines, playing cards, alcoholic drinks, or even a frisbee. These items are optional but will enrich your camping experience, especially if you’re camping with family or friends. But at the same time, you also want to avoid lugging around more extra weight than necessary. It will slow you down or exhaust you prematurely. Especially for trekking campers, it is best to leave the unnecessary baggage at home or at the campsite when you go hiking. Bring only the basics like water, a cell phone, and a trekking pole.
What are the 10 essentials for camping?
According to an online article by Eureka!, the top 10 essentials to bring on any camping trip are: tent, sleeping bag, water bottle, fire starter, first aid kit, pocket knife, map and compass (or GPS), weather-appropriate clothing and rain gear, a flashlight, lantern, or head lamp, and finally, toilet paper.
What should you not forget when camping?
Essential items you shouldn’t neglect to bring, aside from a tent and food, are matches or a lighter, flashlight, and a first aid kit. A pocket knife is also a very versatile item that has multiple uses when camping. For a lot of people, having a camera is also important to be able to document the trip and experience.
What is the most comfortable way to sleep in a tent?
While some people have an easier time adjusting to sleeping in tents, others may not feel as comfortable lying against bare ground or soil. If a sleeping bag is not enough, try a soft mattress or foam to help support your back and promote better sleep. You can also bring a mini pillow to increase comfort.
What clothes to sleep in when camping?
Depending on the conditions of the site and time of year, it’s always best to wear and pack weather-appropriate clothing. Some campsites can get hot and humid during the night, so it’s best to wear light and loose clothes for sleeping. If you’re concerned about insects and mosquito bites, you may opt to wear track pants or pajamas. If your camp location is cool and temperate, protect yourself by layering up. Wear socks or gloves for added warmth.
Camping is a fun and exciting way to recharge and bond with friends or family. Save yourself the hassle and inconvenience of forgetting to bring a portable stove or running out of toilet paper. Planning and preparation is key in having a smooth and relaxing camping experience, minus the needless problems. Although problem-free camping is not always a guarantee, having a checklist is usually a good start. Download an editable template above and craft your camping checklist now!