three years ago, the husband + I ventured out on a sixteen day road trip. ten of those were spent camping, in various places across the country. we planned our route + packing list for months. we thought of everything, because we researched + had a lot of time. (excited much?) now that’s not always the case when you make the decision to go camping. it could be your weekend plans suddenly change. or it’s thursday and the weekend weather forecast looks perfect. you don’t need months to plan a camping trip, just a good solid checklist of essentials. a few minutes to load up the car, and you’re out the door.
what to pack for your next camping trip.
- bug spray + sunscreen.
- sleeping gear – whether it includes sleeping bags, pillows, air mattress, cot ..do not forget!
- tent with rain fly to go over + tarp to go under – you may even want to bring a “welcome mat” for your tent (to leave the dirt at the door).
- towels, lots of towels – both paper + fabric. think: cleaning dishes + cleaning off the dog, or you.
- shoes that can get wet + dirty without cringing (I swear by my merrells. I throw them in the laundry when we get home).
- a full meal plan – you must think breakfast, lunch + dinner. it can be as simple as hot dogs for every meal, or extravagant. just have a plan. (if I can offer a bit of advice: I’d suggest bringing burgers, buns + slices of cheese for dinner. leave a few extra burgers + use for breakfast. cook + crumble the ground meat, add in veggies + eggs. top with salsa + shredded cheese. *the “burgers” can be ground beef, chicken, turkey, pork, veggie, or whatever your heart desires/is in your freezer).
- beverages -an abundance of water (especially if the campground does not have a community water spigot) + other drinks of choice. potentially beer? or something stronger? maybe orange juice + champagne for the morning? and in my case, a french press for coffee! (don’t forget: a bottle opener)
- hand sanitizer.
- facial wipes, shampoo + conditioner, toothbrush + paste – the facial wipes are great if you go for a hike or an afternoon game of tailgate golf gets really intense, you can freshen up without trekking to the bathroom. it’s the same in the evenings. I’m ok with using the community campground restrooms, but I’d prefer to minimize my time in there. brush my teeth + I’m out. I’ll wash my face at our tent.
- rain coat + sweatshirt. please be ready for anything, in regards to weather. you may want to bring a baseball hat too and extra hair ties. it’s not always the most glamorous, which I believe is the intent. (#punintended)
- firewood + a fire “accelerator” – to my dad + husband, that means newspaper. to me, it’s lighter fluid. to each their own. you do you.
- s’mores ingredients – do not forget the graham crackers, marshmallows + chocolate. it’s not “camping” without ’em.
- camping knife – this isn’t an item I pack along, it’s more on the husband’s list. he used it to make a s’mores skewer out of a tree branch. it may come in handy.
- yard + card games – a deck of cards may be useful if it rains
on your parade. fingers crossed the sun will shine + you can entertain your fellow campers with competitivefriendly yard games. like tailgate golf.
do you camp? tent, camper, cabin, or never going to happen?