OUTvoices overlay navmenu

Discover Your City

Photo by Lesly Derksen on Unsplash

Camping near the lake


It’s that time of year again, folks! The nights are getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and the idea of spending a weekend in the wild is beginning to sound like fun. Maybe you’ve already begun sorting through your camping gear and are planning your first getaway of the year. We have put together a checklist of camping essentials to ensure you don’t forget any of the items that are going to make your trip relaxing and enjoyable. We have divided all of the essentials into larger categories to help keep you ultra-organized. Be sure to print a copy before your next adventure!

Items You Need for Shelter

blue and orange dome tent in forest during daytime.

Tenting in the woods

Photo by Triston Dunn on Unsplash
  • Tent or hammock
  • Tent poles
  • Stakes
  • Rainfly
  • Tent footprint or tarp to place under the tent.
  • Tent repair kit

Items You Need in Order to Sleep While Camping

blue sleeping bag on mountain during daytime.

Sleeping under the stars

Photo by Felix M. Dorn on Unsplash
  • Sleeping bag or quilt
  • Sleeping pad or air mattress
  • Air pump if required
  • Pillows
  • Extra blankets to make the tent extra cozy

Pro Tip: if using a down sleeping bag, don’t place blankets over the top of it. The blankets will compress the down, causing the bag to lose its insulation properties.

Kitchen Equipment and Food You Need While Camping

selective focus photography of camping stove on lug with cooked egg on pan.

Outdoor cooking

Photo by andrew welch on Unsplash
  • Stove and fuel
  • Lighter or matches
  • Food containers
  • Pots and pans
  • Plates, bowls, cups
  • Cutting board
  • Eating utensils
  • Cooking utensils
  • Bottle and can opener
  • Cooler and ice
  • Food and beverages
  • Water bottles
  • Biodegradeable soap and sponge
  • Dishtowels
  • Camp table and chairs (if no picnic table at the site)
  • Trash bags
  • Wash bin

Pro Tip: When packing kitchen items, place them in a large plastic bin or box. The bin can be used to wash items at the campsite if there is no designated sink for dishwashing at the campground. Be sure to follow each campground's guidelines and policies. If in an area where bears are present, be sure to store food, dishes, soap, and anything that has an odor in a bear box if there is one provided. If facilities are primitive, be prepared to pack out all of your trash and practice Leave No Trace principles.

Toiletries You Will Need While Camping

white and yellow plastic bottle on brown wooden shelf.

List of toiletries you need

Photo by david Griffiths on Unsplash
  • Soap (face and body)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Tweezers
  • Toilet paper
  • First aid kit
  • Tampons/pads (if applicable)
  • Bath towels
  • Shoes to shower in
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray

The number of toiletries you bring may depend on the type of campsite you will be staying at. Many campgrounds have shower and bathroom facilities, but other campgrounds are more primitive, and may only have pit toilets. Be sure to research ahead of time so that you can be fully prepared. Place all scented toiletries in a bear-proof container with your food and other items if you will be in a bear-populated area.

What Type of Clothing and Footwear You Need for Camping

person in gray hiking shoes

What to wear camping

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash
  • Moisture-wicking shirts
  • Moisture-wicking pants
  • Underwear
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Socks
  • Down or fleece jacket
  • Rain jacket
  • Rain pants
  • Hat
  • Sleepwear
  • Swimsuit
  • Hiking boots or sneakers
  • Sandals or flip flops

What Personal Items Do You Really Need While Camping?

person using smartphone.

Your Camping list of personal items

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
  • Medication
  • Phone and phone charger
  • Wallet with ID and credit/debit cards
  • Campsite reservation information
  • Eyeglasses and sunglasses

Additional Items You Will Need While Camping

lighted kerosene lantern.

More things you'll need for camping

Photo by Vladimir Fedotov on Unsplash
  • Headlamp
  • Lantern
  • Extra batteries
  • Portable charging bank or solar charger
  • Firewood and fire starter (If fires are permitted at your campsite)
  • Multi-tool
  • Books and/or games
  • Dog gear if bringing your four-legged pals
  • Dry bags or plastic bins to store items
  • Backpack or hiking pack
  • Bear canister (if no bear box at the campsite and you are in an area with bears)

Time to Get Packing

Everyone’s camping checklist will be different depending on the time of year it is, where they’ll be camping, how many people will be going, what type of campsite they’re going to, and many other factors. This list is a great starting point for anyone trying to stay more organized while packing for their next camping trip. Remember to research your campsite before packing to expertly tailor your list. Happy camping!

