As Autumn settles in around the nation, it’s a great time to get outdoors and take in all of nature’s beauty. For some of us, this is just the beginning of camping season, while for others it may be a “last hurrah” of sorts, visiting a favorite spot before the snows and frost start to set in.
To help make your fall camping trip easier, it’s important to have the right supplies. Nobody wants to be in the woods and realize they forgot a crucial piece of gear, or at least have to “rough it” more than expected (ex: that time I didn’t bring a hatchet).
Recommended Camping Supplies
- Water Bottles – While a canteen may be your go-to item for hiking or daytime activities, you should be sure to bring along plenty of additional water bottles.
- Rope – General purpose tie-down rope, such as a multifilament polypropylene rope, can be used for a number of tasks around the campsite. Start with using it to tie-down your gear on the drive up, then use it to secure your tent, canoe, or anything else you need to tie-down.
- Ratchet Straps – If you’re trip is on a grander scale, or the weather indicates you might need something more than the MFP rope, most trucks or rental trailers combine well with ratchet straps. Another easy way to eliminate the struggle or potential injury of bungee cords.
- Axe/Hatchet – Legend has it that even a young George Washington knew the value of a hatchet. If it’s good enough for our nation’s first President, it certainly warrants consideration for your kit.
- Flashlight – After the first time you wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom and have to walk there in the dark, you’ll never again forget to pack the flashlight. Many offer multiple modes of use, so the same item could operate as a directional flashlight, then convert to a lantern for your tent or campsite, and LED lights to extend battery life.
- Playing Cards – Now that you’ve got a light source squared away, what are you going to do with all those post-sunset hours you’d normally devote to Netflix (& chill)? A simple deck of playing cards goes a long way toward staving off boredom when you’re living out your own personal Oregon Trail. (Hopefully with less cholera.)
- Fire Ring – Obviously, the classic image that comes to mind when we think about camping is sitting around the campfire after the sun goes down. If you happen to find yourself in an area where a traditional fire pit is either not available or fuel is not viable (thanks El Nino), you can still salvage the day with a propane-powered fire ring.
- Propane Tank Holder – If you are traveling with a propane tank, we thoroughly recommend getting a tank stabilizer, such as the EZ-GO tank holder. Simple and lightweight, it makes sure your tank stays upright and minimizes movement while traveling.
- Vest/Beanie -Anytime we are outdoors, the weather can unexpectedly change. It’s important, therefore, to dress in layers, and have items that easily help you stay warm should temps begin to drop. A vest and beanie are great ways to add warmth without limiting your range of movement or overheating while setting up camp.
After going through the list of supplies above, adding in your tent, sleeping bags, and camp chairs, you may be thinking that it will be tough to fit all of this, plus your food, into your vehicle. This becomes especially apparent if you’re hoping to take 4 or more people in one vehicle. One way around this problem, or any other capacity constraint, is to swap out your usual cooler for a Fridge Pouch.
The fridge pouch has a smaller footprint, fitting inside a 12″ or 16″ box left over from your last move, and is more cost-effective than styrofoam. The thermal lining will reflect radiant heat from the outside while insulating the items contained within. Combine the fridge pouch with a few zip bags full of ice to prevent melting and your food will be good all the way to your campsite and beyond.
Hope you have a blast enjoying these crisp fall evenings and the great outdoors. Let us know if you have any “must-bring” camping supplies that we’ve forgotten.