What Do I Need To Know About Camping Gear?
What you don’t want to say when talking about your recent camping trip is something like, “…and there we were, watching from our mini-van as a big brown bear helped himself to our food. He seemed especially fascinated by the Twinkies. Why didn’t we remember to bring the bear box!”
A successful camping trip starts with having the right camping gear, and that means starting with a good camping gear list. Even if camping in a location thousands of miles from the nearest bear, you still need camping gear like a skillet, knives, sun shelter, toilet seat covers, rope, bug spray, and much more.
Novice Campers, as well as seasoned campers, should prepare a camping checklist of the gear that they should include when packing for a camping trip. It is easy to get side tracked and possibly forget important items without a checklist.
Sometimes it is easy to have a laps in concentration and simply not include small items that are none the less important. If you have a standard “Camping Checklist” it will help insure you have a safe and happy camping trip, because you will feel confident knowing you have included all necessary gear you will need while on your trip.
Here’s a brief look at some of the camp gear you will need to bring:
Tents – Unless you want to really rough it, you need one or more tents. What do you look for in a tent? Size and weight can be important, especially depending on how long you plan on camping. If you’re going to be in the tent for days, think about getting a roomier one. If you are backpacking, make sure you get a lightweight tent. Your back will thank you.
You also need to consider ventilation and waterproofing. You want a well-ventilated tent if you are going for more than a weekend, or camping during hot weather. Waterproofing is a must unless you want to get soaked by that rainstorm the weatherman assured you wasn’t coming.
Sleeping bags – Unless you are planning on winter camping, a three season sleeping bag will do fine for your camping gear list. You may want to include a sleeping pad as part of your camping gear. If it’s inflatable, don’t forget a pump. An electric pump will save you a lot of huffing and puffing. Put one on your camping gear list.
Cookware – Your camp gear needs to include cookware. You may want to cook over an open fire if it’s just an overnight trip, but most campers enjoy the ease of a portable propane stove. Regardless of what you choose, you’ll need to include utensils, plates, and cups to use, as well as skillets, pots, and maybe a dutch oven.
Food – Make a list of the food you feel you need on your camp gear list, and include an extra day’s worth. Better to have too much than too little. Most of us learn to forage in a supermarket, not the woods.
Miscellaneous – Bring chairs. Bring lanterns. Bring paper and pen. Bring first-aid materials. Bring a map of the area. Bring flashlights and extra batteries. Maybe a deck of cards? Car chargers for your cell phone. A radio or source of music. Basic medicine (Tylenol, ibuprofen, maybe some antacid, etc.). How about rain gear? Maybe a bat and ball and gloves? Better to overpack than underpack.
Recommended Online Stores For Camping Gear
Once you make your camping gear list, you may find you need to go out and shop for items you need. That said, camping gears are available at many places but visiting online stores like campmor.com, rei.com, camping-r-us.com.au, outdoor-gear-online.com, ems.com, campingequipmentworld.com, camping-gear-outlet.com, and altrec.com may be a quick and easy option for you. All provide various choices of camping essentials coming from reputable suppliers.
To have a memorable camping experience, the first thing to do is to be equipped with the most dependable gears and essentials. Choosing a good quality of camping gear and equipment is just one click away from different online stores like:
Campmor – campmor.com
With over 30 years in the industry, it has a good selection of discounted camping gears from clothing, to tools and gadgets.
REI – rei.com
An outdoor clothing company who belongs to the top “100 Best Companies to Work For” has complete lines of camping gear selection for climbing, hiking, camping, and snowsports.
Camping-R-Us – camping-r-us.com.au
A company who specializes in backpacks, tents and swags with over 20 years of experience in camping equipment has wide range of outdoor gears. All stocks come from quality suppliers like Coleman, Oztrail, Kookaburra and a whole lot more.
Outdoor-gear – outdoor-gear-online.com
The best source for camping equipment online, Outdoor-gear offers an affordable price for all gears and equipment.
Eastern Mountain Sports – ems.com
An online store for camping gear and equipment, which ensures guaranteed satisfaction for every purchase made. The company follows a full refund policy in case of dissatisfaction on the part of the end-users.
Camping-Equipment-World – campingequipmentworld.com
An outdoor equipment company, which is one of the leading and fastest camping gear retailers with over 400 online stores from different manufacturing partners. This is where you can find all camping essentials from sleeping to cooking.
Camping gear outlet – camping-gear-outlet.com
This company specializes on camping gears for all types of outdoor recreation with a wide collection of best value equipment.
Altrec.com – altrec.com
Managed by a dynamic team, this site provides you with the best information about outdoor gear and equipment in the market that is suitable for all ages.
Before choosing a perfect gear, determine first the camp location and the number of campers so that you will not end up choosing the wrong type of gear. If you want to spend a day or two in a mountainous area, choose a tent that is especially designed for hilly lands. If you are planning a big family camping adventure, choose a tent that can accommodate a huge number of people. It’s not the brand of camping gear that counts but, the quality. Although quality products sometimes are bit costly, it is worth the investment than the cheaper and less durable ones.
Note that camping stoves can be considered a gear you may really want to bring along.
Maintaining, Repairing and Replacing Camping Gear
The Spring camping season is upon us. Starting now and going forward we will be hauling out our gear, assessing what is still in good shape, performing maintenance on the gear that needs attention, and perhaps making a list of gear we might need or want. Hopefully, we stored things away in a fashion where loss or major repairs are not necessary. However, due to oversight or maybe just getting in a hurry, we may need to address some problems with our gear. We may also need to shop for gear that is not salvageable or to fill needs that we we now have.
One of the most common issues we must deal with is mold or mildew on tent fabric, sleeping bags, etc. Can these problems be addressed? The answer is sometimes. First lets deal with cleaning a tent.
