Camping Gear Essentials: 12 Must Have Items for Your Labor Day Camping Trip
Craving an escape amid greenery and nature? Camping can supply this peace and more. But what exactly should you pack for outdoor adventure? Here are 12 must-have items to get your hands on so you can face your next camping trip like a pro.
1. Mess Kit
This humble crockery set has been keeping campers fed for decades. Originally used by soldiers, it’s simple, efficient and can be homebuilt. However, if you want to splurge on a matching set, we support that too. Either way, this essential item will make meals around the campfire more convenient and enjoyable.
2. Map & Compass
If you’re camping in a spot you know well, this may not be necessary. But for those seeking a more remote or unfamiliar experience, having a map and compass in hand can be crucial. It can make all the difference in being confident enough to step off the beaten path.
No tent? No camping, right? A camping trip is only complete with a high-quality tent. You should look for one that is simple to set up, provides adequate protection from the elements (especially the sun), and keeps you dry. Think about how many people you’ll be camping with, where you’ll stay, the terrain, and how much air circulation you’ll need. Try to get one that doesn’t weigh too much and collapses into a manageable size.
4. Sleeping Bag
A warm and comfortable sleeping bag is vital to a good night’s rest while camping. Look for one appropriate for the temperature range of the area you’ll be camping in. Synthetic sleeping bags are a good option for wet climates, while down bags are perfect for dry climates. Consider the shape, size, and insulation when making your choice.
5. Sleeping Pad
A sleeping pad provides insulation and cushioning between you and the ground. It provides a comfortable surface to sleep on and keeps you warmer at night.
6. Camping Stove
If you intend to cook meals and boil water, a camp stove should be on your list. Even in damp and windy weather, portable stoves may be lit with a lighter or match, eliminating the need to gather kindling or keep track of fire starters. It can sometimes be a challenge to plan for firewood.
Your camping enjoyment can be dramatically increased if you can reach over and grab a cold beverage. Camping coolers are incredibly reliable and can keep your food and drinks cold for several days.
8. Headlamp or Flashlight
You should always be ready for the worst. In low light or total darkness, your headlamps will keep you safe and help you avoid mishaps.
A quality multi-tool eliminates the need for numerous camping tools, resulting in significant weight savings. Utilizing a multi-tool means you will not need to worry about losing any of the smaller tools. They also eliminate the need to choose and purchase separate instruments.
10. First Aid Kit
Surface injuries like scratches or scraped knees can seem like no big deal but can quickly become one if not properly treated. Take with you one that includes items such as bandages, gauze, antiseptic, and pain relievers.
11. Water Filter
A water filter is necessary to ensure safe drinking water while camping. While most campers may boil their water over the fire, it is still wise to filter it first. Purifying water is an additional safeguard against dangerous diseases, as bacteria and other microorganisms can thrive in various environmental conditions.
A quality backpack for hiking will allow you to bring everything you need without making the hike too difficult. If you’re camping for more than a night, its optimal capacity-to-weight ratio is essential. Be sure to get a bag that fits your body well and holds the gear you’ll need for over night trips.
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Where indicated, some images courtesy of Depositphotos.com.