camping basics list

Camping Must Haves – Basics and Things to Know

Camping Must Haves

One of the most important things is to make sure you are properly prepared for the trip. There are a few items that are essential to bring whenever camping is concerned. Below you will find a list of things that we consider as absolutely necessary – our camping must-have gear. However, use your discretion, some are more necessary than others.

camping must-have list

We, at TravelingUSA.com advise you take serious precautions to make sure you have everything you need and that all your equipment and gear works well and will withstand nature’s curveballs.


Camping Basics – Must-Have Camping ITEMS

Our camping must-have accessory list is as follows:

  • Map
  • Compass
  • Water and a way to purify it
  • Extra food!!! (you get surprisingly hungry after hiking and swimming all day)
  • Rain gear and extra clothing
  • Firestarter and matches (waterproof matches are invaluable)
  • First aid kit
  • Army knife or multi-purpose tool
  • Flashlight (plus extra bulbs, and batteries, for that matter)
  • Sunscreen and Sunglasses
  • Tent (make sure it is durable enough and has all its pieces)
  • Sleeping Bag (needs to be warm enough, pillows are great after a hard day too)
  • Know where you are going and for how long (obviously this affects all other preparations)

Other Important Items:

  • Hat (to keep you warm at night, shading from the sun- sunscreen is not always enough)
  • Axe (in case there is little or no wood. Although you must be careful that you only cut wood in an approved area.)
  • Rope (good for a clothesline and to hang trash and food on trees)
  • Cooler (or other completely sealable containers for food)
  • Bungee Cord (lock cooler, hanging lantern)
  • Portable Shower and/or Toilet (necessary for trips of a week or longer in rough conditions)
  • Camera (disposable ideal, useful to have beauty to remember when you have to come back to the real world)

camping Important ItemsThe first thing you do when you get to your campsite is make sure the area is clear and take out any trash that someone may have left there (trash on ground = animals in the campsite).

Set up your tent so you can put your things away; and after that, make sure you have enough firewood to last the night. The rest of what you do is up to you; enjoy yourself.

Know where to find help, should you need it. Help is a lot more obvious when you are camping at a commercial campground, but when you really rough it, it is important to know where the closest form of civilization is (or a park/forest ranger, or simply 911). They are a wonderful commodity and are very helpful if any problems arise.

Camping Must Haves – Conclusion

Have fun out there. One of the most beautiful things about camping is that it is, primarily, going back to basics, so enjoy yourself.

Relax! With the basics, and our list of must-have camping accessories you will be fine. Just get out there and figure out why camping is one of the top forms of recreation. Camping can be the fun and active adventure, or the calming getaway you desire.


See what Andy Torbet thinks of the camping must-haves:

RV Camping Lake Skinner

RV Camping at Lake Skinner Recreation Area (Winchester, CA)

Whether you are a tent camper, hauling a trailer, or cruising the country in an RV, Lake Skinner is a must-stop. Tucked in between the San Jacinto Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, the broad sweeping campground is ripe with activities— both at the campground and in the city of Temecula, California — right around the bend.

Lake Skinner RV van camping


RV Camping at Lake Skinner Recreation Area – Things to Know

The campground itself is split into three arms, all level, ideal for “drive through” set up. Full hook-ups, partial, or dry camping are all available, depending on your preference (accessible for reservation through the county of Riverside, California web site).

lake skinner campground mapFull showers are available between campsites, as are washers and dryers up at the main camp center.

An aquifer, the lake has no body contact allowed. However, pontoon and skiffs can be rented for cruising the lake or fishing for bass, striper, or trout. Multiple hidden coves and inlets provide private beaches for shore fishing. Picnic tables surround, as do the broad, grassy hills.

Each separate campground borders on a large swath of grass, ideal for kite flying, bocce ball, volleyball, or tossing a Frisbee. The county has also provided an “all ages” jungle gym, with curling twisty-slide, climb-across stepping poles, elaborate enough to keep even pre-teens entertained. If that doesn’t suit, try renting bikes, a “four-seater bike car.” Then, there’s always the arcade or karaoke at Sweet Lu’s Barbecue (usually open on weekend nights) will surely please. Nights can be spent under the crystal clear, California sky—fire rings are present in each site, and if you forgot your firewood, you can pick some up at the well-stocked camp store.


Is Temecula City Worth Seeing?

If you choose to venture out, the city of Temecula is ripe with activities. The old town is filled with restaurants, boutique shops, and antique stores. You’ll dive into that old west feel, as you stroll down plank wood sidewalks and can even see a wild west show on a Saturday afternoon. On Saturday mornings, you’ll find the farmers market abuzz with activity. You can fill your basket with fresh produce and armfuls of growers bunches from area florists. Artisans display their wares, everything from jewelry to fine art.

Temecula wineriesTemecula is most famous for the plethora of wineries tucked into the rolling hillsides and valleys in between. Temecula is renowned for its similarity to the Piedmont region of northern Italy, and the ability to grow and harvest Italian red grapes. Wineries offer everything from five-star dining and spa treatments – such as those you’ll find at South Coast Winery – lunches under a cool patio, like you’ll find at Ponte Vineyard – or outdoor movie experiences you can enjoy at Miramonte. Most weekends offer jazz or blues bands playing on outdoor patios, where you can taste phenomenal area wines and take in excellent music while the sun sets out over the Pacific Ocean.


Close by:

  • The Pacific Ocean, and the city of San Diego—40 miles southwest
  • Disneyland in the city of Anaheim—less than an hour’s drive to the north
  • The city of Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Universal Studios — 90 miles northwest.

If you time your visit right, book a champagne breakfast ride on a hot air balloon. Early June is the annual Balloon and Wine Festival; hundreds of balloons take to the skies. (Dry RV camping for the event is booked months in advance, however, watch for sites such as Craigslist or eBay for spots for sale).

Temecula hot air balloon

Main stage bands performing in 2009 include: James Otto, Chuck Wicks, Sugar Ray, Scandal (featuring Patty Smyth), and Starship. Every winery is represented, and for a meager entry fee, you can stroll through the fairgrounds. For slightly more, you can enjoy the feasts of food and wine pairings as prepared by award-winning chefs.


Here you can actually see whole Lake Skinner Recreation Area Campground area in 360 Video Tour.