Camping is an art. The more you camp, the better prepared you become. If you keep a checklist, you probably revise it every time you go camping. Campers eventually learn that redundant can be a good thing. A backup propane canister, extra tent stakes, or spare batteries may save you the inconvenience of an unscheduled trip to town to buy more. You can avoid foreseeable problems by being prepared with extras of necessities. Check out my choices for redundant camping items.
1. toilet paperI can't think of anything I'd rather be prepared for than a nature call. Whether it's an emergency stop while traveling in the backcountry or there's no toilet paper in the campground bathroom, you'll be glad you brought that spare roll. For added protection, put your toilet paper in a Ziploc bag. Be sure to use bio-degradable toilet paper.
2. plastic garbage bagsCampers should keep a clean campsite, and plastic garbage bags are perfect for collecting and disposing of trash. They also come in handy for gathering dirty clothes, for covering your backpack when it rains, and for use as an emergency poncho. Keep a box handy, you'll use them.
3. lighter/matchesLighters always seem to run out of fluid at the wrong time. But if you bring extra lighters or matches, you'll never be without fire. A Ziploc bag is great for keeping extra matches or lighters dry too.
4. propane canistersIt's frustrating when you have to stumble around in the dark because your propane lantern ran out of fuel. What's even worse is delaying dinner because you ran out of propane for the camp stove. I always carry a couple extra propane canisters just in case.
5. lantern mantelsPropane lanterns give off great light. It's all due to the science that makes the lantern mantel glow. Mantels are essentially the light bulbs of propane lanterns, and they are very fragile. Bumping your lantern could cause the mantels to break, which would render the lantern useless. The mantels are inexpensive, and they're small. It's a good idea to always carry a spare or two.
6. tent stakesStakes stabilize your tent and keep it in place. They are pounded into the ground through loops which are usually attached to the tent at the corners and at the center of each side. Should you happen to break or bend a stake, the tent will be loose at that loop, and the tent will probably flap in the wind. That's why it's important to bring extra tent stakes. They can also be used for guying a clothes line or for putting up shade.
7. Bungee cordsBungee cords come in handy for lots of campground tasks. They can be used to bundle firewood, as stretchable guy-lines, to secure lids to coolers, to tighten tarps used for shade, as clothes lines, etc. They come in a variety of lengths and strengths. I always pack several of each for camping trips.
8. ropeRope comes in handy for lots of stuff too. It could just as easily be used wherever you use a bungee cord. If the metal hooks on the ends of bungee cords concern you, then a rope with knots may be a better choice. I always bring several long strands of rope.
9. batteriesYou probably keep a flashlight handy for those late-night runs to the bathroom. You should probably keep some spare batteries handy too, just in case. If you have any other electronics that you take camping, bring spare batteries for them too.
10. bug sprayNothing can spoil a camping trip more than bugs, and sometimes our only defense is bug spray. When bug spray becomes a necessity, and believe me I've been camping when it was, be sure to have a backup can. There's nothing worse than stepping out of the tent in the morning, and the can of bug spray is empty. Be prepared, bring a spare can.