Spring is here and summer is around the corner, meaning that it’s finally warm enough to venture outside and embrace the great outdoors! Camping is the ultimate way to spend quality time with your friends and family while being out in total nature, but it can also be a riveting experience doing a trip on your own. Depending on where you venture off to, you get to enjoy the natural landscape of rugged mountains, lush, grassy green spaces or even the chance to spot some interesting wildlife. Just because you want to go camping, it doesn’t mean you have to travel far for the trip. Some of the best camping locations could be at a nearby conservation area! But for a hardcore, intensive outdoor adventure where you’ll truly feel like one with nature away from the city and noise, we would suggest a daring journey in the wilderness or atleast a national park! Whether you’re seeking a trip to explore and hike your way through many trails or a relaxing weekend spent on the beach everyday, camping is a rewarding experience for all. The key to a good camping trip? Being prepared of course! Imagine driving all the way up North, you lay down your tent to set up camp and then it hits you: You forgot your sunscreen! There’s usually convenience stores or lodges nearby where you can grab supplies that you’ve forgotten, but it’s a waste of money, especially if you had already bought the item back home specifically for your trip! It’s normal to forget a thing or two when packing but keeping a list of things to pack is crucial for not leaving anything behind. We have a list of four camping essentials you’re most likely to forget. We hope that this article will do its job in helping you to remember for next time. It’s often the little things. First Aid A first aid kit is an essential for camping that many completely forget about, since you’re often not thinking about the worst case scenario when it comes to planning your trip. Accidents happen and it’s important to be prepared for minor injuries like burns, scratches or cuts because they’re not unrealistic things to worry about! A complete kit should include the usual items like aspirin, bandages, gauze and rubbing alcohol, but don’t forget you’re gonna be camping so you could encounter some situations that wouldn’t happen back home! Grab some stuff that’s more hiking-specific like moleskin (for blisters) bug spray and lotion for soothing burns and bites. Depending on the length of your trip and how many people are involved, it’s always best to stock well and make sure your kit is restocked before departing on your adventure. Some people even like to make their own homemade kit! Protective gloves, pocket masks and scissors are extras that could come in handy when you least expect it! Your friends or family will be grateful that at least someone towed first aid kit along. Safety first! Dishes This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how often it’s forgotten until you’re already a long way from home. Perhaps it’s because we’re so focused on the food we’re bringing on the trip and the delicious smores and barbecued feasts, the idea of what we’re actually going to use to make and eat the food on completely slips our mind! Many campers have their own set of dishes that are designated for camping. Usually the plates and bowls are made of plastic or a material that doesn’t break, to avoid an accident from happening. It’s a more environmental solution versus disposable plates and cutlery, which you would have to toss in the garbage after every meal. But you don’t have to use camping dishes, you can just take what you have from home. Don’t forget pots and pans as well because you’ll need them to cook up your grub! Lugging pots and pans may seem too heavy. So an easy solution is buying some tin foil and aluminum pots and pans to use instead, they’re incredibly lightweight and can be thrown out afterwards. Besides cutlery and dishes, don’t forget a dish tub and sponges. Use camp-friendly soap when dishwashing as it is camp etiquette to not use regular soap that will be deposited into a nearby stream. Map and Compass It’s true, we live in a digital age where all we now need when navigating the roads is usually a GPS. Gone are the days when you would need a separate GPS console positioned in your car, as we now can access directions and maps straight from our phones! However, when camping there tends to be a really good chance that there could be no cellphone service both at your campsite and even on your way there, as you enter the thick of the forest. Be proactive- Grab a paper map. Learn how to read it before your trip and highlight the routes and trails you wanted to hike. Navigation essentials should include a compass as well. Using reliable gear that isn’t dependent on battery life or a network is a proactive way to avoid a situation where you find yourself lost. Maps can be found at many gas stations and at ranger stations near the park entrance. Weather-friendly gear You check the weather forecast days before your camping trip and it shows clear, sunny skies for the duration of your trip. You load up on bathing suits, shorts and beach hats but what are you missing? Alternate weather wear! Even with optimistic forecasts, the weather is still very unpredictable and you don’t want a quick change of weather to rain on your parade. Bring extra layers and a rain jacket plus rain boots are a must. There are lots of lightweight windbreakers that are water-resistant but don’t have the extra bulk of regular rain jackets. Also: Protect your tent too! Stay on the safe side and set up a tarp.