Top 6 Camping Must-Haves

Camping in the New River Gorge

Camping along the New River

Whether you’re spending a weekend or an entire week enjoying the great outdoors, camping is a fun time for the whole family. From bike riding and hikes, to zip line tours and paintball wars… find a location that offers lots of things to do! Of course, while you’re becoming one with nature, there are a few necessities that are vital to ensure a great time. Preparation is essential and having the necessary equipment can make all the difference. Checklists are also a great tool to help with your organization, so we’ve created one for you with the top five most commonly forgotten necessities.


When you’re out and about having fun at the lake or maybe even trying white water rafting, it’s easy to forget about skin protection until it’s too late! Avoid looking like a lobster during your trip and load up on some SPF.

Bug Repellent

It’s inevitable during your camping trip that you’ll run into a few pesky bugs (some smaller and much more annoying than others). Always keep a bottle of repellent in your camping arsenal to keep critters at bay.

Cooking Utensils

There’s nothing quite like cooking over an open fire… it just tastes that much better. However, one the most commonly forgotten items include cooking utensils! Be sure to pack up the pots, pans, forks and knives. And for washing those dishes after you’ve eaten, be sure to use a 3 pot cleaning system – one to rinse the crumbs, one to wash in hot, sudsy water (with an environmentally safe soap) and one to rinse with a water/Clorox mixture.

Basic First Aid Kit

For the minor cuts and scrapes, a basic first aid kit is a must-have for your next camping trip. This should include band-aids, ace wraps, gauze pads, tape, aspirin, anti-acids, aloe, nail clippers, tweezers… the list goes on! You can either make your own kit or take out the guesswork and purchase one with all the necessities.

Rain Gear

Unfortunately, camping trips aren’t always bright and sunny, and chances are you may be facing some rain at some point during your trip. This doesn’t have to put a “damper” on your adventure, though! Pack a rain jacket, a few extra tarps to protect your tent and eating area (don’t forget the cordage), and some type of waterproof shoe – nothing is worse than wet feet! So make sure you get all the right gear.


A flashlight is nice, but a head lamp is even better. With limited light once the sun goes down and lots to keep you busy from setting up tents to starting fires, having two hands is essential. You’ll also appreciate it on those midnight runs to the “bathroom”.

While these are just a few of the camping necessities, these are definitely on our list of most-forgotten! In order to ensure you’ve got everything you need, turn your own personal list into a checklist. Last but not least, don’t forget your game face – your next trip will be sure to be a blast!

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