Warning: I have no idea how to camp, and if you are reading this, chances are: neither do you.
Once, 20 years ago, my family went camping and while my husband (an Army veteran) embraced the challenge, the rest of us failed miserably. However, after recently watching wilderness shows my husband, and I decided that “We should camp!’
So what did we buy to get started? Here is our quick and dirty list of supplies:
- 2 man tent
- Warm weather sleeping bags (2)
- Folding chairs (2)
That’s it. We bought nothing else! “Be Prepared” was not our motto in this scout troop!
The day before the trip my husband stated, “I guess we should buy some food for tomorrow?” I was out of town so he offered to do the shopping. So, he picked up:
- Camping Coffee pot and coffee
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Baby wipes
- Paper plates and towels
Now, we are ready! Right?
Mistakes were made:
- First, let me say that the “baby wipes” were not for babies. They were toilet wipes meant for wiping bums. So when we used them on our face and hands the cleaner got on our lips and food and made it taste like astringent, but that’s OK: lesson learned.
- While my husband did a great job of picking up easy to cook food for us, he forgot the condiments for our burgers. No big whoop we got this!
- Pillows to lay our heads on at night were left at home propped up on our bed, ok…now THAT is frustrating!
- “I don’t get bitten by mosquitoes” will never be uttered from my mouth again. Bug spray should be brought!
- “I don’t need to wear long pants while hiking”, is also very incorrect. I am shocked that I did not get poison oak, ivy or sumac.
- Shower shoes are for sissies, and apparently my manly husband. He ended up showering in his socks.
- Wood – you kind of need it for camping. We made it to camp before dark! GO us! Tent goes up very easily, and while I spread our sleeping bags out within, my husband gets down to cooking dinner. It is after 7 and we are hungry and I hear my husband say:
“we have no wood”
“wood is not supplied for us?!”
Thankfully, he bought charcoal, right? So, off we go into the woods to find limbs to burn. As you can see we managed to scrape up a few measly limbs to make a fire to cook.
GA State parks allow you to use fallen trees and limbs as long as it is already down. At this point I said, “maybe after dinner we need to make a list of things we need and add it to our ‘to buy list’.“
What I am getting at is while you don’t want to spend a fortune on your first trip camping, you do need essentials. Such as your pillow! Yes, ours were left at home.
Here is what you need:
- Tent – we opted for a two man tent with a netted open ceiling for ventilation.
- Warm weather or cold weather sleeping bags depending on season
- Folding chairs
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Seasonings and condiments
- Baby wipes
- some way of making coffee or tea we bought this. A French Press does nicely too
- Camping cutlery
- First Aid Kit
- Long light weight pants (trust me) After wearing shorts around poison ivy I invested in these
- Bug spray (because I didn’t buy long pants)
- Aluminum foil
- Iron skillet – pan and/or dutch oven
- Metal tongs and spatula
- Trash bags (how could we forget trash bags?)
- Battery operated self fans (trust me when it got warm, husband got cranky)
- Shower shoes or flip flops
- Battery cell for mobile phones if you must stay connected – Check this one out
- battery operated light (cell phone also works)
- Ziplocs (if you are carrying sugar or any other ant attracters )
- Wood for fire
If you decide after first trip you like camping you will want to purchase this:
NOTE: We went to Walmart on day two and bought all thestuff below: (and pillows)
- Large bin with lid to pack all this junk
- Lightweight flat sheet (I didn’t like how the sleeping bag felt against my hot skin until it cooled off at night)
- Coleman Grill – it is hot in summer in Georgia, too hot to make a fire!
- Cooling towels – Did I mention my husband is cranky when hot?
- Air mattress or personal air mattresses – one night sleeping on ground was enough for me
- Tent Fan
Things added after subsequent trips (Also known as: the “failure purchases”)
- Canopy – added after a rainy weekend
- Axe or small saw for cutting limbs – We purchased this
- Oven Mitts and Spatula