Embarking on a camping or fishing trip requires a bit of forethought and planning. Preparation may not be as exciting as a reeling in an epic fish or exploring a deep cave. It may, however, be the difference between a legendary trip and one you would like to forget.

What should you pack? The list should include whatever you are going to need over the span of one night to several days away from the comforts of home. Unlike a trip to a comfortable resort or motel, trekking into the wild means running to a nearby store is out of the question.

Equipment Essentials

If you plan to cast a line, make sure to put some thought into bringing the right rods, lures, extra fishing line, a good knife for filleting fish, live baskets, and other tackle as needed a few days before your trip, just in case you need to buy something.

Unless your camping trip is going to take place in the comfort of a well-insulated cabin or another durable shelter, you will want to bring along a sturdy tent of bivvy. Be sure to check the tent out before departure; the last thing you will want to discover is missing tent poles or stakes, or mice holes for that matter! Life jackets or preservers are required if you are going to be boat fishing.

An extra tarp is useful to cover the tent for extra shade in the heat or to deflect rain in the event of an unwelcome shower. Be sure to bring extra stakes for that, too. You will want to ensure that the tarp is hoisted high up above the tent so that the rain runs off easily. A drooping tarp will collect water and potentially fall into the tent.

Good sleeping bags are also vital. Be sure to check the temperature range against the forecasted weather for the trip. An extra sleeping pad or air mattress can make camping more comfortable, especially after an extended trip. Just be sure you bring along the air pump.

Tools for the Trip

In addition to the tent and tarp, be sure to bring along a good mallet or hammer for the stakes. In some places, the ground will be too hard to push them in relying solely on human strength.

Two-way radios are another useful piece of camping equipment. Cell phones are another terrific idea, but there is no guarantee how strong cell phone coverage will be. Two-way radio with ranges up to several miles provides for communication between camping party members. Include a compass or a reliable global positioning system (GPS) to prevent getting lost or turn around. If you plan to rely on the GPS, make sure you have access to adequate power for the device.

Lanterns or flashlights are needful for comfort and safety. You will want to review the pros and cons of bringing an LED lantern on your next camping trip. Regardless of the light source, be sure to pack extra batteries. Bring more than you predict you will need over the length of the trip.

Creature Comforts

Packing for a camping or a fishing trip requires light packing. There are, however, some extras that are worth creating extra room. Take along at least one pair of extra socks packed in a sealed plastic bag. Campfires and blankets can keep you warm on a cold night, but wet feet will ruin everything.

Plan to wear clothes more than once, and make sure the clothing you pack is lightweight and moisture wicking. Not only will this type of clothing keep to moisture at a minimum, moisture-wicking clothes dry more quickly.

No matter how far out into the wild you plan to roam, there is always the need for personal care items to consider. Unless specifically required, there is no need to spend extra money on camping toilet paper or other products. Just be sure to pack whatever you bring from home in waterproof containers. Bring along plastic trash bags for proper disposal.

Depending on the amenities available at the campsite, a solar shower is a low-cost, simple way to ensure a warm shower. Solar showers are filled with water and then set in the sunshine to warm the water. Hook the shower to a tree branch or someplace overhead and open the spigot to enjoy the warmth.

Camp Cuisine

Even if the plan is to eat what you catch, pack extra non-perishable foods to sustain life and comfort in case the fish do not bite. Be sure to plan for any special dietary requirements or preferences.

Of course, no camping trip is complete without s’mores. Roast, large marshmallows over the campfire, add a piece of milk chocolate and sandwich between graham crackers for a traditional treat.

No matter what is on the menu, be sure to pack food items in a waterproof and airtight containers. Remember that bears will break into vehicles, coolers, or other vulnerable containers. 

Everything Else

A first-aid kit is essential. Check for the kit before you head out and refill as needed. Include sunburn ointment, pain relievers, anti-histamine cream for bug bites, and calamine lotion for poison ivy relief. Beyond bandages and antibiotic ointment, include any required prescription medications. Check for specific storage directions. In general, medications should be stored in a cool, dry place and away from children.

Depending on the season, bring along insect repellant and sunblock lotion. Protect yourself against sunburn with lightweight hats and long-sleeved shirts. Also, pack lip balm with sun protection and moisturizing lotion.

If you are going somewhere with breathtaking views and vistas bring along cameras, binoculars, and hiking gear. If you plan to hike make sure you pack comfortable and sturdy boots, lightweight outerwear and extra water containers.

Other things to consider for the trip include folding camping chairs, a camp table, extra chargers for electronics, small pillows and extra blankets.

Fishing and camping trips are a way of life for some people. Before you head out into the wilderness for a grand adventure, make sure you carry whatever it is necessary to make the trip safe and fun.