Spring is here and it's time to start stocking up on new camping gear for the warmer weather. Before you start planning your next camping or backpacking adventure, make sure you have these 9 essential items on your packing list!
- Mattress Pad: Having a lightweight but comfortable mattress pad for your camping trip can make or break your camping/ backpacking experience. Getting a good night’s sleep is the most important element of a successful trip and helps you recover from a long day in the elements. Without sacrificing comfort, it is important to also have a lightweight sleeping pad that is compact for easy travel or storage in your pack.
- Lightweight Backpacking Tent: Lightweight is the name of the game when preparing for a backpacking trip. Keeping your pack light makes your days easier and puts less stress on your body meaning that you can continue through your adventure without pain or exhaustion. Tents come in all shapes and sizes so it is important to really focus on what your specific needs will be while you are in the wilderness. You may need more room if you have more than one person staying in your tent. Set up is another important feature to consider when purchasing a new tent. Having a tent that requires multiple sets of hands to assemble may not be ideal if you are backpacking or camping alone.
- Portable Water Heater: Having hot water to take a shower in after a long day of being outside can leave you feeling energized and ready for your adventure the next day. Rinsing off in a freezing cold lake or river, or using dirty, crowded campground showers just doesn’t cut it sometimes. So how do you get the luxury of a hot shower at your campsite without lugging a ton of equipment out into the woods with you? A portable tankless water heater! The Eccotemp CE-L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater is only 9.8 pounds and comes with a shower head perfect for campsite showers! All you need is a standard 20 lb. propane tank and 2 “D” cell batteries to have hot water anywhere. Paired with an Eccoflo 12v Pump and Strainer, you can pull water to create pressurized liquids or pump water from virtually anywhere.
- Pack with Good Back Support: A durable, lightweight pack with good back support is another important tool to have on your camping/back packing adventure. Having a comfortable pack to store all of your materials/resources in can make days much easier when hiking multiple miles. The durability of your pack is an important factor to consider because your pack could be forced to experience harsh weather or extreme elements.
- Lightweight Sleeping Bag: Just like your sleeping pad, it is important to have a quality sleeping bag to keep you warm at night. Getting good rest at night helps you recover and recharge for the next day ahead of you. Always keep in mind that the lighter and more compact that you can get your gear the better. Sleeping bags can be bulky and take up a good portion of room in your pack and exist as the source of unnecessary weight.
- Headlamp/Flashlight: Spending a night under the stars is one of the best parts or camping and backpacking. However, it never hurts to have a reliable light source for the areas that the fire or stars don’t quite reach. Headlamps are especially helpful when taking those late-night trips to the restroom or trying to setup a tent in the dark if you arrive to your campsite late into the night.
- A Pocket Multitool: Having a pocket multitool is the ultimate space saving, versatile item that you can easily store in your pack. Depending on your needs, a pocket tool can have pliers, a saw, scissors, knife, and screwdriver all in one easy-to-store package. This is the ultimate camping necessity no matter where your adventures take you.
- Weather Appropriate Clothing/Gear: Checking the weather to properly pack for your trip will help ensure the best experience possible while camping/backpacking. Wearing the appropriate gear can help you stay warm, cool, dry, or whatever your environment calls for to make you most comfortable. Always check the climate and typical weather trends of the area you will be visiting that time of year.
- First Aid Kit: The last item to include on your packing list is a first aid kit. This is not necessarily a camping specific item, but it can come in handy incase of emergency. Being in the wilderness can leave you stranded if emergency responders can not easily reach you. Having basic first aid materials can save a life until first responders can reach the scene. It can also allow you to enjoy the rest of your trip if something minor happens and you are able to patch it up yourself.