How to Gear Up for An Outdoor Camping Holiday

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Outdoor camping is a great way to enjoy the holidays with people you love. But as much as it could be fun, a single packing mistake can easily ruin the good time for everyone. So how do you pack right?

Packing right is emphasized in camping trips because unlike most vacations, you don’t have the convenience of running into a store in case you need something on the spot. That means you need to get the planning right and summon a thorough list of considerations that guarantee not one critical aspect is left behind.

To help you get sorted out, this list serves as your basic resource. The following inventory catalogs the most necessary gears, equipment, and supplies you’d need to survive a holiday in the wilderness.

Gear Requirements

Here are some Gears that I thought you would definitely need for a camping Trip: 

#1. Sleeping Bag 

Having a good night’s sleep outdoors is one of the most challenging parts of the trip. And more often than not, the quality of your slumber depends on the quality of your sleeping gear. In this case, don’t settle for low-end sleeping bags.

Consider the temperature during the time of the year you’ll be camping and match it up with the indicated thermal capacities of your sleeping bag choices. Look for the temperature rating of the bags to have a general idea of its overall insulating performance.

You may also need to consider size and fit, the shape, the type of insulation used, extra features and add-on accessories for extra savings and comfort. Other campers may opt to bring a sleeping pad as well. Also called ground pads, these are commonly used along with a sleeping bag for an extra layer of cushion and insulation.

#2. Travel Pillow 

If you normally sleep with a pillow, string a camping pillow along or you’ll never get comfortable enough to sleep. Do away with your favorite bed pillows at home and opt for something lightweight, small, comfy, and one that offers great support.

Outdoor Gear Lab has shared a useful comparison of the best camping pillows today in the market.

#3. Tent

If the weather calls for it or you simply can’t sleep outside, a tent offers the protection you need. Most small tents have a maximum capacity of two but there are larger types that can accommodate up to a group of six. Before you shop for camping supplies, discuss as a group how you’d like to share your tents to make the most comfortable setup for everyone.

#4. Flashlight 

Light sources are important when navigating unfamiliar terrain. Fortunately, your choices are no longer limited to battery operated flashlights nowadays. Products like camp lanterns and LED light strings designed to be long-lasting and heavy-duty dominate the market for serious campers and outdoor enthusiasts. Some of them have additional features like waterproofing as a safeguard against the sensitive and unpredictable nature of the outdoors.

#5. Multitool 

A good multitool lets you benefit from the function of multiple devices without having to carry them separately in one bulky package. Reduced to lightweight designs, a multitool helps you open cans, set up tents, cut ropes, crack ice, and even cook.

How to know which multitool to pick? Here’s a great guide.

Food and drink supplies

What do you need when it comes to cooking and dining during a camping trip? Check this out!

#1. Cook set 

A camping cookware is needed if you’re not planning to munch on ready-made meals. Cook sets differ per brand and purchase. While some offer four-piece wares consisting of small pots and pans, others also include dish sponges, plates, cups, and ladles, among others.

When choosing the camping cookware set to bring or buy, consider the number of people coming to the camp and the types of meals you plan to prepare.

#2. Camping stove

Most camping grounds may prohibit campers from starting fire at certain locations. This makes food preparation with open fire impossible leaving you with buying a camping stove as the only option. If you’re a large group, it may make more sense to buy more than one stove to hasten the process of preparing food.

Take note that you’d also have to buy the fuel as well which may take up more space in your car than the stoves themselves.

#3. Stash protection 

The smell of cooking and food invites animals to your party. While you have no control over this, you can, however, make sure your food won’t get stolen. Certain animals such as rodents and raccoons can be really persistent so it’s necessary to add an equally aggressive layer of protection to your stash. Bear bags are the easy answer to this dilemma. These specially designed containers are built to keep wildlife off your supplies, usually even bullet-proof and with built-in odor barriers.

If you´re car camping, you can use your car space to protect your supplies - either the seat spaces or the cargo bed. In the case of the latter, a simple blanket cover won’t do the trick. Secure your stash with a reliable tonneau cover on your Chevrolet S10 to efficiently keep off animals large or small from your camping provisions.

