Essential Camping Checklist for a Weekend Outdoors

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What do you need to bring with you when going camping? This question can be difficult to answer because there are a lot of different factors that come into play. For example, what type of camping will you be doing? Is it a car camping or backpacking adventure? Will your campsite have running water and electricity, or is it off the grid and primitive? What about weather conditions – is it hot or cold outside where you live right now? These are just a few things that should factor in when considering what supplies to pack for your next outdoor adventure.

1. Pack your tent

  1. Choose a size and style that fits the number of people you’ll be camping with as well as what type of weather conditions. For example, if it’s cold outside, choose a four-season or three-season tent. If there will be rain in the forecast, make sure to include an appropriate footprint.
  2. Make sure the tent has been recently sprayed for insects and be mindful of any other items that could attract bugs, like lantern fuel or food in your backpack. 
  3. Check all zippers on the tents to make sure they’re working properly and won’t fail at an inconvenient time during your trip!
  4. Put a little Vaseline on the stitching of your tent to keep it from getting wet if you’re camping in a rainy area.
  5. Keep an eye out for any loose or worn parts of your tent, like zippers and poles 
  6. Don’t forget extra stakes! Even when they come with most tents these days, better safe than sorry.

Another wonderful option would be the best camping screen house. Camping screen houses are an awesome way to have a great time out camping.

2. Bring a sleeping bag and make sure it’s comfortable for the weather you’ll be experiencing.

  1. If you’re camping in the spring or summer, a three-season bag will be just fine and should have an appropriate temperature rating for your needs. However, if it’s winter outside then you’ll need to bring along some extra insulation like a sleeping pad or tent that has more than one layer of fabric and is rated appropriately for the temperature.
  2. The best way to test out your sleeping bag before your trip is to sleep in it for a few nights at home so you know what you’ll need and are comfortable with the level of insulation¬†
  3. If one person will be using the sleeping bag, make sure you bring along an appropriate sized stuff sack that’s big enough to pack the sleeping bag in and keep it safe.
  4. Never forget an appropriate sized pillow for your comfort!
  5. Make sure that you’ve got warm clothes packed if you’re going camping during a cold time of year, like long underwear or thermals¬†

3. Bring a flashlight, matches, and lighters (in case of emergencies)

  1. When you’re camping, the sun goes down early so it’s important to bring a flashlight for making your way around at night¬†
  2. If there will be poor weather conditions where you are then matches and lighters can come in handy too – don’t forget extra batteries!
  3. You’ll want to make sure that these items are accessible in a waterproof container and can be stored easily¬†
  4. One other item to bring is an emergency signal – whether it’s flares or a whistle, make sure you have something that will allow you to get help if needed.
  5. If the campsite where you’re sleeping has electricity then there should be lights available for use. If you’re camping off the grid, bring a lantern or other light source that can be used with battery power.
  6. Be aware of any restrictions on campfires and fires in general – some campsites may not allow them at all! This is especially true for those who are camping during the winter months when fire bans could be in effect.
  7. If you’re camping during the summer months and are near a body of water, make sure to bring plenty of bug repellant!¬†

4. Make sure to pack enough food so that you don’t have to worry about stopping at every restaurant on the way there or back¬†

  1. You’ll want to pack some protein like hard-boiled eggs, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or canned meat¬†
  2. Bring along plenty of water bottles so you don’t have to worry about only having access to whatever they sell in the store where you’re camping at (you can always drink tap water with a treatment system like a SteriPEN)¬†
  3. It’s best to pack any perishable food in an insulated cooler with plenty of ice or freezer packs if you’re going to be stopping for the night at your destination rather than camping out all day¬†
  4. Pack lots of snacks – dried fruit, chips, crackers, granola

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