Are you heading to the great outdoors? Before gathering your gear, make sure to check out these tips from the Domestic CEO on what to bring, how to pack, and what to do for the most successful camping adventure.
Take Your Seats, Please
Bring along enough camping chairs for everyone. To start with, just get the cheap chairs that fold up and stow in a tote bag. These chairs are comfortable and easy to transport. Personally, I also like to make sure each chair has a built-in cup holder.
If you camp more often, you may want to invest in expensive chairs, but if you are an occasional camper, the cheap model is just fine.
Compartmentalize Your Packing
The more organized you are about packing all your gear, the easier your camping trip will be. Plastic totes are great for hauling everything you need, while still being ultra-organized. For our equipment, we use one labeled plastic tote for each of these categories:
- Cooking and kitchen stuff, which includes the camp stove and propane, garbage bags, plates, cups and utensils, and fire starters
- Everything that goes inside the tent, like sleeping bags and sleeping pads, flashlights, and inflatable pillows
- Clothing, which also gets further compartmentalized into plastic baggies
A Little Extra Goes a Long Way
Take along a few extra pair of socks and undies, as not being able to find dry underwear or socks can be the undoing of a great camping trip. (I like to pack these in small zippered bags for easy acess when needed.) Be sure to pack a pair of shoes or sandals that are easy to slip on and off, too, for those late night potty runs.
I also recommend packing one layer more of clothing than you think you’ll need. Being cold and having nothing warmer to put on can make you downright miserable. Always bring a stocking cap along, too, as keeping your head warm can help the body retain heat.
It’s Raining, it’s Pouring
Yes, when you go camping, you need to be prepared for bad weather. We like to put plastic tarps under our tent. It’s also a good idea to dig a trench around the outside perimeter of your tent, which will help prevent water from entering the tent if there is a downpour.
Bring water-resistant jackets or rain ponchos, so you don’t end up soaked, and be sure to pack enough stakes to secure the tent from blowing away. You think it won’t happen, but we just camped with 60 mph winds blowing around us and had two stakes pulled out from the ground. Expect the unexpected!
Always. Bring. Tools
It's inevitable: the one time you don’t bring your tools is the time you’ll need them. I like to take along a Leatherman multi-tool that has a pliers, scissors, a small saw, a knife, a bottle opener, and more. This little tool is a camper’s best friend.
Don’t forget a rubber mallet for pounding in those tent stakes. Finally, you’ll need a shovel for burying poo (yes, you are supposed to bury it if you poo in the woods!) That shovel comes in handy for putting out the campfire, too.