Water and Drinks
For a camping trip to a developed campground with potable water, water treatment kits are not entirely necessary. However, for a backcountry trip, such a kit is an absolute necessity. The kits require filters, and a wise camper will pack two filters: one to use and one for back-up. Some backcountry campers rely on iodine tablets or chlorine drops to disinfect their water. Pack a sufficient quantity of these supplies, bringing more than absolutely necessary to allow for a margin of error in the wilderness.
Flavored drinks are also desirable supplies. Backcountry campers relying on iodine or chlorine often pack Tang or Kool-Aid powder as well, to mask the unpleasant chemical taste of their treated water.
Many a developed campground camper would never clamber out of her tent on a chilly morning without the promise of a hot mug of coffee or tea. Drinks to pack for car or "frontcountry" camping depend on the campers' personal tastes, and water, of course, is still a necessity. While running out of flavored drinking supplies is not a disaster, it is unpleasant, so pack more than is strictly necessary as a cushion.
Many camping areas mandate the use of camping stoves rather than fire pits. If a camping stove is part of the equipment checklist, the stove's fuel is part of the supply list. Camping stoves burn a variety of fuels, ranging from simple alcohol to butane to propane, so pack the correct fuel for your stove. Some stoves burn more than one type of fuel, offering some flexibility.
Even without a camping stove, fuel supplies are sometimes necessary for camping. Many campgrounds come equipped with charcoal grills, and if the campground mandates the purchase of firewood from its own supplies, bringing charcoal briquettes as a fuel source instead is both cheaper and more efficient.
Starting a fire is at least as important as fueling one, and this demands an ample supply of fire-starting materials. Matches, lighters and lighter fluid, and flint, steel and tinder are all typical fire-starting supplies. A wise camper takes at least two sets of fire-starting material with him. If you rely solely upon matches, for example, it is a good idea to pack two matchboxes in their own separate, waterproof containers as a hedge against accidents.
Even a backcountry camper may have at least one electronic device with him. Cameras, radios, flashlights and GPS receivers are all popular among campers. Although crank-driven and solar-powered radios are available, most of other items are battery-powered and require a supply of replacement batteries. Every electronic device taken on a camping trip should have batteries installed plus at least one back-up set.
All campers require food, but exactly what food to take depends on the camping format. Backcountry campers must carry every ounce of food into the wildnerness with them, and otherwise rely upon wild, foraged sources. This mandates preserved, lightweight, calorie-dense food supplies, such as pasta, nuts, dried fruits and vegetables, jerky and dehydrated food packages.
A camper at a developed campground, on the other hand, is never far away from the car or truck. That applies even to walk-in campsites, as hiking an hour's distance from the parking lot and the supply cache in the car trunk is merely inconvenient. Campers at developed campgrounds may use coolers to preserve small quantities of fresh meat, eggs and dairy products, and can afford the extra weight for canned goods and fresh fruits and vegetables with a long shelf life, such as potatoes and onions.