The process of vacating our homes to spend a night out in nature is called camping. Beyond that broad definition, camping is extremely subjective.
When it comes to style, there's the bare bones, man-versus-nature survival trip, there's "glamping" or glamorous camping -- and then there's everything in between. The term camping covers a wide array of comfort levels and there's plenty of gear to choose from regardless of your approach to camping.
The survivalist can buy a simple compass and study knife. There are specialty beds and portable espresso machines for the glamper. And, of course, outdoors shops and websites have no shortage of other gear for the rest of us.
People head outdoors and away from civilization for a different experience -- to break the daily pattern and enjoy a change of scenery. A 2012 report on camping by the Outdoor Industry Association stated that according to both public and private campsites, there has been a "general uptick in camping participation."
Nearly 43 million Americans went camping in 2011 for a total of 534.9 million days. Participation is up from 39.9 million campers and 514.8 million days in 2010.
More recent and equally specific statistics are not yet available from the Outdoor Industry Association but it's safe to say that camping is still a popular summer activity.
While every camper has their own style and preferences, we put together a list of 12 items that you shouldn't leave home without. From sleeping bags to first aid kits, and lesser known products like the ARCA flashlight/lantern/USB charger and StakeLights, which brighten the area surrounding your tent, this gear is practical and portable.
For those who would rather not cook over a campfire, a portable stove is the best solution. The FireHole 200 is a portable propane stove that is both lightweight and effective. Weighing just over 13 lbs., this cooktop has a boiling time of three minutes. Adjustable legs help keep the stove even on any terrain and two side windshields double as prep areas. Just don’t forget the pots and pans! Photo Credit: Primuscamping.com Click here to see the all the Camping Gear Essentials You Shouldn’t Leave Home Without
Convenient plates, cups and utensils are a camping must-have. The MealKit 2.0 has everything you need including a strainer, a cutting board and a harness to pack it all together. All materials are BPA-free and microwave and dishwasher safe. Photo Credit: Industrialrev.com
A quality blade is invaluable when it comes to camping. The type of knife you’ll want depends on where you’ll be camping and what you’ll be doing, but the Outrigger Knife is a small but durable blade that’s perfect for the outdoors. Photo Credit: Backcountry.com Click here to see the all the Camping Gear Essentials You Shouldn’t Leave Home Without
It’s always a good idea to have one of these on hand, choose a small kit with the essentials. Massive kits will take up too much room and chances are if you run into trouble you’ll be heading back early anyway, so there’s no need for 8 lbs. of gauze or 37 band aids. The Adventure Medical Kit is a low-cost kit or you can make your own. Photo Credit: Backcountry.com
Two things you won’t ever want to be caught without: bug spray and sunscreen. Off Deep Woods is a good choice for campers and take a look at the best sunscreens here. Photo Credit: Off.com Click here to see the all the Camping Gear Essentials You Shouldn’t Leave Home Without
-Katie Rosenbrock, The Active Times
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