When you embark on your next camping trip, having the right camping gear is absolutely essential to a fun and safe trip.  Whether you intend to camp next to your RV in a fully-serviced campground or want to backpack through the wilderness, you still need to pack the right camping equipment.

Before heading out into the woods, you need to make sure that you have all the camping gear you will need.  While everyone’s individual preferences vary, make such you are carrying equipment that fits into all of the following categories: shelter, health/safety, clothing, housekeeping, cooking, and leisure.  All of this gear should be lightweight, waterproof, and durable.

Your shelter should consist of at least a tent and something on which to sleep.  It should keep you warm, dry, and protected from insects.  A first aid kit, whistle, compass, and radio (all part of health/safety) are absolutely essential parts of your camping gear.  Hopefully you won’t need to use any of it, but better safe than sorry.

Some people don’t consider their clothing to be part of their camping equipment.  However, clothing can make or break a camping trip.  Clothing should be lightweight, breathable, and comfortable.  It should protect you from insect bites and sunburn.  If you go camping in the spring or fall, it should keep you warm.  Your shoes or boots should be sturdy and waterproof.  Never take a new pair of boots on camping trip are you are bound to get blisters.

The camping gear that falls into the leisure, cooking, and housekeeping categories is the part of your equipment that will vary the most, depending on your trip.  Some people want to be surrounded by the comforts of home while others are packing light for trekking.  Know what is right for you.

The right camping gear should keep you safe, dry, and warm. Pack the basics camping equipment and then according to the needs of your individual trip.John Peterson has been contributing to leading magazines for the past 10 years. He's also an accredited researcher on the subject for leading research institutes in the US.