Camping is a great summer break for the whole family. Unlike an all-inclusive resort vacation overseas, camping is relatively affordable, no matter how many kids you have. You can pack up the RV and head into the Great Outdoors at a moment’s notice, which is perfect if the weather forecasters predict a week of sunshine and you have some time off work. However, the problem with camping is that if you are not adequately prepared, things soon start to go south.
There are many different types of camping, ranging from ‘glamping’ where you have everything but the kitchen sink, to roughing it in the wilds. Most people opt for something in the middle. That is, they take enough essentials to ensure they are comfortable, without overdoing it.
You should already have the basics, such as a weather-resistant tent, sleeping bags, and a camping stove, but here are a few extra essential items every happy camper needs for their next trip.
Every happy camper needs a good quality Fenix flashlight to highlight the way to the designated toilet area at night or to reassure nervous kids a grizzly bear is not lurking just beyond the trees. If you buy a battery operated flashlight, make sure you have spare batteries. For longer trips, a wind-up torch is useful.
You will need a supply of matches to light your gas stove or camp fire. Store your matches in a Ziploc bag to protect them from moisture.
All-Purpose Utility Knife
Knives are useful for chopping down sticks for firewood and a million other tasks. Take a multi-purpose knife if you are planning to explore the area or you want to have a go at building a bush shelter. Make sure it’s nice and sharp.
Camping Pots and Pans
It is difficult to cook a nutritious meal without a couple of pots and pans. Small metal pans are best, as you can use them on a campfire if you decide to ‘rough it’. Pack a kettle too, so you can boil water for tea or brew some coffee on the stove.
Plates and Cutlery
Whilst the kids might relish eating without the aid of plates and cutlery, most civilized people prefer mod cons, even on a camping trip. Plastic plates and cutlery are lightweight and ideal for camping trips. One plate and a set of cutlery per person are plenty. Don’t forget to pack a mug each, too.
Table and Chairs
Sitting on the floor is OK as long as it’s dry. You might find it more comfortable, though, if you take folding chairs and a table. Look online for plastic trestle tables and chairs. These pack flat and should fit in the trunk of your car without a problem. It makes campsite dining a more pleasurable experience, but don’t forget to light some citronella candles before you eat, or you might be pestered by flies.
Radios are a useful source of weather information. It’s much better to have an advanced warning about an incoming storm.
Other useful items you may need include a retractable laundry line and a camping lantern for inside the tent.