Essential Camping Gear & Camping Supplies
Although a camping vacation can be fun and exciting, it can sometimes be stressful to plan. If you would like assistance with planning your next camping vacation, you will want to continue reading on.
Before we get into it, please note that there are two general categories of things to bring with you when camping. The first is camping gear, which covers items such as tents, sleeping bags, and other goods. Secondly, there are camping supplies, which are consumables such as food, beauty products, toiletries, and the like. A good supply of both is essential to a great camping trip, but sometimes it's hard to know exactly what you will need.
First off, there are the basics: A tent, a sleeping bag, and a folding chair are items I consider essential for any trip, no matter where I am going. You'll want to make sure your tent has enough space for everyone (divide your tent's advertised number of occupants by 2 to reach a realistic number of people your tent will have the space for). Also, make sure that each person has a sleeping bag & chair. Chairs can be optional in certain situations, but a sleeping bag is a definite must.
Next, there is the topic of cooking gear. If you plan on cooking by fire, make sure that fires are allowed in the area you will be camping in, and that there are provisions onsite for your fire (a fire pit). If fires are allowed, but the camping area does not have prebuilt fire pits, a small folding shovel may be a good idea. If the area you are camping in does not allow open fires, or you don't feel comfortable creating a fire pit, be sure to bring a propane fueled stove with you. If you go the stove route, bring more propane than you need, just in case.
Next, make sure you have cookware (A frying pan & sauce pot, a tea pot, paper plates, and plastic silverware are a good starting point). Go over any meals you plan to cook and decide if they can all be cooked and consumed using those basic items. If not, feel free to add anything you need. If you find yourself adding too much, feel free to simplify your meal plans. Hamburgers & Hotdogs are always great choices for camping food, as no special tools are required to make them. In a pinch, hamburgers can be cooked on a flat rock over hot coals. Hotdogs can be cooked on a stick over the fire.
On the subject of fires, a knife, a hatchet, and a lighter or fire starter should always have a place in your camping gear along with a few extra gallons of water and a small folding shovel or gardening trowel. This will allow you to gather & process wood to build a fire, light the fire, and put out the fire when all is said and done. In some areas, the water & shovel are required by law if you plan on having a fire, so don't leave them out.
On the subject of hygiene, some baby wipes or wet napkins can go a long way. While you may or may not have access to a shower, these will at least allow you to keep yourself relatively clean if you're usually a very hygienic person. Also, bring a small first aid kit to take care of any cuts or scrapes so they do not become infected.