Clothes, food, tent, and sleeping bag is basic camping equipment. If you’ve camped you know there is more to it than that. It’s not just having clothes it’s having enough and the right clothes. Camping is all about having the right equipment to make your trip fun. What are the basics you need for a fun camping trip?
Lets start with clothing. Of course you should bring weather appropriate clothing. No matter the weather you should always have a pair of pants. Pants are one of those things you forget in the summer. Even when it’s 90+ outside you’ll enjoy having pants when walking though tall grass.
Always bring rain gear. Most people don’t go camping if they are expecting rain. However you will eventually get rained on when camping. Always bring a poncho or rain coat .
Most people seem to forget raingear. One thing you can do is buy 55 gallon drum liners for hauling you garbage out. If you need a poncho you can always cut holes in it and use that.
The last thing to remember is to also bring an extra change of clothes. When camping overnight bring 2 of everything, not just a change of clothes. If space is limited always bring an extra change of underwear and a couple extra pairs of socks.
You are going to need some sort of shelter. Since not everyone can afford a nice big camper or rent/own a cabin. Which means they use a tent when camping. A tent is a personal choice, picking a good tent can be complicated. You want a tent that is easy to set up, and take down. If it looks like a pain then look for something else. If you only need a tent for you another person a 4 man tent is good. Remember when a tent company rates a tent for number of people it can fit they usually forget about all your gear. My general rule of thumb, is cut the number of people the tent is rated for in half and it will be almost big enough. With your tent always bring a tarp to put under the tent to keep your tent dry. Even if your tent has a waterproof bottom you are going to want that tarp if nothing else, just to protect your tent.
Once you have a tent you’ll need something to sleep in. You can always bring a couple of blankets and a pillow, but it’s a lot easier to grab a sleeping bag. Sleeping bags are rated for an outside temperature range. If you pick a sleeping bag that is to light weight you can always throw a blanket it. If you pick too heavy a sleeping bag you will sweat all night. When using a sleeping bag there is always the option of a cot, or air mattress. When using a cot or air mattress remember that the ground insults better than air. If you are camping in colder weather you may want an extra layer between you and the coat to keep you warmer.
You can always try to bring the kitchen when camping. Really you only need a few things. If you intend on cooking on an open fire, you only need a Dutch Oven and/or a grill that fits over the fire. If you are required to cook over a charcoal grill or a camp stove, you’ll want a skillet. Use Cast Iron for all your cooking needs. Cast Iron is durable, easy to clean, and when seasoned correctly completely non-stick.
The most important thing you really need with you is a pocket knife. You never realize how much you need a knife until you don’t have one. There are all sorts of knives on the market, plus multi-tools like Leatherman or Gerber. Get whatever one you like. CRKT makes a great knife even though it only has one blade.
There are plenty of other things you’ll need when camping, depending on where you go camping. The thing is as long as you have the basics you’ll be fine. The more you camp the more you’ll figure out what you need for the camping you like to do. If nothing else don’t forget. You never forget the camping trips that things went wrong.