Half the battle of going camping is packing up the right supplies in an organized fashion. There’s truly no one-size-fits-all camping supply list, but there are quite a few essentials you shouldn’t leave behind. We’ve compiled a list of items that campers need to consider packing before hitting the road. The best way to keep your items organized is to get large, clear bins with secure lids. Clearly labeling each bin with the correct category can help things run smoothly when setting up camp. Be sure to secure loose bins with rope or bungee cord in your vehicle. There’s nothing worse than a neatly packed gear bin toppling over and spilling when making a sharp turn. Remember that backroads often lack cell service, so be sure to know your route before you leave the house!
Toiletries are best stored inside your car, protected from rain and critters. Be careful where you decide to brush your teeth, bears can be attracted to the smell of toothpaste and perfumed soaps depending on where you are camping. Check with a park ranger before bathing outside, and be sure to bring any emergency medication with you when venturing outside of the campground.
Sweat-wicking material can help avoid chafing and blistering. It’s important to remember that temperatures can change drastically when the sun goes down, so don’t forget to pack warm clothes even if you don’t think you’ll need them.
Bad weather protection
- Waterproof boots
- Hat and gloves
- Thermal socks
- Long underwear
- BBQ lighter or matches
- Grill rack
- Tin foil
- Sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Bottle opener
- Can opener
- Mess kit with plate, bowl, spoon, fork
- Frying pan
- Roasting sticks
- Trash bags
- Salt & pepper
- Airtight food storage containers
- Folding table
- Paper towels
- Biodegradable dish soap
- Bucket for dishwashing
- Camping chairs
How to keep perishables fresh in your cooler:
- Put everything in an airtight container or ziplock plastic bag before loading it into the cooler. Once your ice starts to melt, food that’s not sealed can get water logged and soggy. Even a pack of ground beef that’s wrapped in plastic isn’t airtight, so when the ice melts, the juices from the meat leak out of the package and into the rest of your groceries.
- Load your cooler in layers. One inch of ice, then one layer of food and repeat until your cooler is full. Dispersing the ice like this helps the food chill evenly.
- The amount of ice you’ll need for your trip will vary depending on the quality and size of your cooler, as well as the temperature outside. If you’re using this Yeti cooler and the temperature is below 90 degrees, 10 lbs of ice should last 24-36 hours.
Tent Camping Equipment
If you’re heading out for the day, check the weather forecast before leaving camp. If strong winds are coming, it may be best to take your tent down altogether until you’re ready for bed. Tents can act like parachutes and take off when a gust of wind comes, usually resulting in broken tent poles. It’s always smart to put the rainfly on before leaving camp. Coming home to a wet sleeping bag can make for a very cold night.
RV and Trailer Camping Equipment
If you’re driving or pulling an RV that needs more than 10ft of clearance when going under bridges and overpasses, be sure to check your route ahead of time and be diligent on the road. Weight restrictions on bridges are also important to note, if your rig is too heavy for a certain bridge you will need to take an alternate route. It’s always a good idea to call the campground you’re headed to and make sure the turning radius is large enough to fit into the pad you’ve reserved.
There are multiple RV roadside assistance plans on the market. It’s a great security blanket to have, especially if you are a new RV owner.
- Smart phone
- Car charger
- Batteries/chargers for flashlights
- Cash and cards
- Campsite address and reservation
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