The Camping Kit: What to Pack For Camping
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Let me start by saying that what to pack for camping depends on a few things. Are you camping or glamping? Are you in an RV or tent? Are you boondocking or at a campsite? Is your campsite in a state or national park or a private campground? Do you have kids or pets with you? Will you be hiking, biking, or kayaking? Maybe you are going backpacking this time? Going birding or after those nature photographs? Your reason and method of hitting the great outdoors can all change up your list a bit.
Regardless, when you are heading out for a camping trip you’ll need more than just your food, water, and tent. You also need to pack the proper tools for emergencies. Follow this survival tool checklist when you are packing your gear and you’ll be ready for all that nature has to offer.
General, All-Purpose Tools
You’ll want to bring a variety of general, all-purpose tools. These tools can help you deal with a wide array of emergencies. The most helpful of these will probably be a multi-purpose knife tool. The kind that includes a knife blade, can opener, screwdrivers, and scissors will be your best bet. Beyond the basic pocketknife, you will want some additional cutting tools. If you only want a pocket folding knife we like this one: Camping Knife.
Scissors, if not included in your multi-tool, and razor blades will work. Other all-purpose tools to include are a camp axe, a small shovel, and a hammer. Duct tape and electrical tape can be used to patch up your tent or cover a blistered heel. Tools for tying and binding such as a 50-foot length of rope, twine, or cord, should be packed as well.
Small tools such as tweezers are helpful for removing ticks, splinters, and bee stingers. Tweezers are generally included as part of your first-aid kit, so check to make sure you aren’t bringing duplicate supplies. Safety pins, nail clippers, a sewing kit, and paper and pencil will also come in handy in many situations.
In an emergency light is a necessity. Flashlights are the easiest light sources to pack and bring with you. Bring a few small and large flashlights and their batteries. Compact headlamps are a good light source during emergencies as they leave your hands free. Bring extra bulbs and batteries for your headlamps, as well.
Lanterns, gas or battery-operated, are good sources of light. A variety of glow sticks are available on the market. These, along with waterproof matches and candles, can provide light sources for you if all else fails. I get my glowsticks and matches at my local Dollar Tree.
It is important to look at more than one light source when looking at what to pack for camping.
You will need supplies to enable you to signal for help if necessary. Bring along several road or signal flares, a small mirror, and whistles. Make sure everyone has a whistle when hiking so that you can signal to each other if you get separated.
High-tech communication tools are helpful, too but often unreliable when in National Parks or boondocking. Pack your cellular phone, batteries and car adapter, two-way radios, and radio that uses batteries.
Pack tools that will help you find your way if you get lost. If you have access to a GPS, global positioning system, you can pack that. A compass, map, and binoculars will help you find your way in or out of any location.
You must have the tools necessary to build and put out a fire. Bring with you lighters, waterproof matches, fire starters, and a fire extinguisher. If you are camping or hiking in cold weather have some hand warmers, also called chemical heat packs, in your gear.
Personal Health And Safety Tools
For your health and safety always bring along a basic first aid kit. A basic first-aid kit should include the following items, along with a first-aid instruction booklet. Medicines: any prescription medicine you and fellow campers are on, bug bite lotion, antihistamines, and pain medication.
Wound care supplies: antiseptic wipes, sterile bandages and gauze, eye pads, and adhesive tape. In addition, the kit should include bug and snakebite kits, along with tweezers. Make sure your first aid kit has a thermometer and space blanket.
Food, Water, And Clothing
After a long day of hiking, it is exciting to set up camp and prepare for a warm dinner. The same goes for waking up on a chilly morning and looking forward to a hot breakfast. Of course, while backpacking, it is difficult to take along everything you may wish to have on hand for meals as good as homemade.
Still, with a little careful planning, you can pack the necessary equipment to fill the craving for hot food without adding too much weight to your backpack. The following is a brief checklist of items you will wish to pack for cooking while camping:
There are many different types of camp stoves to choose from these days. The lightest often are those that screw onto the top of the power supply or have a small hose that runs from the burner to the power supply.
When you go to the camping store to research which stove to buy, let the salesperson know what type of camping you do — is it usually a multi-day trek or just one night at a time? Do you often camp during the cold weather months or only in the heat of summer? Are most of your trips to windy locations or to areas where the skies usually are calm?
Each of these questions helps your camping expert/salesperson assist you in choosing a stove that meets your needs so you know what to pack for camping. The butane fuel in canisters typically is much lighter than the propane tanks, if weight is a serious consideration.
2. Waterproof matches
Waterproof matches are a must for any camping trip. Since you never can tell if the rain will move in while you are out on the trail, it is a good idea to take waterproof matches rather than ordinary kitchen matches.
It also is worth it to pack more than one pack of waterproof matches — perhaps in two different areas of the backpack — just to make sure you can light a flame on your stove (or a campfire) when you need to do so.
3. A multi-use pot
Most hikers prefer aluminum multi-use pots since they are very lightweight and can be used for boiling water, cooking packaged foods, and even eating out of when no plates are carried. The pot should be large enough to boil at least a few cups of water and should have a lid to assist in boiling and keeping food warm and bugs out.
4. Eating utensils
A fork and a spoon usually are all you need for a few days out in the woods since most foods are dry or do not necessitate cutting.
5. A knife
A multi-purpose knife is a great tool if you plan to be cooking on a camping trip. The knife can be used to open packages, smooth ground to make a flat surface for your stove, or even carve simple utensils to eat with should you lose the ones you initially packed for use.
6. Trash bag
It is imperative to carry along a trash bag or two so that you can dispose of waste properly. While it is fun to cook in the backwoods, it is not fun for future hikers to come upon your empty packages and waste. –>Pack out all waste materials including packaging and used matches.
7. Biodegradable soap and a quick dry towel
The best cooking requires some cleanup — even when you are out camping. Be sure to use a small amount of soap in order to minimize your impact on the environment. A quick dry towel is invaluable for cleaning up and ensuring your pot and utensils will be ready for use the following day.
There will be extra
Generally, you will probably bring more food, water, and clothing than necessary. However, you will always want to make certain you have a water canteen or container and either a water filter or purification tablets.
Also, be sure to pack extra food, enough food for one day for each person you are camping with. Pack sunglasses and clothing appropriate for the climate and activities you will be doing while camping.