Everybody has that feeling. The feeling you get when your ride pulls up to your driveway or you take your first steps away from your long term parking spot at the airport. You utter those famous pre-trip words either in you mind or to your travelling companion: “I feel like I forgot something”.
It can conjure up the same butterflies in your stomach you get before a presentation or meeting with your boss, and for some people those butterflies (sometimes the size of hummingbirds) stick with them all the way to their destination. No matter if it’s something as big as your wallet or something comparatively smaller like a toothbrush ( I realize for some this might be as monumental as forgetting your wallet, but come-on really?).
So here at Mountain Hideaway we came up with a list of top 5 things not to forget on a camping trip. Now, every time you go on a trip you can look at this post hanging on your bathroom mirror, which I assume you do with all the Hideaway Outdoors posts, and double and triple check that you have everything on this list. Because without these 5 items, your camping trip will be littered with moments of torture and despair.
5. Equipment for a Good Night’s Sleep
For some reason I always hear about these people, they’ll be on a camping trip about to leave the car and head to whatever campsite they’re hiking to or unloading right after arrival, and out comes they’re favorite swear word. Forgetting your toothbrush can be easy, but forgetting something like a rain fly, sleeping pad, or sleeping bag is on the border of ridiculous. Make sure you go through a typical day out hiking while you’re packing, just don’t forget to go to bed in your senario.
4. Camp Stove
Backpacking food isn’t great, and car camping food isn’t that much better even though it might seem like it when you’re famished after hiking or climbing all day. So when you have to eat all of your dry food from lunch or tomorrow’s granola bar for dinner, it takes a routine trip down a peg to on the border of miserable. Unless you like crunchy dehydrated food or cold hot dogs, then by all means, go ultra light and keep the Jetboil in your closet. But, if you don’t want to see your group get real grumpy in a hurry, bring the stove.
3. Rain Jacket
Not everyone likes the cold, but it’s pretty safe to say that no one enjoys being cold and wet. Leaving your rain jacket at home can seem like a trivial thing to do when you’ve gone through your checklist and packed your backpack to the brim, but trust me, the one time you do decide it’s ok to leave the rain jacket at home on the hanger, is the one time that Big Bend will get 4 inches of rain in the same weekend.
2. An Extra Pair of Socks.
Going lightweight is the name of the game in backpacking, that’s why you’ll see titanium sporks that cost $50. Keeping the ounces off your back will make you’re trip more enjoyable, and I get that. But, trying to keep the blisters at bay when your only pair of socks is drenched from 4 straight days of hiking in them isn’t worth the extra couple ounces left at home. Bring the extra pair, if you don’t need them, it’s more than likely that someone in your group will.
This may seem like the least important of the five. It may seem trivial that leaving your coffee at home would beat out leaving your sleeping pad on a winter backpacking trip, but consider a trip without everybody’s favorite bean-based drink. You get up and have to drink hot water while your friends stare you down because they trusted you with the coffee. You set up your French Press, start the water to boil and then you freeze, hunched over your backpack as you gaze at the bottom nylon. Please, don’t subtract yourself from enjoying the rich bold taste of (insert favorite coffee brand here). When you’re not racing to the next camp site or deflating your sleeping pad faster than your buddy, enjoy your time while sitting back with a cup of coffee as it warms your hands and helps you take in the view.
Take it or leave it, there’s the list of Mountain Hideaway’s 5 worst things to forget on a camping trip. This may seem silly to someone who has always remembered everything or who packs everything they’ll need for a week long trip on their weekend outing, but trust me, you do not want to leave home without any of these 5 things. Then again, if you’re itching for an adventure and a horror story to tell all your friends, purposefully leave everyone of these at home. I promise you the climax of your story back at the pub will be “And then we realized it…. We forgot the coffee.”