By Pete Alman
When you are getting ready to go camping, it’s crucial to be prepared. Remembering what to bring can sometimes be stressful, especially when you are swept up in the excitement of planning for a camping trip. To help you remember some of the basics, here are five camping supplies you shouldn’t leave your RV without.
1. First-Aid Kit
The first item on our list is a collection of items but they are all crucial. If you are going camping, you don’t want to leave your RV without a first aid kit. It is inevitable that you will be camping and have some instances where you need a band-aid or even more extensive first aid. In these moments, you’ll be glad you’re prepared with a proper first aid kit.
To make sure you’re as prepared as possible, let’s take a minute to help make sure you have plenty of the right supplies in your first aid kit. The following is a basic list of items to keep in a first aid kit:
- Band-aids (make sure you have different sizes),
- Gauze dressings,
- Medical tape,
- Disposable glove,
- Alcohol-free cleansing wipes,
- Antihistamine cream, and;
- Painkillers such as aspirin
2. Fire Starter
Anyone who is a veteran camper can tell you that you need to keep a way to start a fire on you when you’re camping. Unless you’re a real survivalist, you’ll need a method to start a fire, not just your own wits.
You have a couple options here, but a tried and true option is a pack of matches. Unfortunately, when it’s windy or raining, lighting a match is a little difficult. In these cases, you might find that a lighter is handy to have around. Not just any lighter will do, though. A windproof lighter is the best choice as it will light better in harsher conditions.
Once again, just like matches, a lighter isn’t perfect. It can run out of fuel, for example. Your best bet – if you want to be extra careful – is to carry both. This isn’t too cumbersome as a pack of matches and a lighter aren’t massive supplies you have to tote around. If you are one to buy matches in bulk or bring extra fuel, remember, you’ll never hurt for being too prepared.
3. Non-Perishable Food
For emergency situations, you will want to have food that you can eat anytime. This means you need to carry food on you that lasts a long time and doesn’t need to be cooked. However, carrying candy around won’t exactly keep you nourished in an emergency. So, what should you bring?
Peanut butter is a popular choice. It takes no preparation and it has an incredibly long shelf life. Even better, it’s a good source of both fat and protein, so eating it won’t be detrimental to you. You can pair it with bread or crackers or even eat it in spoonful’s and be satisfied.
Beef jerky is another good source of protein that you might want to carry on you. This, much like peanut butter, has an incredibly long shelf life even though it is meat. Any dried food is good actually – dried fruits are another great option.
If you’re interested in supplies that are made for camping, you can visit your local outdoors store and pick up some dehydrated foods made for camping. These come in a range of food types and they require little cooking.
4. Extra Clothes
You’ll want to make sure to pack extra clothes than you necessarily need for a trip. This goes beyond just “just in case you fall in a mud puddle” when it comes to its level of importance.
While you want plenty of clothes that fit what you will wear in the weather you expect. If you’ve ever been camping or planned any sort of outdoor activity, though, you know you can only trust the weather forecast but so much.
In other words, if you were to see that it’s supposed to be sunny and warm all weekend, there’s still a chance that you will get caught in a cold rain.
As such, when you are packing clothes, it’s a good idea to throw in an extra outfit you don’t think you might need. For instance, for that sunny weekend, don’t think you’re overreacting if you throw in a rain poncho for everyone. Even a thicker jacket or sweater in the case of colder weather is a good idea. If you are unfamiliar with the area you are camping in, this rule is especially important.
5. A Way to Know Your Way Around
Even the most experienced camper in an area they’ve been to before can get lost if they aren’t careful. For newer campers or even veteran campers in new areas, this is a particularly important set of supplies to make sure you have.
In the modern age, it’s tempting to rely on technology. The GPS in your RV, the GPS in your phone, and the various apps that will read directions to you are an option. While convenient, these aren’t your best option.
Instead, you should opt for a traditional paper map and compass. With these supply options, you don’t have to worry about the chance of a GPS not finding a signal or your cell phone running out of battery. Just make sure you know how to use these supplies before you leave your RV!
Pete Alman is a former carpenter turned writer, and resident of Nashville, Tennessee. When not working on a project in his shed, he is lifting weights or hanging out with his three dogs.