When packing for your first, or 100th, trip having the right tools is always important. If you are anything like me you ALWAYS forget something. Last time it was utensils; but hey, I have fingers so it worked out fine. That isn’t always the case. So I have put together a checklist of necessities hoping it might help a few of you. I have learned it is best to print it out and laminate it so you can check off what you packed then wipe off the marker to reuse it next time.
Now, your list is going to vary by where you go, how long, what you like to eat, how much activity you like to do, etc. But here is a basic starting point of how I pack.
Food: No one likes to be hungry, so this is usually where I start. I plan my meals and snacks; then bring a little extra.
Water / Water Filter: Tablets also work, I usually drink a gallon per day so I like to bring a filter as carting around that much water on longer trips can get frustrating.
Fire Starter: Waterproof matches or your favorite fire starter. No one likes to be cold or have cold food!
Camp Kitchen: I always pack this after I figure out my food, that way you know what you actually need. I try to keep it simple and cook everything over a fire. It's easy to open a can and stick it in the fire to heat up. Just don't forget your utensils!
Trash Bags: Always pack up your trash, no one wants to come across your garbage and clean up after you. Please respect the public lands we are able to use so that they do not get taken away.
Rags / Paper Towels: Paper towels make great kindling, but rags tend to last longer and take up less space. I usually pack both.
Toilet Paper: Do NOT forget your mountain money, you will be a very unhappy camper!
Clothes: Pack depending on what you're doing, then bring an extra 2 pairs of socks.
Tent: We are partial to roof top tents, easy up and easy down. Plus, it keeps you off the ground.
Sleeping Bag: Make sure it is weather appropriate!
Emergency Thermal Blanket & Handwarmers: You really should always keep these in your vehicle, just in case.
First Aid Kit: Again, should live in your vehicle; especially if you are accident prone. Guilty!
Bug Spray: Depending on the season bugs can turn relaxing into irritating quickly.
Axe: You never know when you will come across a downed tree in a trail or when you will need to chop firewood.
Multi Tool: These are a NECESSITY, pack 2, I promise you won't be disappointed. Without fail someone will always ask to borrow it.
Shovel: The folding ones are pretty handy and save on space.
Flashlight & Batteries: Always bring extra batteries, they seem to die at the worst time possible.
Fire extinguisher: You should always keep one in your vehicle, one of those things that should always be accessible, and you should hope to never use it.
Maps / GPS: If you know you won't have service, bring a map. Or, get a local one for the area you will be in just in case.
Tool Kit: Whatever you may need for your rig plus duct tape, zip tipes, bailing wire & WD40. If it moves and it isn't supposed to, duct tape or zip ties; if it is supposed to move and it isn't, WD 40.
Extra Fuel: Just in case, don't forget the pour spout.