Good preparation is really important when planning on going camping because once you are in the middle of nowhere, it is too late to pick up the things you suddenly remember you need but have forgotten. Having the right supplies and equipment will make a dramatic difference in the level of enjoyment you experience.
Obviously, the supplies you are going to require will depend on the types of activities you are planning, the length of your trip, and the time of year and climate. The first thing to do is to organize a checklist, to make sure you are taking everything that you may need. Depending on how you are getting to your chosen location, you may have to think long and hard about what to include.
While you can carry quite a lot of stuff in the car, if you are planning on hiking to your destination, there is going to have to be a trade-off between what you would like and what you can actually carry.
Think About the Essentials
Assuming you are actually camping, rather than staying in a lodge, obviously, the first thing you are going to need is a tent, along with the necessary tools and stakes with which to erect it.
Next on the list should be a ground sheet and bedding, such as an inflatable mattress and sleeping bag. Do not forget the puncture repair kit, or you could have an unpleasant few days.
Cooking comes next on the list of priorities, with what you can take again largely determined by how you are getting there. Regardless of if you have a gas stove, a BBQ, or if you plan to light a fire, make sure you have matches or a lighter, and place them in a waterproof bag.
Cooking utensils, plates, bowls, and mugs are a definite must, as is a good knife, and some trash bags, so you can take your rubbish away with you.
Safety Needs to Come First
Camping can be great fun, but the outdoors has many more hazards than are found at home. So for all camping trips, a good first aid kit and at least some basic knowledge of first aid are of paramount importance.
Adequate lighting for your camping area is advisable, to avoid tripping over something in the dark. LED camping lights are good and you can buy strong camping solar panels that will last a long time.
You will also need a deep-cycle battery for your camping solar panel. As you can find deep-cycle batteries with higher capacity, you won’t have to bring multiple batteries during your camping trip, making it more convenient for you and your companions.
Ensure that there is someone who is aware of your destination, how long you plan on staying, and when you're expected to return. Many people who have had an accident have been saved because people knew where to look when they didn’t return on time.
Appropriate Food and Water
You need to carry sufficient food for three meals a day, plus some light snacks, taking into account that perishable food is not going to last, so avoid dairy and fresh meat. Carry more water than you think you are likely to need, in case you get stuck somewhere. A water purification kit is also a good idea if you are going to be anywhere seriously remote.
Pack appropriate clothing and make sure you know exactly where everything is, so you can find it swiftly in an emergency because if you prepare well, your camping trip is much more likely to be the enjoyable time you are hoping for.