Summer Camping Checklist / ideas

Camping season is here, and depending on where you go there are a number of things you may want to consider.  Down here in the valleys temperatures are hitting the 100° mark.  One hundred degrees fahrenheit is hot, and that can make even the most seasoned outdoors person forget that for every thousand feet of elevation we gain, we lose about 3°F to 5°F in temperature.

Life is short, besure to include your share of adventures

Many campgrounds, like in the High Uinta Mountains, are around 10,000 [1]ASL, with day time temperatures of roughly 70°F. A comfortable temperature for most of us, but if a storm rolls in it can drop down into the 50°’s, a rather cool temperature.  Night time temperatures will likely be in the 50°’s and if those storms hang around during nighttime, temperatures could be bumping the freezing mark… and that does not include the “[2]Chill Factor.”

If you plan to bag a peak, you will be working with another differential of 2,000 to 3,000 feet elevation, or about 10°F to 15°F For example a 12,000 to 13,000 foot peak (Kings Peak is Utah’s highest peak at 13,528 ASL).  Although this time of year (early June) you will still run into snow fields, which are often icy, and may require an Ice Axe (and the skill to use it for step cutting, self arrest, belaying, travel and safety in general.)  There are often hidden moats (They are sort of like a crevasses), sections of snow that have melted away from cliff faces, and other under-snow topography like boulders—these can injure or kill the unwary. 

Several years ago, a solo climber ascended the Aspen Grove trail of 11,750 foot high Mt. Timpanogos and ended up breaking through into a hidden moat.  The next day when he did not return home, two brothers went looking for him.  On their way down Timp, one of them fell into the same moat.  The other brother went for help, and the Search and Rescue team quickly retrieve his body, only to find out, when it was flown to the bottom of the mountain, that it was the wrong body! 

Anyway, like most things, training and knowledge are the keys to maintaining a low risk adventure. I say low risk because  I usually say it takes three things to maintain a low risk trip: The proper equipment, proper training focused on your interests, and good judgment. It could be said that good judgment is the most important one, and with it you would bring the proper equipment and have the training to meet your chosen activity.

Good Judgment Depends Mostly on Experience and much of that Experience Usually Comes from Poor Judgment

Here’s a basic list you can use to help make your own. Just add and subtract things, depending on your interests.  Sometimes I even use excel for my lists, and use it for planning my meals. That way I can count calories, and weight. When I do that I eat well, and rarely take too much or too little food.

Sunburn is more dangerous the higher you climb because there is less atmosphere to filter it.  Be sure to bring along some 40+ SPF sunscreen and lip salve with a 15+ SPF   Put it one an hour or so before exposure and periodically during the day, especially if you are swimming

Remember your sunglasses, ones that block or filter out the burning rays.  This is especially important while on water or snow because they reflect the burning rays cooking you as if on a reflector oven. 

Also insect repellent especially later in the summer. Deet, an ingredient in bug repellent is highly effective for this.

[1] Above Sea Level

[2] Chill factor has to do with the cooling effect created by moving air carrying heat away.  This process is intensified by the evaporation process.  Evaporation is what makes an “Swamp Coolers” cool.  Moisture on our skin will evaporate and in doing so take warmth away with it.

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Other checklist things:

Car camping packing list:

Tent (tent body, poles, stakes, rainfly and ground cloth)

Sleeping bag

Sleeping pad

Pillow

Earplugs and/or eye mask for light sleepers

Van camping packing list:

Sleeping bag or bedding

Pillow

Earplugs and/or eye mask for light sleepers

Clothing

Two shirts (short sleeve, long sleeve)

Two pairs of pants (or shorts and a pair of pants)

Three pairs of socks

Two pairs of underwear

Sleeping clothes

Warm jacket

Walking shoes

Comfortable camp shoes

Water shoes or sandals

Sunglasses

Hat with a visor

Winter hat and gloves for late night  and early morning

Kitchen Kit

Two shirts (short sleeve, long sleeve)

Two pairs of pants (or shorts and a pair of pants)

Three pairs of socks

Two pairs of underwear

Sleeping clothes

Warm jacket

Walking shoes

Comfortable camp shoes

Water shoes or sandals

Sunglasses

Hat with a visor

Winter hat and gloves for late night  and early morning

Kitchen Kit

Headlamp or flashlight

Extra batteries

First aid kid

Sunscreen

Bug Spray

Chapstick

Camp chair

Baby wipes

Toilet paper

A deck of cards or your favorite board game

Car charger for your cell phone and camera

Campfire Supplies

Pot with a lid

Bowls and plates for each person

Forks and spoons for each person

Cutting knife

Cutting board

Coffee/tea mug for each person

Coffee/tea making supplies

Vegetable peeler

Tongs

Can opener

Wine key

Biodegradable dish soap

Dishrag or sponge

Dishtowel

If you’re car camping or don’t have a full kitchen in your van, you’ll also want:

