An unasked for guide to camping

If your summer plans include camping, here’s what you need to know

Sami Geiger

More stories from Sami Geiger


Photo by Submitted

Everyday life has no place in the woods in front of a warm fire.

The spring semester is quickly coming to an end, which means the warm summer days are right around the corner.

Students are turning in their textbooks and homework for pool noodles and — for those of age — a drink.

Summer is a time to get outside and enjoy the nice weather. Go swimming, boating, fishing and so much more.

Now the one that everyone talks about but never actually does — except for a young couple with children under the age of two, not to be stereotypical — camping.

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s a lot of sleeping on the ground and being in nature. For others, they enjoy the fresh air and roughing it.

As for me, I enjoy camping. I love getting out into nature, sleeping on the ground and simply being one with the trees. 

For one who has grown up with a scout leader father and a Boy Scout/Eagle Scout brother, you learn what and what to not pack when planning for a camping trip.

Let’s start with what to pack — the necessities, and the, “don’t need but would be nice to have.”

The necessities:

  1. Tent for shelter
  2. Sleeping bag – pretty self-explanatory
  3. Blankets for extra warmth at night
  4. Sunscreen – don’t need skin cancer later in life, lather up
  5. Bug spray – those bugs are nasty especially after a nice warm day
  6. Utensils – you’ll need something to eat with
  7. Paper plates/bowls – easy to pack and even easier to clean up
  8. Napkins – clean yourself up
  9. Garbage bags – leave no trace of trash
  10. Lighter – you’ll need something to start a fire with
  11. Lighter fluid – could be an aid in starting said fire
  12. Map – unless you want to get lost in the woods, I’d bring a map
  13. Clothes – long pants, shorts, tank tops, t-shirts, sweatshirts, long socks and always underwear
  14. Food

The most important thing to remember when camping is to leave no trace. By that, I mean leave the campsite the same way you found it, which should be clean.

When it comes to clothing you are going to want to pack two of everything. You never know if you will slip into the river or lake. If you are anything like me, you won’t like wet socks. It also gets colder at night — a lot colder than you would think.

Now onto the “don’t need but would be nice to have”:

  1. S’mores sticks – tree branches will suffice but sometimes bark in a S’more isn’t pleasant
  2. Phone charger – A lot of the times you’ll be in a place where there isn’t much phone service, but a charged phone is nice
  3. Recreational activities – those include a badminton net, volleyball, etc.
  4. School work – nah, leave that at home, you won’t need it
  5. Friends – go with friends, enjoy yourself and spend time together, but if you’d rather go alone that works too

Camping doesn’t have much to it.

It’s really just like hanging out at an apartment but outdoors. Pack your bags and jump in the car with some friends.

Geiger can be reached at [email protected].