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How to Pack for a Camping Trip

Camping can be a nightmare if you're unprepared. Pack the essentials so you'll be ready for anything when you're in the wild.


  • Step 1: Find out about the environment Find out about the environment you'll be camping in. You should know whether you'll be camping in a sandy area, in rocky terrain, or in an area with heavy vegetation. Pack a water-resistant, easy-to-assemble tent suitable for your location.
  • Step 2: Pack the right sleeping bag Pack a sleeping bag that is appropriate for the weather conditions. If you'll be camping at a high elevation, temperatures will drop quickly at night. Pack a sleeping bag that can keep you warm at temperatures as low as -15 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Step 3: Find out about possible hazards Find out about possible hazards. Know before you pack if you'll need animal-proof containers for food or other equipment to prepare you for environmental or wildlife hazards.
  • Step 4: Pack a first-aid kit Make sure your first-aid kit contains any medication you might need, as well as sunscreen, gauze, antiseptic wipes, calamine lotion, bandages, disposable gloves, a snake bite kit, alcohol pads, medical tape, insect repellent, and electrolyte tablets.
  • Step 5: Pack emergency supplies Pack a kit with emergency supplies, including a flashlight, extra batteries, bottled water, waterproof matches, high-carbohydrate snacks, a whistle, a thermal reflective blanket, a pocketknife, and a compass.
  • TIP: Make sure you know how to use your compass.
  • Step 6: Pack appropriate clothes Bring practical clothes that dry quickly, clothes that layer easily, extra socks and shoes, hiking boots, rain gear, a well-fitting, wide-brimmed hat, and a rain hat.
  • Step 7: Bring water Pack plenty of drinking water. A natural water source may look inviting, but it could be contaminated with parasites that can make you sick.
  • TIP: You can get water purification tablets at camping supply stores.
  • Step 8: Bring maps Pack maps of the area or get some from the park ranger's office in case you get lost on a hike. Have fun, be safe, and enjoy the great outdoors.
  • FACT: Black bears can run up to 35 miles per hour.

You Will Need

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Animal-proof containers
  • First-aid kit
  • Emergency kit
  • Appropriate clothing
  • Drinking water
  • Maps
  • Water purification tablets (optional)

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