Aside from the requisite tent and sleeping bag, packing for a camping trip – especially a long one – can be a bit of a puzzle. Do you need that extra fishing pole? How much clothing do I really need to pack? What about gaiters or walking sticks? Whether you’re going away for a weekend or a month-long backpacking trip, here are five must have’s to take with you on a camping trip.
A Solar Flashlight
Rather than having to pack batteries to power your flashlight, pick up a solar flashlight instead. It’ll cost you a little bit more than a standard flashlight, but in the long run you’ll save cash on batteries – and, of course, it’s environmentally friendly.
Water Treatment Tablets
These are essential if for some reason you’re not able to boil the water you collect out in the wild. Water treatment tablets neutralize toxins, bacteria, and other harmful substances within the water you collect. While it’s always best to boil the water you use on a daily basis, these are handy to have if you’re nowhere near a suitable campsite and need water immediately.
A First Aid Kit
Even the most careful hiker will meet with injury on the trail, from scraped knees to lacerations and bruises from trips, falls, or stumbles. Have a small but well-equipped first aid kit to include bandages, gauze, wound disinfectants, antibacterial ointment, and other essentials like ibuprofen or aspirin. If you’re on a budget, purchase a small plastic box and pack these essential items into it – you can get them at the dollar store – rather than buying a prepackaged first aid kit.
A Multi-Tool or Knife
A multi-tool or multi-functional pocket knife will aid you around the campsite with such tasks as cutting food for cooking, cutting cord for tying, cutting fishing cord, and other small essential tasks. Keep a good edge on the blades, and make sure not to lose it by putting it back in your backpack or utility belt when you’re finished using it.
Fishing Gear and Permit
These are essential if you’re planning on a long-term hike – or if you simply enjoy fishing. Fishing and foraging are great ways to save money on a camping trip, and will cut down on how much weight you have to carry. Pick up a decent fishing pole; collapsible fishing poles are great for camping trips. Make sure to pick up some bait and a few extra hooks plus additional fishing cord. Research where you’re going to see what fishing permits or licenses you need, if any, and ensure that you procure them before you fish anywhere so you don’t wind up facing a hefty fine.
While there are many other items you’ll need to take with you for a successful camping trip, remembering these five essentials will make your day-to-day life in the wilderness more comfortable.