8 Extra Essentials That Will Make End of Summer Camping Trips Much Easier

  • When packing for a camping expedition, we have to remember that there are certain factors we can't control. For example, the weather app on your phone might not predict any surmountable rain or extreme temperatures, but that could change at the drop of a hat. So, do yourself (and your camping companions) a favor by packing these extra supplies that will cover your bases when it comes to any unpredictable events:

    Extra Tarp(s)

    Shelter comes to mind first.

    Employ an extra tarp as a ground cover under your tent or a welcome mat under your hammock. I find rolling out of my hammock onto a dry surface comforting. My haversack and extra gear rests on this vapor barrier preventing ground moisture from transferring while I sleep.

    An extra tarp has come in handy on trips when it rained sideways. Tarps can be quickly set up over your camp kitchen or eating area for shade and rain protection. Be sure to set your tarp high enough over a campfire so it won’t melt – 7-8 feet works with an open fire.

    Poly tarps are relatively cheap but add max comfort when camping. Don’t hit the trail without an extra one or three. And blue tarps are okay.

    Extra Cordage

    I like 550 paracord for certain jobs like ridge lines. However, braided nylon tarred bank line comes in a compact spool with hundreds of feet.

    Take the hank of cord off your fingers, wrap the loose end a few times in the middle of the hank, and tie with a half-hitch. There are too many uses around camp for rope to not pack extra.

    Dry towel and wet wipes.

    Get small packs designed for diaper bags if backpacking. If weight isn’t an issue, buy the jumbo container to clean the whole family. They’re also handy to clean dirty picnic tables and pet fur.

    I wipe my hands often while cooking and use it as a napkin while eating. When done, toss the towel in a ziplock bag and stow it in my cook kit.

    I carry both cloth and paper towels. Used paper towels are burned or packed out.

    Extra Lighting

    I have three primary sources of light when I camp: Luci solar lantern, head lamp, and LED Light Specs.

    I clip my Luci lantern on my hammock ridge line for nighttime illumination. It lights up my entire hammock area and only weighs 4 ounces.

    A head lamp frees you to use both hands for camp tasks. Keep a set of spare batteries taped together and labeled with the date of manufacture. If you purchase a head lamp, buy one with a red light to keep your camping mates happy.

    My reading glasses have LED lights on the outside of both lenses. I use these to find stuff hidden in my pack at night.

    Extra Toilet Paper

    There are ways to perform the needed paperwork without TP, but a novice may find them a bit primitive.

    Extra Plastic Bags

    They keep stuff dry and sealed or wet stuff separate from your dry stuff. Use them to pack trash and other dirty stuff out when you break camp.

    Oh, and always pack extra trash bags, the big ones. They’re useful for collecting firewood and keeping it dry, pack covers, and even emergency ponchos.

    Extra Shoes

    In warm weather camp, my flip-flops are welcome relief after a long day in my boots. On colder trips, I change into my insulated leather house slippers while sitting around the campfire.

    Extra Tape

    Gorilla Tape is the strongest I’ve found.

    Here are just a few uses:

    • Emergency first aid uses; bandages, splints, etc.
    • Repair leaky tarps and tents
    • Wrap a camp ax handle for temporary repair. Makes an expedient ax sheath too.
    • Grommet hole repair
    • Wet weather fire starter. Burns like napalm.

    Do you have any other tips for those who are first-time campers? Let us know in the comments below!

    Article Source: Survival Sherpa