How to talk about transgender issues

So how do we talk about transgender issues (even if you're not transgender)? There are three main things to remember when discussing transgender issues today, so before getting into the meat and potatoes of it all, let's keep these things in mind:

  1. It is not a political discussion, it is a human rights discussion.
  2. There is a rich history rooted in transgender rights that must be considered when discussing these issues.
  3. Humanization should always be at the forefront of the conversation.

Before going into any conversation, no matter who it's with, try to keep these things in mind before you say something that may be inappropriate, misguided, or just plain wrong. Even those with the best intentions can mess up; remember that it is always ok to admit when you do not know something or when you are wrong. That being said, let's get into it.

sign with a 'friendly for all genders' image showing a person in a wheelchair, and a person with half a dress and pants on.

Transgender bathroom bills

commons.wikimedia.org

So whether you choose to become a transgender activist or if you just want to be a better ally, this easy talking point will generally keep you in line and on the safe side of conversations while still putting forth the effort to encourage and better represent transgender rights.

Easy, all-around approach: This will work for almost all transgender issues and expand on the previous three rules; firstly, trans issues are not a debate. When discussing with someone, do not indulge in hypotheticals and always remember that transgender people are the exact same as anyone else, with the exact same feelings. Keeping this in mind, let's use the bathroom bill as an example. When discussing this issue, one should humanize, de-politicize, and normalize the conversation. How does one employ this, though? Here is an example of how the conversation may go.

Person 1: I don't want men in the women's restroom, they will rape my daughters.

So this statement is clearly based on reactionary conversation perpetuated by anti-transgender ideals. This means that the person probably has a misconception of the history and oppression of transgender people. They also show concern for their family, which is a step towards humanization, despite the misconception. Here would be an appropriate response that helps to humanize, de-politicize, and normalize the conversation.

Person 2: I don't want men in the women's restroom, either, which is why we need to make sure people who identify as women are using the women's restroom. There has never been a documented case where a transgender person has raped either a man or woman in a public restroom. And by forcing people to use a restroom that does not match their gender identity, it is promoting violence, as there is a strong history of physical violence against transgender people.

By only saying about three sentences, you are able to do the previous steps while discussing the issue in a civil manner without opening it up to debate. The key to this is to keep it short and sweet, stating both the truth and an ally's stance to support the transgender community. It's critical to make sure that what you say is backed with confidence, though, which is why this second approach is more encouraged as it gives the person speaking more confidence in their opinion.

gif of a man in a suit talking about number 1. Number 1 GIF by PragerU Giphy

The second approach: backed by facts and history, is the exact same as before, but this approach leaves the other person with more questions about their stance and gives them something to consider. Before going into this approach, however, it is important to keep in mind that you are not debating the existence of trans people, nor are you trying to change someone's mind. That is not the goal; the goal is simply to get your opinion across in a way that honors both the trans community and their ideas. Let's take the same example as before but add the new sentiments.

Person 1: I don't want men in the women's restrooms, they will rape my daughters.

Person 2: There has never been a documented case of a transgender person raping anyone in a public restroom, and the only published cases of such were proven to be false. Further, when people say things like this, they are perpetuating violence against transgender people, which has historically (and still does) oppressed and insight further physical violence against them. And honestly, the most common reason there is this stance is because the person typically does not know a trans person and may not even know a person who does know a trans person. But the truth is, they probably do. The probability is more likely that the transgender people around them are just not comfortable enough in the environment to come out and speak up about their gender identity. And yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it is quite sad that some people's opinion does not invite civil discussion but instead incites violence.

This approach is more confrontational, which requires more confidence when using it in a conversation, but it still holds true to all of the previous rules and sentiments. It adds truth based on history, which is an important aspect of trans rights as it reminds people of where we were/ where we are currently with human rights. These ideas can be transferred to most all trans issues and will honor the transgender movement and your allyship. The last thing to keep in mind is the person or reason you are standing up for/with trans rights. The passion -the compassion will shine through in conversation if you keep your reasoning close to heart. Whether it is because of a transgender friend, family member, or just because of your moral values, if you put your emotions into your reasoning, it will create more compelling statements, especially if the statement is well versed with the facts.

Tips to Remember When Discussing Transgender Issues

  1. Transgender issues are not political, they are human rights issues
  2. There is a rich history behind transgender issues
  3. Humanize transgender people through our words and ideas and don't forget to include:
    • 3(b). The facts
    • 3(c).The confidence
    • 3(d). The inspiration behind the support for transgender rights

Transgender Sign in Pride Parade



Keep reading Show less