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Ten essential items for your first RV camping trip
When I was a first time RVer I squeezed everything except the hot tub and tennis court into every available crevice and closet, as if my true happiness depended on every single item.
When I became a fulltimer, my camping gear list had grown to Godzilla-like proportions. But, as more camping days passed under my wheels so did the bread crumb trail of discarded gear and supplies that I discovered I could do without.
However, after years of RVing, this is an educated guess of the essential items for a camping gear list.
Basic camping gear list
- First Aid Kit –Find a good all-around assembled first aid kit at Camping World and add your personal preferences to it, such as anti-itch cream (for poison oak/ivy and insect bites).
- Day/fanny pack – Take your grab-and-go pack with you whenever you leave your rig for a hike, day of sightseeing, or to town for supplies. Include insect spray, sunblock, stuff-sack windbreaker, small first aid kit (travel variety, not the same as the master first aid kit), energy bars, binoculars (bird and wildlife watching), field guides (wildflowers, birds, etc.).
- Mosquito repellant and/or coils. Include repellant in your day pack and burn coils around your campsite in the early evening and morning. Biting insects can put a damper on your camping trip if you are constantly swatting or scratching.
- Tool kit – You don’t need that third back-up left-handed screwdriver. A simple four-in-one will provide you with two sizes each of Phillips and slot heads, adequate for 90% of all jobs. But include duct tape, pliers, channel locks, bungee cords, and a few more of your personal favorites.
- An all-in-one tool that you can carry on your belt (Leatherman, Swiss Army knife), or in your wallet or day pack (PocketMonkey).
- Flashlight and extra batteries or rechargeable LED – Add a small one to your fanny pack. Check also this extended camping supplies list.
- Fire Extinguisher/s – An extra kept in your tow/toad would be a good idea.
- Folding camp chairs – You will use these every day while RVing.
- Be sure not to short change your kitchen gear or supplies list as you do not want to have an unhappy cook. Unlike in your home, however, you will not find enough storage space to bring a waffle iron or soufflé pan that you use only occasionally. Choose items have at least two uses (like a wok), and are nesting or stackable.
- Smartphones (Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy) have revolutionized accessing information and can be used with an appropriate app to find the best gas prices (Gas Buddy), obtain weather reports, maps, state and national park information (Oh Ranger!), make campground reservations, find local attractions and services with reviews (Trip Advisor), call for help, and a checklist for breaking down your campsite.