Take Stock Now to Enjoy Autumn in the Great Outdoors!

 

By Amy Lignor

One of the smartest things to do to really enjoy the upcoming camping trips and hikes you’re planning during the fall months is to make a list and check it twice. Like all ‘scouts’ who understand that preparation is key, we know that having the necessary supplies and equipment will make a huge difference when it comes to your overall experience in the Great Outdoors. Putting together the perfect checklist is the best way to get organized; lists will vary, of course, depending on the type of activities you have planned and the weather in the locale you’ve chosen, so adding and removing certain items from the list is fine. But here are the basic “must-haves” you should start gathering together.

Do you know what the number one item is for any camper? It may seem simple and low-tech, but it’s actually the most essential piece of equipment you’ll need and one that’s often overlooked—a tarp. You’ll need it as a tent footprint when setting up your campsite on wet or rocky ground, and you can also use it to line your truck bed and keep the rest of your gear dry.

What comes next? The rest of the sleeping/shelter items: Bring together a tent, extra stakes, an extra tarp to use for shade, an axe/hammer, a mat for the tent entrance, your sleeping bags, pillows, air mattresses/sleeping pads, or even cots – as well as the trusty air pump. Add in a repair kit for the air mattress and some extra utility bags for storage, and that category on your list is all set!

Of course, you have to cook! After all, you want something delicious to dine on as you stare at whatever amazing surroundings you choose to visit. And for that part of your list, make sure to think about the following and choose what’s right for you: a large water jug/bucket, coolers, and ice, thermoses, a stove with fuel/propane, a lighter/matches, a charcoal/firewood/buddy burner or perhaps a tin can stove/box oven, and a BBQ grill—depending on what makes your mouth water. Setting up the perfect picnic area is also essential. From plates and bowls to plastic silverware and heavy-duty aluminum foil, you definitely want to be prepared. Bring along those food storage containers, dish soap, paper towels, and pots and pans. And don’t forget the garbage bags in order to always keep Mother Nature clean!

It’s important to get your clothing just right, too. Check those favorite wool caps, coats, and boots now to make extra sure they don’t need repairs from last season’s trip. If it’s time to renew the wardrobe, pack these Top Ten essentials for the fall: You first need that reliable, comfortable jacket that will keep you warm and dry just in case Old Man Winter wants to sneak in to give you a quick preview. The trusty shoes and boots are a necessity, as well as shorts, t-shirts, jeans, sweatshirts, sleep clothing, undergarments, a lot of extra socks, and that perfect cap. You can even shop around for the ideal “adventure hat” that can repel water and offer sun protection.

Being as that you have the backpacks, make sure to add in miscellaneous items, such as sewing kits, sunscreen, bug repellants, and a fantastic First Aid Kit.

Prepare well. By taking inventory now, you’ll be sure to have a safe, amazing journey!