Planning a trip to the woods? Here’s everything you need to pack

Camping is a great way to spend a vacation away from the hustle and bustle of city life. As eager as you must be to leave the city, are you sure that you are prepared for what’s about to come? If this is your first time camping, you need to educate yourself properly before planning a trip to the woods. On the other hand, for expert campers, you probably have learned a thing or two from past packing mistakes. Regardless of which group you belong to, you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want to know more about all the packing tips out there that can make camping easier for you. So, let’s dig in!

Attire and Footwear

drying clothes camping

Planning a trip to the woods always starts with packing the right clothes. Even if it’s for a day, you need to pack a few sets of clothes (but don’t make these packing mistakes). Anything can happen in the wilderness. You can trip and scratch yourself, get wet in the river, or get rained on. Additionally, since you will be doing a lot of hiking, jumping, and rowing, you will need extra clothes so that you don’t smell horrible on the way home.

The thing with the woods is that it can be warm during the day, but the nights can be super chilly. So, make sure to put on moisture-wicking long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and pack a couple of extra sets as well. The goal is to stay comfortable no matter the temperature but also to keep the bugs away. Also, carry a bathing suit, synthetic or camping socks, underwear, gloves, a lightweight jacket, hat, polarized sunglasses, and a good pair of waterproof shoes. If you don’t know what to pick, check out this list ranking the best waterproof shoes by Faveable.

Navigation and Camping Tools

planning a trip to the woods

Another important aspect of planning a trip to the woods is taking the right navigation and camping tools. You might not need all of these things but mentioning all of them might help you decide what you actually need for your trip. The list might include maps, a compass, binoculars (here are some good ones), flashlights, batteries, camera and camera accessories, headphones, knives, whistles, a gear repair kit, a lighter or matches, umbrellas or raincoats, an altimeter, a route guidebook, a Personal Locator Beacon, headlamps, helmets, a GPS device, chargers, and power banks. Finally, in order to carry all the clothes, shoes and tools, get yourself a nice, high-quality collapsible backpack. To set up your camp, you will need some travel pillows, sleeping bags or an air mattress, a tarp, and, of course, a tent.

Health and Safety

planning a trip to the woods

When planning a trip to the woods, it’s important not to forget all the necessary medications you might need for the trip. Take any prescribed medication, blister ointment, antibiotics, and medicines for allergies, food poisoning, migraines, pain, motion sickness, and insect poisoning, and bug repellents. Insects that carry poison or disease are super dangerous. Additionally, consider carrying a lip balm and a lotion to keep your skin moisturized. Be mindful of menstrual hygiene as well. Other than that, pack some wet wipes, hand sanitizer, tissues, soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, a hairbrush, hair ties, and sunscreen.

First Aid Tools

benefits of having travel insurance

General-purpose first aid kits are quite small. However, for your hiking trip, you need to gear up. A typical camping first aid kit should contain a first aid manual, antiseptic wipes, safety pins, tweezers, all the necessary medicines, sterile pads, adhesive tape, gauze pads, bandages, antibacterial ointment, sunburn gel, eye drops, lozenges for a sore throat, a medical waste bag, a CPR mask, medical gloves, a thermometer, cotton swabs, and a pair of scissors. It may look like a lot to carry, but you never know when you might need them. After all, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Energy Food and Drinks

camping food

Camping in the woods is a very demanding activity, and you will need to pack up food and drinks that give you lots of energy. Prepare simple meals for lunch and dinner if you are camping in your car. Consider taking portable cookware, including a camping stove, reusable cups, and plates, a cutting board, reusable utensils, portable camping coffee makers (you can get some great value-for-money options here), etc. Get some easy to cook meals, like mac n’ cheese, burgers, pasta, sandwiches, grilled meat, burritos, french toast, and salads. Gummy bears, protein bars, sports drinks, nuts, snacks, and chews are great choices to keep up your energy when camping in the woods. Additionally, carry fruits in Ziploc sandwich bags to keep your body nourished with water, minerals, and vitamins.

Entertainment Essentials

entertainment camping

Solo camping in the woods is exciting most of the time but sometimes, things might not go as planned. For example, what if it starts raining, or the weather is too chilly to swim? That is why you should consider packing some entertainment essentials in the trunk so that the trip is not completely wasted. Consider bringing a bicycle,  fishing gear (such as poles, line, reels, tackle, and lures), kayaking gear (including paddles, life jackets, and repair kits), or some board and card games (especially if you’re traveling with a group).

