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Tenting Gear Essentials

Humans camp to connect with nature but let’s face it, certain necessities help to make for more carefree trips.

If you are new to the tent camping experience, you and your family may want to borrow or rent some items. Keep this in mind: The more you camp, the less you may need. It’s a common mistake to overpack when you start out.

Below is a list of suggested items for a well prepared camping excursion – just grab your tent and go!

  • Tarp
  • Sleeping bag(s) and sleeping pad/inflatable mattress
  • Pillows (pack comfortable pillows if you are driving in – you won’t regret the decision; double up the pillowcases for extra protection)
  • Headlamp and flashlight (and extra batteries); headlamps for kids
  • Folding camp chairs
  • Camp table (if no picnic table)
  • Lantern (and fuel/batteries)
  • Paper towels and toilet paper
  • Weather appropriate clothing/rain gear/footwear
  • Maps and compass (or a chargeable GPS device)
  • Fire starters
  • First aid kit including emergency blanket, sun protection and bug spray
  • Axe and mallet
  • Duct tape
  • Rope and/or or clothesline with clips
  • Small broom and dustpan
  • Gloves for handling firewood, etc.
  • Small outdoor rug to keep sand and dirt out of tent

Will the preferred cooking method be a gas stove, over a campfire grill or a cooking pot (or a combination of the three)? Will you have access to electricity at the campsite? If so, pack a small kettle to speed up those coffee breaks.

Cooking items:

  • Stackable pots and multipurpose frying pan
  • Can/bottle opener and corkscrew (if required)
  • Eating and cooking utensils, plates, bowls, mugs/cups
  • Cutting board and grater
  • Wooden spoon
  • Colander
  • Roasting sticks
  • Camping kettle
  • Cooler
  • Camp sink or wash bin and cleaning items
  • Tea towels (can be folded and used as pot holders)
  • Garbage bags
  • Food storage containers

Other useful items:

  • Picnic table cover
  • Zip ties
  • Thermos
  • Lightweight backpack (for day hikes)
  • Solar power bank/charger for various devices
  • Whistle
  • Mini binoculars
  • Eye mask and/or ear plugs for sensitive sleepers
  • Camping essentials for pets

Helpful tip: To aid in clothes packing, start from head to toe or toe to head and visualize getting dressed. Think about what you might need as the day progresses and as the weather and activities change.

For more information check out our blog
5 Great Tips for the New Camper