Making a List of Supplies to Take Camping

What camping supplies are essential for a great trip? Start by making a list of necessities you'll need based on where you're going including water and emergency supplies and then add in the fun things you have room for.

Making a List of Supplies to Take Camping
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When the economy slumps and unemployment rises high, many families forgo their usual resort vacations and go camping instead. A trip to the Big Outdoors can be fun for the entire family while also being relaxing and soothing, as long as you're well prepared. Camping comfortably definitely requires some planning ahead. Here's how to pack appropriately.
Research the Destination
The first step to making a camping list is to learn about where you're going, what facilities will be there and what the weather might be like. If you're camping somewhere that doesn't have water spigots at each campsite, for example, you'll need to bring plenty of water for drinking, washing and cooking. Will there be outhouses? If not, you'll need to bring a shovel. (Either way, remember toilet paper!) If your campground doesn't allow visitors to gather wood for fires, you'll have to bring your own firewood or purchase it there, if available. If there won't be grills, you'll need to bring your own along with matches, paper for kindling and charcoal or propane. If it might be rainy, you'll want to pack your tent's rain fly in addition to the tent, stakes and mallet. For overnight camping trips, don't forget lanterns, flashlights (or headlamps) and extra batteries.
Pack Appropriate Clothing
Depending on the location and time of the year, you may need to bring a wide range of clothing. Many camping spots have warm weather during the day and cold weather at night. You may need T-shirts, tank tops, shorts, sunglasses and sunblock during the day. If cold winds are forecast at night, you may also need scarves, gloves, double socks and long underwear. You may also want to pack rain gear in case there are unexpected showers.
Remember Food, Condiments and Utensils
Try to figure out what you'll be cooking for each breakfast, lunch and dinner. Think about what each meal will require. Remember to bring the food for each dish but also the ice to keep it cool, butter, seasonings, condiments, cooking pans, utensils for eating and preparing, can and bottle openers, cups and napkins. Also bring snacks for between meals, hikes and late-night munchies. Don't forget cleaning supplies. You'll probably need to bring a large tub in which to wash dishes along with dish soap and towels.
Emergency Preparedness
A smart camper plans for anything. Always bring a first-aid kit with bandages, medications and ointments in case of emergency. A good knife can have many uses, especially if you need to cut down foliage blocking a path, treat a poisonous snakebite or protect yourself against an animal. If you'll be camping or hiking in remote areas where there aren't a lot of people, it's a good idea to bring flares in case you get into trouble.
Tips for Making the List
Make your list on a computer. That way you can print and save it for your next trip and quickly add or eliminate supplies you need. Some people come up with separate lists for cold-weather camping and warm-weather camping, which can be easily reused next time. Check out sample lists in Resources.
Resources
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Camping List
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Camping Checklist

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