The great outdoors can be a less scary place if you are prepared, and making sure you don't forget anything is very important because it's not like you could go back home immediately in case you forgot something. Camping is exciting, and one of the most important steps to ensure that you will fully enjoy a non-stressful camping trip is having all the things you need.
- Before anything else, you must sit down and prepare a checklist, and then, after you are certain your checklist is finished, you must then create a space in your garage or living room to pile all your camping gear in. This will serve as your test "campground". It is ideal to start doing this a few days before the actual trip so you won't get overwhelmed with all the things you have to buy or look for around the house.
- Once you are sure all the camping gear you need is together, recheck your checklist just to be sure. In case you forgot something, make a new list of the things you still need. It may be stressful, but double-checking your camping gear is crucial to making the most out of your upcoming trip.
- The next things to pack would be your clothing. Layering is the key to prepare for any type of cold climate or any sudden change in the weather. Avoid cotton unless you are preparing for a warm climate, because it dries slowly and it offers no warmth if you get wet. Bring extra clothes in case you get wet while hiking through bodies of water. A warm wool or fleece hat is also great to shield your head from the cold. Be sure also to pack thermal undergarments and long jackets to shield yourself from the elements.
- Test all of your gear before leaving. Your camp stove must work properly, and be sure to pack extra fuel. Make sure you know how to assemble your tent, because there are many kinds of tents out there, and if you've just purchased yours, you should make sure you've understood the manual before your camping trip.
- Divide gear into different small bags. For example, place your first aid kit in one bag, cooking gear in one bag and so on. Make sure you have an adequate supply of water in case you need to bring your own water, you can use a large water bladder to store it. It's easy to use because you can drink out of the hose even if you are on the move. Be sure to buy a good sleeping pad. You can bring two or more sleeping pads for extra warmth.
It is important to plan your meals ahead of time, so that you won't run out of food on your camping trip. Stick to essentials so you won't have a hard time carrying your camping pack. If you have a GPS unit, you can bring it along to avoid getting lost, but a map and compass will do if you don't. Don't forget to bring a camera so you can document your trip so you can always remember it.