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
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. 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 woolen 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
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
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
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 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.
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).
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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