With parks and campgrounds beginning to reopen, millions of Americans are planning summer camping vacations. Before hitting the road, campers should be sure to pack accordingly for the trip. Simply by bringing along a handful of useful items, campers can be well on their way to making the trip is as enjoyable as possible.
Here are 15 must-have items for your next trip in the wilderness.
1. LED Headlamp
You probably don’t want to find yourself stumbling through the dark just to make a late night bathroom trip. That’s just one of the many reasons a headlamp will come in handy.
Headlamps are an easy way to make your camping trip safer for everyone. Many come equipped with flashing red lights to help someone find you if you get lost. Certainly if you are traveling with kids, packing a headlamp for everyone is a smart idea.
2. Medical Kit
In the wild, it’s easy for accidents to happen. Be prepared to provide assistance by bringing a medical kit.
There are kits made specifically for hikers and campers. You will be prepared to take care of scrapes, burns, blisters, and such with the items available in a standard medical kit. Also, remember to pack along any additional medical supplies you or your fellow campers may need.
3. Personal Water Filter
Safely drink from any water source with the right personal water filter. Especially when you are deep in the wilderness, it’s good to know that you won’t run out of clean water.
4. Pull-String Fire Starter
Unless you’re committed to roughing it, you can save yourself loads of time by bringing along a pull-string fire starter. It’s as simple as placing the block next to the firewood and igniting it. Also important to remember, the sooner you get the fire started the sooner you’re eating s’mores.
5. Over-Fire Camp Grill
For campers who don’t want to wrap everything in foil and cook over the coals, bring along an over-fire camp grill. These simple grills are great for things like burgers, brats, and more. You can find great over-fire grills on Amazon that won’t too hard on your wallet.
6. Cleansing Wipes
Between showers, cleansing wipes are great for freshening up a bit. For campers traveling with children, wipes can be especially helpful. Also important to remember is that some campgrounds may have limited access to clean running water.
7. Pop-Up Trash Can
Keep all of your waste contained with a pop-up trash can. After all, the point of camping is to enjoy nature. Don’t ruin the experience for yourselves and others by leaving garbage on the campground.
8. Yeti/Orca Cooler
Make sure your ice lasts as long as possible with products like a Yeti or Orca cooler. You can make sure your perishables stay fresh for upwards of three days, and keep all your beverages ice cold.
9. Indoor/Outdoor Blanket
To stay nice and warm throughout the night, don’t forget an indoor/outdoor blanket. A great option for campers is the Rumpl’s indoor/outdoor blanket. It is waterproof and resistant to dirt. This is a desirable feature given that you are exposed to the elements in the great outdoors.
10. Seven-Day Meal Kit
If you plan to camp for an extended period, you want to make sure you have enough food. Also, you can avoid dehydrating all the food you want to bring along by packing a product such as AlpineAire Foods Ready Meal Kit.
11. Lantern/Fan Hybrid
With summer in full swing, staying cool is important. Especially at night time, a lantern/fan hybrid can provide light in the tent as well as being the closest thing to air conditioning.
12. Solar Power Bank
When you’re off the grid, you can keep all your devices charged up with a solar power bank. The power bank usually takes about six to seven hours in the sun to fully charge. Many come with USB ports and an LED light.
13. Collapsible Dog Bowl
If you plan on bringing along your pups, bring a collapsible dog bowl. You can make sure your camping buddy is always hydrated while on the trails. Also, many collapsible dog bowls meant for camping come with a carabiner to save room in your pack.
14. Air Mattress
Sleeping on the ground may not be for you. If that’s the case, be sure to bring along an air mattress or cot. On sites like Amazon, you can score an air mattress in twin or queen sizes that will run you around $85.
15. Foldable Flask
Want to enjoy an adult beverage while camping? Don’t forget to grab your foldable flask. One Amazon reviewer, J de North, calls the Vapor AfterHours Flexible Flask a “very great little flask for bringing a little bit of daddy’s little helper along without taking up any room or risking wet clothes and spilled whiskey.”
For additional must-have camping items, check out a more extensive list on BuzzFeed.