Over my many years of camping I’ve encountered many scenarios. From weather to wildlife and everything in between. You can never truly know what to expect while camping. That’s one of the many wonders of camping. It’s always an adventure when tent camping or primitive camping because you are now in the hands of nature. But there are ways to be better prepared for whatever nature throws you way.
Below I am going to share a list of necessities, tips, and all around smart things to have while tent camping. A tent camping checklist if you will.
Bare Essentials For Any Camping Adventure
There are a lot of choices when it comes to camping accessories. From the obvious tents and sleeping bags to tarps and lanterns. Most of the time when the confusions arise are what are essential and what items aren’t needed. By all means the more prepared you can be for a camping trip the better but a lot of times space and storage become an issue.
Here I will be listing and explaining why I’ve chosen these things as absolute necessities for any camping adventure. Some will become more neccesarry than others depending on climate, region, and wildlife but for the sake of this it will just be absolute necessities.
First off I will start with the obvious. This is a “Tent Camping Checklist” after all so a tent is going to be number 1. Some people prefer a hammock and while this can be a fine choice you are less protected from the elements and other wildlife. Your number 2 on this list will be sleeping bags. Blankets such as comforters could be an option but for convenience sake well say sleeping bags. Easier storage and easier transport. Thirdly you are going to need food and water and a cooler to keep everything protected from the outdoors and fresh. Fourth and probably you most important of all is tools for making a fire. This could be a torch, lighter, or flint and steel if you are skilled with such tools. A proper fire is going to keep you camp warm, well lit, and protect against most wildlife from entering you camp.
Above I listed 4 bare essential items needed for anyone going tent camping. In this segment I will share with you other camping accessories that may not be so as important for safety but more for comfort and convenience. After all most of us won’t be going camping for survival but instead for a relaxing getaway or vacation.
To start this list I would have to say camping chairs is going to be one of you most important items for comfort and convenience. Sure you could find a log or just pull up some ground to sit on but trust me when you out in the wilderness for a weekend or longer the chair is going to make life allot less painful. Tarps are another really good thing to have while camping. They can be used for many things but can come in really handy when hit with unexpected weather changes. Other items that can come in very handy would be insect repellent and sun tan lotion. No one likes the pain of sunburn and mosquito bites when trying to have a relaxing trip. The same can be said about having an air mattress instead of just a sleeping bag on the hard ground.
The list can go on and on with options to take camping with you on you camping adventure from a camping table to cooking utensils for the you fire cooked meals. However like I said before these things are more for comfort and convenience than necessity. Now don’t get me wrong I have been an avid camper for years and I always prefer tent camping but I always opt for comfort and convenience because after all it is a vacation.
Camping Through The Seasons
No matter what kind of camping you will be doing, being either more of a primitive camp or a campground, you’ll always be at the mercy of the weather. Your always going to want to plan ahead as much as possible for rain or other kinds of weather. Being in Ohio that’s easier said than done but we try our best. If you from Ohio you know all to well the weather here can change on a dime. It could be nice sunny 70 degrees one day and the next it could be 30 degrees and snowing. And because of that it’s easier to plan based on season.
Most of the time especially for beginners I would always recommend planning your first few camping adventures in the summer. Summer camping is ideal in every situation. You get nice warm to hot weather and less rain. Camping in the summer however means more wildlife to deal with. For the most part campground camping is going to prevent most wildlife from becoming a nuisance excepted for pesky mosquitoes or the occasional raccoon. But to be sure that these animals don’t bother you site just be sure to bring extra insect repellent and always keep you food put away at night.
If you happen to opt for a spring/fall camping trip there are going to be a few things you’ll know you’ll want to bring regardless of what the weather man says. Always make sure you have a few tarps and good sturdy rope to tie them up with. There’s not much worse than waking up swimming in you tent and all of you essentials for the weekend becoming soaked. Makes a nice relaxing weekend turn sour really fast trust me. Your also going to want to make sure you pack extra layers of clothing and extra blankets. It can get extremely cold at night in the spring/fall months and hypothermia is no joke. You can always take layers off if you get to hot. You can’t always add layers on unless you have them with you.
Winter camping is not for the faint of heart. I would definitely not recommend it to anyone who isn’t an experienced camper. That being said even the most experienced of us all are still never perfect and sometimes could use a refreshing reminder of what some essentials would be for winter camping. Winter is extremely cold and for an inexperienced camper can be extremely dangerous. Blankets, thermals, winter outdoor gear, plenty of firewood (lifesaver), and an easy escape plan if mishaps arise. Winter camping can be some of the most beautiful and seren times but there is definitely a price to pay for the beauty.
Comfort In Camping
For this section I’m briefly going to share some things that turn camping life from a primitive sleeping in the woods experience to a comfortable relaxing time outdoors. Most of these things are not going to be essential for surviving the weekend but will make it more enjoyable non-the-less. Camping chairs and air mattresses are essential for comfort in camping. You can definitely get by without them but from experience, you body will hate you for forgetting tooking utensils, where not a must, make life so much easier outdoors. You can cook hot dogs on a stick of course, but if you have cast iron pans or a grill grate to throw on you fire, you going to be able to cook and enjoy allot more the just hot dogs and marshmallows.
Tent Camping Checklist Complete
Now you know the absolute essentials to pack for whatever camping adventure you encounter. Tent, chairs, sleeping bag, air mattress, blankets, clothes, toiletries, lantern, tarps, rope, and cooking utensils are going to be you main ingredients to success in camping. Like I said before you can never pack too much or be too prepared. If you have the room and time to gather than gather as much as you can. The more you can take to make life easier while camping the better. But for those with less space and less opportunity than the above list will be you best friend when it comes to planning you getaway. If you have any questions comments or additions to this post please feel free to comment below and I’ll be sure to answer anyone’s questions or concerns. Thank you very much and I hope this tent camping checklist will help you as much as it has helped me in the past.
Founder of The Tent Kings