Tactical Essentials to Take Camping

You’re in a hurry to put the city in your rearview and get into the great outdoors – but forgetting just a few camping essentials can derail the whole trip. Use our list of what to bring camping to help you enjoy your best trip yet.

Survival of the Fittest: Tactical Camping Gear

You have the basics down – the tent, sleeping bags and recreational items you always use when you camp – but the little stuff is just as important. You need a tactical backpack loaded with gear that’ll help you set up camp, cook and enjoy your trip.

The Basics

It’s easy to forget basics – you wouldn’t be the first person to trek 5 miles into the middle of nowhere and realize you left the sleeping bags in the garage – so use this checklist of camping basics when you’re gearing up to go:

  • Food and water
  • Mess kit that includes cookware and utensils
  • Sleeping bags
  • Tent, shelter or waterproof bivouac (bivy) sack
  • Thick socks
  • Extra clothes
  • Toiletries

Tools and Equipment

Tactical tools that get you through the trip are essential, and so are emergency items that you’ll be glad you brought if things go south. Here’s a list of tactical tools you can’t afford to forget when you’re camping:

Emergency Supplies

Stash emergency supplies in an extra pack – or in the bottom of your ruck or backpack if you’re hiking out and back – so you’re prepared if something goes wrong. Here’s a list of emergency supplies to bring camping:

  • Medic bag or IFAK
  • Extra food and blankets
  • Fishing and hunting equipment
  • Mini water filter
  • WAG bags or waste kits

Comfort Items and Snivel Gear

You can’t predict the weather, so it’s always better to be prepared for a downpour, a sudden dip in temperature or a little more heat than you expected. Here’s a list of comfort items and snivel gear you might want to toss in with your tactical camping essentials:

  • Airtight containers for food
  • Headlamp
  • Bug repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Extra boots
  • Camp sandals
  • Hand warmers
  • Cap or beanie
  • Long Johns, silks or other cold-weather gear
  • Poncho or other wet-weather gear
  • Cooling bandana
  • Hammock
  • Camping chairs
  • Solar chargers
  • Stove

If you’re hiking out and back, it’s hard to strike the right balance of essentials, emergency gear and comfort items – but it’s easier with a high-capacity pack that’s designed for camping. Pack what you know you’ll need for the duration of your trip, plus an additional two-day supply of food and clean socks in case something unexpected pops up. Use these lists as a springboard to customize your pack and you’ll have your best trip yet.

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