With every big trip there is a good amount of planning and forethought on what to do, where to go, and all the other logistics. Nevertheless, it is always good to have a checklist nearby before you head to make sure you have not forgotten anything. Here, is our list:
a. Check to make sure the pack is secured snugly to the frame. If there are any broken parts, get them fixed before heading into the field.
b. Bring a small repair kit into the field for the pack. (This should include twine, duck tape, and some additional clamp pins).
2. Sleeping gear
a. Sleeping bag: Check the bag to ensure there are no holes. Ensure it is covered securely by a container and an additional trashbag to keep it protected from water, especially if crossing a stream or river.
b. Air Mattress or Cot: Make sure these do not have any holes and are in working order. (Always bring some duck tape to help patch any holes).
a. Check to ensure you have all the parts to the tent.
b. Check to make sure no holes are in the tent.
c. Determine if additional padding needs to be included for weather conditions.
a. Make sure the knife has a sharp blade and its locking mechanism works properly.
b. It also pays to have two knives. One should be a multi-function knife like a swiss army knife and the other should be a strong single blade. Both come in handy in the field.
5. Hand Axe
a. Make sure the hand axe is sharp and has an appropriate sheath that is fastened securely. Bring a thick towel in the field. This can be used as a substitute sheath if the other sheath breaks down.
b. As a matter of practice, a full sized axe is usually unnecessary. However, if you are planning on building lean-tos or other types of large sleeping structures, this will be the better way to go.
6. Clothes (The actual amount should be adjusted for length of camping trip)
a. Long sleeve shirt. It should have a durable fabric that can breathe fairly easily.
b. Long sleeved pants. These should also be of a durable fabric that are designed to go into the brush. These pants should stretch all the way down to your boots.
c. Additional layering, such as long johns or thermals should be used when appropriate.
d. Underwear and undershirts.
e. Sleeping gear: In the summer, some shorts and a t-shirt will be fine; however, in the winter a pair of pajamas will be better.
f. Socks: Have two kinds one that is a basic insulator and then have wool socks covering them.
g. Hat: Essentially you want a hat that is unlikely to get caught on brush and will provide some sun protection for your face. A baseball cap will work fine in the summer although a wool cap would work better in the fall and winter.
h. Poncho or rain jacket: This can also double as extra padding for your sleeping arrangement or used as a tarp for the fire.
i. Belt: Should be a durable belt that is in good working order.
a. Hiking boots. Bring a durable pair that are waterproof and have a good rubber sole intact.
b. Running shoes. Bring a durable pair to that is easy to slip on during the night to use the restroom or to wear around camp.
c. Extra pair of shoelaces. Bring an extra pair of laces for both shoes.
a. Should be able to hold at least 2 quarts of water and provide either a strap to sling over your shoulder or a clip to attach to a belt.
9. Compass, GPS and map:
a. Make sure both items are in working order.
b. If GPS, needs additional batteries or will need to be recharged, plan accordingly to take this into account.
c. Map should be the most recent version you can find and should accurately show changes in topography.
i. Make sure you understand how to read the map prior to going into the field.
ii. Know where the nearest hospital is on the map.
iii. Have pre-established boundaries in your camping area that will let you know if you get lost. A stream or road can work very effectively as a boundary point.
10. First Aid Kit:
a. Should include bandages, band aids and some medical tape.
11. Flashlight and Lantern:
a. Basically you really only need two sources of light.
i. A small flashlight to be able to look through your park in the dark.
ii. A large flashlight that can be used for walking at night.
b. A Lantern can be used for camp if needed.
12. Other Items:
a. Bandanas or Handkerchiefs. These can double as bandages or slings.
b. Bug repellant and a fly swatter. The fly swatter may come in handy at the campsite as flies are attracted to grease and cooked food.
e. Strike anywhere matches in a water proof case. It is still a good idea to include a strike box and to divide the matches into two areas so to prevent the likelihood of water damage or losing all your matches.
13. Cooking Equipment: The amount and supplies will vary depending on your needs. Here, are the essential items:
a. Frying pan
b. Large pot
c. Plate and bowl
d. Fork and spoon
e. Small pot to boil water, tea, coffee, etc.
f. A basic boy scout mess kit will cover all of these items except the large pot.
a. Cooler: Will store food and keep ice cold. The type of cooler and amount of ice will vary depending on your cooking needs.
b. Water. Even if you are getting your water from a water source, it is a good idea to bring some water on hand.
i. Determine if water purification tablets will be needed.
c. Water jug. This can be used to house water at campsite. It can be propped on a stump or secured to a tree with rope.
d. Weight of Food Concerns. When selecting food supplies take into account their weight in choosing supplies. If weight is a concern, try to choose foods that have the water already taken out of it including dried fruit, drink powders, boxed foods.
e. Garbage bags. These will be used for waste and rain protection.
15. Repair Kit: This should include twine, duck tape, and a needle and thread.
a. Wash cloth
b. Toilet paper
c. Baby Wipes: Can be used to clean hands and face.
17. Cell phone:
a. Bring one that has a great range for the area that can be used if an emergency phone call is needed.
This list is comprehensive by design. With experience as a tent camping, you can add or subtract from this list. However, it is good idea regardless of your experience, to test all new equipment. In fact, it is a good idea to also check the older equipment to make sure it is still in working order. With this said, the list above should put you in real good shape for camping supplies.