#4. Water purifier 

When camping outdoors, you might be tempted to just take a sip out of that serene-looking stream just beside the camp. This is highly ill-advised. Untreated water can be an unpredictable source of potentially deadly pathogens. If you don’t have any or have exhausted your supply of clean water, your safest option is to use a water purifier. Buy multiple units for a large group because the purifying process can take time.

Aside from a portable water filtration system, a water bottle is a must for any camping trip.

#5. Portal cooking tools, utensils 

This includes a small cutting board, cups (if they are not included in your cook sets), lightweight towels and soaps, and utensils for both cooking and eating.

#6. Food provisions 

Only properly-packaged food if you’re planning to cook. Otherwise, go for good to go meals that you can eat with minimal to no preparation needed. Also, stash on food packets you can eat on the trail should you decide to trek (e.g. trail bars and mixes).

Toiletries and Hygiene

No matter where you go, toileries and hygiene is always important to make you feel healthy and avoid common diseases like flu, cough, ... Here are some equipments you need to prepare: 

#1. Hand sanitizer

Keeping your hands clean is necessary especially if you'll be handling or preparing food. Given that you'd most likely have a limited supply for water, a hand sanitizer would be a handy luxury.

#2. Shower necessities 

If you really can't forgo a shower, there are camping showers available in the market. Complement your camping shower kit with a biodegradable soap, shampoo, and conditioner. In addition, use a microfiber quick-dry towel which will help you dry up fast. They are also light. If camp bathing isn't possible, dry shampoo and wet wipes will do.

#3. Bug spray 

To keep away insects that might hamper a comfortable camp or a good night's sleep.

#4. Other self-explanatory items

You'd need to bring along include other things like:

  • Toilet paper
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Sunscreen or sunblock product (Depend on your preferences)

Camp Clothing

Always think practical when packing up for camp. Choose clothing that are light and don’t take up much space. Long pants and preferably long-sleeved shirts are necessary to keep off the cold and always consider types of fabric that don't store up moisture. Warm socks, a good pair of boots or runners, perhaps some water shoes if you're thinking about side trips in the water, sunglasses, and swimsuit should make your camp outfit list.

Some other things

#1. Trash bags

As a responsible camper, it's your job to have a good time but leave only footprints. Take charge of your trash and be sure everything is collected before you leave the site.

#2. First aid kit 

A well-stocked first aid kit is a necessary addition to your survival kit. What to include in your first aid kit?

  • Bandage assortments
  • Tape
  • Gauze
  • Antihistamines
  • Antacid
  • Antidiarrheal meds
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antibiotic ointments
  • Pain-relieving gels or lotions
  • Tweezers

#2. Navigation tools 

If you’re looking forward to taking side trips such as day hiking or trail running, or simply exploring an area you are interested in, always go ready. Simple navigation tools such as a portal GPS, a compass, or a map will help you ensure you find your way back to camp. Better safe than sorry. Flashlights with extra batteries and two-way radios will also be very helpful.

Your camping, your packing

Although there’s no such thing as an exhaustive list that covers everything you’d ever need for a single camping trip, this guide covers ground of the most basic. Every camping trip is different and should, therefore, be approached with appropriate and careful planning. The wilderness can be inhospitable to those who come unprepared. Plan your trip wisely and make your camping holiday one for the books.

Kevin Smith

About the Author

Kevin Smith

Ahoy there! The name’s Kevin Smith, the proprietor of this little travel and outdoors blog. The outdoors has always been a passion of mine since I was a kid as my parents were avid campers themselves. They taught me everything I know when it comes to camping, hiking etc. and I would like to do my part by imparting my know-how to like-minded individuals who enjoy the same hobby as me. I started this website in the hopes of helping other people when it comes to answering questions, giving tips and recommendations focusing on the camping niche. Along with some close friends of mine, we are here to help you make the most out of your outdoor experience. Enjoy your stay and enjoy the wild side!

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