Siegel Family Camping!

welcome to
Siegel Family Camping Adventures


Eric's Camping Checklist (what you should bring)

I'm in the process of compiling a list of camping essentials that I feel are important for most people to have a successful camping trip. I hope you find this useful. This list is made for people who are either hiking/camping or canoeing/camping. Below you will find the checklist, along with links to details about each item listed. -Eric



Notice: This page is under development and is incomplete.

Eric's Camping Checklist
(in no order of importance)

Note: This list applies to 1 person. You can select multiple people below.
1. 1 good hiking pack
2. 1 pair trekking poles (optional, but highly reccomended)
3. 1 quality tent with sealed seams and a rainfly
4. 1 lightweight tarp
5. 1 sleeping pad
6. 1 sleeping bag
7. 1 compact pillow (optional)
8. 1 first-aid kit
9. 1 tent/pack repair kit
10. 1 good solid pocket knife
11. 1 portable GPS unit (optional, but reccomended)
12. 1 quality compass
13. 1 hand saw
14. 1 small hatchett
15. 50 feet of nylon string
16. 1 box of strike anywhere matches
17. 1 waterproof match container
18. 2-4 fire starter sticks
19. 1 firestarting tool
20. 1 portable stove system w/fuel
21. 1 lightweight cup
22. 1 lightweight bowl
23. 1 lightweight spork
24. 1 scrubbie sponge
25. 1 bottle of campsuds soap
26. 1 plastic garbage bag
27. 1 or 2 lightweight camping towels
28, 1 small plastic shovel
29. Toilet paper
30. 1 gas powered lantern w/fuel or battery powered lantern
31. 1 lightweight flashlight
31. Extra batteries
32. 1 canteen
33. 1 water filtration kit
34. 1 bottle of sodium hypochlorite solution
35. 4 emergency water purification tablets
36. 1 2-4 liter dromedary bag with spigot cap
37. 1 pair of waterproof hiking boots (dependant on situation)
38. 1 pair of water shoes (dependant on situation)
39. 1 pair of lightweight flip-flops (optional)
40. 1 lightweight frisbee (optional)
41. 1 deck of waterpoof playing cards (optional)
42. 1 ipod (optional)
43. 1 lightweight portable radio (optional)
44. 1 Satellite phone (very, very optional)
Generate your own customized and printable camping list below.



