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Stuff You Should Bring on Your Camping Trip

Although the gear that we provide gives you the basic setup that allows you a comfortable place to sit and sleep as well as some lighting for you to see your campsite at night, you’ll also want to bring a few additional items to make your camping experience a bit more comfortable. After all, the more comfortable you are on your camping adventure, the easier it will be to appreciate the joys of nature. To help get you started on your “stuff to bring” list we’ve put together some items that we’ve found to be super helpful on our own camping trips.

  • Food & Drinks
    • The more pre-planning and prepping of your camp meals, the better. Make sure you’re accounting for each of your main meals throughout the day as well as snacks. Trekking around in nature will work up an appetite so bring enough food for everyone in your party plus a little bit. Also remember to bring plenty of water in addition to any soda, beer, wine, etc. so you stay properly hydrated during all of your adventures.
  • A Camp Stove/Grill
    • You can definitely get by with cooking your food (using the infinitely handy aluminum foil) over the fire pit grill grates that accompany most campsite fire pits but, in order to have more control over the cooking process, it’s best to bring a camp stove/grill. You can find all kinds of options from an inexpensive single burner setup to a multi-burner portable grill. We use a double-burner portable Coleman camp stove when we go camping and find that it’s more than capable for cooking for up to 6 people. Don’t forget to make sure you have enough fuel for your stove too!
  • A Cooler and Ice
    • You’ll need to bring something to store all your tasty food and keep your drinks cold so a cooler is a must. Don’t forget the ice! Or, better yet, fill up a few water bottles and stick them in the freezer the night before your trip so you can use those to keep the cooler cold instead of ice. As the ice melts in the water bottles, you get a bonus of some extra drinking water!
  • Aluminum Foil
    • This will save your bacon (figuratively and literally) when it comes to camp cooking. Wrap your meals in some foil and you’ll be able to cook most anything using the fire pit grills at campsites. Better yet, prep your meals at home beforehand, wrap them in aluminum foil, pop them in the cooler and everything’s ready to go on the grill when it’s meal time.
  • Dishes
    • You’ll need something to eat your fun camp meals off of and hold your drinks so a set of dishes and utensils are a must here. Bonus points for foregoing disposable dishes and utensils and brining actual dishes that you can wash and reuse on your trip. 
    • A good pack of camp dishes should include most of the following items: cups, forks, knives, plates, bowls, cookware, cooking utensils, tongs, and a cutting board.
    • Remember to also bring something to wash your dirty dishes in (a medium/large plastic container should do the trick) as well as some biodegradable dish soap as well (see more on soap further down the list).
  • Cloth Towels and/or Paper Towels & Toilet Paper
    • For doing dishes and drying your hands/body you’ll need to bring a few cloth towels. The quicker drying, the better in this area so keep that in mind when deciding what to bring.
    • A roll of paper towels also helps with cleanup as well as serving as napkins for meals. Toss the used paper towels into the fire pit so you have ready-made fire starters when it’s time to light your campfire.
    • While we’re on the topic of paper products, it’s best to bring a roll or two of toilet paper. Most campgrounds will have vault toilets available that are typically pretty well stocked with toilet paper but you never want to get stranded on a bowl without a roll so bring your own TP stash for some peace of mind.
  • Biodegradable Soap and Toothpaste
    • In order to keep yourself and your dishes/cookware clean, it’s a good idea to bring a multi-purpose biodegradable soap along with you. Additionally, to keep your pearly whites clean, make sure to bring some toothpaste too. Just make sure that the soap is biodegradable since any run-off is going to end up in nature. We prefer to bring a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Castille soap because it works for everything (face, body, hands, dishes) and you can even use it as toothpaste as well if you want!
  • Trash Bags
    • It’s super important that we keep our outdoor nature areas clean and beautiful so always follow “leave no trace” principles. One part of this is keeping trash in its place by having a designated area at your campsite for a trash bag. Most campgrounds have dumpsters available to dispose of your full trash bags in a responsible manner so take note of where those are and be a responsible camper. Pack it in, pack it out!
  • Pillows
    • We do not include pillows in our camping gear packages (due to their size and to keep things sanitary) so make sure to bring your own! Small camping-specific pillows will get you by but we’ve found that a couple of full size pillows can be the difference between a peaceful night’s sleep under a starry sky and a night of tossing and turning. So snag those pillows off the bed and pack them along, you’ll thank yourself later.
  • Blanket(s)
    • Bringing a blanket or two will help you stay warm around the campfire and serve as additional warmth when sleeping in your sleeping bag on especially chilly nights. We lean more towards throw blankets or quilts since they fold up smaller than a full-on comforter.
  • A Deck of Cards or Other Portable Games
    • While the outdoors offers a plethora of activities, it’s always nice to have something to do back at camp, so bring a deck of cards or a small board game with you. There’s nothing quite like winding down after a hike with a drink in hand, a cool breeze blowing, and playing a mellow card game.
  • Book and/or Notepad
    • Nature inspires creativity and an active imagination can enhance your experiences in nature so a book and a notepad are great items to bring along in case inspiration strikes.
  • Campfire Wood
    • Nothing is more ubiquitous to camping than a good ol’ campfire so make sure to plan on picking a few bundles up for your trip. Most campgrounds have a camp host that sells bundles of wood, just bring some cash since the camp hosts don’t have credit card readers (prices typically range from $5.00 to $10.00 per bundle at campgrounds). It’s important to know, however, that you should always source your wood from an area near where you are camping so as to not introduce invasive insect species to the area. Some campgrounds also permit the harvesting of fallen wood from around your campsite but only do this when it’s allowed. If the campground has it posted that no harvesting of fallen wood is allowed then just stick to buying a few bundles.
    • Another very important element to remember about campfires is that you should only light campfires in designated fire rings and only when it is permissible to do so in the area you’re camping. We know it’s a giant bummer to not be able to have a campfire when camping but, you know what’s an even bigger bummer? Wildfires! So be responsible and only have a campfire where you’re supposed to, when you’re supposed to, and make sure you put that sucker out correctly by dousing it in water and stirring the ashes.
  • Long-Neck Lighter
    • Speaking of campfires, make sure to bring something to light it with. You can try going all survivalist and bringing a flint stick but we find it better to make it easier on yourself and bring a solid long-neck lighter or two. While you’re at it, bring along some newspapers or other waste paper products to use as a fire starter.
  • Hatchet and/or Camp Knife
    • We’re getting a little more into the “nice-to-have” category here but a good hatchet and/or camp knife can help in more ways than you can imagine (making kindling, chopping fallen wood, cutting rope, hammering in tent stakes, etc.). Again, if you’re collecting fallen wood near your campsite and using a hatchet to chop it into firewood, only do so if it’s permitted in the area. Otherwise, just stick to buying some bundles of firewood, you can still use your hatchet or camp knife to strip the bundled firewood into kindling.
  • First Aid Kit
    • Being out in nature has a TON of benefits but, let’s be real here, when you’re out in nature stuff can happen (skinned knees, cuts, sprained ankles, etc.) so bringing a stocked first aid kit for those small emergencies is a bit of a no-brainer. At the very least, bring along a box of bandages to take care of those scrapes and cuts that tend to happen when you’re having a good time outdoors.

There ya have it! Bringing along the items on this list will help to ensure you have a fulfilling and safe time on your camping trip. Add in some other creature comforts that you might think of and you’ll have the confidence to strut out into the wilderness for some outdoor fun!

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