Growing up, I would go on at least one camping trip every year with my family. After years and years of venturing to different campgrounds in a variety of landscapes, we have definitely experienced some interesting scenarios- like flooding in the tent, or a tornado ripping by the campsite. Yeah, we've been there.
At this point, I've become a self- acclaimed pro packer for any camping adventure. Besides the obvious bugspray, Citronella candles, and sunscreen, here is my list of must- haves for your next camping trip!
Shower Flip Flips
Source: A Plus
It's a particular type of indescribable pain to step foot into a dirty, possibly bug- infested campground shower. It's even worse if you don't have flip flops to wear in said shower. Just do you and me a favor, and invest in a cheap pair of plastic or rubber flip flops before you set off for your camping trip. I can't tell you how many times I have forgotten to pack something so simple, yet so crucial!
Glow Sticks and Solar Powered Lamps
Considering you'll be out in nature for a certain amount of time, it's always a good idea to have multiple light sources at your finger tips. A pack of glowsticks help to provide some dim lighting in your tent or camper at night, which might just save you from tripping over your backpack at 3 AM when you have to trek to the bathroom. Bonus tip: if you can pop your glow sticks into your empty drinks bottles for some DIY stand-up lamps.
But, if you want a source of stronger light, solar powered lamps are a great option, and are really convenient since you don't need batteries or electricity to charge them.
S'mores Ingredients (and roasting sticks for the marshmallows!)
Hello! This one is hopefully obvious, but its something we've forgotten to bring on our camping trips in the past. If your campsite is far from a grocery store, s'mores ingredients are 100% necessary to pack beforehand. Make sure to also bring marshmallow roasting sticks so you don't have to go all caveman and find a stick long/ somewhat sanitary enough to do the job.
Insulated Water Bottle
This one is a serious game changer, especially if you are on a more intense camping trip or hike- A.K.A., not glamping. An insulated water bottle will keep your water fresh and cold for about 24 hours- plenty enough time before you have to refill at your next stop. My recommendation is Stanley, or Swell- there are a huge variety of designs to choose from, and it honestly just does the best job.
Inflatable Lounger/ Hammock
This falls under the category of "definitely not necessary, but fun to have." Inflatable loungers or hammocks make great lounging spaces when you're just relaxing during the day or sitting by the fire at night. If you really want to rough it, you can even just sleep in the hammock or lounger! Just remember to put on some of that bug spray before you go to sleep ;)
A classic camping family favorite is Jiffy Pop popcorn. All you have to do is put the container over the fire, and in the matter of a minute or two you have a full bowl of popcorn.
Portable Phone Charger
Since it's 2017 and most of us rely on our phones for some sort of communication, it's good to have a portable charger just in case, especially if you want to blast out some tunes in the evening. Even if you don't plan on using your phone during your trip, you never know when Google Maps could come in handy!
Gorilla Glue Tape
Let's be real, there is always something that breaks or has to be repaired on almost every camping trip. Duct tape can usually do the trick, but there is definitely no getting around gorilla glue tape. Hole in your tent or hammock? Broken heart? Gorilla glue tape can fix that. And no, this is not sponsored..
The Camping Survival Guide
This book has everything you need to know to, well, survive camping in the wilderness. Since you can never plan for an unfortunate event, it's a good idea to have The Camping Survival Guide on your trip so you don't end up like a character out of the Hunger Games eating poisionous berries.
The Camping Cookbook
Another convenient item to spark some ideas into your cooking routine can be found in The Camping Cookbook. Since you won't have access to a lot of kitchen utilities while you're camping, this book will give you some tasty and unique ways to prepare food.
Waterproof Socks (Or Just A LOT of Socks)
Soggy socks are probably one of the worst feelings I've yet to experience, and I have run out of socks several times on backpacking and camping trips. Luckily, it's the 21st century and some mastermind has come up with waterproof socks. If you're planning on being in a wet climate or by water, one pair of these guys isn't a bad idea. If you think owning waterproof socks is ridiculous, just be sure to pack extra pairs of regular socks to get you through.
Cast Iron Sandwich Maker
Not only is a cast iron sandwich maker great for grilled cheese sandwiches, it's also great for making fruit pies! Just simply put your choice of canned or fresh fruit in between two slices of buttered bread, pop it over the campfire and you'll be left with a crispy, delicious treat.
A portable fan is absolutely key for summer camping if you're a heat- sensitive baby like I am. Seriously, who wants to sweat all night and THEN have to step in the grody campsite showers? It's just a series of unfortunate events. Just save yourself some frustration and pick up a fan at Home Depot before you go. It'll make the trip a lot less sticky and more enjoyable.
Unless you're a fan of sitting in the dirt, folding chairs are a safe bet. You'd be surprised how many people forget to bring folding chairs or say they don't need them until they have literal ants in their pants. I promise, you won't regret it!
Wearable Sleeping Bags
If you want to be conventional and opt for a regular sleeping bag, that's totally cool. However, I'm going to be excessive and invest in a wearable sleeping bag so I can crash wherever I want to.
This one is an oldie but a goodie. A pocket knife can solve all problems, from cutting rope to getting that splinter out of your hand from when you insisted you could make a fire.
Lifestraw Water Filter
Again, this last must- have is for the more adventurous of the bunch that won't necessarily have regular access to safe drinking water. A Lifestraw filters water as you sip, so you always have a safe water source. As long as you actually have a water source, you're set.
Are you heading on a camping trip this summer or fall? If so, where are you heading? Let us know in the comments below!
Cover Photo Courtesy of Pinterest