The Essentials for outdoor camping



Camping, whether for a night or for an extended stay, is one of the most rewarding ways to experience the natural beauty that surrounds us in this world.

What You Need

Before embarking on your outdoor camping adventure, you must prepare. Pack carefully and choose only what is essential for your time outside. You can borrow or rent many items, including shelter and cooking supplies, but some items are best bought for your expedition.

The young couple is preparing for camping. They're putting a picnic blanket on a suitable place in a sunset.
When it comes to outdoor camping, there are four main items that you should carry with you. These items contain the essential information that will help you in case of an emergency or natural disaster. You should also carry these items with you when hiking, hunting, or even going for a leisurely walk in the woods.

Map and Compass

Topographical maps show a variety of aspects about a region. They show elevation changes, bodies of water, land mass size and shape, and other details that can be very important when planning your outdoor adventure. Having a detailed map can make all the difference between getting lost and finding your way out if you get lost or have an unexpected accident outdoors.

First Aid Kit

It is always a good idea to have a first aid kit stored with your camping gear if you are planning on being outside for more than two or three days. You should put together your own first aid kit and make sure that it contains all the essentials you will need in case of an emergency. Check out the First Aid Kit page for examples of what should be included in your own first aid kit. You can also purchase pre-made first aid kits at most outdoor supply stores.

Personal Locator Beacon

A personal locator beacon, or PLB, provides an easy way to call for help in case of an emergency while you are outdoors. PLBs are small devices that can be activated by a push of a button. They send out an emergency signal and will stay on until the battery is depleted. You can usually set the PLB to automatically activate when it loses GPS reception and cannot send out a signal. If you want to activate your PLB manually, you can do so through the PLB’s built-in remote control or by pushing two buttons under water.


In case of emergency, having the ability to start a fire can be very helpful. Being prepared will help you to keep warm and dry if necessary. You can use items that are commonly carried in your house, such as matches and a cigarette lighter. You can also purchase waterproof or disposable fire starters in various sizes that can be easily attached to a tree or other surface for a quick fire starter.

Properly planning your trip can make all the difference in terms of ensuring a successful and safe campout. Do you have enough water? Will it be possible to cook where you are going? What is the weather forecast? These are just a few of the questions that should be running through your mind when planning an extended stay outside in an unfamiliar terrain.