Obviously there are a billion ways to camp in a billion different places.
Everyone builds their own preferences, collects different gear, and enjoys different aspects.
Nobody can tell you how to go camping. It's something you just do and learn to do better by doing it more.
The random gear and tips below are just my recommendations as a starting point. There are no strict guidelines here, just my experiences.
I will add pictures and more items as they come to me....
Check this out: Alps Mountaineering Taurus 4 Sage/Rust ALPS Mountaineering https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LEFR78M/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdb_Lw1czbBJ7R08T
I recommend a basic Coleman or Alps Mountaineering brand tent.
Full rain fly that reaches the ground is better.
Fewer poles the better, but try to get something that is "free standing".
Get METAL tent stakes, if your tent doesn't come with them.The small aluminum ones work well(buy more than you need).
My tent is an Alps Mountaineering Taurus. It is better built than many tents I have seen, for a lot less money.
6" Aluminum gutter spikes make cheap durable tent pegs.
GROUND TARP -
For under the tent. This is a moisture barrier, and protects the tent.
It also helps block water leaks, and prevents heat loss.
A simple $8 6x8 tarp is enough, or a similar sized bit of tough plastic sheeting, like Tyvek.
WOOL BLANCKET (OPTIONAL) -
Makes a great carpet for a tent.
Good insulation, comfortable.
SLEEPING BAGS -
A standard Coleman rectangular bag should be good enough for summer camping, and stick with a synthetic fill for ease of use.
Too big a bag will be cold, too small a bag is uncomfortable.
Roll some clothes up for a pillow.
Bring extra blankets. Sometimes a bag is too warm. Sometimes its not warn enough.
If you want to wear PJ's or clothes to bed, DO NOT BE SO WARM THAT YOU SWEAT.
Sweat = wet = miserable.
Cotton is a poor choice because it retains moisture.
HANDY ITEMS -
-Headlamps and extra batteries. Hands free light. I have several of these.
-Duct tape. Fix all the things.
-550 cord/paracord/etc. A thin, strong, line/rope that can be used for anything from shoe laces to tent guy lines, or hanging laundry or food.
-Pocket utility/tool. Leatherman/Gerber/SOG/etc. I have several of these too.
-Camp axe/Hatchet/Machete/Bow saw/Survival knife. - Something to limb branches, chop kindling, clear shrubs, if it can hammer stakes then even better.
-Rubbermade Tote - Instead of packing a backpack, just throw and store all your camping gear in a tote.
-ZIPLOCK BAGS(GALLON SIZE) - waterproof bags, food storage, clothing storage, ....anything.
- CAN OPENER if you have canned goods. Or be sure and buy pull top cans.
- Glasses repair kit/sewing kit
- Don't forget phone charger for the car! And a back-up cord and/or battery booster.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION and outdoor CLOTHING -
-Hat(s) - very important. Sun protection during day. A beanie at night if its cold.
-Gloves - Are nice to have. Clear brush, chop wood, hands warm, etc.
Full leather gloves for working.
Wool or fleece for staying warm.
-Good SYNTHETIC socks. A seperate set or two for hiking, sleeping. In my opinion you can never have too many good socks.
-Rain gear - A breathable rain shell/poncho. Think about being outside in the rain with everything,.... just in case. Camera protection?
-SUNBLOCK, even if its cloudy.
-BUGSPRAY - Deep Woods OFF or Cutter Picaridin
-Sunglasses - the out of doors is bright as shit!
-Bandana - Multi-use. Sun blocker. Sweat wiper. Coffee filter. Bandage. Wash cloth. Etc.
FIRST AID KIT -
Keep it simple, bandaids and neosporin is enough, but try to get something a little more comprehensive.
- A basic store bought FAK is a good start, and will have a First Aid guide probably.
- Personal medications
- Tylenol, Aspirin, Aleve, Motrin,...
- Allergy meds, anti-itch/bite cream, etc.
- TWEEZERS, SCISSORS, Q-TIPS, etc.
- TOILET PAPER - BRING YOUR OWN. Keep in ziplock bag.
- Wet Wipes. Multi-use.
- Other Essentials - toothbrush/paste/floss/butt scratcher/deodorant/.....
- I car camp with several gallons of water for a typical three day trip.
At least a gallon a day per person is a good target.
Think about drinking, cooking, and cleaning.
If you source water locally, investigate potable sources, or get a filter for wild sources.
Yellowstone will have safe watering locations most likely.
Your experience/skill will dictate preferences.
Dry or canned foods are easier to keep.
You can make pre-mixes of all sorts of food and just add water.
Pancakes, bread, oatmeal, cereal, rice and beans, pasta, etc.
For snacks try to keep things high in protein. Jerky, nuts, trail mixes.
Cheese keeps longer than meat, but both can keep safe for 4-5 days in a cooler that doesnt get warm.
Premixed egg substitute is easier to pack/keep than actual eggs.
I usually pack -
- Instant premade rice packs.
- Powdered flavored mashed potatoes.
- MOUNTAIN HOUSE freeze dried meals.(Avoid military MRE's, they are better for military use)
- Canned soups, Chili, fruit, spagetti-o's, whatever you like.
- Pop tarts
- Trail mix and or jerky
- Koolaid/tea flavored powders/instant coffee/powdered creamer
- Freeze dried tuna
- Pilsbury crescent rolls
- bread rolls travel better than sliced bread IMO.
- Mozzarella sticks,.....easy protein snack.
In a cooler w/ice......
- Egg beater egg premix
- Pepperoni fried over fire is awesome.
- Deli meats packed in reuseable plastic packs.
- Shredded cheese
-....again, whatever you like and can cook simply.
Then just add a ziplock of assorted salt/pepper/sugar/jelly packets/mayo/ketchup/mustard/hot sauce.
McCormicks Smokehouse Maple Seasoning or an All-purpose Spice of some sort.
You can waste a lot of time cooking and meal prepping. Try to plan ahead a little to make life easier.
- A boyscout/surplus/or camping style kit is easier to pack/abuse than home use stuff.
- A Pot for cooking meals.
- A Pan for doing eggs/bacon/etc.
- Metal utensils for cooking, plastic throw aways for eating, paper plates make for easy dishes and kindling.
- A metal cup/mug/bowl is nice for rewarming drinks/food over fire.
- I use GSI OUTDOORS gear. Affordable, well-made.
- A small pre-soaped scrubby/sponge.
- Heavy duty tin foil. Multi-cooking uses.
- Matches, lighters. One is none, have multiple ways of starting a fire.
If you need to buy a stove, id stick with something that can use Propane canisters.
You can use these with anything from a medium gas grill to a small single burner stove.
A single small canister can last a couple days on a medium grill if you use it wisely.
I use a different kind of Iso gas with a JETBOIL stove.
I have a Weber Q20 gas grill for luxury car camping and it uses propane canisters.
- COTTON clothing can be bad outdoors. Especially avoid cotton socks. Synthetic blends are better, full synthetic materials
are best. Look for Wool, Merino, Poly, etc. This applies to all clothing.
Moisture wicking clothing is the way to go. Synthetics dry faster, and being wet is bad.
- A change of shoes, flippy floppies, Crocs, whatever. And extra socks. Socks are a key component of comfort.
- Large lawn/leaf bags. Great for garbage, laundry, waterproofing gear, hanging food, and work as a rain poncho in a pinch.
- Practice setting up your tent. Ideally you'll be good enough to set it up at night in the rain quickly.
- An extra tarp quickly strung up to trees with cord can be nice for blocking sun/wind/rain.