Camping Gear — I have had many experiences where I have forgotten a piece of camping gear and it has greatly affected how comfortable (and consequently how fun) my trip was – like sunglasses or a raincoat. Nothing will spoil your fun faster than forgetting one of these items.
Some parts of the body are very sensitive like lips, eyes and skin especially if you don’t wander outdoors very often. You will need specific protection in place of what your office, home and air conditioning normally take care of.
1. Lip Moisturizer – Simple and very effective. I’m sure you already have your favorite brand so take what you are use to. For women, a regular lip moisturizer like Carmex or Chapstick is more effective than makeup products, though not as glamorous.
2. Sunglasses – Again, simple and usually necessary on any outdoor trip to prevent a “man it’s bright out here” headache. This is especially true if you spend a lot of time indoors and you are not use to being out in the sun.
3. Hat – For sunny, windy or cold days you will usually need some kind of protection for your melon, especially if you are trying to stay warm. Your body will waste a lot of energy trying to keep your head warm if you don’t have a hat.
4. Sunscreen – a tan will only offer you minimal protection from the sun. You can burn with a tan! Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater if you’ll be in direct sunlight for more than 30 minutes.
5. Rain Gear – It’s also important to protect the rest of you against rain and cold. Rain can be really annoying, but it does not bother me at all if I have a waterproof rain jacket. One of my best investments ever was a $30 rain jacket.
If you have $200 dollars, you can invest in a waterproof breathable jacket. But my favorite option is a PVC jacket which is affordable and has 100% protection from rain.
Also, remember to include a warm jacket or some long sleeve layers in case it gets cold.
6. First Aid Kit – I have a confession. I almost always take a first aid kit and I rarely use one. That doesn’t mean that I won’t some day. Cuts, scrapes and insect bites and stings are the thing I run into the most.
7. Insect Repellant – This one item is the most important. While insects do carry diseases, you’re more likely to go insane from all the buzzing than contracting lime disease.
Take these items on every trip just in case. The smaller and lighter they are, the more likely it will be that you will have them with you when you need them (i.e. take a travel size bottle of sunscreen if you are just going for a day hike)
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