Spring and early summer are the best times to go camping although it's not a strict rule. You can go in winter too provided the weather isn't snowy or icy because terrain can become dangerous. Whenever you decide to go, do so only after making a detailed checklist of supplies without which your overnight stay in the outdoors will turn into a depressing state of affairs.
When it comes to shelter, tents are the only way to go because they protect against rain and heat. Varieties include dome tents, tunnel tents, cabin tents and single-hoop tents among others. Of all, dome tents are the most popular because they're extremely stable, lightweight, easy to set up and provide adequate room, even the smaller ones.
If not, go with tunnel tents which have ample interior space and are very stable if the end is pitched into the wind. Set it up in a place that provides protection against side winds because the tent's structure doesn't allow for it.
Sleeping in the outdoors can be disconcerting for first-timers so it's important that comfortable bedding is carried. Sleeping bags, air mattresses and pumps, pillows, sufficient blankets, sleeping bag/mattress repair kit and sheets are essentials. Most bedding today is very lightweight and while all these components may seem numerous, they're relatively easy to tote.
One of the most treasured aspects of camping is having a cookout. Make the experience stress-free by including a charcoal stove, propane stove and BBQ grill for your cooking needs, fire starters/kindle, plenty of matches, lighters and cooking oil. Plates, bowls, cups, spoons, dishes and a couple of tablecloths are must-haves as are towels (paper and fabric), dish soap, a thermos, cooler, trash bags, ziplock bags, food containers and pots and pans with lids.
Food is as per your choice but try to limit items and choose those which are easy to cook/grill. Remember, this is a camping trip where ‘roughing it' is the goal.
Clothing must be durable which means items like trekking boots, moisture-wicking underwear, t-shirts and long-sleeved shirts, jeans, pants, socks, outers like insulated jackets and pants for the night, rainwear, gloves, caps/hats and sunglasses. Leave delicate clothing at home and carry only items designed to ward off insects, the heat, the cold, abrasive elements and rain.
Personal items comprise such products as biodegradable soaps, toothpaste and toothbrush, sunscreen, moisturizer, insect repellent, toilet paper, alcohol or antiseptic wipes, first aid kit (extremely important), change of eyeglasses and contact lenses, if necessary, mirror and prescription medicines for those who need them.
How to stock a first aid kit:
When putting together a first aid kit, know that camping requirements may vary from those at home. You'll need more items too.
Take blister pads, sterile gauze, elastic, adhesive and triangular bandages (for slings), medical tape, cotton wool and cotton balls, swabs, disinfecting wipes and towelettes. Medicines should include analgesics, antihistamines and digestive meds. Tools such as tweezers, scissors, magnifying glass, digital thermometer and safety pins are required as are solutions and creams like burn and itch relief and petroleum jelly. Disposable gloves and a penlight or flashlight are additional must-haves.
Not always included but perhaps one of the most important items is water purification tablets which can stave off several water-borne diseases. Bag each set of items into ziplock bags and label each bag clearly. Place everything into a waterproof container.
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Make sure you double check your supplies list before you head out for camping. Always invest in quality camping equipment that can withstand the rough weather conditions. For more information on camping products, click here.
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