Springtime has arrived and summer camping season is just beginning. Before heading out to campgrounds USA-wide, this might be an ideal time to reassess your camping gear and make sure you’ve got everything you need once you arrive at your favorite campgrounds, RV parks, and private camping spots. With a checklist of all the camping equipment you want to make sure you’ve got with you in the wilds, feeling like a campground McGyver is easier than pitching a tent.
Many of the items you’ll take with you are obvious – tent, food, beverages; others aren’t so obvious but they’ll sure come in handy when and if they’re needed.
First aid kit – no, you won’t plan on getting sick or hurt but, if you do, relief can make or break a camping excursion. Be sure to pack spare prescription meds in case prescription bottles / containers get lost, damaged, or contaminated.
Raincoat or poncho – even the most trusted weather forecasts go bad.
Cathole trowel – especially important for primitive camping and campgrounds where toilet facilities are scarce.
Insect repellent – the bugs in the country are sure to be different than the bugs at home. Be prepared.
Sunscreen – shady spots don’t stay shady all day long and the reflection from a body of water intensifies every ray of sun.
Firewood – camp and cooking fires may be allowed but it’s usually not permissible to chop down the wilderness. Take your own, especially if fire is needed to take the chill out of an evening.
Tarp – yes, the tent will do just fine . . . until a serious downpour seeps through every stitch or wind blows it into raggedly sheets. Tarps come in handy for all kinds of things so it’s never a bad idea to have one around.
Flashlight – lanterns are easy to remember but sometimes nothing does the job better than a flashlight, especially when something unexpected calls you away from the light of the fire or lantern.
Trash bags – take plenty. Everything that goes in must come out and extra trash bags are great for keeping other camping gear dry and easy to carry. They make great ponchos, too, when the forecast didn’t call for rain so you left your real poncho or raincoat at home. Nights spent wet in the wilderness are nights spent cold almost everywhere.