Whether planning an adventure in the African bush or just making a weekend outing with the family, some supplies are must-haves for a successful and safe camping trip. Everyone remembers to grab the tent and sleeping bags, but no camping trip is complete without some other basic tools. Here are a few of our favorites:
Flashlights are a no-brainer when it comes to traipsing around the woods at night, but headlamps leave your hands free, which can be critical in an emergency. Recommended by coal miners everywhere, the headlamp will be your new best friend whether you’re trying to set up your camp in the dark or are just looking for your car keys. Get one with LED lights and you’ll have amazing illumination and battery life!
Freeze Dried and Dehydrated Foods
If you’re doing a lot of hiking, the weight advantage alone puts freeze dried and dehydrated foods high on the list of must-haves. Of course, Wise Emergency Foods has an array of gourmet snacks and entrees that are lightweight, delicious, and come sealed in protective Mylar envelopes. But even if you’re more of the beer-and-cooler variety of camper, it never hurts to have an extra ration of food on hand in case you get stuck in the Great Outdoors longer than expected (we also sell self-contained emergency kits that will keep you going in case the unexpected happens).
It’s hard to overestimate the value of having a good blade on hand. From whittling sticks for roasting marshmallows to cutting down saplings for emergency shelters, a sharp knife will help your woodland adventure go smoothly – especially if Mother Nature throws you a curve ball. We suggest you double down and get a larger, more sturdy multi-tool. For nearly the same weight and space investment as a folding knife, you can have a set of tools ranging from bottle openers to wire cutters in one easy-to-pack gadget.
It’s simple, light, easy to carry, and can make a world of difference when you’re in the woods. All rope is not created equal however. You can get everything from cheap sisal rope for tying up the canoe to military grade parachute cord that can dangle a truck off a cliff. Do a little research and find out which type best suits your needs. When in doubt, go for the strongest, yet lightest you can afford. To prepare for the unexpected, we recommend keeping at least 25 feet on hand, though a little extra may come in handy.
Matches are great (until they get wet) and lighters are fine (until they run out of fuel). Ensure that you’ll stay safe and warm in any situation with a an old-fashioned flint-and-steel fire starter. These strikers have the benefit of creating a shower of super heated sparks that will help get your fire going regardless of dampness or wind conditions. They can be found everywhere online and run from as little as $5 to as much as $30. Either way, it’s worth the investment (when you’re not camping, keep it in your home or car emergency kit). And it wouldn’t hurt to take along some Wise Fire with you to make fire starting even easier.
Sure, it’s nice to have the GPS and a solar iPhone charger so you can play Angry Birds out there, but the basic tools will go a long way toward making sure you’re outing is as safe as it is fun.