5 Camping Essentials for Outdoor Fun

As long as the weather is warm outside, avid campers are ready to start planning their trips. Hiccups can occur, so it’s important to be prepared ahead of time. Nothing spoils a planned camping trip like crazy, unpredictable weather, or forgetting something important. Check out these camping essentials and have fun on your next outdoor adventure. 

1. Sealed Tote and Cooler

One of the best parts of camping is sitting around the campfire with yummy s’mores, fruit pies, and other treats to feed hungry tummies. Don’t forget your pie iron and hot dog/marshmallow roasting stick, but pack them properly. 

Leaving food in grocery bags or flimsy boxes could lead to spoilage or melting of items. Invest in a solid, locking tote for dry goods and a cooler for perishable items. Don’t forget the ice! Depending on where you’re at, it could also draw critters in.

2. Extra Tarp and Zippered Gazebo/Canopy

Most personal items generally stay dry inside the tent or camper. But not everything. Fishing poles, shoes, and other supplies may be out on a picnic table. Be sure to pack a decent tarp and canopy for coverage of picnic areas. Even for cozy game nights when you’re playing board games or Euchre, a zippered gazebo will keep bugs away.

In the event of a torrential downpour, an extra tarp will add a layer of flood-proof protection, so everyone stays dry. Remember to add a tarp under your tent or gazebo as well for a dry base and protective layer.     

3. The Right Cooking Gear

This seems like a given, but be sure you bring along the right tools for the trip. For backwoods camping, you’ll need to be equipped with everything to cook a meal or two because there may not be a retail store close by. Bring along a campfire coffee pot, spatula, mixing bowl, knife, tongs, spoon, and eating utensils. 

Remember that most primitive campsites won’t have a grill. Consider packing a small gas grill or a tripod grill. Cast iron is excellent over an open fire. If your crew wants to help out with cooking, cast iron griddles serve as a good cutting board too. Get everyone on board to help. Don’t forget to pack oil, foil, and your favorite seasonings. 

4. Flashlights and Torches

Tiki torches (if allowed) provide a relaxing ambiance for campers. They also give light to a primitive campsite. Don’t forget flashlights, battery-powered lanterns, and/or glowlights. Flashlights are a must because not only do they pave the way down the dark path at night, but they’re also perfect for telling scary stories around the campfire. 

5. Essentials Not to Miss  

Once you have the basics covered, there are a few more items you should pack alongside everything:

  • A good fire starter, which you’ll need to get the coals hot or start a campfire 
  • Extra tent gear and tools in case some get lost or broken — think anchors and tent patches
  • First aid kit 
  • Rubber mallet, scissors, and rope
  • Baby wipes
  • Trash or grocery bags

Pack in some bug spray and citronella candles. Don’t forget the fishing poles, bicycles, tackle, horseshoes, and cornhole for added outdoor fun. 

Whether you camp in a tent, camper, or cabin, having basic essentials on hand can make the trip flow a lot smoother. It may seem like a lot of work, so be sure to take time out to have loads of fun. No matter what pops up on your trip, good or bad, with this list, you’ll be prepared. Remember, you’re making memories to last a lifetime.