Basic Camping Equipment

Basic Camping Needs

     This article concerns itself with the basic essential camping needs for car camping and not backpacking where the equipment needs are different, but if you feel the need to backpack a 64 quart cooler filled with food and ice up a mountainside, then "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din...”.

Essential Basic Camping Gear (Equipment)

     Whether you want you want to call it basic camping gear or basic camping equipment, it is the same thing, the basic equipment needs are to provide you with a safe, comfortable and enjoyable trip.  Essential basic camping gear should include:

  1. First Aid Kit

     The following situations have actually happened to me (with some exaggeration) in the past.  In my younger years, I didn't feel the need to make these items part of my basic camping equipment or I forgot them.  I learned my lessons the hard way very quickly.  Mother nature as beautiful as she is, is unpredictable and can turn on you very quickly.  I make sure I don't forget any of this basic camping equipment now.  I just don't like myself or those around me being cold, miserable, and hungry when I am supposed to be relaxing and enjoying the solitude of nature.  Here are the lessons I've learned:

Essential Camping Gear Needs #1

Bring Water:Unless you are sure you are camping near a lake, creek, or river where the water is pure. The has not been used as a convenient garbage dump filled with used baby diapers, Styrofoam cups, boat motor oil, and so forth.  Pesticides from a nearby farm have not leaked into the ground water. Someone has decided to get rid of some industrial waste by dumping it into the water in the middle of the night.  Or maybe the remains of some bloated dead cow lying in the water upriver has polluted the water, then you might want to take along bottled water or a water filtration system.More on safe drinking water

Essential Camping Gear Needs #2

Bring Food:Unless you plan on living off the land by foraging for nuts and berries, take along whatever food makes you or those you camp with happy.Some suggestions on what camping food to bring

Essential Camping Gear Needs #3

Buy a tent:Unless you find some religious or spiritual experience by being cold and shivering in a rain storm or battling insects all night, then you need some shelter from the elements such as a tent. You just can't visualize the words camping or camp without picturing a tent.  If you don't own a tent as part of your basic camping equipment, then you should consider buying a tent as part of your basic camping gear.  How to choose a tent

Essential Camping Gear Needs #4

Buy a sleeping Bag:Unless you are that rugged mythic American cowboy who can sleep on rocks with a bedroll to stay warm while resting his head on a saddle next to an open camp fire all night, then I suggest getting a sleeping bag and a camping mattress as part of your basic camping equipment checklist if you want to stay comfortable and warm.  How to choose a sleeping bag

Essential Camping Gear Needs #5

Buy an ice chest: Unless you like drinking a nice hot beer after returning to camp from a long day of hiking, fishing, boating, and so forth.  Or eating that not so cold prepared potato salad and not so cold fried chicken you made for the camping trip that is now a salmonella breeding ground.  Then I recommend buying an ice chest as a necessary piece of basic camping equipment.  Somethings were just meant to be stored cold and food poisoning does tend to spoil a camping trip.  How to choose an ice chest

Essential Camping Gear Needs #6

Bring matches/Lighters:Unless you have mastered the art of rubbing two sticks together to make a fire, you are going to have to need some way to light the campfire, camp stove, or the camp lantern.I suggest you buy water proof matches.

Essential Camping Gear Needs #7

Buy a knife:Unless you anticipate having hand to paw or hoof combat with one of the forest creatures, you don’t need a Rambo style survival knife to go camping. If you still feel the need to carry such a knife, then please keep it in a protective sheath to avoid injury to yourself or others.Also avoid putting the knife in your mouth pirate style, if you have the blade in the wrong way and trip and fall, it could be worse injury than running with scissorsMore on a camping knife

Essential Camping Gear Needs #8

Buy a flashlight/lantern:Unless you plan to find your way in the dark with a Bic lighter or by moonlight, then I suggest getting a camping lantern and flashlight as part of your camping equip.No sense in getting lost in the dark and falling off a mountainside when you can’t find your back to camp.How to choose a lantern

Essential Camping Gear Needs #9

Bring a First Aid Kit Unless you have some experience with closing an open wound with fishing line and a needle, then a first aid kit would be a good choice to add to your basic camping equipment.  You can either buy a First Aid Kit or you can make one.  First Aid Kits go from inexpensive kits to the exotic ones used by paramedics.  More on First Aid Kits

Essential Camping Gear Needs #10

Buy camping cookware/dinnerware/utensils:Unless you plan on eating beans straight out of the can with your fingers, I suggest some camping cookware, dinnerware, and utensils to make the camping experience more enjoyableHow to choose camping cookware

Essential Camping Gear Needs #11

Buy a Camp Stove:Unless you plan on eating your freshly caught fish raw like it was sushi, a camp stove would be a necessity.Whoops, cancel the sushi idea, unless you enjoy uncooked rice. How to choose camp stove

Campfires:  It doesn’t seem like camping unless you have a campfire.Roasted hot dogs on a stick and toasted marshmallows on a stick always seem to taste better.To sit around a campfire seems to bring closeness to you and those around you.The warmth the fire brings seems to give an inner peaceHow to build a campfire

This all has been the best equipment advice I can give you to avoid food poisoning, starvation, dehydration, self injury, hypothermia, or being the object of a search and rescue attempt. As I stated earlier, it doesn't matter whether you want to want to call it basic camping equipment or basic camping gear, the important thing is you have the necessary equipment to have an enjoyable trip to make it a pleasant experience you and those around you.  Camping is a good activity. Even if you only go camping 2-3 times a year, this basic camping equipment is handy to have around in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.

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