Do you make a ‘summer goals’ list of things you want to do or accomplish before the summer is out? My list seems to be ever expanding and includes things such as making homemade ice cream, going to an outdoor movie and showing my son fireworks for the first time; on the very top of that list is going on a camping trip. There are people who love camping and all that it entails, and people who would rather do anything else but sleep out in the wild. I definitely fall into the first camp (ha!) Campfires, putting up a tent, sleeping under the stars and roasting marshmallows all bring back amazing memories of childhood for me and I can’t wait to have those experiences with my own family. I remember camping being a carefree time when the biggest thing to worry about was finding the perfect marshmallow stick, but a successful camping trip also requires a certain level of preparedness. I’ve compiled a little list of what I consider to be camping essentials. Many people camp with way more or way less, so feel free to add or subtract as you see fit.
Camping Survival List
-somewhere to sleep; this could be a tent, or even one of the very cool enclosed hammocks found here. Now, as a general rule I don’t consider it camping if it’s done in a trailer or cabin, but I’m willing to make an exception for the custom teardrop trailer pictured above, because it’s so amazing. Ingeniously designed, it houses sleeping quarters for two and a fold away kitchen, while still being small enough to fit in the driveway or garage.
-a decent sleeping bag. Even in the middle of summer you would be surprised how much the temperature can drop at night. When shopping for a sleeping bag go to an outdoor outfitters and find one that will keep you comfortable in a wide range of climates.
-a tarp in case it rains. Nobody likes waking up in a soaking wet tent.
-A lantern and a flashlight. This classic hurricane lantern is a very handy item to have when camping. Not only will it provide light for hours, but with its’ cool industrial style it’s also pretty awesome to look at too. I kind of just want one of these for my living room.
-matches and firewood.
-A barbecue or cook stove. Yes, you could cook everything on the fire, including gourmet meals, but I find a charcoal or propane barbecue handy for things like heating up water or cooking breakfast. Bodum is well known for their iconic coffee presses but they’ve hit the design mark again with this charcoal barbecue. It’s not too often camping gear is this stylish.
-cooler, ice and lots of food. Camping makes you hungry so pack more food than you think you will need, and stick to mostly non-perishables that are easy to prepare.
- reusable dishes, cutlery and camping pots and pans. A set of vintage camping mugs may not be essential but they sure do add some stellar kitsch factor. I love the seventies style of this particular set from Etsy seller Sarah Antiques. Way better looking and better for the planet than plastic cups.
-bug spray, sun block and a first aid kit.
-Utility knife. A decent utility knife is a must-have. You will be surprised at how much you will use one of these; everything from opening bottles, cutting twine and finely crafting the before-mentioned perfect marshmallow stick. This walnut Swiss Army knife would also make a great father’s day gift.
-entertainment. Cards, books, Frisbee, a guitar; these are all great things to have around to keep everyone occupied because you can only stare at the trees and the fire for so long.
-a sense of humour and a sense of adventure. Anything can and will happen when camping, so the better the attitude you have about the experience the more fun you are bound to have.
Maybe you’re not exactly the roughing it type? If you’re more inclined towards sleeping in a feather bed than a camp cot check out this four star tent experience from The Resort at Paws Up in Montana. With all the luxuries of a high-end hotel, including running water, you still can say you were roughing it because technically you did sleep in a tent.
If you’re not able to venture much further than your own backyard this summer why not bake up some campout themed cookies. These brightly decorated sugar cookies have all the fun of a night in the woods without the mosquito bites.
Hope our readers from the United States are having a fabulous long weekend! June is almost around the corner so let the summer fun begin.