What to Pack on Your Adventure into the Great Canadian Outdoors
Camping is a lot of fun, but it also means a lot of packing. You can’t exactly stop by the store to pick up essentials when you are in the middle of nowhere. Preparation is critical if you want to have a great camping trip.
Are you feeling overwhelmed trying to figure out what to pack on your camping trip? Here is your guide to essentials for camping in Canada.
A Decent Tent
Your tent doesn’t have to be great; it just has to not suck. Maybe you want a tent with extra compartments, extra headspace, or is easy to build. These add-ons are nice, but they won’t make or break your camping trip.
The difference between an OK tent and a bad tent is massive. The floor gets wet, the mosquitos get in, and the temperature jumps between “way too hot” and “way too cold.” Not only that, you spend your time fighting with your tent to get the zipper to open or stop the fly from blowing away. Bad tents mean lousy sleep, and lousy sleep can ruin your entire trip.
Quick tips on spotting a bad tent: check the zippers – are they all working without issue? Any signs of damage or stress around the zipper? Check the screens at the windows and the door – a mosquito can get in through even small holes. Are all the parts present? Is the inside clean?
Sleeping Bag and Sleeping Mat
Ever wonder why people use sleeping bags when camping and not blankets? Sleeping bags have multiple layers, including a soft inner sheet, insulation in the middle, and a water-repellent lining. Blankets don’t have that water-repellent outer layer, so if your bedding gets wet, it will be soggy for days.
Novice campers may not realize that sleeping mats are a thing. A sleeping mat acts as a portable ultra-thin mattress. They are usually made of foam or are inflatable. Sleeping mats aren’t exactly comfy, but they are better than sleeping directly on the cold, hard ground.
It doesn’t matter what time of year you are planning to go if you are camping in Canada, you need to have some warm clothes. Your cute shorts and tank tops won’t cut it when it drops to 10 oC every night. 10 oC may not sound that cold, but it feels totally different when you are outside 24 hours a day. Plus, you are camping in Canada! The temperature could drop without warning at any time of year.
Not everything needs to be long-sleeved and fur-lined, but you should have at least one warm outfit. If it is hot for your entire trip… no big deal! The hoodie and sweat pants can stay in your bag the whole time. But if it does get cold, you will be thrilled to have clothes that keep you cozy.
Water Resistant (Or Waterproof) Bag
Wet clothes are the worst. It is deeply depressing to grab your clothes for the day, and you find out they are moist. Even a tiny bit of rain can make everything wet for days. Put your clothes, electronics, and essential documents in a bag that is water-resistant (if not waterproof), so you can avoid dampness.
Sunscreen (and Bug Spray)
Story time! When I was in high school, I went on a 5-day canoe trip with a group of friends. The group was very diverse, with skin tones ranging from the very white (me) to the very dark. On the first day, some of the kids with darker skin didn’t think they needed to wear sunscreen because they had never been sun burnt before.
Turns out they had also never been on a lake for four hours in the middle of July before either! Everyone who didn’t wear sunscreen got a sunburn. Sunburns may sound like a joke, but they can be pretty miserable. If you are going to be outside for more than 15 minutes, you should probably be wearing sunscreen, no matter your skin tone.
Bug spray is more season and location-dependent. Black flies and mosquitos can be intense, especially in the early summer. After July, it tends to be less buggy, but mosquitoes can be persistent until the early fall. Bring at least a small bottle of bug spray, just in case.
Stove, Cooking Supplies, Plates, Bowls, Cutlery, and Water Bottle
Novice campers may think they can cook all their food on a campfire. This is a bad idea for a couple of reasons. First, cooking on a campfire is harder and slower than it looks. Second, what are you going to do if it rains and all the firewood gets wet?
If you don’t have a camp stove, you should plan most of your meals to be uncooked. Jerky, nuts, and dried fruits are all staples of camping cuisine for a reason.
For other cooking supplies, you need to plan out your entire menu. Do you really need extra pots and a pans? Camping kitchen supplies can get complicated and expensive, so organize carefully.
For plates, bowls, cutlery, and water bottles – make sure everyone has their own set. Doesn’t need to be anything fancy, as long as they are durable. Just don’t forget!
[If you have a picture of EcoGarby being used on a camp site, this would be a great place to use it]
EcoGarby Collapsible Trash Can
Look, you are on our website, so you probably expected this, but trust me that the EcoGarby Trash Bag Holder is a camping essential! People don’t realize how much trash they create when they go camping. Even a small family can generate tons of plastic wrappers and food waste in a couple of days.
Experienced campers know that garbage attracts animals. Everything from fruit flies to black bears will come by your campsite to pick at your scraps. The EcoGarby The Best Camping Trash Can has an enclosed lid to stop odours, reducing the number of critters that take an interest in your trash.
We designed our trash/recycle bag holder for campers like you. It is easy to use, sturdy, and versatile for outdoors people of any experience. Check it out today.
Packed for Camping in Canada?
Preparing for a camping trip requires careful planning. Think through your entire schedule and consider what you need. What footwear should you bring? Are there particular activities you wanted to do? This sounds like a lot of work, but one of the best parts about camping is the satisfaction of mastering the outdoors. That mastery only comes with good planning and organization.