The easiest campsite can become a major headache when you don't have the proper equipment. Likewise, the most difficult sites can be a dream when you come fully prepared. Many people tend to overlook the value of having solid equipment and base their experience on the destination instead. By showing up with everything you need in perfect working order, you can significantly increase your chances of having a wonderful camping experience.
Possibly the single most important piece of camping equipment you can bring is your tent. You want to make sure the tent is waterproof and also big enough to fit everyone who will be using it. Unless you are a very experienced camper who can put together a tent in your sleep, look for one that requires very little effort at putting together and taking down. If you plan on backpacking to your campsite you will also want to consider the weight of the tent.
If you plan on sleeping beneath the stars, then a backpack becomes even more important than a tent. Either way, you definitely want to put some thought into it and not just pick the first one you see or go straight for the cheapest model. You need a backpack that has enough space to comfortably carry everything you will need, but has the padding and strength to keep from weighing down on you. Don't be blinded by all the straps and zippers and compartments that come on modern backpacks. Examine them carefully to make you will really need all those things. Perhaps the most important thing to remember about backpacks is that most campers tend to fill their packs to capacity, therefore a smaller pack will reduce your temptation to overload yourself.
Certain equipment for camping is best described as essential. For instance, you never want to head out into the wilderness without a compass. You may feel safe if you have a cell phone or even a GPS device, but electronics can fail and batteries can go dead and things can easily get lost. Keep your compass close to you at all times. Pack a whistle in case of emergencies. The sound of a whistle being blown loudly may save your life if you can't yell for help or your yells cannot be heard. Do not forget the flashlight and pack a few backup batteries just in case. A knife is another thing you want to keep by your side at all times. Finally, always get the most up-to-date map of the area in which you are camping or hiking.
Article Written By Timothy Sexton
Timothy Sexton is an award-winning author who started writing in 1994. He has written on topics ranging from politics and golf to nutrition and travel, and his work appears online for Zappos.com, Disaboom and MOJO, among others. He has also done work for "Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.