You know when you start thinking about a camping trip, your mind starts to make a mental list: s’mores, sunscreen, bug repellent, citronella candles and table cloths for the picnic tables…But what happens when the unexpected drops by your campsite? Instead of mapping out the nearest supply store, take a little extra time in your packing to include the following:
The Camping Supplies You Never Knew You Always Needed
Extra Gas and Oil – a full tank of gas in your vehicle or generator might not be enough. What happens if there’s a leak or a spill? No to mention, oil needs checked regularly, especially smaller motors.
Sturdy Footwear – you can check the weather and see a zero percent change of precipitation, but it could still rain and unless you pack waterproof boots, your feet will get wet and likely lead to cold chills. Don’t forget about the need to navigate the terrain and how difficult that might be in open toed shoes.
A Good Map – summer time brings about road construction. Without a map, a detour may lead to being lost, or even worse, stranded until someone with a map comes along to help.
Rope & Duct Tape – anything that will help secure your loose ends and tie up food in bear country.
Wood – as you cannot always count on the technique of hunting & gathering firewood, especially if it rains at the start of your camping trip.
Hand Tools, such as a hammer, a hand saw and shovel are very handy. – One can never prepare for the condition their campsite was left by the previous occupants.
Protective Equipment – knee pads and leather gloves may sound extreme, but again, you never know what condition the campsite might be in. Setting up your tent poles with knee pads and leather gloves could make you the envy of all the other campers trying to navigate the sharp rocks and broken glass.
Tarp – helps provide an extra barrier between the elements and your sleeping quarters. It can even be secured to provide shade should the heat become an issue.
First Aid Kit – I’m certain you’ll remember the bug spray and sunscreen, but a well-stocked First Aid Kit will prepare you for the worst of situations. Bring along medical tape, rubber gloves, gauze pads, bandages and a tourniquet.
Battery Powered Radio – Mother Nature can turn on a dime, be sure you can catch weather updates for your area.
Before you head out, take a second inventory of your packed supplies. Spend the extra five minutes thinking through your load, because if you miss something vital, you’ll be spending more time than that wishing you had it. Over-packing is only irritating during a hiking trip, where you’ll be responsible for hauling the load, but when you’ve got the luxury of staying at a campsite, it’s okay to be “that” camper.