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Beginners Guide to Camping

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For those who have never been camping, or have never been camping in the West Coast Canadian wilderness, you may want to consider this helpful list of what to pack for a camping trip. Keep in mind that these items don’t have to be limited to strictly camping. The most popular outdoor activities in 2012 were hiking, camping, biking, and fishing — all of which require some of the same types of gear, especially the outdoor clothing.

The key to packing camping gear is to be as thorough as possible. Make lists, edit lists, and remake lists until you’re certain you’ve included all of the things you will need. Here is a broken down list of gear:

The Essentials include things you will absolutely want to have with you on any trip.

  1. Cash, credit cards, phone — anything you may need before and after your trip to get you home.
  2. Licenses and/or permits for camping, hunting, fishing, etc. The fishing industry generates an estimated $80 billion every year, and most of these people are require to have permits.
  3. Waterproof matches or a lighter.
  4. Swiss army knife — these are a great $7 investment.
  5. Toilet paper.
  6. Flashlight/headlamp with spare batteries.
  7. Maps, compass, or GPS. Some people just take their phones now and bring a solar charger.
  8. Insect repellent. Don’t think because Canada is cold it doesn’t have bugs!

Clothes This list includes outdoor clothing of every kind. The Canadian retail clothing industry generates around $260 million in annual revenue, and a large chunk of this profit goes toward outdoor clothing.

  1. Pants and shorts: Usually made of a durable yet breathable material that will not easily rip or stain.
  2. Camping shirt…. or seven: Shirts comprised of any synthetic fibers work best. Wool sweaters are also an option for when you are sleeping or cooking dinner at dusk.
  3. Underclothes: Do not choose cotton! Although this is breathable, it will stay wet for a longer period of time. Find clothing stores that have water wicking materials in their underclothes.
  4. Hiking boots, or appropriate footwear for your outdoor activity.
  5. Socks — and plenty of them. Wool is best.
  6. Rain gear and/or a protective waterproof outer shell.

Toiletries Many people who go camping are big proponents of wilderness activism, which includes caring for the environment. Finding toiletries that are environmentally friendly would be best.

  1. Toothbrush, toothpaste (there is environmentally friendly toothpaste out there).
  2. Biodegradable soap and shampoo (this should be listed on the bottle).
  3. Brush/comb.
  4. Deodorant.

Gear Depending on what type of camping you are doing, your gear may vary. This list pertains to tent camping.

  1. Tent: Rain fly, footprint, stakes, ropes.
  2. Sleeping bags, ground pads.
  3. Ax, hatchet, or shovel.
  4. Camp stove, fuel, utensils, dishes.
  5. Folding chairs, tables, coolers, etc.

Be sure to consult other lists for advice on what type of emergency gear and food to bring. For outdoor clothing, consult a camping gear store to learn more about the types of materials.

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