The quality of your camping trip can easily be determined by your level of preparedness. Many first-time campers make the mistake of thinking all they need is a tent and a sleeping bag – this is definitely not the case. Depending on where you’re going, you need to consider all sorts of factors: light, insects, ablutions, temperature, sun, and many more.

This list of recommended camping gear will help you take your camping experience from frustrating bundu-bash to exciting outdoor adventure in no time.

Headlamp (with Extra Batteries)

Nothing is more irritating than trying to locate that last box of matches or your missing hiking boot while holding a flashlight in one hand (or in extreme cases, between your teeth). Bringing along a powerful headlamp is a convenient way to ensure that you will always have a hands-free light source, no matter the circumstances.

Always be sure to pack some extra AA batteries in case yours begin to run out at an inopportune moment (for example, in the middle of walking back to your tent after a visit to the loo). Needless to say, it gets extremely dark in the middle of nowhere and nobody wants to stumble into a bush or a network of spiderwebs.

Extra Socks

This may seem like a no-brainer but trust us when we say that a few extra pairs of socks can be a lifesaver. Unfortunately, weather is a fickle mistress and you’re likely to end up with multiple pairs of soaked socks before your trip is through. If you think you have enough pairs to last you your trip, double it. Seriously, double it. Socks are lightweight and don’t take up much space in your luggage.

Even if you don’t end up using them, there is likely to be one among your companions who only brought one or two pairs along and will greatly appreciate a clean, dry pair of socks after trying to dry theirs by a dim fire (admit it, everyone loves being a hero every now and then).

Camping Chairs

After a long day of hiking, fishing, swimming, or whatever you like to do in nature, the last thing you’re going to want to do is sit on the cold, hard ground to relax. Having a comfortable camping chair (or even a solid box) to sit on will make your experience all the more enjoyable.

Insect Repellent 

This cannot be emphasised enough. Wherever you go camping, especially in warm weather, there are bound to be all sorts of buzzing, biting bugs around and you don’t want them to disturb you when you’re playing Black Lotus casino games at night.

Even if your tent is equipped with mosquito mesh, they always manage to find a way in. There is nothing quite like a colony of whining, bloodsucking insects to ruin a good night’s sleep. Even assuming you manage to sleep through the noise, waking up with your skin full of itchy welts will soon put a damper on your mood.

Whether it’s in the form of spray or roll-on, some powerful insect repellent will keep the bugs at bay and allow you to get your much-needed rest.