Have you ever experienced the cool breeze at night with a starry sky above you? Talking with your partner while cooking over the campfire? Well, if you have already done it you must know the joy of camping. The way to unplug and leave all the city life behind, even just for a while, seems to be a great escape.
And, for those who never tried it before, but you are interested to try it, here is something you should know:
A camping trip can be a heaven or hell, and it all depends on you. Your preparation mostly. What you pack is the most crucial thing to consider before going camping.
Reliable and essentials camping gear will ensure your trip goes smoothly. So here are the things you need to bring:
Camping Gear For Beginner (Hammock)
The basics will include shelter, sleeping gear, cooking equipment, a light source, and fire-starting supplies.
Here we will list a few things of what you need to bring:
1. Campsite Chairs
You probably can find folding campsite chairs anywhere. From a department store to your favorite outdoor store, because it is just that easy to find. But to find a comfortable reclining version is harder. Try to find a chair that is lightweight, collapsible, with a carrying bag. Therefore, you can use it not only for camping but for concerts, picnics and beach trip too!
2. Tents or Hammock
Don’t know what to bring? Check our other article about tents vs hammock camping to find your answer! But, if you want to bring both, it’s alright, it is really up to you and your preferences.
However, if you choose to do a tent camping, don’t forget to bring: tarps, poles, tie-downs, and stakes. Tents also come in a variety of sizes and types. So make sure you know what you bring.
Ask yourself these questions: how many people that will sleep in the tent? Are you going on a backpacking trip? or just a normal trip with the family? How is the weather?
While ultralight tents are best for backpacking, they can’t fit too many people in there. So, if you are going to camp with your family, heavier tents have bigger space even though it is not suitable for backpacking. And, tents also come for three-season and four seasons. Which means, three-season tents are good for anything but winter. While four-season tents can handle the cold!
3. Sleeping bags and sleeping pads.
Even though you pick hammock for your camping, you will also need sleeping bags. This one also comes in different types such as different weights and some can handle different temperatures, even an extreme one like winter camping.
The sleeping pad is not a must-have item on your list, but it’s good to have them. Because it will make you more comfortable!
Otherwise, where are you gonna stuff all your things? However, this also depends on what kind of camping you are gonna do. If you are going to camp around your car, you probably won’t need it at all. But if you are gonna camp up the hill, this also matters the most. You have to consider the kind of packs, will it be a day hike? Or will you spend a night in the mountain? Or how many days you are gonna spend there.
5. Headlamps, lanterns or flashlights
I know some of you love the dark, but it can be very very dark in the wood, so you might want to bring something to help you see at night. Don’t just depend on the moonlight! You can bring headlamps, lanterns or flashlights. Each of them has its pros and cons. Lanterns or headlamps are super useful for camping, and you don’t need to carry it all the time, but it’s not good for backpacking. While, flashlights are small and easy to carry, but it’s not suitable for group use.
Most people don’t think about mosquito until they find themselves surrounded by them. And you don’t want that to happen to you because it can ruin your camping trip. I mean, who wants to spend their night getting bites from if not hundreds, thousands of them?
There are many ways to prevent mosquitoes, for start is don’t get too close to their natural breeding places such as near the water like a swamp, lake or pond. You can also find them in areas with tall grass near inhabited locations, areas with a lot of rubbish, areas with a storm drain.
You can also burn some essential oils to repel all the bugs including mosquitos. Essential oils such as citronella, peppermint, lavender, lemongrass, and thyme will work for mosquitos.
If you want extra protection, you can also apply aloe vera cream to your skin, or bug repellents spray, bracelets
And for camping gears such as tarps, some things are specially made for repelling bugs and mosquitos, such as tent with a screen room or tarp for hammock camping
What You Need To Bring For Camping
Things you don’t know you will need such as
1. Water filtration system or treatment tablets
If you are camping while bringing your car, you can easily store many water bottles in your car. Even some campsites have fresh water available.
