I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but it was only a few short years ago that I went camping for the first time. Well, there was that one time when I was seven and my parents shipped me off into the wilderness with my Brownie troop where I spent the entire time crying and being consoled by the chaperones, but that doesn’t count. Anyway, my first “real” camping experience was a blast, and now I try and get out of the hustle and bustle of my usual daily grind at least once or twice a season.
One thing I’ve learned in my short time as a car camper is that though it’s exceptionally relaxing, inexpensive, and liberating, preparation is still in order. Thankfully, I now have everything I need for a safe and fun time on the road, including some items that I keep in my car at all times in case of emergency, or in case I just forget!
I actually keep two blankets in my car at all times, because sometimes when it’s cold, it’s really cold. They typically don’t take up much room and come in handy for staying warm by the fire, as an extra layer of insulation in your tent, take boating, or to sit on lakeside. That said, not all blankets are created equal. You don’t want one that will take forever to dry or is too bulky. This World Famous blanket has its name for a reason–its wool blend keeps your warm, even if it gets wet, and its compact design makes it easy to tote around wherever you go.
First Aid Kit
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when you have a tendency to be accident prone like I do, that’s why a first aid kit is a must for any camping trip. A kit like this Pro II kit from Stansport is a great option as its compact and comes with all the essentials, like gauze and bandages, as well as a handy reference guide. One thing to remember though is to check your first aid kit before heading out and replenish supplies as necessary. You might also want to add a few additional items to the kit that might come in handy, like lip balm, sunscreen, bug repellant, and medication for stomach ailments
Back-up Power Supply
The vast majority of campers I know don’t rough it entirely, and typically have at least one electric-powered device with them. Whether it’s the electric grill you use to cook your meals, or the tablets and smartphones you use to stream music and games, you’ll want to make sure they don’t die on you. That’s where a backup power source comes in handy. The PowerPack Pro 1300 from Duracell is an excellent choice because not only does it have enough power to keep you camping in style, but it lets you charge multiple devices simultaneously, has built in LED light functions that act as an emergency light source, and its 160 PSI air compressor lets you inflate tires, floaties for the lake, and whatever else needs air.
Another option is the smaller Weego JS12 12V lithium-ion jump starter that is powerful enough to re-start an engine, charge your electronic devices, and provide emergency SOS light functions, but small enough to fit into the glove box or centre console of your car.
Whether you need to open a bottle of beer, screw together an ornery tent frame, or MacGyver together a radio from a piece of scrap metal and a match, a multi-tool is your best friend. The Leatherman Surge is almost like the king of multi-tools and includes large pliers, a serrated knife, ruler, bottle opener, file, saw, scissors, wire cutters, screwdriver, and so much more. Keep it in your glove box and you’ll always be prepared.
These days’ we tend to use their smartphones and tablets to stream music, but when things get tough, a portable and rechargeable radio is a necessity to keep you safe and connected. The Freeplay Tuf Radio provides access to new and weather information when utilities are down or inaccessible, or in emergencies. It can be recharged manually or with solar power, and has a USB for emergency cellphone charging, an emergency lighting supply, and rugged construction, making it ideal for when you’re off the grid.
Water Filtration Bottle
If you don’t want to lug gallons of water with you on your camping adventure, or want to go completely off the grid into backcountry on foot, you’ll need a water filtration system like the ÖKO ODYSSEY on hand. It gives you two levels of filtration that removes 99.9% of bacteria to ensure you’re getting clean, drinkable water wherever you might be. The container also includes a flashlight that doubles as a lantern and strobe functionality so it’s a great addition to your safety gear as well.
Camping and road trips can be so much fun and are a great way to create memories, but if you aren’t prepared, those memories might not all be positive. So get ready for your next adventure by making sure your car is equipped with these safety essentials. You may never use half of the Leatherman’s tools or the jump-start capabilities of the Duracell Power Pack Pro, but you’d definitely feel the strain if you needed them when they weren’t available. Happy camping!
Main image courtesy of: Destination 360