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Things To Bring On A Camping Trip

Nov 20, 2007
Besides the tent, sleeping bags, and cooler there are many essentials that must be brought in order to have a successful, enjoyable camping trip. Depending upon the environment where the camping trip will be, these essentials can vary according to the terrain, whether, and any flora and fauna that may be encountered. Also, who is going on the trip must be considered - children may require different gear from adults.

A first aid kit is absolutely essential no matter the camping environment or the makeup of the group making the trip. Camping trips, by definition, are to areas away from civilization and should an injury occur it could be some time before professional medical attention is available. That's why it is so important to have a first aid kit packed for the trip.

In every first aid kit, there should be a flashlight with working batteries. Be sure to check that the flashlight works before leaving home. This flashlight should be additional to other flashlights more casually used. It's there in case of an emergency and other flashlights are not available. Also, the kit should contain a whistle. The whistle has a dual purpose - a method for locating lost campers and for scaring off wild animals. There should be a whistle for every person in the group and they should be worn whenever a trek into the wilderness is begun. Also, the kit needs tweezers, cloth bandage for wrapping sprains, etc., band-aids for small abrasions, anti-itch cream, burn cream, aloe vera for sunburns, a thermometer to check for fevers, antiseptic (Listerine works), pain medicine (Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or aspirin), and a first-aid handbook that can provide guidance in the case of an emergency.

In addition to the first aid kit, basic necessities and tools should be packed. Pack flashlights for adults, and one for each child if children will be camping - this will avoid arguments on who gets to use the flashlight. Battery powered headlamps can provide light for nighttime activities. Campfires do not provide adequate light for nighttime cooking, for example. Wooden matches and a lighter are always needed for lighting campfires and serve as a backup for each other should one method become inoperable. Be sure to bring screwdrivers, a hammer, and a camp knife. Also keep a fire extinguisher handy just in case. Finally, some duct tape should be packed. Duct tape can fix unseen tears in tent material that become a problem should it start to rain, plus it has many other uses.

All the items already mentioned are essential for a successful, headache free trip. Other items that should be brought include personal hygiene items like toothbrushes/toothpaste, shampoo, a mirror, brush, etc. Be sure to pack toilet paper and a shovel for when nature calls. If you're camping in the summer time be sure to pack sunscreen and lip balm. Lip balm is a nice item to have during the colder months also. Be sure to bring bug repellent and some bug candles. Bug candles when lit help keep away the bugs from your campsite.

There are also some simple items to bring that can increase the comfort level when sleeping in a tent. Cut down a piece of carpet to the size of your tent and place it inside when the tent is up. This will provide a great comfort enhancement to the hard ground. A camping stove will greatly enhance the camping experience when it's time to eat. While it is fun to cook on the open campfire this can be impractical when cooking hamburger meat or fish, but it is perfect for roasting marshmallows. Also, campers might consider investing in a cooler that operates off a car battery. These are really small refrigerators that plug into the cigarette lighter. These eliminate the need for ice - which melts, of course.

Be sure to research the area where the camping trip will occur so you know what to expect. Sometimes, if bears are active it is recommended that food be kept away from campers to avoid confrontations. Also, at certain times of the year poisonous snakes may be about or poison ivy could be abound. Be sure to look into this before embarking on any camping trip to ensure you are ready for what might come up.
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