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What NOT to bring camping

Whether you’re car camping or backpacking, there’s a lot of advice out there about what to pack for your adventure. But, did you know there are things you shouldn’t bring with you? Here’s a list of what not to bring camping on your next adventure trip.

Colognes, perfumes, and scented lotions

If you live in a place where there are mosquitos, then you know how uncomfortable these little critters can make you. That’s why, at the top of the list of what not to bring camping is anything scented. Scents, especially floral varieties attract bugs. In-fact, scented deodorants and soaps can also attract bugs, so it’s best to wash with unscented soap before heading outdoors. Smelling like nothing is always the best way to avoid pesky stings and bites.

Bonus: Body odor and dirty clothes (especially wet clothes) can attract bugs. Change your clothes occasionally when camping, and if there’s water nearby, use it to rinse off every once-in-a-while during your stay in the great outdoors.

Glassware and individual beer bottles

If you’ve ever broken a glass, then you know how difficult it can be to clean up. Breaking a glass outside can be even more problematic because you can’t simply sweep the shards of glass away like you can on a flat surface. Why does it matter? It’s just the wilderness right?

You might not be the type of camper that walks barefoot through the campsite (we’d recommend against that for multiple reasons), but when it comes to the lightweight fabrics that tent floors, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and gear bags are made out of, there’s a serious risk to you and future campers of gear damage from an un-found piece of glass. Leave the individual bottles of beer in the fridge, and opt for cans. For the rest of your meal-time kit, consider using enamel coated mugs / titanium cups and metal dishes

Family-size containers of food

When packing food for your camping trip, more isn’t always better. It might seem like bringing family-sized containers is the easiest (especially if you’re camping with a family), but actually, it can make it a lot harder when it comes to food prep (larger containers take up more room in the cooler, and are harder to navigate when searching for smaller items). Having large containers of food at camp can also lead to food waste if ants attack or ice runs out. Instead, pre-plan and pack food in meal or serving-sized containers.

High fashion jewelry or clothes

For the uninitiated camper, hanging with friends (or that good lookin’ friend of a friend) while camping would seem like an occasion to wear that shirt you love, or that super-cool-one-of-a-kind sweater that keeps you warm and lookin’ snazzy. However, anytime you’re camping there’s a risk that clothing will get torn, singed, or stained. Leave the fancy stuff at home, and instead wear casual or workout clothes.

Tip: Hiking leggings or yoga pants are always comfy and easy to layer.

When considering what to bring with you, just think simple, simple, simple. Besides, there’s usually a local grocery nearby to pick up additional items if you’re in a popular camping destination.

Until next time, leave your tips in the comments.

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