Did you know that June is National Camping Month? Though the origin of this designation is rather unclear, it is well-deserved. In the Northern Hemisphere, June is accompanied by warm temperatures and long days. Because of these perfect conditions, many nature-lovers flock to the outdoors to soak up fresh air and views.
Camping often involves spending the night in areas without cell service, electricity, sturdy shelters, or other typical comforts. Whether you prefer to camp from your vehicle or head out on overnight backpacking trips, packing the right items is essential for enjoyment and safety.
According to the National Park Service, there are 10 essentials that anyone traveling into the backcountry should bring with them. Each essential item serves an important role in ensuring that you and your group can meet your basic health needs and are prepared for potential hazards such as weather and medical emergencies.
The first essential item is illumination. This means your packing list includes a flashlight, lanterns, or headlamp. Lighting is indispensable in the outdoors where no conventional light sources can be found. At night, light is how campers way find and send alerts during emergencies.
Solight lanterns are the perfect illumination tool to bring on both backcountry and vehicle-based camping adventures. Both the SolarPuff and Helix lanterns weigh 2.6 oz. and offer up to 12 hours of continuous light with only 8-10 hours of charging. They can be strung up around campsites and illuminate large areas with just the power of the sun!
If glamping is your thing, then our most powerful light, the QWNN, can bring a warm glow of illumination to your whole campsite. It provides 48 hours of continuous light and even contains a power bank that can charge your phone! The QWNN is a great gift for any tech-loving camper you know!
If you are a weight-conscious backpacker then our lightest lantern, the Twilight, could be the perfect addition to your packing list. Weighing only 1.8 oz, the Twilight provides 12 hours of continuous light with only an 8 hour charging time. It even has a red SOS mode to signal during emergencies. Just strap it onto your backpack and let it charge while you hike.
Regardless of your preferred method of camping, Solight has a solar camping lantern for you. Solight products are made of durable materials guaranteed to last many adventures for years to come. They require only the power of the sun to light up your night. National camping month is the perfect time to celebrate good design and update your battery powered illumination devices to a more sustainable, carbon free, clean energy solution.
Don’t forget about the other essentials! According to the National Park Service, anytime you head into the backcountry you should also bring the following:
Navigation systems are used when planning your route before your trip, and when you need help orienting yourself in your surroundings during your activity. Know how to use a topographical or relief map as well as your compass or GPS unit before going out.
Sun protection is necessary to protect your skin and eyes against harsh UV rays that are responsible for sunburns and skin cancer. Consider using sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats. Sun-protection clothing such as pants and long sleeve shirts can also help minimize your exposure to the sun.
Be prepared for emergencies by packing first-aid supplies with you. Start with a pre-made kit and modify it to fit your trip and your medical needs. Check the expiration date on all items and replace them as needed. Consider including an emergency guide in case you are faced with an unfamiliar medical emergency.
Fire can be an emergency signal and a heat source for cooking and staying warm. Pack matches (preferably waterproof) and fire starters - items that catch fire quickly and sustain a flame (e.g. lighter). Familiarize yourself with the fire use regulations of your park before heading out.
Carry a basic repair kit with you to help repair equipment. The kit should include items such as duct tape, a knife, and scissors. Consider packing a multi-tool, a compact version of many tools that can include a knife, screwdriver, can opener, etc. Be sure to bring any tools specific to your trip and your activity.
You should always be prepared for the possibility of changes to your trip plans. Pack an extra day's supply of food, preferably no-cook items that have good nutritional value in order to keep your energy high. Salty and easy-to-digest snacks (e.g. trail mix, nuts, and granola bars) work well for outdoor activities.
Staying hydrated on your trip is of utmost importance! Physical activity increases your risk of dehydration (loss of water and salts from the body), which can lead to negative health consequences. If you’re active outdoors (hiking, biking, running, swimming, etc.), especially in hot weather, you should drink water often and before you feel thirsty. Prepare your water before you need it and do not allow yourself to become dehydrated. Before heading out on your trip, be sure to identify if there are any bodies of water at your destination that you could collect water from and treat using your water treatment supplies.