Overnight Camping For The First Time? What Should You Bring?

Posted on: 26 March 2018

If you're about to embark on an overnight primitive camping trip for the first time, you may be equal parts nervous and excited about the adventure that awaits you. Camping with a buddy (or more) is always preferable to camping alone, but regardless of whether you're hitting the trail with friends or hiking solo, you'll need to pack a few items in preparation. Read on for a basic overview of what you'll need to bring on your first overnight camp.

Shelter Essentials

Depending upon the length of your trip and the weather conditions predicted, your shelter needs may range from a tiny pop-up tent or even just some mosquito netting to a durable, windproof, rainproof tent. It's important to choose as lightweight a tent as possible, as hauling a heavy tent and steel poles deep into the woods can be exhausting and unnecessary. A lightweight tent with aluminum framing can be an ideal choice for the beginning camper.

It's also a good idea to bring a few extra layers of clothing, even if you're camping in a hot area. Nighttime temperatures can often dip lower than expected, and without much insulation to protect you from the elements, you could be vulnerable to hypothermia. And don't forget to bring plenty of sunscreen and any other necessary sun protection, including a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.

Food and Drink

Hiking deep into the woods, camping overnight, and returning can be tough if only because of the average human's water needs. Hauling the 64-plus ounces your body needs each day (and more in hot weather) can be a challenge. Because of this, it's often worthwhile to invest in a water purification kit or straw. This can allow you to turn any flowing water into a reliable source of liquid nutrition. From drinking water to boiling water, having a way to purify the water you come across can be invaluable during your first camping trip.

Emergency packs of freeze-dried food can also come in handy, allowing you to haul quite a few calories without adding much extra weight to your pack. From beans and dried meat like jerky to dehydrated ice cream, many camping and tactical supply stores have a wide range of freeze-dried food packs.

Safety and Connectivity

Whenever you're spending the night in the woods or a remote outdoor location, you'll want to keep safety in mind. Carrying a rechargeable battery pack can ensure your cell phone or satellite phone is charged at all times. A first-aid kit is lightweight but can prevent small scrapes, puncture wounds, and insect bites from ruining your trip. Finally, and one of the most crucial tools for any camp, you'll need some waterproof matches, a lighter, or another firestarter.