First of all, avoid using detergents and/or bleach. Yes, these will likely remove the mold, but will likely leave damage that may be worse than what you started with. The damage from bleach is fairly obvious. The damage from detergents is that they often leave a residue that cannot be removed and over time deteriorate the ability of the fabric to be water repellent. One product that is unlikely to damage the material is Nikwax Tech Wash. It’s a bit pricey at $26 for a liter (recent price through REI), but much less than replacing your tent. It is advertised as a non-detergent soap that protects waterproof fabrics like gore-tex and those in tents. Set up your tent in a shady location on a warm day. Add the soap to lukewarm water and go at the tent with a cloth or sponge. Pay special attention to areas around seams and zippers. Rinse very thoroughly with a hose. This probably goes without saying, but this time make certain the tent is thoroughly dry before storage.
For sleeping bags, the job is a bit easier in most cases. This is because you are rarely dealing with also trying to preserve waterproofing in the material. First, READ THE CARE INSTRUCTIONS on the sleeping bag’s label! Wash the bag with all zippers closed so they do not snag and tear. It is strongly suggested that you take your bag to a front-load washer if you do not have one so the agitator does not rip up your bag’s fabric. For down, use Woolite for the detergent. For synthetic bags, use a mild detergent. In all cases, use the minimum detergent required. Wash on the machine’s gentle cycle. Carefully remove the bag after washing, supporting the water-soaked bag, again to prevent damage. Use a large commercial dryer on its lowest setting. Pull the bag out intermittently and check for dryness and clumping. You can reposition the fill in the bag if it is clumping up. Dry for the minimum necessary time.
One issue we see on occasion is damage to small electrical devices because they were stored with batteries not removed. Here are a couple of things to remember. One thing you might consider is contacting the battery manufacturer if the device is ruined. A few offer guarantees against damage from leaking batteries. When cleaning, use safety glasses and rubber gloves. Mix a small amount of solution and baking soda. Use a Q-Tip and gently remove corrosion from the battery compartment being as careful as possible not to slop water into the device. After removing corrosion, repeat procedure with clean water. Finally, use a dry Q-tip and dry the device compartment out as much as possible. Finally, let the device air dry until thoroughly dry. The device will likely work just fine.
When you get ready to put together your list of needs and/or wants for the coming year, here is some advice. First, think carefully about the trips you are planning. How can you minimize the gear requirements needed for all the trips you plan. Perhaps a small compromise on the gear you want/need for one trip might allow an item to fill a need on another trip. Often, taking a comprehensive list of camping gear, crossing off as much as you feel you can, and then analyzing carefully what is left, is a good strategy.
We all get busy at the end of the year and neglect to attend to all the maintenance needs of our gear. Hopefully, the advice in this article will minimize your need to re-purchase a great deal of gear.
Storage of Your Camping Gear
You have bought the good quality camping gear for those great adventures with the family; now you need to look after your investment so you may use your gear over and over and have it ready and in good condition for the next outing.
Mostly commonsense, but things are not always that obvious and there is always just the right [ or the wrong place ] for your gear depending upon how much gear you have and where you live.Obviously tucked away underneath the house may not be the best way to care for those material items such as sleeping bags and tents, etc
Tents should always be stored in a dry place away from insects and mice that may eat or live in your investment without your permission.
Before packing your tent away , make sure it is completely dry inside and out; this will prevent mould and mildew and that rotting smell that will spoil a good nights sleep.If you get caught in the rain and have to pack up your tent wet, just wipe,dry and air it out when you get home otherwise the fittings and stitching will get stressed and possibly rot.Make sure the tent pegs are always packed in their own bag with no sharp ends sticking out to tear any fabric and pack them inside the tent; otherwise they will get lost somewhere just when you need them.Check that all the fittings and fabric is in good condition as well.Don’t put your tent under a pile of heavy items in case some of the poles get broken.The tent that you have is to be your home away from home so it is important that it be maintained correctly and more so if the weather becomes bad.
These are usually fairly robust but don’t like dampness at all, they could use a good airing at times although just stored in a dry place away from insects and mice is all they need.
Stoves and Lighting
Ensure these are all clean and in good working order and carry a spare bulb/mantle for those bits that may get damaged or broken and of course check that the tanks are in stable condition [not rusted or damaged] and even make sure the tanks are full if the next use is not too distant.Protective cases will stop damage that may arise from being incorrectly packed or just an accident of some sort ,and these are fairly important in the case of gas lighting with their brittle glass components.
First Aid Kits
Stockup the various items and possibly carry extra of those items you know you may need/use more than usual.
These are robust and only require a nice dry spot
Gather all your cooking gear together and replace all those things that just disappear or become unusable for some reason and give them a rough check that they are all clean and easily found.
Your cooking gear is great if it is self reliant and you don’t have to raid the kitchen and find the things you need every time you go camping;once again sturdy containers for storage are important.
Keeping all your gear organized and ready can save you lots of time when it comes to packing the car for your next trip away as you will have lots to remember and should be start of a great memorable camping adventure.
When packing the family car to get away, it is best to pack the heaviest things at the bottom and the things you may need readily available [ like jackets etc, in case the weather gets bad] to be put upon the top.
A little advanced preparation will save lots of headaches later and ensure a happy,comfortable and safe camping adventure for you and your family.
To sum it all, remember, you may be driving hundreds of miles to get to your location. Make sure you think about the camp gear you need and include it on your camp gear list. You don’t want to turn around to go back for something you forgot, and you don’t want to pay the premium prices for goods at that tiny little campground store. And if you think you might run into a bear with any other name than Yogi, don’t forget that bear box!
Browse our Camping List and Tips category for more camping related ideas and information of your interest to guarantee yourself a smooth camping experience!