The thing that separates a hiking experience from an ordinary camping one is that you do not have to personally carry everything you may need. You can pack so much more in the trunk of the car.
Pack for comfort while you are camping. The most important items as anyone knows are: A tent, sleeping bags, clothes, a flashlight, a knife, a camp cooler and a camp stove. Apart from water and food, you may just add a first aid kit, but otherwise, you are set to go.
Here are some no-brainer items that you can pack and not worry about the weight or size too much.
Water is essential for life. We have all become so used to just switching on the tap. When you are camping in the wilderness, this will not be possible, so you will need to bring an adequate supply with you. You will need water for drinking, cooking and washing. If there is no water available at the campground, you will need to have enough of your own. If there is a lake or river close by, you will need to familiarize yourself with methods of sterilizing this water.
The food you pack for your camp depends entirely on your own preferences. If you plan carefully, you can eat very well while camping. Most recipes can be adapted to camp cooking, you just need to be a bit creative.
The tent will be your home and shelter for the duration of the camp. It will shield you from sun or snow. Even in idyllic weather, you will want a tent that is, firstly, easy to erect, big enough to sleep in comfortably, and capable of withstanding any weather you expect to occur. There are so many to choose from. Choose carefully.
Your sleeping bag does need to be comfy, otherwise, you will not enjoy camping. There are lots of designs and different materials which are used in their manufacture. Your choice will depend on when and how you will be camping, as the type of weather you expect will influence your choice.
You need to have a couple of changes of clothes, but not too many! At a camp, there is always a possibility of getting wet or muddy. A rain jacket, something warm and something for very hot conditions, particularly if the weather is unpredictable.
A first aid kit packed with essential basic medications and bandages is something you must pack.
You should have a good quality pocket knife or utility knife. This is a most useful item to have while you are camping, in fact, do not attempt a camp without one. You will find it a most versatile item to have with you.
A camp stove which uses the same fuel as lanterns do, is an item which you will be glad to have. They are fairly inexpensive. Cooking over a wood fire takes experience and is a skill in its own right. A camp cooler is important if you will be camping more than a day. Your perishables need to be kept cool to prevent spoilage.
A lantern to hang in the tent or in the trees would be useful. You do not want to need to use a flashlight all the time. Camp lanterns are easy to find and do not need to be costly.
You will, however, need a flashlight for when you need to find the bathroom at night. Or maybe when you need to find the lantern!
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