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Campfires, tents, and long hikes through the wilderness come to mind when most people think about camping. But the truth is that there is so much more to a camping trip than just picking a spot and pitching a tent.
We live our day-to-day lives surrounded by the immense traffic of a relentlessly busy life. Dust, city lights, and smog cloud our vision of the stars at night; busy streets and skyscrapers prevent us from appreciating the charm of nature.
The solution? A great expanse of indigo sky looking over you, with shimmering stars serving as your rooftop for the evening. Camping in the midst of such natural bliss gives us a very much-needed reminder of the beauty that Mother Nature provides.
Sleeping in the wilderness provides the experience of a lifetime: a chance to detox from daily life and all the unavoidable stresses that come along with it. Nature is, without a doubt, the perfect antidote to calm your overwhelmed mind and escape the constant flow of difficult situations that life places in our path.
Are you thinking about going camping, but don’t know where to start? Keep reading to learn about all of the proper gear and equipment you’ll need on your camping trip.
Camping is like staying in a primitive cabin—minus the cabin. So, in addition to your tent, it's important to pack as though you’re going to stay someplace where there is little to no furniture, no stove, no refrigerator, no electricity, and the cupboards are bare. In a developed campground, you’ll have running water and a community restroom a few hundred feet away. A typical campsite has a table, a place to park your car, and a place to pitch a tent.
Here are a handful of tips to help you decide exactly what you need to bring for your first camping trip:
You will obviously need something to sleep in, so a tent should be at the very top of your priority list. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all tent, though. Tents come in a wide variety of types and sizes. Some ultra-light tents are best suited for backpacking while other, bulky and heavier options come with spacious luxury options best suited for hanging out near a vehicle. To confuse matters even more, most tents come in two different options: three-season and four-season.
Three-season tents are good for just about anything—except for the deep of winter—while four-season tents have more durable fabric and can handle snowdrifts.
Think about where you are looking to camp and choose your tent wisely.
Like tents, sleeping bags come in many different weights and handle many different temperatures—so you have to do a little research to find the one that is best suited for you, where you plan to camp, and when. If you are planning on only going fair-weather camping, a summer sleeping bag is probably all you will need, but a 3-season bag will give you a little more leeway for unpredictable shoulder-season weather.
If you are always cold—or always hot—be sure to adjust accordingly. Also, it’s a good idea to purchase a sleeping bag that is lightweight and portable, like the ones found at Stealth Angel Survival. Transporting a sleeping bag that doesn’t weigh a hundred pounds will make your life so much easier when you’re camping—trust us on this one.
A sleeping pad is like the mattress on a bed, but it also comes with high-tech insulation to prevent you from losing any body heat on the cold ground. Big air mattresses might look temptingly plush, but their lack of insulation will leave you feeling a bit chilly.
Take a look at the specifications when comparing sleeping pads—if one is longer, wider, or thicker and has a higher insulation value, it will be much more comfortable and do a better job at keeping you warm.
Pro Tip: Set your tent, sleeping bag, and pad up early, so you don’t get stuck having to do it in the dark!
Campsites don’t usually have illumination, so you will need to bring your own. A flashlight is okay, but a headlamp will free up your hands for camp tasks. A lantern is nice for ambient light, and you can also build a campfire.
You might already have a cooler, and it’ll probably work fine. Just be sure that you have enough capacity for your perishable food items and a few cold ones, along with enough ice to keep ‘em that way.
A classic two-burner propane camping stove should do the trick for your first camping trip. You won’t spend a fortune, and you can easily cook breakfast and prepare your morning cup of joe at the same time. But don’t forget to bring at least a couple of fuel canisters and a lighter with you.
We also love the Stealth Angel Ultralight Portable Outdoor Pot Pan and Stove Set. It is a compact, lightweight investment in your ability to make even fancy dishes in the wilderness!
If you’re camping, you should bring as much H2O as you’d possibly need in your vehicle, so it’s easily accessible. Some campsites even have fresh drinking water available, but you should bring some anyway—just in case.
If you are backpacking, however, that’s not an option, so you will need a water filtration system. We love the Stealth Angel Personal Water Filter because it eliminates 99.9999% of bacteria and then passes the water through activated carbon and antibacterial beads for an even more thorough cleanse—perfect for camping!
Depending on the type of camping trip you’re taking, you will want to grab some hiking boots or shoes. Your favorite pair of sneakers will do just fine in many places, but if you are planning on going for a longer backpacking trip, dedicated boots or shoes are much more comfortable since they offer more padding, stability, and support for your ankles as you cross rough terrain.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that you will need a first aid kit for camping. You can either purchase a great kit from a company like Stealth Angel Survival or make your own first aid kit. If you decide to make your own kit, make sure to include supplies such as the usual aspirins, bandages, and gauze, as well as some hiking-specific stuff like moleskin for blisters, bug sprays, and aloe vera for burns.
Whatever you buy and pack for your first camping trip, just make sure to consider your climate, needs, and environment. If you are heading off to the desert for a long weekend in July, you can skip the rain jacket and thermal-insulated sleeping bag, but doing so would be foolish if you are heading into the rainforest.
Perhaps you want to do a little bit of fishing—in which case you will need a pole and some bait. Maybe you are going on a big bike camping trip, which requires not only camping equipment but also a slew of cycling-specific extras.
The fact is, regardless of the millions of generic camping guides and checklists out there, the items that you will need to bring with you camping really depend on where you’re going and what you’re doing. The items we listed above are a good start and will help on almost any camping adventure, but be sure to plan accordingly and purchase the right supplies.
Not sure where to get camping equipment? Check out Stealth Angel Survival, the leader in emergency preparedness kits, supplies, and survival products. Whether you are looking for flashlights and sleeping bags or water tablets and first aid, Stealth Angel Survival has your back.