Who loves camping?  There is nothing better than getting out into gods majestic landscape and be one with nature.  It resets our internal batteries and gives us peace in an overstimulated world.  Find the place in this world where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reflect on your inner self.

If you have not grown up a camper, it is not that hard to start.  Here is a list of 10 camping essentials that you need before going camping.

A Tent

For some people, camping out under the stars is the only way to go.  For those of us who are wanting a more comfortable option, a tent is the first order of business.  Not only does it give you a place to

sleep, it gives you shelter from the elements and a place to kick your husband out of when he eats the whole can of baked beans.  There are SO many different types of tents out there, it will be hard making your mind which kind to start off with.  Just make sure that it is big enough for your needs.  You can pick up tents for as little as $20 and can go up to $1000+.  Most great camping tents will not cost you more than $150.

 

Tip: Make sure to assemble your tent before going out to the middle of nowhere.  Nothing is more frustrating than to get to your camping spot only to find out you have no idea how to assemble it and darkness is coming a lot faster than you thought.  Make sure you know how to assemble and disassemble it with ease.

Sleeping Bag

A nice comfortable and warm sleeping bag will pay dividends on your camping adventures.  When picking out your sleeping bag, make sure you understand the weather ratings and the time of year you are camping in.  Some sleeping bags are rated for camping on the side of Everest, while others are made for breathability in the summer months.  You don’t want to be in the middle of the desert with a winter sleeping bag or vice versa.  You will not be having a comfortable sleep.  Most good sleeping bags will be between the $30-$100 range.

Along with Sleeping Bags, if you have a hard time sleeping on the hard ground, make sure to pick up a cot and sleep with a bit more comfort.  It will not be a memory foam mattress, but a cot is infinitely more comfortable than sleeping on the ground.

Lanterns/Flashlights

You want to see where you are going at night don’t you?  There is nothing worse than having to pee at night and not know where a flashlight is.  Having to feel your way around awkwardly at night is not safe.  Make sure to pick up a lantern or at the very least a couple flashlights.  Notice I did not say 1 flashlight.  Make sure to pack 2-3 flashlights more than you need in case some of them stop working.  Also, pick up extra batteries for your lights.  You can pick up flashlights at Wal-Mart for about $1.

Firestarters

The survival of the human species has often involved fire.  It brings security, light, and a great way to cook some amazing food.  Some of the best food I have ever ate was around the campfire.  Be sure to know how to build a campfire, find fuel, and get it started.  Most people use matches, others use lighters, some take it as a challenge and can start fires with magnifying lenses, 9v batteries and steel wool and also fire-starters, which are small bars of magnesium that shoot out sparks, that when caught in a highly flammable substance, can create fire. Matches would cost less that $5 at any store and actual magnesium starters would cost between $10-$20

Knife

A knife is a campers best friend.  It can be used for so many different things, it is literally the only tool that you really need while camping.  Find yourself a nice piece of wood and start carving to pass the time.  Use the knife to eat, prepare food, emergency first aid (no not open heart surgery), cut branches for fires, cut rope, the list can go on and on.  Most good knives can be purchased for under $20, but you can get really good Leatherman brand multi-tools for around $100 and those have everything from pliers and knives to saw-blades and screwdrivers.

Food

Make sure to plan out your food supply accordingly.  Know how long you will be camping for and make a detailed meal plan.  Having that meal plan will make things go much smoother in the long run as you know exactly what you will cook and when.  Make sure that you choose things that are not too complicated to cook, like Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Baked Beans, Eggs and Bacon, and anything in the Dutch Oven.  Pack snacks that are easy to cary and high in protein like jerky and granola bars.

Cooking Equipment

Nothing is better for cooking while camping than a Dutch Oven.  Throw everything into a pot, set it on some coals, cover with more coals and VIOLA! in a couple hours you have the best food known to man.  Stews, Cobbler, Bacon and eggs, ribs, hamburgers, etc.  You can make breakfast, lunch, and desert in one and they are super easy to clean and maintain.

If that isnt your thing, there are propane cooktops that are just as easy to use , but do require some assembly.  A dutch oven will fun you anywhere between $40-$99 and the propane cooktops will run about the same, but with the added cost of purchasing your own griddle and cookware, etc.

Toilet Paper

Does this really need any explanation?  Make sure to bring double what you think you would need and that will save you from having to use leaves.

*Tip- Keep your TP in a Coffee Can so it does not get dirty or wet.*

Bug Spray

Nothing can put a damper on a camping trip more than those annoying mosquitoes.  Make sure to pack bug spray with the most DEET compound (the ingredient that actually repels mosquitoes and other biting insects) you can find.  This will be a lifesaver.  There are other gimmicks like mosquito bracelets, but those are mainly designed for urban settings and not the deep woods.  Get the good stuff.  A can of bug repellant will cost you about $5.  Make sure to apply every few hours to get the maximum effect.

First Aid Kit

Accidents happen.  Be prepared for the worst case scenario.  A good first aid kit will not cost you more than $50 but should have all the necessary items like band-aids, burn ointment, gauze, tape, antibacterial lotion, etc.  Keep in mind that wherever you go, you do not have readily available access to emergency services.  If you plan on taking a lot more camping trips, it may be a good idea to take a first aid course or at least have a first aid book that you can take with you for reference.

 

These are just some of the items that are needed for a basic camping trip.  If you are new to the idea or just getting started, these items will make sure you have a great time away from it all.