But, if you are backpacking, you must think of the other option, such as a water filtration system. Because you might not encounter with a fresh or clean water site. Or bring a treatment tablet, to make sure it safe before you drink it. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
2. Hiking boots or shoes.
I know you think that your sneakers will do just fine in the woods. But if you are planning to go for a backpacking trip, hiking boots or shoes might be your best choice.
They offer more comfort because they have more support, padding, and stability for your ankles!
There are many types of hiking shoes such as boots, trail runners, approach shoes and hiking shoes. To make this simple: boots are good for people who like a lot of grips and to jump into mud piles. Trail runners are light and best for nimble-footed. Approach shoes are good for climbing. Hiking shoes are the best choice because they are lightweight, have good traction and solid durability.
3. Paper Maps
I have to say it once more. What you need are paper maps. Not the maps on your cellphone or even your car GPS. Because, whether you choose tent camping or hammock camping, there is a good chance you will not have phone service.
You don’t want to get lost in the woods just because you don’t know where you are right? Bring paper maps, guys!
4. First aid kit
You never know what you are going to encounter. And it’s good to have a plan before that. What you need is some usual aspirin, bandages, and gauze. And, also add some stuff like moleskin for blisters, bug spray and aloe vera for burns. This can be your safe kits for camping!
5. Cooking gear
Sure you can also cook over a campfire, but if you want to cook real food, bring a real stove. Many camping stoves are sturdy, reliable and easy to use. Don’t forget to bring the fuel and fire starter too! Whether it is a lighter, matches or a strike and spark fire starter. You will also want to either bring your dry firewood or be sure the campground has firewood available.
And, also bring pots and pans, or some plates, bowls or mugs. Some brands offer a portable cooking set
6. Scrubber, dishcloths, trash bags and cleaning gear
This is the most important thing that some beginner campers always forgot. The golden rule is to try to leave the campsite better than you found it. This means no trash left behind!
Whatever you buy and pack, just make sure to consider your climate, needs, and environment.
Remember, your needs are different than everyone else’s so it’s okay to adapt and make your lists. Don’t forget things like your medication, hygiene products, or anything else you will need!
How To Setup A Hammock
First, choose two trees that are right for hanging your hammock.
This means the trees must be tall enough, big enough and sturdy enough to support your weight.
Second, measure the distance between the two desired trees.
This might be different for each person because it depends on the size of your hammock, but the distance may be between 10-15 feet (3 – 4.5 meters)
Third, tether both ropes by throwing a rope around the tree trunk or branches.
Then insert the non-loop end into the loop on the opposite end. Make sure it’s wrapped around the tree at shoulder height, so your hammock won’t hang too low to the ground
Fourth, hook your hammock by locking one hook into another in a rope that is tethered to the tree.
Repeat it with the other end. You have to make sure it is tight enough to support your weight.
Voila! You just successfully set up your hammock!
Hammock Camping Winter
Camping during winter can be gloriously beautiful. Who can’t love the wilderness in forests that are now covered in the magnificent snow?
Yes, it will be cold, but it’s do-able!
If you are planning to go hammock camping in winter, we have several tips for you to stay warm, safe and also comfortable:
First, choose your spot wisely.
If you think the wind at night when camping is cold, imagine it ten times colder in winter. The wind could be your enemy in winter when you go hammock camping. What you have to do is to find a spot with a natural windbreaker to hang your hammock whether it’s within a dense forest or behind a boulder.
Second, bring extra warmer!
Blanket won’t save you when the temperature drops to low. So, other than a sleeping bag, what you need is a sleeping pad and decent clothes such as inner sweater with a warm technology/heat trap to keep you warm. Don’t forget to bring gloves, hats, and socks. You will be thankful in the morning too
Third, bring a thermos to keep you warm!
You can boil water and pour it in, and put some tea, or better you can boil milk to keep you warm at night
Fourth, do your research.
This also means not only the environment but yourself too. Know your limit. If you’re interested in hammock camping when it’s below freezing, ease into it and be prepared with all the right gear. Know your body and know when is the right time to turn back if conditions get bad — it’s not worth a case of hypothermia or worse.