There’s no doubt about it, going camping can be an excellent holiday, but it can also be hard work. It takes a lot of organisation and preparation, which can be slightly intimidating if you are planning for your first ever camping trip.
However, don’t let this deter you, as the experience is well worth it! One way of making the planning process easier is by creating a camping list; writing down everything you need to take camping will prevent you from forgetting something important.
If you have no idea where to start, here are some items that every first time camper needs to include on their camping list.
Good quality tent
The first and most important item of any camping list is a tent. Whilst there are some items you can scrimp on, this is not one of them. If you are embarking on any camping trip, a good quality tent is a must have.
The simple fact is, if you are uncomfortable or can’t get a good night’s sleep during your trip, you won’t be able to make the most of it. So finding a tent that will keep you warm and most importantly dry is essential. There is nothing worse than being wet and cramped every night!
It can be challenging to know where to start when it comes to buying a tent; but try to steer clear of cheap Kmart ones and instead opt for a high quality tent from a hiking or outdoor shop.
Before purchasing a tent, you will first need to determine how many people will be sleeping in it. Remember, a four man tent will fit three adults at the most- so always size up if you can. If you can find a tent that you can stand up in, this is a major bonus and you will find it much easier to get dressed and move around in.
The location and conditions of the area in which you are planning on staying will also have an impact on what type of tent you get. But don’t forget that ease of transportation and assembly will also come into play. The easier a tent is to put up and take down, the easier your life will be during the trip!
Tent footprint and extra tarp
Something that generally deters people from going camping is the idea of getting wet during the night. However, there are actually a couple of items that you can put on your camping list in order to prevent this!
It is no surprise that the ground is cold and hard, this is why any extra protection you can give will come in handy. A good quality tent should have a thick and durable flooring; but if you want to be sure that you won’t get wet, you should consider investing in a tent footprint. For novice campers, a tent footprint is basically a ground cover to put underneath your tent. This will provide a little extra protection and prevent any moisture from seeping into your tent from the ground.
Another handy item to add to your camping list is an extra tarp. Tarp can come in handy for covering items you leave outside your tent, creating an extra shelter outside of your tent or for covering your tent and adding extra protection. Essentially, tarp can be useful for a range of things and you will be grateful for buying one if it rains!
Shovel and a mallet
It is no secret that tents can be challenging to put up and take down. Oftentimes you will not be provided with every piece of equipment you need to assemble it in the tent bag. This is why you need to be prepared.
There is nothing worse than battling with the hard ground and not being able to push the tent peg in. A great way of making your life a bit easier is by bringing a shovel and a mallet to help with this process. It will not only make it easier to push tent pegs in, but it will also make putting up your tent much quicker.
Being well rested is incredibly important when you are on holiday as it allows you to be awake enough to appreciate all the exciting activities you have planned. Nothing ruins a holiday like lack of sleep; so bedding is important for any camping list.
What bedding items you purchase will depend on personal preference and how much money you want to spend. But it is recommended that you buy the best quality items you can afford, bedding is a camping essential and it is important not to skimp on it.
At the very least you will need to invest in a good quality sleeping bag which will keep you warm and dry. However, if you really want to splurge, it is also possible to get inflatable mattresses and camping stretchers. If you have a bad back or struggle to get to sleep, it is a good idea to buy something to prevent you from sleeping directly on the floor.
What many first time campers don’t know is that the type of bedding you buy will depend on the season and weather conditions. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice in camping shops about what type of sleeping bag and bedding is most appropriate for your trip.
As well as the essentials, it is also a good idea to bring extra blankets and pillows. This will help to make you feel a bit more comfortable and will come in handy in case you get cold during the night.
It is so easy to take electricity and lighting for granted, so it may come as quite a shock on your first camping trip when you are without this! You may be surprised at how dark it actually gets in the wilderness. This is why lighting and torches should be on your camping list.
There is a huge range of camping lighting for you to purchase, including LED, electric, gas and battery. Regardless of what type you choose, make sure you have plenty of them to put around your campsite, both inside and outside your tent.
First aid kit
When you are outdoors, accidents can happen; this is why it is so important to be properly prepared. Before embarking on your camping trip you should buy a complete first aid kit. Look for first aid kits that include insect repellent, band aids, antiseptic wipes and bandages.
It is almost impossible to avoid getting a few cuts and bruises when you are adventuring in the wild. So make sure you are fully prepared for this!
Part of the fun of camping is cooking your own food in the wilderness! In order to do this, you will need to bring cooking equipment with you. Some of the most important things to buy before your trip include a reliable camping stove, plenty of pots and pans, as well as plastic plates, cutlery, and cups.
It is also recommended that you bring plastic lunch boxes and an esky to store the food in before you eat it. The last thing you want is your food to go off or get attacked by ants!
Rebecca is a writer and an editor at ‘Best in Australia‘ who has written on a range of topics. She is enthusiastic and passionate with an interest in food, health, entertainment and politics. She is the editor responsible for our health section.