Camping is a great way to spend time outdoors, have fun with the family, and get exercise. If you are planning a camping trip, it’s smart to consider which supplies you need to bring. Depending on the length of your camping, where you’re going, as well as your level of experience, you might need more than just basics like water and snacks. Making sure you have all the essentials is vital for a safe and successful camping trip.
Make Up a Cosy Sleep Kit
A sleeping bag is one of the biggest investments you’ll make for your camping kit. It’s important to think about where and when you’ll be using it as this will help you decide which temperature rating you’ll need. A 3-season sleeping bag is suitable for spring, summer, and autumn, but if you’re planning on winter camping or wild camping in particularly cold weather, then a 4-season sleeping bag is a better fit for the job.
Sleeping bags are normally made from synthetic materials or down. Down fillings are light and compressible and keep you warm. Synthetic fillings are more affordable, they don’t compress as well as down but they perform better when wet – so if you’re out in heavy rain or snow it’s worth considering a synthetic fill sleeping bag. Though, for added comfort, you might consider equipping both choices with a comfy camping sleeping mat too.
If you’re a side sleeper, or like to move around while you sleep, then you should consider a mummy-style sleeping bag which has been designed with added room at the foot end. Some sleeping bags also have extra insulation at the base which helps to keep the warmth in.
Down-filled sleeping bags are considered to be ideal as they offer a high warmth to weight ratio. They are also more compact than synthetic-filled bags and pack down small. However, in damp conditions, the down will lose its insulating properties, so synthetic-filled bags should be considered if this is likely to be a concern.
As well as keeping you warm, a sleeping mat will provide insulation from the cold ground and can be used in conjunction with your sleeping bag to provide extra comfort. The size of your mat should correspond with your height. Though, if you want to avoid getting one that leaves your feet hanging off of the end, it may be better to get a design that’s at least a few inches longer.
As for the shape, a mummy-shaped camping sleeping mat is ideal for saving weight and space as it only insulates where it’s needed around the torso, head, and feet. There are designs that can even accommodate two people, created to fit comfortably in wide 2-person tents, so be sure to consider this when you search for the ideal model for your needs.
Other factors you should bear in mind are the level of support and insulation. For the first, you require a thicker mat, with the minimum acceptable thickness being at least 7cm for air and self-inflating mats. For the insulation, models with PU foam will do the job. And, last but not least, don’t forget to consider the weight of the model you choose. This is necessary especially if you want to keep things lightweight!
A tent is your home away from home when camping. You’ll want to make sure to find a durable one that’s the right size and is easy to assemble. Some tents are specifically made for one person, while others are best for a couple or family.
Choose the Right Tent
You’ll also want to think about what season you’re going camping in, because some tents aren’t made for extreme temperatures. Most tents also have a weight limit so if you’re planning on backpacking, look for one that’s lightweight, as well. This is especially important if you’re also going to be carrying a quality camping sleeping mat and sleeping bag.
Pack Up a First Aid Kit
A good first aid kit is a must-have when heading out into the wilderness. If you are planning a camping trip, the following items will help you be prepared for any small injuries that may occur:
- Bandages: You will need bandages of several shapes and sizes. Some of the most common ones include butterfly or Steri-strips, which are used to close larger wounds. You should also have smaller bandages for minor cuts and scrapes. You may want to get a few waterproof bandages if you plan on swimming or will be in moist conditions.
- Gauze pads and rolled gauze: These items can be used to cover wounds or as compression bandaging for sprains or swelling.
- Antibacterial ointment: You need to clean wounds when they occur but having some ointment on hand can help prevent infection.
- Alcohol wipes and/or sterile pads: These can be used to clean wounds before applying antibiotic ointment and a bandage. If you are planning on going into more remote areas, you may want to pack some iodine tablets in case you need to purify water from natural sources.
Think of Water Treatment
When you’re planning your next camping trip, don’t forget to bring along a water filter, tablets or pump. It’s important to be able to treat your water if you run out, or you find yourself in an emergency situation.
Take Care of Food Storage
No matter what type of food you plan on bringing on your camping trip, it’s important that it is stored properly. If you are planning on bringing fish or meat, make sure it is packed in coolers with ice packs or dry ice for optimal freshness.
Protect Your Skin
Protect your skin. Slather on the sunscreen, even if it’s cloudy and cool. The sun’s rays can still penetrate the clouds, and you can get burned. And don’t forget the bug spray to ward off those mosquitoes!
Do Your Research Before You Go
Remember to always do your research before you set out. This means knowing where you are going and how difficult the hike will be. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where the hike is too challenging for you. Or too dark for that matter!
That’s why you should always carry and use a good flashlight. You never know when you might need it. It’s also a good idea to get a flashlight that has multiple settings so that you can conserve the battery.
To Sum Up
Camping can bring out the adventurer in anyone. You will not just be getting exercise, but you will be able to enjoy some time outdoors with a nice campfire and a good night’s sleep. Be sure that you have your camping essentials in order and be safe!