Camping Supply List
An organized camping supply list will make your trip run smoothly and ensure nothing gets left behind. It will help you stay organized and prevent the "pack everything but the kitchen sink" sydrome. Camping is a simple activity and you should not overpack. Too much gear makes things complicated and you ultimately spend more time sorting through it than using the things you really need.
When you decide what to bring camping your basic needs are all that need to be considered. This means you need food, water, and shelter. Of course we have added a few other things to the list but remember to keep it simple.
What to Bring Camping
Tent- A good tent is necessary to be comfortable and dry. We like a lightweight tent that have plenty of extra space for gear. A quality tent will have durable zippers and tightly welded seams. This may be the most important item on the camping supply list.
Sleeping Bag- Avoid buying cheap sleeping bags unless they are high quality and on sale. I have made this mistake more than once and regretted it after a bad night of sleep. Look for a sleeping bag with good down or synthetic insulation and check the temperature rating to fit your camping season.
Sleeping Pad- Some people prefer an air matress but I like a foam sleeping pad. Foam will not puncture and provides a comfortable surface. You can go without a sleep pad but we will not be dropping it from our camping supply list anytime soon.
Sleeping Pillow- I usually roll some clothing but if you love a pillow bring it along. Pillows are nice but not necessary for your camping supply list.
Head Lamp/Flashlight- Never leave home without a light.
Cookware- Avoid going overboard on the pots and pans. I usually bring 2 pots and a skillet. I eat right out of the pot but you will need some small plates if other people are present. Collabsable bowls are convenient and easy to pack as well. Have a good knife on hand and utensils. Bring a spatula if you plan on a BBQ.
Food- Simple foods are the best bet. Pasta, hamburgers, eggs, and bacon. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are easy to store and they do not use up your cold space. Granola bars and breakfast bars are good and do not require much space for trash storage. Smores are a requirement for most campers. Bring metal coat hangers for easy roasting!
Ice Chest- Keep your food from spoiling. Add ice as necessary.
Grill/Stove- There are many different types on the market. A simple two burner coleman stove will handle most cooking needs. If you plan to BBQ a weber is great but a simple grill plate is easier to pack and you can cook over a campfire.
Clothing- Dress in layers and bring warm clothes on every trip. Nights are cold in the Rocky Mountains and I have seen snow in July. Pack a good base layer and a few good pairs of socks if you plan on hiking. Comfortable shoes or boots and a pair of shower shoes in case you use a public shower.
Maps/GPS- Bring maps of the area and know how to use them or bring a GPS.
SPOT- We never leave home without it. The SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger unit can save your life where cell phones are useless.
Water- You do not realize the importance of water until you are without it. Water is used for drinking, cooking, and putting out fires. Always bring more than you need. Put it at the top of your camping supply list.
Water Purification- If you are close to a water source consider a purification system. This will prevent you from getting sick with giardia. Water purification tablets are effective but a small hand pump filter does not have any bad taste.
Reading Material- This is not a necessity but when you are without modern conviences it can be difficult to fill the time. Reading is a great way to spend a quiet evening in the tent.
First Aid Kit- Always be prepared with a good first aid kit.
Duct Tape- It can fix anything.
Seam Sealer- You'll thank us if your tent springs a leak.
Toiletries- Don't forget the toothbrus and toothpaste. Also bring plenty of toilet paper (preferably biodegradable). For soap we like the environmentally friendly Dr. Bronners. It smells good and does not pollute.
Camp Chairs- They pack small and you will have a comfortable seat.
Folding Table- This is optional. I use the tailgate of my truck but a table is great if you plan on a card game.
Extras- Bring your fishing gear, hiking boots, mountain bikes, boats and anything you plan on using. Avoid bringing large items that will not be used.
Warning- These items are for summer camping trips. If you plan on doing some winter camping, special equipment is necessary.
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