Necessities for everyday living should be first on your list. Each traveler should bring enough clothes for the trip, with extra socks and underwear. Check the weather forecast and bring rain gear anyway. Also bring warm socks and jackets, even if it promises to be hot. Each traveler should also bring his wallet, identification and whatever money or credit cards may be needed along the way. Don't forget your glasses, if you wear them, and everyone should bring at least one hat for head protection.
Other everyday living items include toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags, dish and bath towels, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies. You'll also want pillows, blankets and sheets. Pack soap, shampoo and other toiletries.
Food and Cooking Supplies
Hit the road with a number of food items, depending on your tastes, as well as the necessary supplies with which to cook and eat that food. If you're planning to cook over the campfire or grill, pack the grill itself, charcoal or other barbecue fuel, camping cookery, utensils and matches. Campfires will also need an axe, fire starters, flame-resistant gloves and even firewood, unless you plan to chop your own. Plates, bowls, utensils, knives and a sharpener, cups, mugs, a bottle and can opener, tinfoil and plastic wrap, napkins and the basic seasonings should also be on your list.
The type of gear you bring depends on the type of activities you plan to pursue. Some basic staples can include life jackets, swimsuits, goggles, fins and other swimming gear; hiking boots, walking poles, backpacks, compasses and other hiking gear; and tackle boxes, fishing poles and other fishing gear. Don't forget the larger items, such as the kayak and paddles; bicycles; surf or boogie boards, or water skis. Other gear could include tennis rackets, golf clubs, baseball mitts and bats, balls and kites.
Bring your atlas or map as well as any literature about the places you're going to explore. Don't forget any permits, fishing license or other documentation you'll need once you hit the road. GPS devices are also handy to have, as are tire gauges and rags so you can easily check the engine and fluid levels.
Traveling between destinations can get tedious, especially for kids, unless you pack some items meant to kill time and boredom. These can include board games, playing cards, puzzle books, jigsaw puzzles, handheld electronic games, checkers and a laptop computer. Magazines and books are always welcome.
A first aid kit is definitely a must, as is any prescription medication. Always take a little extra medication just in case you are delayed for any reason. Bring aspirin, an antacid, eye and ear drops, aloe vera or other skin-soothing lotions, sunscreen and sunglasses, an antibiotic cream and allergy medication. Emergency phone numbers, especially that of poison control, should be at your fingertips. Repair kits for eyeglasses and hearing aids are handy, as is a small sewing kit and safety pins. Pack other supplies that will help prevent an emergency, such as extra batteries, insect repellent, duct tape and glue, water jugs, water purifier and water, and a multipurpose tool like a Swiss army knife. Flashlights, lanterns and heaters, along with the proper fuel, are other useful items, as is a fire extinguisher.
In addition to your cell phone, camera and their chargers or extra batteries, you may want to take along a host of other miscellaneous items. These include a travel alarm clock, a radio, music selection, video cameras, extra memory sticks and appropriate backup batteries or charges. Small tools, like a little shovel and rake, may also come in handy.