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!

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Mjolnir

Like many of the recent Marvel Cinematic Universe films, LGBTQ+ fans awaited the release of Thor: Love and Thunder in open anticipation of the inclusivity that both Marvel and Disney had promised. However, the fans were only setting themselves up for disappointment when the film was finally released.

Despite passionate assurances from studio heads to key actors, Thor: Love and Thunder was NOT spectacularly gay. It wasn’t even that good…

Premiere Night Promises

A bolt of lightning cuts across a rainbow on a dark and stormy night.

Lightning bold across the sky

Photo by Bill D.

Standing on the red carpet at the London Premiere of the film, director and actor Taika Waititi and fellow cast members Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson were offered up the inevitable question: “How gay is the film?

Amidst some laughter from the crowds, Waititi gestured towards Portman to respond. The actress (who plays Thor’s love interest, Jane Foster, throughout the franchise) raised the microphone to her lips and thought for a moment, before delivering a quiet yet fateful: “So gay!

Barely a moment had passed before the gathered fans went wild and Taika Waititi gave his own verdict: “Super gay!”. Tessa Thompson made no statement on the ‘gayness’ of the film, instead opting to swing her microphone around suggestively. As more cheers erupted, a second round of “super gay” slipped out of Waititi’s mouth, before he urged the fans to enjoy the film.

Thor: Love and Thunder’s LGBTQ+ Potential

Thor’s movie-goers were definitely hyped up for a gay extravaganza and they had a specific character in mind. The fan-favorite Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson, stumbled her way into the MCU during Thor’s third film, Ragnarok. The Asgardian warrior won many people over with her wit, sarcasm, and pure badassery.

After the events of Avengers: Endgame *spoilers*, Thor Odinson gives up his claim to the throne of Asgard and names Valkyrie as king in his stead. This left many fans excited to see what would become of the character, especially after certain revelations were made at the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con:

“As a new king, she has to find her queen. So that’ll be her first order of business.”

With these words, Tessa Thompson threw her LGBTQ+ fans into a frenzy, with heavy expectations for the then-upcoming fourth installment of the Thor films. Indeed, in an interview with the LA Times, shortly before the film's release, Tessa Thompson was asked to comment on the sexuality of her character. She responded with several promising remarks, including “there’s a lot of folks that are righteously very hungry for that representation to exist in these movies, as am I”.

*Warning: spoilers ahead!*

So, How Gay Was Thor 4?

To put it simply: not gay at all. Not only did Valkyrie end up without a fabulous new queen, her non-heteronormative sexuality only got the barest mention (a brief line about a previous, now dead, girlfriend). Valkyrie may have made bedroom eyes at some pretty ladies before an action scene spoils the moment, but that’s about as much as we get.

The film does get some credit for introducing a trans character in a minor yet significant role. Thor returns to his people (after a brief stint as a Guardian of the Galaxy) only to find out that the daughter of one of his closest (and deceased) friends is now a boy. The issue is, whether due to personal prejudice or some alien inability to grasp the concept of being transgender, it does take Thor a frustrating few moments to come to terms with the change. And to stop deadnaming.

In fact, the only concession to the queer community was Taika Waititi’s extraterrestrial character Korg finding a husband in one of the closing scenes. This heartfelt moment was somewhat underscored by the revelation that Korg’s entire species is male, meaning he had no other choice but to be ‘gay’.

This Is Not Marvel’s First Queerbaiting Attempt

Close up of an eye reflecting an unknown scene as a rainbow crosses the image.

Photo by Harry Q.

This is, by far, not the first time that LGBTQ+ fans have been sorely disappointed by the workings of Marvel and Disney. In fact, people across many social media platforms have been chiding expectant viewers for once again falling for classic queerbaiting tactics. “Being queerbaited by the MCU is like being a golden retriever with a human who always pretends to throw the ball”, one Tumblr user declared.

Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson, was the perfect moment for the MCU to introduce its first lesbian lead. Larson’s character seemed to have an intense relationship with another woman, going so far as to help raise her child (before Larson’s Carol Danvers disappeared from Earth for 6 years). Despite leaning into several romantic tropes, the status of their relationship was never fully fleshed out. However, it was also the franchise’s first female-led superhero movie, so maybe they thought that introducing her as a lesbian would make the film too awesome.

The heavily anticipated Avengers: Endgame was also slated to introduce the MCU’s ‘first gay character'. While many fans were excited, particularly as this would be the second of Larson’s appearances on screen, the big gay build-up was a massive letdown. The film’s director Joe Russo made a cameo as a blip survivor mourning the loss of his husband. A five-second throw-away scene that had no impact on the outcome of the film. Big whoop...

Even when we did see a film with a gay lead, The Eternals, there were also ten other straight leads. At that point, it just seemed more like basic probability than an attempt at pushing LGBT+ superheroes into the spotlight.

Why Can’t Disney Let Marvel Be Gay?

The big problem with allowing a few characters to be anything other than cishet is that there are still many countries in the world that outlaw homosexuality. As much as we like to think that the MCU is being made for comic book fans, we all know the purpose of the films is to make money for Disney. And without certain markets in Asia and the Middle East, Disney wouldn’t be raking in up to (and over) one billion dollars per theatrical release.

Is There Any Hope For LGBTQ+ Fans In The MCU’s Future?

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the second in the much-loved Black Panther arc, will be released in cinemas this November. The studio has confirmed that the film will contain a queer character. Actress Michaela Coel will play Aneka, a warrior, and trainer of the king’s guard. Whether or not her diversity will stand out in the film (let alone endure for more than a 10-second scene that can be easily cut) remains to be seen.


Next year’s The Marvels film, starring Brie Larson, Iman Vellani, and Lashana Lynch may offer the MCU a chance to redeem itself in the eyes of its LGBT+ fans. The studios may feel it’s finally time to offer us the heartwarming lesbian relationship between Larson’s Carol Danvers and Lynch’s Maria Rambeau that seemed to be teased in the first Captain Marvel. Don’t raise your hopes too high, though, as you may yet end up as a stubborn golden retriever waiting for a cinematic universe to finally throw that rainbow ball.