Whether you are new to camping or you just want to make sure your next summer camping trip is as enjoyable as possible, there are several pieces of gear that are “must haves.” Summer is an ideal time to enjoy an outdoor adventure, so make sure you are prepared by packing these key items:
- Tent – There are so many tent sizes to choose from, so choose one that best fits your needs.
- Tarp – A tarp is useful not only for keeping rain and morning moisture out of your campsite, but also for protection against the sun.
- Camp Cookware – Stoves, pots, plates and utensils are essential for any camping trip, and having just the right pieces will make the most of your outdoor cooking.
- LED Lantern – A lantern is a helpful item for providing valuable illumination throughout your camping trip.
- A Fan – A portable fan is helpful in keeping you cool in your tent and at your camp site.
For any camping trip you will need some type of cooking source, whether it is the fire pit at the campground or a portable camp stove. There are small and very portable propane stoves you can pack easily if you are walking in to a site, or if you will be driving to the campground there are more substantial options with two burners for greater ease in cooking a meal. Obviously, you also need plates and utensils to enjoy your camp meals; there are sets available on the market with everything you need to eat at camp.
Choose a tent of appropriate size to sleep you and your camping companions comfortably, but that will not be too large to carry or pack. There are tent options available from very compact single sleeper styles to extremely roomy for ten or more people. If you will be camping for several days, having additional indoor space might be worth the extra cost and space. Also, make sure any tent you select has adequate storage as well as windows and doors to provide sufficient ventilation and access options.
A tarp might not be the first thing that pops into your mind for summer camping, particularly if you live in a hotter climate where rain is not likely during the summer months. But tarps offer protection from not only rain but sun, so a tarp is helpful to have regardless of the climate at your camping locale. For greatest convenience and protection, choose a tarp that is large enough to cover your tent and at least part of your campsite. Leave space between the tarp and the top of the tent to allow air to flow. In the summer months when the temperatures are high, you can also place a tarp on the ground before setting up your tent to help reduce heat from the ground rising up into the tent.
Any camper knows that flashlights are a key piece of equipment for any camping trip, but an LED lantern will provide a soft glow throughout your campsite during nighttime hours. LED lanterns are a great alternative to a traditional camping lantern as they are long-lasting, and many can be recharged via USB or solar power sources.
Portable fans help circulate the air in your tent and keep you cool. There are many small, battery-operated fans on the market to choose from and being portable, you can use them anywhere around your campsite, but they will be most useful in your tent. At night, position the fan to blow towards you while you sleep for the best cooling effect.
As you consider what gear to purchase for your summer camping activities, remember a few key points:
- How many campers are coming along on the trip with you?
- Are you more concerned with convenience, or saving space in your car/backpack?