Well summer is almost over, and by now you should probably have this camping thing figured out. But just in case you haven’t had much camping time (really, you can never have enough) we’ve got a list of practical but essential gear to bring with you on the last long weekend of the summer. Tear.
We recommend setting your tent up in your backyard before you go on your trip. They aren’t as easy as they look. If it rains, be sure to let your tent air dry before stuffing it back in the bag to prevent mold.
Tarps are a beautiful thing. They can serve as shelter over your picnic table if it rains, and also as a shady awning if the sun is too hot. Get really creative and you could probably make a hammock out of a tarp! Tip: bring rope or cord with you to hang your tarp and use as a clothesline.
If you don’t have a sleeping bag, bring a comforter and a sheet from home. But really, you should just get a sleeping bag. Walmart sells affordable, perfect for camping pillows but if you’re really desperate you can just fold up a sweater.
If you think you can get away without one of these, you’re sorely mistaken (no pun intended). Having something underneath your sleeping bag is essential for comfort and warmth.
It’s best to use a battery powered lantern inside your tent. We don’t recommend using gas or propane powered lanterns because you could definitely burn your tent down. Coleman has a few great lanterns that you can grab at Walmart. Tip: bring some extra batteries with you.
It’s strong, water resistant, and can temporarily fix anything!
Plastic plates, bowls, mugs, cutlery, tongs, cutting boards, and spatulas are best because they’re lightweight and sturdy. Pots and pans need to be steel. Tip: bring a large plastic container to wash your dishes in and use biodegradable soap that can be absorbed into the ground.
There are many different models and sizes of camping stoves to choose from, so you may want to do some research to figure out which one is best for you. Tip: bring an oven mitt with you for heat protection when moving your pots and pans on the stove.
Coolers are not necessarily wildlife proof, so be sure to bring it in your tent or vehicle at night. Also, keep ice on the bottom and anything that is in bags or cardboard (such as eggs) on the top to prevent it from getting soggy. Tip: bring some garbage bags and keep those in your vehicle as well.
Essential for lighting your stove and fires. Tip: keep your matches in a plastic bag so they don’t get wet. Tip: bring some newspaper to help get your fire going.
This could be one of the most forgotten camping items. Your canned beans, alphaghetti, soups, and tuna will haunt you for your entire trip if you’re hungry and can’t eat them.
Just like at home, these items are essential for cooking, cleaning, and storing your food.
There are many kinds of repellants out there so do some research to find out what’s best for you. Tip: if you have sensitive skin or don’t like chemicals, try burning some sage near you to keep the bugs away.
Just like insect repellant, it’s best to research which sun block is best for you and your skin. Shirts with sleeves and hats can help protect you from the sun and never wash off! Tip: also bring some aloe vera gel or cream to apply after sun exposure.
Always an essential item to bring camping with you. From cuts and scrapes to burns from the stove or fire, to splinters from wood a first aid kit will have the basic items you need to repair yourself!
Whether you’re showering in a stall or bathing in a lake, a little bit of soap will make you feel like a million bucks. Tip: use unscented products so that bugs aren’t as attracted to you.
Other useful items to bring