If you read our other blog post about the 10 essentials, you know that there are certain things that are extremely important to bring while camping. However, you will probably bring more things than just the ten essentials. We thought it would be fun to mention some of the items that we like to bring while on camping trips. Without further ado, our list of “less than essential camping supplies.”
- Double Stuff Oreos: Why settle for the regular amount of stuffing when the double stuff is the same price? The double stuff Oreo is the best post hiking snack. You need those sugars and fats. You really do.
- Bandana: Bandanas have so many uses. Use 1: Put it on your head. Use 2: Let’s say you are stuck in a rainforest with no way of getting clean water. Here’s what you do: tie the bandana around your ankles in the morning and it will absorb the morning dew and BOOM WATER (Claire read this is a book called Worst Case Scenario. It also taught her how to land a plane on water. She’s set). Use 3: Mini-towel. Use 4: On a hot day soak the bandana in water and tie it around your neck to cool off! Use 5: Use as a coffee filter. CAUTION: Use 6: Tourniquet. Come up with the rest yourself!
- A good book: There’s nothing like ending a long day of hiking by reading a deliciously fantastic book. Hiking will improve you physically while reading will improve you mentally. A journal is also nice to write down thoughts or questions you have while on the trail. Sometimes it’s nice to keep a list of the things you want to look up when you get home.
- Coffee & French press (camping version): If you are a coffee-addict like me (Sophie), it’s easier than you think to bring coffee on a trip. Check out Amazon.com and REI for a camping French press and bring pre-ground so that you can start out your morning the right way.
- Camp shoes: hiking sandals and flip-flops allow you to stroll around your campsite post-hike while allowing your feet to breathe! These type of shoes usually don’t add weight to your pack and you just can strap them onto the outside of your pack. As dorky as they look, crocs come in handy because they can get wet and you can also wear them with socks in the evenings. Sidebar: Ranger Kelsey once worked an entire summer in the backcountry of Mesa Verde National Park wearing Crocs because her hiking boots tore her Achilles in a hiking-boot-incurred injury. She does not recommend them for desert hikes in which cacti will puncture your poor toes.
- Camera: Capture your beautiful surroundings with a small, lightweight camera. Disposable cameras are also fun and they take cool photos!
- Earplugs: If you are not fan of the sounds of nature (hooting owls, chirping crickets, etc.) bring some earplugs to ensure a better sleep. You need your energy! Personally, animal sounds don’t bother me but I always pack earplugs to prepare me for the occasional snoring tent mate.
- Dehydrated meals: Reduces food weight and volume. Mountain House has a variety of meals, but ramen is always a favorite of mine (Natasha).
- Spice Kit: Backpacking meals can be pretty bland, so having a kit including curry powder, garlic powder, and whatever else you like can save your dinner.
- Cards/Bananagrams/Dice: Sometimes the evenings can be long and it’s nice to whip out a game to play. Try and bring small, lightweight games so that they don’t make your pack too heavy.