Look for a tent that will comfortably accommodate your group and your gear. It’s smart to buy one size larger than you think you need, so you’ve got extra room to move around.
Don’t forget to include a mallet for your tent pegs. Look for one with a claw to pull out your pegs when it’s time to pack up.
Make your bed
Choose a sleeping bag that is temperature rated for the appropriate season. Pair it with a sleeping pad, air mattress, or a cot to provide insulation from the ground.
Bring a firestarter
Bring along a firestarter to get things going quickly and efficiently. Unless you’re skilled at building roaring campfires, it’s best to give yourself a head start.
Set up your kitchen
Make sure you’ve got everything to stay well fed. A cook set is a smart start, along with a camp stove and the necessary fuel. Food safety is always an issue, so bring your perishable food coolers with plenty of ice packs. Don’t forget unbreakable dishes, cutlery and everything you’ll need to wash them at the end of a meal. Be sure to also pack plenty of drinking water.
Bring the Light
Moonlight may be romantic, but as a light source it’s unpredictable. Be sure to have lanterns, flashlights and headlamps on hand, so you can still be functional and safe after dark.
Prepare for adventure
You’ll probably want to explore the area beyond your campsite, so bring along a good backpack and some comfy hiking shoes for day trips and hiking excursions.
While they may seem unnecessary when you’re trying to “rough it,” folding chairs will give you an integral level of comfort, whether you’re sitting around the fire or eating a meal.
Be safe and smart
Never underestimate the value of clothespins and a laundry line. Whether it’s wet bathing suits from a dip in the lake to wet clothes from an unexpected downpour, this is the quickest way to dry your gear. Also pack a well-stocked first aid kit, insect repellent and lots of sunscreen.