Cooler with ice

Camp stove (these can often be rented if you don’t own one)

Lighter

Extra fuel for the camp stove

Washbasin for dish cleanup

Camp Accessories

Newspaper

Hatchet (to make kindling)

Long matches

Car camping packing list:

Tent (tent body, poles, stakes, rainfly and ground cloth)

Sleeping bag

Sleeping pad

Pillow

Earplugs and/or eye mask for light sleepers

Van camping packing list:

Sleeping bag or bedding

Pillow

Earplugs and/or eye mask for light sleepers

Clothing

Two shirts (short sleeve, long sleeve)

Two pairs of pants (or shorts and a pair of pants)

Three pairs of socks

Two pairs of underwear

Sleeping clothes

Warm jacket

Walking shoes

Comfortable camp shoes

Water shoes or sandals

Sunglasses

Hat with a visor

Winter hat and gloves for late night  and early morning

Kitchen Kit

Two shirts (short sleeve, long sleeve)

Two pairs of pants (or shorts and a pair of pants)

Three pairs of socks

Two pairs of underwear

Sleeping clothes

Warm jacket

Walking shoes

Comfortable camp shoes

Water shoes or sandals

Sunglasses

Hat with a visor

Winter hat and gloves for late night  and early morning

Kitchen Kit

Headlamp or flashlight

Extra batteries

First aid kid

Sunscreen

Bug Spray

Chapstick

Camp chair

Baby wipes

Toilet paper

A deck of cards or your favorite board game

Car charger for your cell phone and camera

Campfire Supplies

Pot with a lid

Bowls and plates for each person

Forks and spoons for each person

Cutting knife

Cutting board

Coffee/tea mug for each person

Coffee/tea making supplies

Vegetable peeler

Tongs

Can opener

Wine key

Biodegradable dish soap

Dishrag or sponge

Dishtowel

If you’re car camping or don’t have a full kitchen in your van, you’ll also want:

Cooler with ice

Camp stove (these can often be rented if you don’t own one)

Lighter

Extra fuel for the camp stove

Washbasin for dish cleanup

Camp Accessories

Newspaper

Hatchet (to make kindling)

Long matches

Marshmallow roasting sticks

Bucket to douse your fire  (Important consideration!!!) of ABC rated Extinguisher

Marshmallow roasting sticks

Bucket to douse your fire

Car camping packing list:

Tent (tent body, poles, stakes, rainfly and ground cloth)

Sleeping bag

Sleeping pad

Pillow

Earplugs and/or eye mask for light sleepers

Van camping packing list:

Sleeping bag or bedding

Pillow

Earplugs and/or eye mask for light sleepers

Clothing

Two shirts (short sleeve, long sleeve)

Two pairs of pants (or shorts and a pair of pants)

Three pairs of socks

Two pairs of underwear

Sleeping clothes

Warm jacket

Walking shoes

Comfortable camp shoes

Water shoes or sandals

Sunglasses

Hat with a visor

Winter hat and gloves for late night  and early morning

Kitchen Kit

Two shirts (short sleeve, long sleeve)

Two pairs of pants (or shorts and a pair of pants)

Three pairs of socks

Two pairs of underwear

Sleeping clothes

Warm jacket

Walking shoes

Comfortable camp shoes

Water shoes or sandals

Sunglasses

Hat with a visor

Winter hat and gloves for late night  and early morning

Kitchen Kit

Headlamp or flashlight

Extra batteries

First aid kid

Sunscreen

Bug Spray

Chapstick

Camp chair

Baby wipes

Toilet paper

A deck of cards or your favorite board game

Car charger for your cell phone and camera

Campfire Supplies

Pot with a lid

Bowls and plates for each person

Forks and spoons for each person

Cutting knife

Cutting board

Coffee/tea mug for each person

Coffee/tea making supplies

Vegetable peeler

Tongs

Can opener

Wine key

Biodegradable dish soap

Dishrag or sponge

Dishtowel

If you’re car camping or don’t have a full kitchen in your van, you’ll also want:

Cooler with ice

Camp stove (these can often be rented if you don’t own one)

Lighter

Extra fuel for the camp stove

Washbasin for dish cleanup

Camp Accessories

Newspaper

Hatchet (to make kindling)

Long matches

Marshmallow roasting sticks

Bucket to douse your fire  (Important consideration!!!) of ABC rated Extinguisher