Since so many folks are taking off for camp this Memorial Day weekend to kick off the summer, I thought I’d repost this guide from last year to refresh your memory and get new campers on the right track!
What you bring to the wilderness really depends on where you go, for how long, and the number and age range of the individuals camping. The following is not a definitive list, but are some general guidelines to get you on your way:
- Games (dominoes, cards)
- A lightweight novel or other reading you would not otherwise have time to read back in civilization!
- A note pad or journal for writing or sketching
- Frisbee, football, or soccer ball
- A “one-pot” meal plan with as much prep as possible done at home; bring ingredients or marinades in containers (or Ziplock bags) for quick camp preparation
- Only the food you need, (i.e. 1 cup of grits rather than an entire box), and store in sealable containers to economize space and keep safe from critters
- A camp stove such as the classic Coleman Stove with extra bottles of propane to cook most meals; coals and extra wood for grilling.
- One large pot and two pans
- Cooking utensils
- Spices and condiments
- Re-usable plates, cups, towels and utensils for everyone – avoid using disposable products where possible
- Dish pan, cloths, and liquid soap for washing dishes
- Don’t forget marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolates for S’mores!
- Use a tent sized for one more person than your party and extra poles – I once arrived at camp only to learn we left the poles at home – having no poles is a non-starter!
- Tarp large enough to go under your tent to keep out moisture
- A sleeping bag for each person rated for the weather conditions for your location
- Sleep mat or cot
In addition to your personal preferences/needs, it’s a good idea to bring toilet paper, seat covers, wipes, and hand sanitizer
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Bug repellent
- Emergency cards in plastic bags
- A flashlight for each person and extra batteries
- Lanterns for inside your tent and for dining
- Firewood and kindling (if not available for sale at the campground)
- Prepare to dress in layers; days may be hot, but nights and early mornings can be chilly
- Even in summer, bring closed-toe shoes and socks
If you have a new tent or stove, test these items out at home without the pressure of hungry stomachs or anxious spectators!
Any other items you can’t camp without? Leave a comment!