What better way to spend your downtime than on a camping trip in one of the country’s 423 national parks? Spending time in nature is great for our mental health and leaves us feeling fresh and revitalized. You want to pack light when you go on a camping trip, as you’ll be carrying your luggage with you. What does the ultimate camper take with them on a trip?
If you want to be an ultimate camper, be sure to check off the items in this outdoor pack list for all the essentials.
1. A Tent
This is arguably the most essential item for your trip and one of the non-negotiable things for camping! Somewhere to sleep.
A tent is a difference between a good night’s rest and relaxation and a stress-induced cold night spent outdoors. You can’t forget it (unless your sleeping in an RV, of course).
When it comes to the type of tent you choose, the lighter, the better; tent technology is advanced these days, and you can get a large tent that doesn’t weigh more than a few pounds.
Before you set off, make sure you know how to put your tent up. There would be nothing more to put a damper on your trip than trying to construct a complicated tent after dusk.
2. Sleep Essentials
So you have your tent or RV, but what about what you’re going to sleep in or on?
Depending on the weather at the time of year you plan to go camping, you’ll need a sleeping bag. These come in different grades; when you make your purchase, you will see a specification on which temperature your bag is good for.
Want to be a little comfier than sleeping on the hard ground. Consider an inflatable mat or tent cot.
Depending on how comfy you need to be, you can then think about extras such as sleeping bag liners and pillows.
3. Ultimate Camper Lighting
A headlamp is one of the camping basics every seasoned camper should own. You don’t want to rely on your phone for light, so get a lamp you can wear on your head.
It’s perfect for when you are cooking or going to the bathroom, so you have your hands free for the task.
If you want to get a little fancier, why not try a solar-powered lamp? You can buy these as a little inflatable lamp that you blow up yourself.
A camping lantern is perfect if you want a little more subtle light in your tent and don’t want to rely on batteries entirely.
4. Water Filter
If you’re going to be outdoors for a few days, you may not have access to drinking water. Most official campsites will have a water source, but if you’re going wilder, you may not have this easy access.
You don’t want to lug gallons of water along with you. Take a water filter or a bottle that includes a water filter. That way, you can pick up water from streams and rivers that will be made safe to drink by your bottle.
6. A Camping Knife
Camping tools such as the infamous Swiss Army Pen Knife are essential on any camping equipment list. You can use them to prepare food, cut things on the route, open a can or a bottle. Check out our comprehensive review of the best camping knives.
A multi-purpose camping tool will prepare you for any eventuality and make you feel at ease that you are covered for whatever may arise during your trip.
7. Waterproof Clothing
We love being outside, but it can be unpredictable at best, unkind at worst! So go on your camping trip prepared.
One of the most basic camping essentials is a waterproof jacket. Try to get one that is also windproof. You’ll be prepared for whatever the great outdoors throws your way.
If you want to get more technical, you could go for some waterproof shoes or trousers. It depends on how extreme you want to get. Nobody actively organizes a camping trip when rain is forecast, do they?
8. Portable Charger
You may rely on your phone for a route or as a backup in an emergency. Even if you want to disconnect and not use your phone much, bring a portable charger as a backup.
You can even buy solar-powered power banks, so you’ll never have to worry that your battery pack will run out of power!
9. Fire Starters
You’ll need to eat on your camping trip, and chances are you don’t want to eat cookies all weekend. So bring something to make a fire.
Add a lighter or waterproof match and maybe some fire starters to help you get that campfire going a little easier.
If you go to a campsite, they will have designated spots for cooking. If you are out on your own, be careful when starting a fire and putting it out properly. 85% of all forest fires are started by humans.
10. Microfiber Towel
These lightweight towels are perfect for camping trips. They dry quickly and are easy to carry.
Chances are you’ll want to swim (or wash!) at some point during your trip, so take one of these towels to dry off.
11. Wet Wipes
Perhaps you won’t come across any showering facilities during your trip. So take some wet wipes with you to give yourself a little wipe down!
These are also great for cleaning up spills, wiping hands, or using when you go to the bathroom.
Being outdoors all day is great for the soul, not so much for the skin! Take sunscreen with you and wear it daily, especially on your face.
You’ll thank us when you’re wrinkle-free in twenty years!
Now you know all the essentials an ultimate camper needs for their trip, it’s time to start packing.
Perhaps you’ve been putting off a trip due to lack of organization or the weather. Take this as a sign to get going and enjoy the great outdoors.
Get some inspiration from National Geographic’s book of 5,000 ideas on where to go.