7 Categories Of What To Pack For A Short Camping Trip
Two weeks ago, a friend reached out to me so we could reconnect. While we were out at a cafe, camping came up in our conversation. We discovered that we both love camping and checked if our husbands would want to plan a trip. In a matter of hours, we confirmed our lots at Seaside Campground in Saint Martins, New Brunswick. As we started to plan our short and sweet getaway, I made a note of a few things which would help make our trip more enjoyable. I always write one or more lists before packing for a trip. I feel better about leaving if I know I have everything on my list.
- Pack a First Aid Kit. To be prepared, and hope it is not necessary. I included a new box of water-resistant band-aids, topical pain-relieving gel for muscle back and joint pain, moisturizing lotion, an extra tube of toothpaste, an antibiotic ointment, hand sanitizer and bandage tape. If I had more time I would have also added in anti-itch cream, something for bug bites, a sunburn soothing aloe and sunscreen. Pack your prescription medications and any over the counter medications you may need. If you are stuck for a bandage and happen to cut yourself, a good tip is to travel with feminine napkins or tampons, as they are designed to be sanitary and absorb blood. Then seek medical attention.
- Camping Gear. Since my husband and I have gone camping previously, we have a good variety of things we need. We did have to purchase a new air mattress. We have a little air pump that connects to the cigarette lighter in our car, so blowing up the air mattress was a breeze. Tents, extra pegs and a hammer are a must. We used 3 sleeping bags, all as blankets, with a quilt just in case. At this time of year, the evenings are cool, and it was quite chilly after the sun went down. A tarp provides shade to sit under, as well as keeping the area underneath it dry, in case of rain. Rope to tie it in place, but we discovered bungee cords work well. Pots, pans, sharp knives and a portable BBQ with a burner. We have two sets of camping dishes, one made of metal, the other plastic. Dish soap, cloths and towels. Paper towel and toilet paper. A lantern is better than a flashlight for inside the tent, and easier to carry. Coolers for storing cold food and plastic storage tubs are great for dry goods. An extension cord for charging devices. A bucket for washing dishes will help to keep your campsite clean. This is important to not attract wildlife in search of your food. A BBQ starter, firestarter sticks and matches will be necessary to cook food and start your campfires. Campfires also provide a heat source in the evenings, and should never be left unattended.
- Food. My friend and I planned out what food to bring so as to not have double what we needed. We packed too much food for a three-day camping trip, but variety is the spice of life. My husband & I made homemade pizza for supper the night before we left, and we packed up our leftovers. When we arrived and got the tents up, it was nice to have cold pizza ready to grab and eat. We packed bacon, eggs, and blueberry pancakes for breakfast. Maple syrup, orange juice and coffee. The coffee was a bit of a struggle. I forgot my coffee press at home. Luckily I was able to borrow a metal strainer and paper filters from Huttges General Store, and therefore I was able to pour boiling water into this setup over a pot. Coffee is always better when consumed in the great outdoors, and when we took our first sips, it was worth the effort. We added a little Bailey’s Irish Cream and Jamieson’s Irish Whiskey to thoroughly enjoy our camp coffee, Irish style! Salt, pepper, butter, spices and condiments are good to have when you are preparing food at a campsite. Pack a variety of some healthy snacks and some fun snacks to choose from.
- Beverages. Everyone has their favourite adult beverages that seem to find their way into the coolers for a camping trip. I know you will remember to pack them and to buy ice when you arrive to keep them cool. It is also good to plan to stay hydrated with. Water, electrolyte drinks and juice boxes. If you have a little too much of the adult beverages in the evening, the combo of water and electrolyte drinks can help you combat both a hangover and mild sunstroke. Both of these situations are tolerable, but your trip will be more enjoyable if they can be avoided.
- Extra footwear. If you are going to be participating in outdoor activities, such as hiking, walking, or spending time on a beach, having different kinds of footwear for each activity can help you to be present within the moment, instead of dealing with sore feet. It is also good to have two pairs of sneakers, in case one pair happens to get wet. They will dry next to the campfire, but in the meantime, your feet might get cold while waiting for your sneakers to dry.
- Clothing. If you are only going for three days, try to pack a variety of clothing, but not your whole wardrobe. As someone who likes to be prepared, I pack clothing which can be layered for warmth. Clothes for the beach, and beach towels. Shorts, pants and warm socks. Tank tops, t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts and a sweater. A jacket to keep you warm and dry will also minimize the number of bug bites in the evening. A hat to protect your head and face from getting sunburned.
- Activities. Books, crafts, adult colouring books and markers or pencil crayons are great choices. Board games or card games are always fun. A blue tooth speaker was a really good choice, as we were able to play music as we hung out at the campsite. Bringing a camera is a good idea unless your cell phone has an excellent camera built-in.
When you get all of your items packed into the car, you are ready to hit the road. Don’t forget your sense of adventure, it definitely helps when you are out in the wilderness. If you forget something at home, ask around. Campers are all in the experience together, and you may make some new friends as you kick back to watch the flames of your fire in the magical evenings. Most of all, have fun and be safe.
If you would like to read a more descriptive blog post about my recent camping trip, you can find it on my personal website, under the category of Vacations. It is called Camping With Friends.