6 Essential Camping Items to Bring for Beginners

You’re not ordinary, are you?

Ordinary people spend about 93% of their lives indoors. Whether inside their homes, at work, or in their cars, they rarely ever get outside.

However, you’re not ordinary, you’re extraordinary. You've always known you were meant to explore the great outdoors, and now's the perfect time to go.

You don't even need any experience to go camping for the first time. All you need is the right camping items, and you'll be ready to embark on a memorable adventure.

To help you out we’ve created this short guide that lists 6 things every camper needs to have. So take a look! Today can be the day you finally start planning your dream camping trip.

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1. Tent Fly

After buying the right sized tent, you’ll want to invest in a quality tent fly. The tent fly will work as the official roof for your tent. It’s a piece of material that’s either strung up or put up using poles.

When it rains your tent fly will keep you and everything inside your tent nice and dry. The fly will also help keep condensation from building up on your tent walls.

While some tents come with their own tent fly, they’re not always the most durable. It’s not uncommon for the fly that comes with your tent to just cover the very top of your tent, instead of the entire thing. To get the best results you’ll want a strong, weather-resistant fly that’s large enough to give you the shelter you need.

If the tent you buy already comes with a tent fly, go ahead and use it, while also using a larger one. This way you’ll be giving yourself 2 layers of protection from the outdoor elements! However, when it’s not raining you’ll want to remove both tent flys to let your tent air out.

2. A Tarp

We can’t stress it enough, you need to bring a tarp with you on your camping trip. While a tent fly protects the top of your tent, it’s the tarp that’ll protect the bottom of your tent. If you don’t have a tarp, you could wind up going home a lot sooner than you planned on.

Picture it. You pitch your tent, set up your tent fly, and crawl inside right before it starts raining. It’s a torrential downpour, but you smile at seeing absolutely no water is coming through the tent’s roof. It’s then that you notice you’re butt’s wet!

Looking down, you see rainwater soaking through the floor of the tent. Not only are you all wet, but your sleeping bag and every other thing you brought is now sitting in a small pool of water. Yikes!

If only you had brought a tarp and put it down before setting up your tent. To avoid having this happen to you, get a tent that doesn’t have any perforations in it. Perforated tarps don’t work since heavy rain can soak through them.

Instead, you’ll need a solid, water-resistant tarp that’s made of canvas or polyester. Both canvas and polyester are water-resistant materials that can withstand extreme weather conditions.

After the rain passes, you’ll want to remove any standing rainwater from the tarp. Allowing the rainwater to sit, especially on a canvas tarp, could result in the rainwater slowly dripping through.

Camping in Dry Weather

Tarps are essential camping items even if you’re not expecting rain on your trip. Using a tarp as a groundsheet will give you an extra layer of protection from uncomfortable things on the ground. Instead of having sticks and rocks poking up at you, you’ll have a more even tent floor.

3. Extra Socks

On a normal day, you’re likely to walk somewhere between 1.5 to 2 miles. When you go camping you’re likely to walk double, triple, or even quadruple that amount! Since you’ll be walking more than you normally do, you’ll need more socks than you normally would.

It’s a good rule of thumb to change your socks in the morning, afternoon, and at night when you’re camping. Regularly changing your socks will help you keep your feet healthy, and it’ll minimize the number of blisters you get. Not only do you need to bring enough socks, but you also need to check that you’re bringing the right type of socks.

There are 4 things to consider when it comes to buying camping socks. The 4 sock considerations are height, fabric, fit, and cushioning. First, make sure the socks you’re buying are high enough to go above your footwear.

If your sock height is too low, your footwear will wind up creating blisters on the sides of your ankles. Next, if you’re going to be in cold weather consider getting socks made from merino wool.

After finding the right sock material, you’ll want to double-check your sock size. If you wear socks that are too big for your feet, they’ll rub on your skin and create blisters. Finally, look for socks with extra cushioning for added warmth and comfort.

4. First Aid Camping Kit

When it comes to safety, a first aid kit is one of the most important essential camping items. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use your first aid camping kit. However, if you wind up needing it, you’ll be so happy you came prepared.

Here’s a short list of what your first aid kit should include:

  • Bandaids
  • Gauze
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Aloe
  • Eye drops
  • Sterile wipes
  • Butterfly bandages
  • Safety pin
  • Pain relief
  • Anti-diarrhea

The list above doesn’t include everything you’ll need, but it’s a great start. You can always add on to your first aid kit overtime and begin building an outdoor survival kit as well.

In addition to the items above, you’ll also want to bring a hand sanitizer. Before and after you treat someone for a cut or scrape, use the hand sanitizer to prevent infections.

5. Quality Binoculars

Imagine, way up in a tree you see a mother hawk land at her nest. She begins feeding her babies 1 by 1 as they cry out to her for more! Moments like this are best seen through a pair of high-quality binoculars.

Zoomed in, you’ll be able to appreciate every little detail like never before. To find the best pair of binoculars, you’ll want to start by identifying your price range. You don’t necessarily need to get the highest priced model to have a wonderful viewing experience.

Instead, set a limit you’re comfortable spending and then start testing out different models that fit within your budget. As you begin testing out the different binoculars pay attention to the crispness of the image quality. You should also take note of how bright the images appear to be.

Finally, find out what type of magnification you want your binoculars to have. Not everyone wants a pair of binoculars that can see 100 miles away.

For instance, if you’re a birder that likes to see close up birds, a magnification 8x is better than a pair of binoculars with 10x magnification.

An 8x will make it easy for you to find and follow birds that are nearby, since you’ll be looking at a smaller, wider, and brighter image. However, if you enjoy looking at birds that are far away, a 10x magnification will give you a narrower field of vision.

6. Snacks for Hiking

Are you planning on hiking with friends on your camping trip? If yes, you’ll want to make sure you bring the right type of energy-boosting snacks.

When you hike, your body weight and pace will determine how many calories you burn. On average, a 154-pound person will burn somewhere around 370 calories every single hour of the hike! If you weigh more or are walking at a faster pace, you’re likely to burn even more calories.

While burning calories is a wonderful thing, if you don’t give your body the right type of fuel, you’re bound to burn out. Luckily, bringing snacks for hiking is one of the easiest essential camping items to bring since they tend to be lightweight.

For instance, you can create and pack your lightweight trail mix that’s jam-packed with body fueling protein. To create your trail mix, all you’ll need is some almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds.

While chocolate can be fun in the trail mix, it can also get quite messy when it starts melting. We find it’s best to save the chocolate for s’mores at night, and to leave the trail mix chocolate free.

Next, go ahead and grab a couple of pieces of fruit too. The boost of sugar from the fruit can be refreshing on a hike, it’s like nature’s candy!

Finally, while it’s not a snack, make sure you also bring plenty of water. Since water can be heavy to carry, you and your friends should all share the responsibility of carrying the water.

Start Packing Your Camping Items

There you have it! Now you know about 6 essential camping items that will make your trip safer and more enjoyable! Go ahead and plan your dream camping trip today and start packing.

You’re sure to have a memorable time connecting with the great outdoors. For more ways to have fun, check out the rest of this site.

  • Updated a couple of weeks ago
  • Camping
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