Before you head for the campsite, make sure you have everything you need to make your travel safe, comfortable and enjoyable. Remember that failing to plan is planning to fail. But what exactly will you bring? The answer lies in figuring out what kind of a camper you are, what your comfort level is, and what style of camp you will have. The complete gear you need covers basic fire building, cooking and dining, lighting and other miscellaneous items that you think you need.
These campers can do without a lot of comfort and equipment. They are willing to accept the wilderness as it is, adapting to the natural terrains and weather conditions. They prefer to sleep on the ground rather than lie on a camping cot. Their camp is sparse, creating fire rather than using a stove and lighting small candles rather than using a lantern. The minimalist really tries to experience the outdoors by choice.
These campers are people who want to be comfortable and prepared. You can find chairs, tables, cots, stoves and other conveniences in their campsites. Gear-oriented campers enjoy the outdoors but they also prefer little amenities that will make their camp a home away from home. Their camping checklist is long and intensive. If you are this type of a camper, you will need some basic things such as a tent (preferably with rain fly and window), sleeping bag, stove, food and water.
In the campsite, if you need to gather some wood to build a fire, bring a small ax to split the logs. You can place your matches in a sealed container, or maybe you can carry butane lighter. Some campers bring dry logs if they are going out on a rain-soaked day.
For your hearty meals, there are a lot of easy-to-cook foods available. If you want to eat an elaborate meal however, then a more sophisticated camping stove (like those with a few burners and adjustable flame) is required. Also, bring a cooler and ice packs to preserve your fresh food.
Be sure you have flashlights with extra batteries. One lantern or two will be enough to adequately light your camp. These lanterns can run on battery, propane or liquid fuel. Do not underestimate the value of lighting your camp at night especially if you have children with you. They will also be able to enjoy camping games with flashlights and glow sticks.
If you plan to do some hiking, you need a backpack, travel guide, compass, good shoes, extra socks, hat and a map. Do not forget to bring along a multifunction knife, which can be an indispensable tool. One model of a pocket knife even has its own reusable plastic toothpick, which you might have forgotten to include in your checklist. Also, if you like to swim or bathe in a stream or lake (which usually has rock bottoms) bring along some waterproof footgear.
Camping is a great kind of recreation. Find the right campsite for you, the right preparation, and the right tools to ensure that your trip will be memorable. Your checklist will definitely be very dynamic as you add and remove items along the way. But it is absolutely essential to ensure that you have all you need for a great camping trip.