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10 must-haves for summer camping

A family enjoying camping

A summer camping trip can be the best way to escape the craziness of everyday life. Obligation-free relaxation time, fresh air, natural beauty, late nights by the campfire with family and friends — there's nothing like retreating to the great outdoors to be refreshed and renewed!

Though it's tempting to simply drop everything and dive head first into your camping adventure, it's important to carefully plan, pack and prepare before indulging in all that Mother Nature has to offer. Packing isn't fun, but in your rush to get away from it all, you may forget something essential. If you don't arrive prepared with everything you need, your relaxing stay in paradise could quickly turn into a test of surviving the harsh wilderness.

For the sake of convenience and peace of mind, here are 10 extremely helpful yet easily forgettable items that you should remember to pack for your next summer camping trip:

Bug Spray

In most cases, it's exciting to encounter wildlife near your campsite. Unless, of course, the creatures paying you a visit are mosquitos. These pesky bloodsuckers can make your trip itchy and miserable, so bug spray is one item you don't want to overlook.

Sun Screen

Whether you choose to go hiking, kayaking or just recline in sun, sun screen is one item you will always want on hand. Marshmallows and other treats are the only things that should get toasted during your trip.

Though it's tempting to simply drop everything and dive head first into your camping adventure, it's important to carefully plan, pack and prepare before indulging in all that Mother Nature has to offer.

First Aid Kit

Accidents are bound to happen, especially when you're exploring the great outdoors. In the case of a burn, scratch or cut, you'll be happy you remembered to bring a first aid kit. If you're camping with adventurous children, be sure to bring extra bandages!


Most are used to having a refrigerator to preserve food, but that's a convenience you don't have in the wild. The food supply you so thoroughly packed may all be in vain if you forget one essential item: ice.

Paper Towels

In times when you need to soak up a spill, create a makeshift oven mitt or wipe sticky s'more goo from your face, paper towel will always come in handy. It's a precious resource that goes quickly, so pack a few extra rolls.


From setting up your tent at night to finding your way to your sleeping bag after the campfire is out, you will always want to have a flashlight in hand. It's helpful to continually keep them nearby where they are easy to find so you don't have to stumble around in the dark.


What's camping without a campfire? Not only are they great fun, but they are also vital for keeping warm and cooking food. If you don't have matches or a lighter, it's difficult to get a fire started, so these are items you can't afford to go without.


Flashlights, electric lanterns, digital cameras and many other items you may bring along could run out of batteries and become useless right when you need them the most. Ensure this doesn't happen by bringing backup batteries, just in case.


Camping provides the opportunity to take a break from electronics and fully immerse oneself in the natural world. However, it's a good idea to bring your cell phone and other devices in case of an emergency. Keep them fully functional by remembering your chargers.

Duct Tape

Duct tape is the resourceful camper's secret weapon. It can be used to repair rips in a tent, hold down a picnic tablecloth on a windy day, seal food packages and cover an irritating blister while you're hiking. With a little creativity, its uses are endless!

Remembering to include these 10 items on your packing list can be the key to a successful summer camping trip. Having a solid insurance policy can also help you relax and enjoy the great outdoors.

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