Top 10 Things Campers Forget to Pack
Updated: Oct 7
IT's Finally Summer!
Have no fear, camping season is here! How many times have you been out camping and then you realize that you forgot X, Y, and Z at home? I’m an over-packer and I STILL manage to forget things from time to time. That’s why I’ve assembled a shortlist of items that folks tend to forget when they are packing up the tent (or camper) for their weekend adventure.
1) Toilet Paper
I know that these two words are considered somewhat of a sensitive subject right now, BUT there have been SO many times where I’ve forgotten to pack toilet paper because I was in a hurry or I had just assumed that the campground would have a restroom nearby. Poor planning from a lack of planning on my part? Maybe. Am I human? Absolutely. Maybe you ALWAYS remember to throw a roll in. I’m here to tell you to throw go ahead and throw an extra one in the bag, as well. Why? Because you never know when you might accidentally drop (and then later have to retrieve) that roll of precious toilet paper into the lake or river… It happens. Be prepared!
2) Sunscreen & Bug Spray
Thankfully, as I have (ungracefully) danced my way into my later twenties - my packing skills have slowly but surely become more refined. When I was younger, I ALWAYS seemed to forget to pack sunscreen and bug spray. Did I regret it? Every single time. Did I learn from it? Not until I hit the ripe age of 25 where things just started making more sense. The only thing that should come home with you from your camping trip are the things you brought, the things you bought, and the memories you made. Sunburns and bug bites do NOT make that very shortlist.
3) Dishwashing Tub
So you packed the cast iron, the utensils, and all of your dishes; but did you remember to bring some kind of tub to wash them in? This isn’t going to make or break your trip, but having a dishwashing tub is extremely helpful if you are spending more than just a night out under the stars! Just be sure to keep the soap away from grandma’s cast iron or you will pay the consequences.
4) Bandaids (and other medical supplies)
You may think this is an obvious one; however, the one thing I sometimes forget to do is check to see if I have actually replenished my first aid kit before leaving the house. I always remember to throw it in the bag, but sometimes I forget to check and make sure there are still enough supplies in case of an emergency. Bandaids always seems to be the thing that needs to be replaced! This goes for emergency survival items (such as paracord, a compass, radio, map, etc.), as well.
5) A Good Knife and Hatchet
Trust me. You will be glad you brought a good pocket knife with you because I can almost guarantee you that you will use it at least once during your stay. From cutting rope to opening a tricky package - a handy dandy pocket knife makes all the difference. It doesn’t hurt to pack a hatchet, too!
6) Crucial Parts of Your Shelter…
I’m not saying that I think you will forget your tent shell or the entire camper when you head out camping... What I’m saying is maybe you forget to bring an important element of your tent or camper… Say some of the stakes, poles, or the bug/rain screen. The last thing you want to do is arrive at your destination and learn that one of the main tent poles was left in the garage. Do yourself a favor just double check before you leave your home!
7) Bottle Openers
Because wine, beer, and other bottled drinks deserved to be opened with the proper tools.
8) Fire Source
Even the most experienced campers will bring some kind of a fire source with them when they head out for the weekend because you just never know what could happen and when you might absolutely need it. Make life easier by having some kind of fire source available to you. Nobody is asking you to be Bear Grylls.
9) Light Source
Smartphones are great and all but has your phone ever died? Be sure to bring some kind of additional light source with you for those “just in case” moments! Plus, having a lantern to make shadow puppets with is way more fun than laying in complete darkness.
10) Bad Weather Clothes
Go ahead and throw that rain jacket and water-proof blanket in even if the forecast calls for clear skies. I will never forget the time we were camping just five miles away from where a tornado hit in the middle of the night. We had no signal so we didn’t realize what was happening until the next morning, BUT that night we were determined to stick it out by fighting strong winds and heavy rain. Was that the forecast the morning we went out? Nope. Did you survive the night? Thankfully; however, we did get a little wet. It was a warm summer night that left us all cold, wet and ready to pack up the following morning. If bad weather seemingly comes out of nowhere, know when to pack up and head for shelter. If it is just a little rain, come prepared to stay dry so you can weather the storm.
(BONUS) - A Positive Attitude
Last (But definitely not least) you need to bring a positive attitude when you go camping. Have some fun, but be sure to respect your neighbor. Make memories - even when things don’t go as planned. Be flexible and remember why you decided to go camping in the first place. A positive attitude can make or break your camping experience. So start off on the right foot by leaving with the right attitude.
If you have any other items that you’ve forgotten to pack while camping, please let us know! We are all human and these are things that we can oftentimes look back and laugh on! I hope this blog helps you to remember some of the things I tend to forget. Happy camping!