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Camping Checklist

Camping ChecklistExperienced campers will have a camping checklist of items that they know they will always want to bring along to ensure that their camping experience is enjoyable and safe. They take into account where they are going, how long they will be camping and how many people are coming with them when they assemble their camping checklist.

Camping at a state park in almost perfect conditions with facilities close by is much different from backpacking into the wilderness and camping for several days in the wild. Each requires different supplies and gear so plan your camping checklist accordingly.

Our checklist is a general camping checklist and you will want to add or subtract to it based on the location , the length of time, and number of people. Always error on the side of caution and take more than you need. If you are long way from home, or a days walk from civilization and you are missing something, there is not much you can do about it. Of course you need to balance what you take vs. the weight and how far you care carrying your camping gear. A heavy pack feels like it weighs twice as much after a days hiking.

Camping Checklist

The following is our camping checklist of camping gear you may want to add to your camping checklist:

  • A light weight tent, lean-to or other shelter device
  • A light weight sleeping bag for warmth
  • A sleeping pad or air mattress is often placed underneath the sleeping bag for cushioning from stones and twigs as well as for insulation from the ground
  • A portable stove to prepare hot meals and/or drinks where campfires are forbidden or impractical
  • A lantern or flashlight, preferably the kind that do not need batteries
  • A hatchet, axe or saw for cutting firewood where allowed or constructing camp gadgets
  • Various types and sizes of ropes and tarp for stringing clothesline, sheltering dining areas, and other purposes.
  • Rain gear such as a light weight rain coat
  • A compass for direction finding
  • A GPS , however you need to be aware of battery issues
  • A chuck box to hold the many varied camp kitchen items for food preparation, consumption and cleanup.
  • Some campers may prepare food by cooking on a campfire, sometimes using such equipment as a Dutch oven.
  • Matches in a water proof container
  • Much of the remaining needed camping equipment is commonly available in the home, like dishes, pots and pans.
  • If you plan to hike into your camp site, you will need to consider light weight camping gear that does not take a lot of room as well.
  • Emergency rations should always be considered, especially if you are hiking into a site. Dried food is light weight, small and easy to carry.

First Aid

First aid should always be considered as part of your camping checklist and can be even more important if you are hiking on wilderness trails and planning to stay out overnight. Hikers need to be able to exist on their own and look after emergencies until they can get to a location to call for help or until someone finds them. Better to error on the side of caution:

  • Dressings (sterile, applied directly to wound): Pads
  • Sterile eye pads, Sterile gauze pads.
  • Bandages (sterility is not necessary, used to secure a dressing): Gauze Roller bandages – absorbent, breathable, and often elastic
  • Elastic bandages – used for sprains, and pressure bandages, Adhesive, elastic roller bandages,Triangular bandages
  • Gloves, disposable non-latex
  • Torch (also known as a flashlight)
  • Instant-acting chemical cold packs
  • Sterile eye wash (commonly saline) Sterile saline may also be used for cleaning wounds where clean tap water is not available.
  • Thermometer
  • Antiseptic/anesthetic ointment or spray
  • Anti-itch ointment (especially for outdoor kits)
  • Painkillers / fever reducers
  • Aloe vera gel – used for a wide variety of skin problems, including burns, sunburns, itching, and dry skin

Prepare for the Inevitable

Camping with the family can be a fun experience and it is an opportunity to bond with the kids and enjoy the outdoors. Unless you have camped in the wild before you cannot really appreciate what you are missing. At the same time it is not camping in your backyard or anywhere near modern facilities. You need to be prepared for the inevitable.

Camping at state parks is a nice way to start. Camp sites are all laid out and you usually have water and toilet facilities. Some will even have a small store were yu can purchase camp supplies that you forgot to bring with you. Many will be located near a lake or river so you can also enjoy swimming as well.

There is usually all types of wild life around. Depending on were you are camping, you may encounter rabbits, raccoons, deer and even bears. Regardless of were you are you should take some precautions to protect your belongings. Never store food in your tent. The bears will be joining you for a meal whether you like it or not. Also do not leave the food in your car. You do not want to be watching from your tent while a bears tears your car apart looking for food. And what do you do when he is finished?

Place your food in bundles and tie them to a tree limb far enough out on the limb so that they cannot get at the food. Always get rid of any garbage as well that might be attractive to bears around your camp site.

Please feel free to add comments about other items to bring while camping or safety issues that you feel we should include.

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2 Responses to “Camping Checklist”

  1. what a great check list for camping. we have added some personal items to the list and check things off as we pack them into our car when we are getting ready to go camping.

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