Wisconsin is filled with incredible campgrounds. From Waukesha to Creston, there’s an infinite amount of great options. After you’ve selected where you and the family will be spending the next few days, it’s important to make sure you’ve packed the right gear. Being out in the wilderness and realizing something was left at home is never a good feeling. By the time you’re finished reading this article, you’ll have a complete list of everything you need for a wonderful Wisconsin adventure.

Top 12 Pieces of Equipment Every Camper Needs:
Tent: Some items on this list are obvious, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t double check to confirm the tent has been packed. If it’s a few years old, pull the tent out and make sure there are no holes in the fabric. It’s very easy to assume your gear is totally fine only to get out to the campground and realize you have a three-hour drive back to the city. The best way to enjoy camping is to be prepared going in. Making sure your tent is in good shape is a terrific start.

Sleeping Bag/ pad/ and pillow: Here’s a small tip that will take any camping trip from fun to exceptional. Pair the sleeping bag with a sleeping pad. Anyone over the age of twenty-three really should invest in a sleeping pad. It will prevent soreness and enable a camper to sleep throughout the night. If you’re camping during the spring or fall make sure your sleeping bag is as waterproof as possible. Too often, there’s a leak or water gets tracked into the tent and the entire trip is miserable. Investing in a great waterproof sleeping bag and supportive sleeping pad will leave you ready to hike or fish or celebrate the outdoors in any way you see fit.

First Aid Kit: Camping trips are exceptionally safe, but it’s always better to be prepared. Every first aid kit should include bandaging for wounds, ointment for burns, and alcohol wipes to disinfect. I air on the cautious side, opting for a larger first aid kit with a few snacks and bottles of water. Just keep it under a seat or in the corner of the tent in the off chance that a problem does arise.

Flashlight/ Lantern: There are an endless number of reasons it’s great to see clearly at night. From needing to use the restroom to getting back to camp late after a long hike, keeping a strong flashlight or lantern on your person is the safest call. Just make sure you’ve packed batteries.

Swiss Army Knife: Keeping one on hand will reduce the number of tools you need to bring along. Don’t be worried about finding the scissors or packing a screwdriver, this all in one tool has you covered.

Garbage Bags: Wisconsin has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. To keep that natural beauty, everyone has to do their part. Don’t leave any trash behind. I always recommend buying sturdy bags that you know won’t break. There’s nothing that ruins a camping trip faster than the whole family spending an afternoon picking up trash.

Matches/ Lighter/ Fire Starter Fluid: Always check the fire safety reports before heading out on your camping trip. So long as the area isn’t hazardous, building a fire and roasting s’mores is a great family bonding opportunity. Tell ghost stories, sing songs, look up at the stars, really get into the camping aesthetic.

Cell Phones: As much as going camping is a reprieve from technology, cell phones are a modern-day necessity. Most places you travel within Wisconsin will have service, making it easy to check directions and call for help if necessary. While not something anyone should partake of while singing a campfire song, cell phones are a wonderful safety precaution.

Water / Water Purifier/ Water Tablets: Two gallons of water per person is recommended for any camping trip. Whether you’re cooking, cleaning, or drinking the water, it’s better to be overly prepared. In addition, a water purifier or tablets will make the camping trip that much easier.

Small Items That You Don’t Want to Forget:

Sun Block: Spring for anything above thirty SPF. Below that and it’s not going to protect your skin enough.

Mosquito Spray: This is a must during the spring. The mosquitos will be out there and ready to feast on anyone who doesn’t have Off or a different brand of bug spray.

Toilet Paper: Some people like to really rough it, if you’re with your family that’s probably not the case. A couple rolls of toilet paper will be a lifesaver for those times when you’re not near a local restroom.

Camping is an exceptional way to see all of the stunning nature that Wisconsin has to offer. By creating a gear checklist, you’ll avoid annoyances and make the most of your time. If you’re stocked up on the twelve items listed above, you’re ready for your next camping adventure.