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                            Camping Equipment

     Be sure to take these five camping must-haves with you to ensure that you have a safe, enjoyable trip:

      A Compass - one for every member of your camping family. One of the worst and most dangerous things that could happen to you and your group on a camping trip is to find yourselves lost in the forest, unable to determine where to go and how to get there.  Have a compass at hand to help you find your way to your campsite.

     A Map - This camping must-have goes hand-in-hand with the compass. So that you donít lose your way while hiking to or from your groupís campsite, make sure that you have a map of the camping area, along with your compass, to help you find your way. And before you start your camping trip, be sure to review your map, taking note of the trails your group must take in order to reach your campsite.

     Be sure to keep yours from getting wet or dirty Ė they get damaged easily, so cover them with plastic if possible. You can still read your map through a clear plastic bag - even in the rain.

     A First Aid Kit - Sometimes no matter how careful we are accidents are still bound to happen, especially when camping in the great outdoors Ė which is why the first aid kit is a camping must-have. What exactly to store in your first aid kit is up to you, but some common first aid kit items include bandages, aspirin, and water purifying tablets, and there are a lot more suggestions on the "Safety Tips" page.

Also, be sure to check the expiration dates on the medicine contained in your first aid kit.

     A Fire Starter -  Matches or lighters are ideal campfire starters, so make sure to have a couple of them with you when you go camping. Keep matches in a water-proof bag or container.

    In addition to these Must-Have items, there are a  few other essential items to include among your camping gear.

And don't forget to get a police type whistle for everyone. Set up a code of tweets to use in emergencies or when someone feels lost, sick, or just wants to let everyone know where they
                        ( 3 tweets - I'm lost)
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     Shelter is the first category. This should always include a tent with poles, tent cover for rain, and ground cover or insulated waterproof pad. Always include a repair kit for the tent.

     Next is Kitchen type accessories. Stock up on a stove, windscreen, fuel containers, matches or lighter, and of course a repair kit. Be sure to bring good cook gear like pots, pot holders or hangers, pot scrubber, and cooking utensils.

     Survival accessories.  Include a Knife or multi-tool, small saws, and shovels. To be safe, have Insulating layers, long underwear, jackets, fleece sweater and pants, or a down vest or jacket. Include Wind and rain gear. Be sure to buy good insulating footwear for hiking and camping shoes. Buy good gloves, a sun hat or bandana. When near bodies of water, take your swimsuit.

     Sleeping Gear is also an important category. Campers should always have a Sleeping bag and an inflatable foam pad.

     Other essential miscellaneous items are flashlights, extra batteries, and a pair of good sunglasses.

     Always take care of your personal hygiene by packing a toothbrush, toilet paper, sunblock, and lip balm.

      Camping Stoves - The smell of sizzling bacon, frying eggs and freshly brewed coffee is a welcome way to start your camping day. A good camping stove is the way to make this happen.
     The best camping stove is the kind that has 2 burners. Camping stoves are fuelled differently. Some use inexpensive white gas, which is environmentally friendly. Others use propane bottled gas. If your hiking includes mountain sites, select a camping stove that will work in high altitude conditions (places above 10,000 feet).

      Camper's Toilets - Many developed or commercial camp sites have quite adequate, though sometimes primitive toilet facilities.  For those situations when you must provide your own, there are a number of manufactured portable toilets like Portaloos and composting toilets available in the market.

     The reason why some people are reluctant to leave the comforts of their homes and opt for a camping adventure is that the availability as well as the overall cleanliness of toilets weighs heavily on their minds.

     For people who want to have the comforts of home when embarking on a camping adventure, portable toilets can be purchased. One such toilet is the Luggable Loo. It is made of lightweight plastic with a detachable 5-gallon bucket which is easy to clean especially when using a garbage bag liner. The snap on toilet seat makes the user feel like they are at home. It also comes with an enzyme deodorant packet which chemically treats human waste. It is indeed convenient to carry because its handle has a hand-contoured grip.

     There are also other portable toilets in the market. The OutBack Pack can easily fit under a car seat and is very easy to pack. It can also be crammed in a small backpack or carry bag. It includes a built in seat function which can easily become a comfortable seat. Even on water, it is safe to use because it comes with a re-sealable storage bag. The Reliance Hassock is made of two buckets. The inner bucket can be lifted out for cleaning. It comes with a molded seat and the top can be used for tissue storage.

     On the more expensive end, the Phillips Environmental PETT can be stored as small as a briefcase and is only as heavy as 7 pounds. However, this requires WAG Bag kits which include a waste bag, a zip bag for storage, toilet paper and hand sanitizer. It chemically treats human waste with a powder which changes it into a stable gel for safe discarding.

      Visit your local Camper's Gear store or one of the many Camper's Gear websites to help you decide on the camping gear to best fit your family's needs. 


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