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Campsite Gear, Safety Products, Camping Tools, Food & More: All You Need to Know to Bring for a Great Camping Trip!

Must-have camping gear to pack for a weekend camping trip.

Camping is a great way to enjoy nature and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Fresh air, beautiful sights, and enjoying the peaceful quiet of the outdoors are a balm for the soul. To best enjoy your time camping, packing correctly is vital.

Packing for a camping trip can be a daunting task, but if you plan ahead and pack light, you’ll be ready to go. Practice makes perfect, and a weekend trip is a great time to get a feel for how you like to live outdoors.

Read on to learn how to pack for a weekend camping trip and what’s essential to bring.

What to Pack for a Weekend Camping Trip

Before you can enjoy all that epic nature (like in our favorite place of Montana), you have to make sure you properly pack for your camping trip. If you’re just taking a short weekend trip, you don’t need a ton of stuff. Your exact needs will also depend on where you’re going and what you’ll be doing on your camping trip.

To give you an idea of what you’ll need, here’s a list of some basic camping essentials for a weekend camping trip. You may not need to bring everything mentioned here, but you’ll have a better idea of what you might need and can use this list to start your own checklist for your weekend away in the woods.

Campsite Gear

First, consider what you’ll need for your campsite. You’ll want shelter, so bring a tent that comfortably fits you and your camping buddies. You’ll also need a sleeping bag and a pillow for each person.

Bring a tarp, too, for waterproofing. A leaky tent is extremely uncomfortable and there’s nothing more discouraging than waking up damp. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can also be dangerous if the temperature is on the cold side. A tarp on the ground underneath your tent gives you some extra protection. It also helps prevent damage to your tent.

Some people prefer sleeping in a camping hammock with a cover, especially if you’re camping solo. They’re easy to set up and quite comfortable.

To make your campsite more comfortable when you’re not sleeping, bring a camping chair. They come in a lot of different styles that fold up easily.

It’s also a good idea to bring a light source, such as a lantern or a headlamp so you can see where you’re going at night.

So to recap, for comfort while camping you’ll want:

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Camping chair
  • Lantern
  • Hammock
  • Tarp

Easy-to-Pack Food for Camping

Packing food for your camping trip is a must.  If you are going camping far away from civilization, you will need food to last the duration of your trip. If you are not very experienced with surviving in the wilderness, you should bring food that doesn’t require cooking. With that in mind, easily portable food is preferable.

Some ideas for food to bring that are portable and nutrient-dense:

  • Beef Jerky
  • Trail Mix
  • Pemmican
  • Energy Bars or Energy Gels
  • Dried Fruit
  • Instant Coffee
  • Water Filter/Purification Tablets (if you won’t have access to a filtered water source). We especially like camping with a purifying straw for this purpose.

Personal Care Products to Pack

Don’t forget to bring clothing and personal care items. While hygiene standards do tend to be lower out in the wilderness, it’s still important to stay clean and healthy! That said, just the basics will do.

These towels are great for camping because they double as a blanket or beach cover. They’re also beautiful, which is always a plus!

Toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap and shampoo. You may consider bringing a small kit so you can keep these items separate from the rest of your stuff for sanitary reasons. A waterproof bag keeps everything in good shape.

Camping Tools

There are a few tools you should have with you when you’re camping.

A good multitool helps you do all kinds of things – for camping, choose one that has a knife and a can opener. This one even has a hammer and hatchet.

Bring a small shovel in case you need to dig a latrine or for any other reason.

You also might want to bring an axe in case you have to cut firewood, like this slim axe.

You should also have some rope on hand, just in case you need it for some reason or another. This is a good style of camping rope to have.

A compass is great to have, so you don’t get lost while hiking. They’re often built into other camping gear, so you might have one already. If not, we like this carabiner compass for ease of use:

Finally, a good set of binoculars is often handy in the wilderness. You can use it for watching wildlife or getting a good view of your surroundings while you’re hiking.

REI is our go-to source for binoculars. You can see their entire collection here.

First Aid Supplies for Camping

Bring your first aid kit with you on your trip. That way, if an emergency arises you can patch yourself up–or someone else–until the danger has passed or you get additional help from medical professionals.

There are few essentials to have in your camping first aid kit:

  • Bandages
  • Gauze Pads
  • Adhesive Tape
  • Alcohol Wipes or Hand Sanitizer
  • Antiseptic Ointment/Spray
  • Painkillers (such as ibuprofen)  or Antihistamines
  • Anti-Diarrhea Medicine
  • Insect Repellent
  • Sunscreen

Bring any prescription medications you might need with you, along with any over-the-counter medicine that treats the kinds of ailments you are at risk for while camping.

You can also make packing all this easier for you by purchasing a done-for-you first aid kit that is all ready to go in your hiking pack.

Packing Tips for Camping

Packing for your camping trip can be a challenge. There’s a balance because you want to pack light, but you don’t want to leave anything behind that you might need.

Here are a few more tips that will help you pack for your weekend camping trip.

  • Roll blankets, towels, and clothes. They’ll take up less room than folded items.
  • Use your vehicle space wisely. Put your camping gear in boxes or storage bins so you can stack them safely and securely.
  • Consider the weight of all your gear, especially if you’re packing it in to the site. It all adds up quickly.
  • Pack fresh food with plenty of ice to keep it from spoiling.

Benefits of Taking a Weekend Camping Trip

Camping is a favorite pastime for good reason. The benefits are numerous:

  • Reconnect with nature.
  • Relax your nervous system by taking a break from technology.
  • Bond with your friends or family in a quiet, peaceful environment.
  • Get some exercise in the form of hiking and exploring.
  • Learn something new about yourself when you’re away from your comfort zone.
  • Improve your health with sunshine and fresh air.
  • The cost is negligible since you don’t have to take a lot of time off and campsite fees are usually budget-friendly.

But none of those benefits will truly be yours if you can’t relax properly because you didn’t bring the right camping items and supplies. But use this helpful camping packing list above and you’ll be on your way to a fun, relaxing camping weekend away in nature!

Read More: Top 10 Best Large Family Tents

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