By: Olga Kennedy
Considering a camping trip—for the first time? Visions of your first camping trip can range from a most spectacular outdoor adventure to a challenge, but always something that you’ll remember as a big experience.
To begin with, there are different types of camping: backpack camping, tent camping and RV camping. Within the latter two categories are levels themselves, from basic to more of a home-like, comfortable experience. Once you understand the types of camping available, you’ll need to pack appropriately.
The most common type of camping is tent camping. Whether you’ll be camping at a random site in a national park without modern comforts or at a campground in Ohio like Rocky Fork Ranch Resort with the amenities that you need, you should bring along the obvious equipment, such as a tent and its parts, sleeping bag, appropriate clothes and toiletries, flashlights/batteries, and food/cooking equipment. In addition to the standards, you may want to add the following items to help make your first camping experience a little easier.
- Swiss Army knife, the ideal multipurpose tool because of is wide range of use. The basic version has a tweezer (use to remove splinters or ticks), scissors, a knife; a nail file and toothpick. Deluxe versions also include a can opener, a hook, and even a saw!
- A 3-in-1 axe/hammer/saw tool, ideal for helping cut firewood or hammering the tent stake into the ground. You can find this tool at camping stores or online.
- Dryer lint and petroleum jelly. Nothing works better at starting a fire than dryer lint. Better than twigs, wood chips or paper, dryer lint burns faster and with the addition of the petroleum jelly, it will burn slower, longer and hotter. Plus, it’s easy to make and easy to pack. Just take balls of dryer lint and mix in the jelly until it’s saturated. Easy.
- Pillow (camping, travel, or your own from home): a good pillow can be the difference between waking up refreshed or waking up with neck cramps and feeling awful all day.
- Hand sanitizer, wet wipes or waterless soap: surrounded by nature, there’ll be dirt, bugs, and other things that may make you feel less than clean, and when the nearest bathroom sink isn’t within an easy reach, having sanitizer, wipes or waterless soap can be a blessing.
- Shower shoes, flip flops or water shoes come in handy because they protect your feet and they’re easy to put on and take off. Use them in public showers, or when nature calls and you need to walk off into the brush, or for a short stroll down to a river or lake.
- Bug spray and fly swatters are a must. You want to protect yourself against insect bites and any annoying flying insects around your campsite.
- Plastic. Think plastic bags (for trash or to wrap things up in case of rain), tarp (as an additional barrier between the ground and your tent or to cover large areas) or raincoats and rain boots, since weather can be unexpected.