As my family and I sit here planning our next camping trip, all I can do is laugh, remembering our first camping experience years ago. We were so unprepared. What happened is pretty hilarious now, but at the time it wasn't all that funny. You see, we really had no clue what we would need, but we sure thought we did. It's a good thing our accompanying friends had a few things we were lacking. Unfortunately, we did have to leave the campsite for the rest of the items, which would not have been as simple if we hadn't had friends with us or if we had chosen a more remote location.
It's obvious that a tent is needed for camping, unless a cabin or camper is being used. However, what wasn't so obvious to us during our first camping trip was to bring extra stakes and tie downs. Sometimes what comes with the tent just won't cut it, as we found out when one section of our tent sagged no matter what we did. Borrowing a friend's extra stake and tie down solved the problem.
Another item we mistakenly left out was sunscreen. At the time, we were not very good at wearing sunscreen to begin with, so it's no surprise we forgot that, but on a camping trip sunscreen is essential. Being outdoors all day without protection from the sun is not good for the skin at all. I've even heard that putting it in the hair can help prevent sun streaks and split ends. Luckily, our friends had some extra sunscreen we could use.
Thicker, longer socks was something we hadn't considered at all for our camping trip list. This was one of the items we had to leave the camp site for. Since we were camping in an area that could have contained ticks, we really should have had better socks on, as well as packed additional ones. Thankfully we were not too far outside of town, so it was fairly easy to pick up some appropriate socks.
In addition to the items above, there were several more items we forgot during that trip. Because of that experience, we now know exactly what to bring, so I guess it was good for a lesson.
Some of the items on our main camping trip supply list are: tent and extra stakes and tie downs, tarp, hammer, pillow/sleeping bag/extra blanket/air mattress/sheets for each person, air pump, air mattress repair kit, compass and map for each person, folding chair for each person, folding table, fishing poles/bait/line/bucket, lots of water (some for drinking, some for cleaning), cooking source, cookware, utensils, knives, food, fire source, trash bags, plastic tablecloth, dish soap, foil, tissue, paper towels, dishes and silverware, plastic bin for dish-washing, personal care items, clothing for all weather types, fire extinguisher, first aid kit and various other items, depending on the camping trip.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network