What do I need to buy for our my first camping trip? Can I do this??
Camping gear for first timers doesn't have to be extensive or expensive! With the right frame of mind, you can take a blanket, some jerky and a jug of water and want for nothing! Lacking this, you can live larger in the outdoors without a moving van or millionaire's budget. You can spend a lot and get great quality equipment that will last forever but I recommend you give it a try first and see how you like it. Your first camping trip may just turn into years of enjoyment!
We purchased our first set up at Wal-Mart and this is a list of what we purchased:
Tent - to sleep 6 to 8
Tarp for ground under the tent…thick
Coleman Stove - 4 burner
Shovel - folding
Lanterns - battery operated
Camp chairs - those folding $5 ones with arms
Giant ice chest with wheels
Rubbermaid jugs - one for water and one for Kool-Aid or lemonade
What we had and used:
First Aid Kit and book
Flashlights - 3
Plastic storage bins (see through)
Matches, extra batteries
Marsh mellow roasting sticks
Skillet and 2 pots (and lids) (old and now in the camping supplies)
Can opener (non electric)
Umbrella for sun or rain (with stand)
Camel packs (they hold water) and/or back packs for hiking
What we added later:
Better sleeping bags (warmer and not slick)
Cots with mattresses
Eating shelter with netting for over the table
We actually got a mattress and a pump prior after the first trip in sleeping bags on the ground. It was truly not much better as it was loosing air all night and whenever one of us moved - you got it, everyone was involved! Our latest attempt at comfort was buying the cots. They are really not bad if your sleeping bags are not the cheap slippery kind that keep sliding off the cot. Cots provide the added benefit of allowing you to easily sit down in the tent and put on your shoes and socks! If you want the comforts of home....you probably should stay at home. If you look up "camping" in the dictionary it says many things....but it NEVER mentions comfort!
We learn from our experiences, what other campers are doing and recommending, and, now, by researching camping suppliers' catalogs of what's available. The goal is to take the minimum, use everything and not spend any time missing something like matches or nail clippers (do NOT forget nail clippers). You can glance at our
'camp store' page for a sampling of items that might meet this minimum space / maximum usefulness ideal, but... you should probably just get outside for a night or two and see what you wish you had. These wished-for items will start a list like the one above.