Those who have camped at least a couple of times understand the pain of forgetting a vital piece of gear. Moldy rope, moth-eaten sleeping bags, and holey socks can all make a trip more uncomfortable than necessary — but so can forgotten batteries, missing flashlights, and too little food or water. Beyond the basic gear, here’s a quick reminder of a few essential camping items all too often forgotten.
1. A Portable Stove
Sure, you think it’s obvious, but only until you wake up in the morning with no way to heat water for your instant coffee. For a trip longer than a day or two, stoves are vital to cook food, heat water, and make toasty drinks around the campfire. If you’re backpacking, it’s especially necessary that your stove is lightweight and easily portable.
2. Bug Bite Relief
Somehow, no matter how much bug spray you slap on, a few ingenious bugs will still find a way to get at your skin. So remember to bring along some bug bite relief to soothe your skin after the inevitable red, itchy bumps occur.
3. Solar-Powered Lanterns
Requiring no batteries, solar-powered lanterns simply need to sit in the sun for a few hours to provide light in your tent at night. Typically sturdy and sometimes even waterproof, they’re great to have on longer camping trips because so long as they receive sunlight, they won’t suddenly fall dark.
4. A Water Filter
On longer trips, you might not be able to pack all the water you’ll need, or maybe you just won’t want to. A water good water filter will take lake or pond water and filter out all the bad particles that may make you sick. Also handy are iodine tablets, which do essentially the same.
5. A Bear Hang
In its simplest form, it’s a sack with a rope attached that you can toss over a high tree branch. It keeps bears from getting into your food or rustling around in your tent for something good to eat. Remember, bears are unusually clever, so it’s essential you remember to tie up your food at night.
Okay, maybe they’re not essential, but they are, at least, pretty fun! Some adventurous campers may choose to sleep in their hammock at night, while others will simply enjoy a late afternoon nap in theirs.
Hopefully, this quick list helps you up your camping game and feel inspired to get back into the woods! Do your research, remember your gear, and, most importantly, have fun — the great outdoors awaits you.