Camping is a classic bonding activity for family, friends, and couples looking to have fun in the great outdoors. However, it’s not the most low-maintenance activity out there.
To ensure that you have an excellent time (and not an itchy, sunburnt, or sleepless one), check out this list of must-have essentials for overnight camping trips in the summer.
#1 Sleeping Stuff
Nothing makes an adventurous overnight trip better than a cozy slumber worthy of the greatest outdoorsmen. Without the right sleeping supplies, you might be left scratching your head, wondering where all your energy went. Don’t let a sleepless night of tossing and turning ruin all the tumbling and climbing you’ll be doing the next day.
The wilderness is wild enough with a full night of sleep—don’t settle for any less. Remember to bring these essential items:
- Comfy sleeping bag
- Sleeping pad (thick, easy to inflate, quiet, and comfortable to use)
- Sleeping pad
- Tent to block out the elements and ensure a peaceful rest
- Inflatable or plush pillow for optimal snoozing
- Battery-powered lanterns to support some relaxing pre-sleep reading (and storytelling)
- Eye mask
- Ear plugs
While the day is the most memorable part of your trip, the night provides you the essential fuel you need to make those memories great.
Before you pack any more high-tech gear, don’t forget the most important thing: storage. Overnight camping requires all sorts of tools and gadgets that are a hassle to carry around by hand. That’s why you’ll need top-notch storage to match your top-notch supplies.
Here are a few items you may have forgotten, but won’t regret bringing:
- Big tupperware for storing your larger food items
- A heavy-duty backpack to carry your kitchen supplies, your sleeping bag, and your water bottle
- A soft cooler for a portable, durable way to transport food (and keep it fresh)
- Sealable bags to store leftover snacks and goodies
- A high-quality water bottle to keep water cool and keep you hydrated
- A portable crate to carry larger items like your mini stove, pots, pans, and tent
#3 The Basics
The list doesn’t end here—while safety, storage, and sleep are all vital for a great camping trip, there are still a ton of things you need to pack.
- Money (in both cash and card form)
- Swiss army knife
- Compass and site guide map
- Portable charger
- Matches and firewood
- Hiking and water shoes
- Resilient (and stylish) clothing for the outdoors
- Cooking items like a portable stove, pots, pans, utensils, and bowls
- Biodegradable soap
- Paper towels
- Can opener
- Your favourite camping foods
- Versatile kitchen knife
- Trash bags
#4 The Fun Stuff
Sometimes, when you’re diligent about planning, you forget the most vital part of any summer experience: the fun! While you can’t neglect any of the important gear listed above, always remember to leave some space for the games, equipment, and entertainment that really make camping trips worth all that heavy-duty planning.
While the sky’s the limit (or, more accurately, your car’s trunk is the limit) when it comes to fun camping items, here are a few suggestions:
- Bathing suit
- Board games
- Hiking poles
- Journal or sketchbook
- Playing cards
- Spikeball set
#5 Safety Gear
Safety comes in many forms—sure, you don’t want bears to come near you, but a trillion mosquitos can do a lot of damage. That’s why you’ll want to pack essentials that’ll keep you safe, comfortable, and itch-free no matter the size of the threat, be it pesky pests, the sweltering sun, or a hungry bear.
So, before you step out the door, double-check your pack for these items:
- Sunscreen that’s 30 SPF or more
- Moisturising lip balm that’s at least 20 SPF
- Bear spray (and remember to clean your cooking gear and secure your food)
- Bug spray
- First aid kit
- Wide-brimmed hat
#6: Hygienic Items
While camping isn’t the cleanest activity, maintaining as many hygienic practices as possible is a sure-fire way to feel that much comfier while sitting around the campfire.
For a slightly less dirty experience while camping in nature, pack a few of these:
- Toilet paper
- Trash bags
- Biodegradable soap
- Hand sanitiser (believe us, germs are the best campers out there)
- Collapsible water container
- Dry shampoo
- Pads and tampons
#7: Fun Activities
Your summer camping will not be complete without fun activities. While you probably have an itinerary in place, it is best to plan the minute details, such as the games you want to play.
Here are some of the fun summer camping activities you can try:
- Cabin Carnival: Brainstorm a carnival game in the morning so kids can create carnival games out of the materials they see inside their cabins or in nature. In the afternoon, ask the children to rotate from one cabin to another to play carnival games. Encourage creativity by having them vote tor he best games. Give an award to the winners, such as red ribbons or tokens to the first, second, and third placers.
- Storytelling: One of the best camping must-do activities is storytelling. Make storytelling time a more exciting and meaningful experience by setting a particular topic through draw lots. Make topics interesting and intriguing based on your audience’s age and gender.
- Talent Show: It’s fun to watch your family and friends show their talents in a camp. Get to discover their hidden talents by encouraging them to perform under a bonfire with corresponding prizes.
- Short Courses Or Workshops: Camping is a perfect opportunity to learn new things. So, why not conduct some short courses, such as a ninja course for kids to learn some martial arts techniques and yoga basics for adults? Art classes and basic woodwork are also suitable for a productive camping experience. Tie-dying is another cool workshop for kids and adults alike.
- Create Mini Gardens: Camping brings you closer to nature. So, you can take the opportunity to discover your green hands by creating mini gardens.
Other Fun Games: Set up a fun DIY camping maze, play rope or tape games, have a scavenger hunt, and build a DIY golf course.
Come Prepared to Brave the Outdoors
With strategic packing and smart planning ahead of time, your overnight trip will be pleasantly remembered long after you’ve braved the outdoors with your buddies and your trusty tent. As long as you take heed of this list and plan for spontaneity, you’ll be well on your way to curating the overnight camping trip of the century (or, at least, the summer)!