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Below is an extensive list of what equipment i'd recommend that you pack for a camping trip. It’s suggestions built round the choices I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned camping and you can follow it or figure it out on your own. I might also have missed a few items specifically aimed at a female traveller, and if I did I apologise for my oversight.

Being warm is fundamental to any enjoyment at all during your travels.
You can pack one sleeping bag, and skip the blanket I typically use to lounge on, this will free up some space in your packing, but I own a thin one for the warm nights and a heavier one for the frosty nights. On the shores of Lake Superior, the weather is so fickle one night you are in your underwear in the light bag, the next you’re in two sweat suits wearing a toque with both sleeping bags and a tarp wrapped round that. The tarp traps more of your body heat against harsh wind. Speaking of tarps, I have one under my tent if I set up to stay for a while, it helps to prevent the ground from sapping your body heat through the floor of the tent. The other one I use to make a canopy over my tent…obviously. I have tea Candles in my vehicle as well, and they do a great job warming your interior up on a frosty October night.

Water is essential, and you can boil and drink the water from the lakes, but realise as you move away from infrastructure you’re more likely to run into drinking water advisories. My solution to that is easy; I include Twenty gallons (refilled often) in the back of my car. I mean if I’m thirsty right now, it’s a lot more convenient than twenty minutes starting a fire and boiling water. I also carry a portable filter in case I find myself in dire circumstances…it’s a cheap back-up for emergencies.


Food cooked over wood is so much better tasting than food done on a stove or charcoal. Its like the Best Spice ever, but to enjoy it and enjoy it safely its just easier to be prepared. I keep my foods simple but that's me and whats important to me, you have all the time you need to make yourself up a feast as well. A full belly is a wonderful feeling and a stock of food is independence from others. one less to reason to not stay away from people. I do pack a small hikers stove for convenience.

A small solar garden lamp charged all day on the beach lets me read, draw or write at night. Keeping your mind active is as important as your body and your soul Which is why I carry books and puzzles with me in the first place. I lug a whole bag of art supplies as well, but then I am an artist.


You'll need a great insect repellant. i enjoy watching as the swarms of dragonflies and bats feed and dance over the top of me as the sun goes down and I am bite-free. I additionally carry some heavy duty tick repellant for venturing into the woods (Look up the moose tick…ick).

For all my battery banks, battery chargers and to keep my phone charged, I have a power bar plugged into my lighter/adaptor in my center console.  This simple bit of problem-solving allows me turn one power adaptor into five outlets. Believe in me that when you spend days not driving, but you are taking pictures and listening to music being able to have it all charged at once is convenient.

A well-stocked first-aid kit is a must if things go south for obvious reasons, but also for comfort and enjoyment. A topical hydrocortisone application on mosquito bites if you need it or you can take the anti-histamine before they get you. That's how I survived manitoba. having the right treatment for poison ivy or oak can save your day. My friend Tracy experienced her only adverse reaction to a wasp sting ever during an adventure and I gave her an antihistamine. When we got to the hospital, it turned out to be the perfect thing to have done, so being well equipped in the moment can be vital.

In my clothing, I pack three or Four Sweatsuits with hoodies…I wear them a lot. At night they are my pajamas, and I have worn three of them to bed at once. Better to have and not need, than need and not have. On cool days I wear them to stay warm, but on sunny days I frequently wear the hoodie up between one and four pm if I’m not sitting in the shade. I’ve had people comment on a plus thirty-degree day, but staying on a beach for weeks at a time you realise sunblock isn’t quite enough. I wear a hat with a brim for the aforementioned reasons.

Packing shorts and bathing suits seems redundant to me, all my shorts are bathing suits but I listed them individually for people who are a little higher maintenance.
I also pack a few pairs of canvas chucks and not just because they look good. Frequently you find yourself in circumstances where wearing your shoes into the water is preferable to not. The lovely colours are flashy and the canvas dries nicely.

I have binoculars and a compass I use in conjunction with my map book. I scope out spots along the picturesque shores and islands I may want to check out later.

If you intend to camp on one of the pebble beaches you will undoubtedly want to make sure you pack an air mattress, hammock or a cot since being less likely to have to share the beach comes with a cost.  Consequently camping on the sandy beaches along superior you might want to think about using thicker broken tree branches in lieu of tent pegs and have a few of your  heavier things in there to hold  your shelter down against the wind. The pegs will only hold nominally and even with the branches instead there is still a good chance you may watch your tent blow away.

I also pack a bike and kayak for both exercise and to explore around where i happen to be camped. small weights and a skipping rope, but i realize my need to push isn't shared by everyone.

Like I said this is a suggestion list, you can personalise it to accommodate your own needs.

A green pop up tent under a tarp. Storm Camp

What should I pack for camping?



  • Tent

  • Sleeping Bag(s)

  • Blanket

  • Air Mattress or Sleeping Pad

  • Tarps

  • Pillow

  • Ropes

  • Hatchet

  • Hand Saw

  • Bungee Cords

  • Plastic Ties

  • Container for garbage



  • Multiple Lighters

  • Can Openers

  • Kettle

  • Bowls

  • Plates

  • Cutlery

  • Oven Mitts

  • Small Grill

  • Pot

  • Water




  • Portable power banks for phone

  • Phone Cords

  • Compass

  • GPS

  • Map Book

  • Binoculars




  • Soap

  • Toilet Paper

  • Toothpaste

  • Sun Block

  • Insect repellant

  • Hand Sanitizer

  • Contacts and/or Glasses

  • Small shovel

  • Tampons or Pads.

  • Medications Prescription/Fun

  • Nail Clippers

  • Q-tips

First Aid Kit


  • Tweezers

  • Nonstick sterile gauze pads

  • Assorted Band-Aids

  • Rolled bandage

  • Cleansing Wipes

  • Polysporin Triple Antibiotic

  • Anti-histamine

  • Sticky Tape

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Pain killers

  • Hydrocortisone



  • Multiple Sweatsuits

  • Raincoat

  • Towels

  • Hat with a Brim

  • Shoes

  • Socks

  • Underwear items

  • Short-sleeved shirts

  • Long-sleeved shirts and sweaters

  • Shorts/bathing suits

  • Pants

  • Toque




  • Kayak/canoe

  • Roof racks

  • Paddle(s)

  • Life jacket

  • Water safety kit



  • Sudokus, Crosswords and Find a word

  • Books and magazines

  • Paper and art supplies

  • Solar Charged Patio Light

  • Power Bar

  • Portable water filter

  • Emergency Candles

Click here to download printable PDF or Word Doc

hygiene and excrement disposal ideas
how to use zip ties to attach a bicycle to a car roof rack
instructions on building a fire

The extensive fire ban this year forced me to update my load out, I tried a twelve volt stove in my new van but it only made stuff tepid, so I added a back packers stove instead. Not nearly as fast to boil water but minimal set up made it convenient. It fit conveniently onto the fold out shelf I built. Here are two of my cooking fires, both burn small pieces (4-6") and to minimize my footprint, i burn them right down to grey dust.

© sleeping under the stars 2021

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