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Five Camping Essentials You Need From My Personal Experience

If you’ve done any research on hiking, camping, or backpacking, chances are you’ve come across the infamous 10 essentials. This list of 10 is a great jumping-off point for packing, as they are, quite literally, essentials that you have to have, but over years of camping and hiking, I’ve found some other creature comforts that are just as important. Here are my personal 5 (extra) essentials. 

A good book.

When you’re enjoying the great outdoors, chances are you won’t have service. The usual scrolling and texting won’t be available to pass the time, so you want to make sure you have a good book! It’s a great time to read without all the usual distractions, and can help pass the time. Right now, my go-to book to bring with me on a camping trip is Untamed by Glennon Doyle, as it’s not too heavy but also a great read. 

Citronella candle.

If you’re anything like me, you hate covering yourself in bug spray as much as you hate bugs themselves. A citronella candle can help with both. Not only does it repel bugs from your campsite, but can also add a little ambiance. It’s a win-win. 

Eno hammock. 

While you may be planning on sleeping in a tent, a hammock is still fun to have at the campsite for just lounging around and hanging out. They are easy enough to pack up and take with you, and they’re super comfy. 

A headlamp.

While it might sound a little extreme, a headlamp is incredibly convenient if you’re planning on doing anything after the sun goes down. Whether you’re getting there later and will have to set up your tent in the dark, to just waiting for a little too long to cook dinner or gather materials for a fire, being able to see what you’re doing while having your hands free is a must.

A deck of cards.

Similarly to a good book, playing cards are an excellent way to pass the time when you’re making dinner or before bed. With games you can play by yourself or with a big group, it’s always a fun time. 

Regardless of if you bring a few extra creature comforts, chances are you will have a great time on your camping trip, but these few things can help you have an even better experience. 


Lila is a Sophomore at CU Boulder studying Strategic Communication. Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, she grew up with a love for the beach but her love has extended to the mountains since her move out west. When she's not outside, Lila can be found singing with CU Boulder's only all women's a cappella group, On The Rocks, organizing politically, or having a coffee.
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