Backpack A good pack is essential and can make the difference between an enjoyable hike and a miserable trek.
Trekking Poles When I first started camping, I thought trekking poles were some sort of useless extra gadget that wasn't really needed. It just never occured to me how valuable these things were...until I tried them. Trekking poles are such an important multi-tool that any hiker should have. First, they help you to maintain balance. This comes in handy when you're crossing a creek or other slippery area, or when you encounter some rough or uneven terrain. Secondly, they're useful for pulling yourself up steep hills. Thirdly, they help to take a little bit of the weight off your back at times. Fourth, I like to swing one of my poles in front of me to knock down any spider webs that may be on the trail. There are few things more creepy than getting a big spider-web in your face! Ffith, trekking poles can often be used to support tarps and other makeshift shelters. I use mine to support the middle of our kitchen tarp. Lastly, they can be used for defense if a wild animal gets aggressive with you. So let's see, that's 6 uses I listed off the top of my head and I am sure there are more. Bottom line: If you are going to be hiking, invest in some trekking poles. At a store like REI, a pair of poles ranges anywhere from $40 to $150, depending on how fancy and lightweight you want to get. My own poles are made by Black Diamond and cost about $70 for the pair, and they were worth every penny.
Tent/Shelter One of the most important items, in my opinion. If you're lucky enough to have perfect weather for your entire trip, just about any tent will do, even a cheap one. However, if you camp out enough you're eventually going to run into some bad weather and a cheap tent will make for a wet and miserable night. When I went to camp as a kid, my parents sent me with a cheap $50 tent from Target or some store like that. Sure enough, one of our trips it rained like crazy and I woke up at 2 in the morning in an inch of water. My tent was flooded and there was nothing I could do about it. I slept out the rest of the night in an inch of water. I vowed at that point to never again use a cheap tent. The lesson here is DON'T BE CHEAP ABOUT YOUR TENT. There are lots of ways to shave costs off equipment, but this is not one of them. For starters, you will NOT find a good tent at Target or Walmart. Try an outdoor recreation store, such as REI or Campmor. Just about any brand tent at REI is going to be of good quality. A tent that comes equipped with a rainfly will do the best job of keeping you dry. When bad weather approaches, you attach the rainfly to the exterior of your tent. Once in use, the rainly keeps your dry in 2 ways. First, it's waterproof, so it keeps water away from the tent itself and any mesh windows. However, the tent itself is usually waterproof so being waterproof is not the key benefit of the rainfly. It's real value is that it creates a double walled structure, which prevents condensation from getting on the interior walls of the tent. If you get a tent equipped with a full coverage rainfly, you will stay very dry under the worst conditions. The downside of the full coverage rainfly is that it can block tent ventilation and create a hot and muggy tent interior (better hot and muggy than cold and wet, right?). For this reason, look for tents that offer a full rainfly but also have lots of ventilation that will still function with the fly on. Another downside of a full coverage fly is that it adds weight to your tent package, which means a little more weight in your pack and on your back. People who are trying shave off every ounce they can will often get a tent with either a partial rainfly or no rainfly at all. Without a rainfly, the key to staying dry is ventilation. If you get such a tent, make sure it has plenty of ventilation to fight off condensation. You may still get a little condensation, even with good ventilation, but weight conscious campers are often willing to make that sacrifice. Real minimalists won't even bother with a tent, and will be happy with a simple tarp, but that's a little too adventurous for me.
Tarp Having a tarp along when you've got a tent as well may seem a little redundant at first, but it's really not. I have a lightweight 8x5 tarp that we use for to cover our kitchen area, which is set up in a seperate location than the tent. You always want to seperate your sleeping quarters and your food preparation area, so having a kitchen and eating area that's protected from the rain makes sense. You can get big blue tarps at just about any home fixit store, but those are really heavy and bulky. Go for a nice lightweight tarp that won't weigh you down. For some reason, lightweight tarps are fairly expensive. Don't ask me why. I have an Integral Designs 8x5 Siltarp, which cost $70. If you look hard enough, you might be able to find one for around $30.
Sleeping Bag A sleeping bag is an important item, but it doesn't have to cost a fortune. If you plan on only doing warm weather camping, you don't need an expensive insulating sleeping bag. For our warm weather adventures, we each use a $10 Coleman fleece bag. It's perfect for hot summer camping trips when it just gets a little bit chilly at night (low 60's). I also like them because you can unzip them all the way to form a simple blanket, for even warmer nights. They are also very ligtweight and compact. If you're planning on doing cold weather camping, you'll want a good quality bag that uses synthetic insulation material. Avoid down or cotton, as they are difficult to dry if they get wet. Stick with something with a nylon shell and polyester filling. Again, an outdoor recreation store like REI is a good place to start. If you need a warm bag but you're weight conscious, be prepared to pay a little more for the ultralight models. Personally, I like a sleeping bag that lets me stick my feet out the bottom. :)
Sleeping Pad To people who have never been backcountry camping, a sleeping pad my seem like some sort of luxury item for sissy folk. That's not the case. A sleeping pad does 2 things. First, and most importantly, it insulates your body from the COLD ground. Without one, you'll get cold really quick and wish you had brought one. Secondly, it provides a bit of cushioning for your body so that you don't wake up the next morning in agony! Pads range anywhere from a minimalist thin foam sheet to a 4 inch luxury pads. A cheap foam sheet will only run you about $15, while the top of the line luxury pad will run you upwards of $200. The decision of what type of pad to get is usually based on your desire for comfort vs. the pad's weight. We use the Thermarest Prolite 4 sleeping pads on our outtings, because they seem to be a nice middle ground in terms of comfort vs. weight. They are plenty comfortable and yet only weigh 2 pounds each.
First Aid Kit This is a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many people don't carry an adequate kit or even one at all! We've used our first-aid kit at least once on every outting we've had. You can find all variety of first-aid kits at a store like REI. Generally, the more you pay the more you get. The concern here is weight. Obviously if you're weight concious you don't want a big kit that weighs several pounds. I find that the Adventure Medical brand kits do quite nicely. We have a medium sized kit that cost us about $18. I've since supplemented the stock kit with several extra items. Whatever kit you buy or put together, you'll probably want to have the following items in it: Several band-aid bandages of varying sizes, gauze pads, sterile dressings, a roll of medical tape, pain relief medication (Advil or Tylenol), Antihistamines, antiseptic wipes or cream, antibiotic ointment, Moleskin for blisters, forceps, a few safety pins, a razor blade, anti-diarrhea pills (imodium), antacids (tums etc.) and a vial of superglue.
Repair Kit A basic repair kit that will allow you to patch holes in your tent or sleeping pad is a good idea. You can pick up a basic gear repair kit for a few bucks at most outdoor stores.
Nylon String A nice length of string comes in handy in so many ways that I'm not even going to list them here. Not bringing some string with you would just be plain stupid.