9 things we forgot on our first camping trip (and you will probably too)

Our first camping trip was a great experience. We went to Elk Neck State park (Maryland) and it was perfect to start off. Clean facilities including free showers, a great camp store, lots of things to do…

However, these items would have made our trip better:

1. Cash.

Omg take cash! You never know when you need it. We could only buy burning wood with cash; sometimes the showers are coin-operated; you just never know.

2. Closed shoes for the evening

We went in late June. It was hot. After a day of hiking, my feet were swollen. Flip flops felt so nice…

I did apply a good mosquito repellent…

Still, I came back with twenty-two mosquito bite on one foot and nineteen on the other. That was unpleasant.

I don’t know if my ankles are particularly delicious, but don’t be like me. Long pants, long sleeved shirt, and for the love of everything, sneakers are a must for those camping nights.

3. A salt shaker and

4. Trash bags

Easy to forget items that we were luckily able to purchase from the camping store.

(Also, a little piece of advice: take trash out before going to sleep. We had some overnight animal visitors who were interested in the scrapes, and things got a little messy).

5. A book.

On day two, we hiked in the morning. After lunch, we had a free hour or two when we were too tired to socialise. I wish a had a book with me.

6. A sleeping pad.

We weren’t sure if we’d even like camping, so we didn’t want to invest in expensive gear. The tent we borrowed. For sleeping bag, I used a blanket and a pillow (works fine for summer but I would have been cold in late August already. Here is a review of the bag I ended up purchasing).

For sleeping mats, we thought we’d use yoga mats. This worked fine-ish for me, but my boyfriend got a stiff neck for days. Even a cheap closed-cell foam pad would have worked better (those look like yoga mats, but they trap air in insulated cells, which helps to protect you from the cold ground).

7. Headlamps and/or a lantern.

We only had battery-operated lightbulbs, which worked great as flashlights and to illuminate the tents. However, they are not hands-free. We had to engineer a tripod from sticks and duct tape:

The tripod for the lights we made

8. A grilling stick.

We tried using sticks we collected from the woods for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. They didn’t work very well. They were too thick and they burned.

Then we bought marshmallow sticks from the store. Those were better, but they were also wooden and they also burned.

Grilling forks are cheap, and they would have improved our experience by a lot. We did get a set for our next trip.

9. A hammock.

We stayed in a park. Parks have trees. People were hanging hammocks from those trees, and I was sooooo jealous! Hammocks don’t have to be expensive, you can buy a decent one for $25, although I’d recommend one with a bug net.

As soon as we got back, I got myself a hammock and have taken it on two trips already. Last time I slept in it for two nights, and it was a-mazing! A must have for me.

Hammocking at Endeavor Point campsite (Maryland)


Which are your less-obvious camping essentials? Let me know!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: