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Essential Camping Items

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What 10 items of camping gear would you put on your checklist? Based on over 2000 survey results, here are what fellow campers consider essential camping gear - food, sleeping bag, tent, water, first aid kit, flashlight, knife, clothes, lantern, and stove.

1. Food

You got to eat, right? Choose from hundreds of great outdoor recipes that have been submitted by fellow campers.

2. Sleeping Bag

To make a bed at the campground, you'll need a sleeping bag. They come in various shapes and use different materials for insulation. The type of camping you do will determine what type sleeping bag you'll need.
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3. Tent

When camping, a tent is your shelter from the weather. Tents come in many shapes, sizes, and styles, so be sure to shop around to find one that suits your needs.
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4. Water

We need water for everything, but most importantly we need it to live. So be sure to have plenty of drinking water available. If you're getting water from a campground source, you may need to sterilize it first. Boiling works, but you may prefer to also use a portable water filter.

5. First Aid Kit

Don't go camping without it! Here's a first aid checklist I put together to help prepare you for common campground mishaps.

6. Flashlight

If you need to get up and go to the bathroom during the night, you'll probably need a flashlight to see your way. There are plenty made specifically for outdoor use. Shop around.
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7. Knife

Of all the tools you could use at the campground, a good pocket or utility knife will likely be the most versatile. Here are some tips on knife handling safety.
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8. Rain Gear

Unless you are going to a clothing optional campground, remember to bring along adequate clothing for any weather that you're likely to encounter. That means a complete change of clothes, should the ones you're wearing get wet. One item that always comes in handy is a rain jacket. Here's an article with my thoughts on rain gear.

9. Lantern

Don't stumble around the campsite in the dark. Get a lantern. They're not expensive, and lantern fuel is readily available.
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10. Camp Stove

This is another inexpensive item that uses the same fuels as lanterns. Unless you're adept at cooking over a wood fire, or you just like eating cold foods, you'll need a stove to cook.
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