Whether you're a novice or professional when it comes to camping, it is inevitable that at one point or another you will forget something. With this fear in mind, it is easy to overcompensate and pack too much. To escape from the everyday humdrum of life, it is important to consider what is essential and what to not bring camping. Follow this list of 8 items you should never bring camping—and campground owners, share this list with your campers to help them stay informed!
Though it may seem challenging at times, camping provides an opportunity to truly unplug. Avoid packing video games, expensive electronics, laptops, and music players. Not only will it ensure that nothing is damaged during your vacation, but it allows you to take the time to truly experience the nature around you. Whether it is exploring a new trail or taking in the sunrise, you should not be distracted by your usual electronic demands.
In the hustle of packing food and grocery items, it can be easy to forget the packaging involved. Packaging can include glass canisters or bottles that may easily break during transport or use. Glass items, when accidentally broken, become a hazard to yourself and fellow campers when shards are left on the ground. Finding alternative sustainable packaging options ensures that nothing will harm the environment while eliminating extra things that need to be carried or disposed of later.
Single Use Plastic Bottles
To prevent unnecessary waste, it is important to pack a reusable water bottle instead of a disposable, one-time use bottle. Reusable water bottles and thermoses eliminate the need to use countless plastic bottles that you have to transport back and forth—or worse if you don’t recycle them and they end up in landfills or eventually the ocean. Campgrounds offer potable water resources to make refilling easy and safe for staying hydrated while camping.
Body Sprays and Fragrances
Though it may seem like a personal challenge to not wear your favorite fragrance for any extended length of time, it is important to consider the many reasons why you should leave perfume at home. Camping provides the opportunity to give yourself a bit of a break when it comes to personal appearance. Enjoy the opportunity to get a little dirty, sweaty, or out of your comfort zone. Additionally, many fragrances often attract unwanted animals and bugs while contaminating the fresh outside air. Pack your trusty deodorant stick only and embrace the wild.
Most campers are unaware of the long-term effects of wet wipes and flushable wipes. In just a single camping season, these products can do considerable damage to campground waste management, sewer, and septic systems. Campgrounds appreciate conscientious campers who care about the environment and their facilities. When it comes to wet wipes, even those that claim to be flushable, please leave them at home.
Everything and the Kitchen Sink
Avoid packing excessive cookware that takes up space. Not only does it ensure your favorite pan does not get ruined, but it also allows you to try fun ways to cook in the outdoors. Use tin foil to create dishes that cook over a campfire or challenge yourself to make a three-course meal on a roasting stick. Minimalistic cooking saves you the time and hassle of excessive dishwashing and provides a more relaxing camping experience. Your gourmet meals may look a little different at the campsite, but they will surely be more memorable to make.
Some new campers may have trouble living more minimally than in everyday life. Learning to leave extra amenities and unnecessary luxuries at home can ensure authentic camping experiences. Avoid packing inflatable personal jacuzzis and bulky items that distract from the experience of other campers. These are a huge energy and resource drain on RV parks, and most owners are adapting their rules to outlaw personal jacuzzis or other inflatable personal-sized pools from the onset. Instead, take the opportunity to explore natural water resources that you otherwise would not be able to.
Electric heaters may seem like an essential item to pack, but many campers are often unaware of their impact. Heaters risk melting or igniting nearby objects or forgotten flammable canisters such as bug spray. Camping also often takes place in compact spaces that do not allow for the adequate safety distance a heater requires. Additionally, space heaters require certain electrical outlets and extension cords while using a lot of power. Opt for other ways to stay warm instead, like cuddling up to your camping buddy, packing appropriate thermal clothing, and using insulated sleeping bags. As Smokey Bear reminds us, only you can prevent wildfires!
The best part of camping is to experience new things and relax with loved ones in the great outdoors. Conscientious and minimalist packing will allow you to create new memories, share more laughs rather than things, and give yourself a much-needed break.