Final Thoughts

planning a trip to the woods

Helpful resources for campers

When it comes to hiking equipment, my go-to choice is Camelbak and you can use this discount code to get 15% off on your first order.

If you’re looking for some camping sunglasses, you can use this link to buy one and get one free from Glasses Shop.

Do you like camping knives? Then, I warmly recommend checking Leatherman’s collection. If you see something interesting, feel free to use my discount code and get 15% off on all orders.

If you’re camping, you need to travel as light as possible and you can lose some weight by not taking your camera. Instead, you can use these lens solutions by Olloclip– they will make the pictures you take with your phone look like they’ve been taken from a professional camera.

In case you’re wondering what to do about food, you can check out this selection of dried food for camping and backpacking by Wise Food Storage.

Finally, if you want to rent an RV for your trip to the woods, use this coupon to get 10% off on all RV rentals from Outdoorsy.

Packing for the day trip will require a checklist. By noting down everything mentioned here, you can sort out what you need and what you don’t. It will help you to not leave important things behind. You don’t necessarily have to follow the entire list but it’s a great starting point when planning a trip to the woods. Have you ever been on a trip to the woods? Do you think there are some more packing essentials we didn’t mention in this article? Let us know in the comments!

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20 thoughts on “Planning a trip to the woods? Here’s everything you need to pack”

  1. Your post reminded me of the days when we used to go camping. These are good tips for planning a trip to the woods. You addressed all the aspects of traveling in the wilderness.

    Reply
  2. Its been ages since I last went on camping! It would take a few more years (till my gal grows up a bit more) for me to restart camping! Oh I miss it!!!
    Thanks for all the tips. You’ve extensively covered all aspects of camping. Yes, navigation tools so necessary in the woods and more important is having charge in it!!!

    Reply
  3. This is a great checklist for camping in the woods. There seems to be a lot to consider, but you have to be prepared for all types of conditions. I am not the best camper and have not done much of it but it is one my list of things still to do to get me out of my comfort zone. This article helps. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Yes, that’s the point, Jane. You might not need ALL of these things most of the time but I just wanted to prepare a checklist that can easily be adjusted to one’s needs and requirements.

      Reply
  4. Our family goes camping often, and I agree with the items you’ve listed. This is a great guide for campers, especially new campers or people who haven’t been camping for a long period of time. Your first aid suggestions was especially thorough. In my opinion, there is nothing more relaxing than spending time in the woods!

    Reply
  5. As an outdoor enthusiast myself who loves hiking and camping in the woods, I could totally relate to this post.
    One should keep in mind regarding packing adequate layers, coz the temperature keeps fluctuating and yeah a first aid kit and some easy to cook energy giving foods should always be packed.

    Reply
  6. The last time I was camping , was eons ago. How nice it would be to do so again. Apart from the very valuable informational checklist, I am tempted now to start camping.. in my garden to practise before I do the real thing. I love that you included backup plans in case of bad weather!

    Reply
  7. Good to know Daniel. I was destroyed by bugs hiking in Connecticut yesterday bro. Insane amounts, like the jungles of Costa Rica. We’ve had so much rain in the Northeast US over months that bugs are in abundance. I need good repellent and a willingness to have bugs in my eyes I guess hahaha.

    Reply
    • I can totally relate, Ryan. Bugs can be a real pain in the ass. A good repellent is always a must when camping in the woods 🙂

      Reply
  8. I used to go camping with my boys all the time when they were younger. Your list of what to bring is thorough. You’re right that first aid kits tend to be too small and you need to think about what you may need until you can get help. As I’ve aged and gotten aches and pains, I no longer enjoy it as much, but the memories we created will stay with us forever.

    Reply
    • I’m sorry to hear you don’t get the chance to go camping as often anymore, Annick but I’m glad you liked and could relate to this post. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts 🙂

      Reply
  9. I find it so interesting that people camp is such different ways. Reading your article, I found that I’m very much a lowkey camper compared to others. I hardly worry about all the extra and focus on the necessities: good hiking shoes, layers, water, tent, and easy food to cook such as “poor-boy” dinners and brats. I hadn’t even thought about bringing a first aid kit or cooking other foods such as pasta. I just might expand my horizons on my next camping trip!

    Reply
    • Indeed, Martha. Everyone is different, and hence, there are different ways for camping and packing for camping 🙂 The goal of this list was to give the ultimate checklist of all items one might need.

      Reply
  10. I LOVE camping in the woods! Its one if my favourite childhood memories – camping with friends and family, just for one night, so much fun! We have never wrote lists, we managed somehow! But today I like to prepare a bit when I go to longer trips!

    Reply

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