Trekking up the hills or through the forest with the bounties of nature surrounding you, setting up a campsite and lying down on the fresh green grass to admire stars spread across the rich blue sky.
Sounds magical, doesn’t it?
This is the pleasure of overnight camping. It will leave you with everlasting memories and a rejuvenated mind. However, this pleasure comes only after putting in the time to plan ahead, organise gear and pack the essentials.
To make your packing easier and camping experience more memorable, here is a list of 12 essentials that should go into your backpack.
The other item that goes hand in hand with a map is your knife. A good folding knife can be used for much more than cutting – it has endless uses! You can use it to open your food, as a tool or even to cut clothes for bandaging.
2. Headlamp & Batteries
Don’t forget you may need to see in the dark. Pack a headlamp and remember to drop in extra batteries. A good headlamp gives you hands-free light to build a campfire, cook your dinner, or find your way if you begin before sunrise.
3. Garbage Bags
One or two sturdy garbage bags are invaluable on a camping trip. Pack your clothes in one for extra protection from the weather. Just cut a hole in it and voila! You have a temporary hood to cover your head in case of rain. And don’t forget to leave no trace – bring all of your rubbish out with you.
4. Personal Essentials
These include insect repellents, sunscreen, toothbrush and other toiletries. Don’t allow any insect the chance to spoil your night under the stars. The day can seem innocuous but the sun is ever present. Be equipped with a good quality sun screen.
5. Ground matt
Though you have a tent to cover your head, a ground mat will help you get a better night’s sleep. Spread this light weight mat for a barrier which improves comfort, adds warmth, and protection from damp ground.
6. Camping Gear & Repair Kit
Bring out the compact packer in you and put together a lightweight tent and sleeping bag into your backpack. Grab the poles and stakes and also a repair kit which might come in handy anytime.
7. Cooking Essentials
Campfire meals are part of the great experience! Pack a compact cooking kit, including a camping stove, lighter, fuel, pans and utensils. Avoid bulky utensils and share the weight among your group.
8. Water & Food
A thirsty man is a tired man – always carry plenty of water in your backpack. Bring enough to drink before you feel thirsty. Energy bars and/or protein bars need to be ticked off your check list as they are instant energy providers. Dehydrated meals are light and easily prepared at camp.
9. Warm Clothes
Temperatures in the night may drop, so be prepared. Select light clothes that you can wear in layers to keep you snug and comfortable. Always carry gloves and an extra pair of socks.
10. First Aid Kit
Nature trails can be rocky, paths can be slippery and thorns may be in the most unexpected of places. Carry a compact first aid kit in case of any injuries.