There are lots of things to think of when it comes to spending the night (or nights) in the wilderness. Here is a list of some essential camping equipment you won't want to be without on your adventure.
If it starts to rain on your trip you can never have too many tarps. It's also a good idea to put one under your tent when you set up. This will keep moisture from the ground from seeping through the floor of your tent. If it does start to rain, be sure that the tarp doesn't extend too far past the edges of the tent, otherwise it will catch the water and make puddles—not super comfortable for sleeping. Tarps are great for covering your tent from the rain, but also for creating little shelters where you can eat or just convene with your campmates. We recommend bringing a few different sizes.
In order to make use of those tarps, you'll want to have plenty of rope on hand. We've got you covered in that category. Frontier Market Solutions has super soft triple-strand twisted cotton rope in a variety of thicknesses and in plenty of different colors to keep your campsite festive. Download our guide to tying knots to help you decide which knots work best in every camping scenario. Rope can also help you to keep your food and trash away from bears and other wildlife.
Though there are certainly ways to make fire from scratch, it's much easier if you remember to bring a lighter or matches. Firestarters can help to speed up the process if your scout skills aren't quite up to snuff, though newspaper and other small kindling are often sufficient. Even if you are using a camp stove instead of a fire, it's a good idea to bring some matches in case the ignition gives you any trouble.
It may sound obvious, but this simple camping essential is often forgotten when packing gets rushed. When the sun goes down and you step away from the fire, you'll want to be sure you've brought a variety of battery-powered light sources. Headlamps are awesome for keeping your hands free for things like gathering firewood or hanging tarps. Be sure to bring extra batteries!
Whether or not you go all out and make s'mores, roasting marshmallows is a campfire must! Remember to find a good marshmallow stick while it's still light out. You'll want one that's long and strong enough with a pointed end to keep your mallow close to the hot coals for optimum roasting. For detailed Banana S'more instructions and other campfire recipes, check out our Modern Camper's Cookbook. YUM!
These are some of the most commonly forgotten camping essentials, but it's best to create your own checklist at least a week before you leave. Give yourself plenty of time to think of everything that you need, and to pull everything together without rushing. For more tips on planning your trip, download our guide. Have fun!