10 Necessary Items for the Perfect Camping Trip

of 76

Are you planning a camping trip to one of America's beautiful national parks? Camping can be an incredible and life-changing experience. To make it worthwhile, however, you need to prepare for it. From shielding yourself from cold weather to obtaining clean drinking water to protect yourself from the wildlife, there are a lot of precautions to take if you want to be happy and healthy at the end of your camping trip. For example, in the movie, Wild, Reese Witherspoon’s character, Cheryl Strayed, goes on an adventure along the Pacific Crest Trail. She realizes during her journey, just what she needs and doesn’t need to pack.

Drinking Water and Food

The #1 thing that everyone needs to concern themselves with is having clean drinking water. Depending on the type of camping that you are going to do, it is not always a viable option to carry in large quantities of water, as it is quite heavy. If, for example, you are planning a multi-day hike up one of Yosemite's famous trails, bringing gallons of water with you is not really an option. Instead, consider a quality, lightweight water filter, which can make all the difference in the world. There are several to choose from, and these days, portable water filters are quite compact. Besides water, food is also very important. So, pack high-protein items, fruit, and of course, some sweet snacks.

A Tent

If you are travelling alone, finding a good, one-person tent is quite easy and affordable. There are many tents available that can withstand all kinds of intense weather conditions, and small tents can be pitched just about everywhere. Most people don’t camp alone, however. So, bear in mind (no pun intended), the number of tent tenants to guide your tent-buying decisions. For example, are there just going to be you and your spouse, or are you bring the whole family? Just be sure to choose a quality tent. Unlike a lot of famous apparel companies, good camping equipment is expensive for reasons other than just a popular name and logo. With the price comes ease of use and superior materials that can mean the difference between a great trip and a miserable one.

A Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag follows the same basic premise for quality as a nice tent. The more you pay, the warmer, lighter, and more compact it will be. One of the most crucial things about packing for a camping trip is weight and size, and sleeping bags can take up the majority of space in a backpack, if you are not careful.

Cooking Equipment

Again, depending on the type of camping you are planning to do, selecting the right cooking gear depends on what you will be eating. There are many good cooking and eating sets designed for specific types of trips. If you are going to be catching fish as your main source of food, a small frying pan is important. If it is canned foods, you will want a pot. A selection of utensils that can be used with a campfire is also essential. Make sure that any tongs or forks have long handles without any rubberized material on them. After all, you gotta have something to hold the marshmallows for the s’mores!

A Knife

Bringing a fixed-blade knife is another must. You may not realize it, but knives are probably one of the most-used tools while camping. From cutting twine when setting up camp to getting firewood ready to digging holes in the ground when needed, a knife with a nice size to it is extremely useful. There are many good choices for fixed-blade camping knives, but those from Ka-Bar are the best.

Rain Gear

Rain gear in all its forms is absolutely essential. Staying dry is one of the cardinal rules of camping and should not be taken lightly. Wool socks and waterproof outerwear are necessities, as are large, lightweight tarps to cover your campsite, should the weather take a turn for the worse.

A GPS Unit

A GPS unit is important, and we are not talking about your phone. Many people often forget that when their phones lose its signal, so does the GPS's ability to load the maps. You can download a map of the area that you can use as a solution to that problem, but you still run into battery life issues. Getting a dedicated GPS unit is a far better option as they are weather-resistant, long lasting, and always connected. Many of them also have a variety of maps that can be downloaded to enhance the experience.

Travel Games

You will likely be working on maintaining your camp most of the time you are in the woods, but for the times when you want to pass a little time, mall magnetic travel games can be a good way to do that. If you are travelling with your kids, these types of games are good for keeping the young ones busy, while you prepare meals!

Safety Measures

When you go camping, you are surrounded by wildlife, some that you can see, others you don't. Protect yourself by bringing along bear spray, first aid kit, as well as a snake bit kit. A lot goes into preparing for a camp trip. But the more you do it, the sooner you are ready to go to enjoy the scenery, calm, and solitude that the mountains and parks provide. Where is your favorite place to camp?