Don’t Leave These 5 Items Off Your Camping Checklist
You’re putting together your camping checklist because you’re planning for your big weekend at the camp site. Maybe with your friends, maybe with your significant other, or maybe just a weekend to yourself. Like any wise camper, you’re planning. This is a good thing. We want to make sure you don’t leave items off of your list that not only will save your life, but also make it easier.
But odds are, you’re preparing your camping checklist in the mindset of leisure. Do us a favor, have a look at your camping checklist and tell me if it looks a little bit like this?
2) Hot Dogs
3) Hot Dog Rolls
4) Ketchup & Mustard
6) Bug Repellent
9) Air Mattress
Yes? That’s okay, because ultimately that’s why you’re reading this article, you want to make sure you don’t leave the important items you may have missed off of your list.
We’re approaching this from a sense of being prepared not just the uncommon, rather what will and can likely happen even in the most populated camp ground or on a lake you’ve been going to for your entire life.
Let’s begin with our items you can’t afford to leave off your camping checklist:
1) Fire Starter – A weather proof fire starter is a must have on any camping trip. We don’t only mean matches or a lighter, rather a fire starting implement that would work in wet or dry conditions. If your canoe falls into the river, it will still work.
The one pictured above contains a few extras but the core is there. It has a fire striker with ferrocerium rod that will strike sparks even when it’s wet. The other added bonus of something like this is the fact that it is a magnesium block, intended to shave pieces off into your tinder bundle. Magnesium shavings burn at 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s HOT. That will burn in rain and provide an extra ignition source that a regular tinder bundle just won’t have.
2) Bear Bag – Plan on eating when you’re at the camp site? Well you had better have a way to eliminate the scent of your food as to not attract predators, including, but not limited to, bears. You also want a way to hang said food up and away from your camp site because if predators do go sniffing around, you want them doing so away from your tent.
Commonly referred to as a bear bag, it’s really just a bag that is typically weather proof, and removes the scent of your food and is easily suspended in a tree, far and away from where you’re camping. The reason it is hung and not just slung up in a tree is because bears can climb. Even if you don’t have bears where you are, you likely have raccoon’s, mountain lions, or other predators that can climb.
3) Compass – Odds are you’re planning on going hiking or for a walk in the woods on your trip. Did you know, most people get lost less than 100 yards off of a common hiking trail? Getting lost in the woods is one of the most common occurrences, especially if you like to explore.
If you aren’t great at navigating by the sun or other directional indicators, a compass is your best bet. I know you are saying that you have one on your phone, but you know Murphy’s Law right? Odds are, your phone battery will be dead or you will have left it back at the camp site. Let’s not kid ourselves, a compass could be # 1 on your camping checklist.
4) Signaling Device – Odds are, you’re only wearing bright orange when you’re out hunting. If you don’t hunt, you probably aren’t wearing orange anyways. Creating contrast in the wilderness to be seen is more difficult than you think, especially in the dark. A signaling device is absolutely paramount.
Don’t only think about the times where you get lost and you need to signal for rescue because you can’t move either. Sometimes, you just need something to signal your location for other purposes, such as helping your friend find the camp site you’re at, or notifying someone where you’re headed. Also, think multiple use cases, especially a light. At night, unless you’re only 3 feet away from your fire, you can’t see a thing! You’re going to want some sort of a light, especially one that can flash and pulse.
5) Multi-Tool – When you’re camping, you’re doing everything from setting up the tent, maybe hitching a trailer to your vehicle, hiking, setting up various pieces of camping furniture, etc. Essentially, you’re not sure what you’re going to encounter. Therefore, having a multi-tool winds up at #5 on our camping checklist rather than say a knife. A knife you will likely have on you anyways, but you want to make sure you’re able to tackle any situation that may arise.
Some examples I give here are you’re never sure what you’re going to have to fix. There have been countless times something has gone wrong on a trailer, a 4 wheeler, a tent, a boat, even my back pack things have gone awry and I’ve had to improvise solutions. Improvisation is a heck of a lot easier when you have the right tool to do so. Did I mention they typically have bottle openers and can openers? I have used them to open cans of beer before where the pull tab went rogue.
Some other items of note: We have a paracord survival bracelet that weighs nothing and covers fire starting, signaling, and cordage. Also, it won’t break the bank.
If you’re going camping, looking for items to put on your camping checklist, odds are you’re likely into survival camping. Give this one a read: Survival Camping – 5 Things You’ll Want To Learn Quickly
Camping is most certainly for enjoyment and leisure, but I don’t think we’d be wrong in thinking that you enjoy yourself a lot more when you’re safe and have every situation under control. We want to make sure you’re prepared and in control of every situation.