- by Bryan Veldboom - updated on 5/13/2021
You've been putting in extra hours at the office, you haven't been sleeping well and, on top of it all, you've just discovered a leak in your basement. Sounds like a good time to escape to the great outdoors for a little camping. The thing about camping trips, there's a lot to keep track of. The last thing you want is to arrive at your campsite only to realize you've left something crucial at home. Our pre-camping checklist will help you keep track of the essentials so you can enjoy a relaxing, stress-free vacation.
Before you dive into the little details, make sure your vehicle is healthy enough to make the trip. Have the battery in your car or RV tested for free at your nearest Batteries Plus. Need a new battery? Not a problem. We have top-quality car batteries and RV batteries on hand. Plus, the majority of our locations offer free auto battery installation on most model cars and trucks.
Now that your battery is squared away, let's concentrate on the rest of your vehicle. Do you need a new set of windshield wiper blades or some spare auto fuses? How about a new set of headlight bulbs? It's also a good idea to have some jumper cables or a jump starter on hand in case you get stranded, as well a set of LED road flares for signaling in the case of an emergency.
One of the most important things to bring camping is an adequate source of portable lighting. Flashlights, headlamps and electric lanterns are a must, and don’t forget to bring extra batteries! You'll also probably want a handy utility tool or swiss army knife with you to open bottles, cut cord and whittle sticks for roasting marshmallows over the fire.
Camping is the perfect time to catch up on reading, listening to podcasts or jamming out to your favorite tunes. Be sure to bring along a reliable pair of earbuds and a bluetooth speaker.
You’re also going to want something to help you deal with bugs. Batteries Plus carries a variety of zappers, bait stations and traps from Skeeter Hawk. There's even a Wearable Mosquito Carabiner that uses essential oils to help you repel mosquitos. Wear it as a wrist band or attach it to a backpack or belt loop to help keep mosquitos at bay.
Since there's a good chance you'll be away from electrical outlets while camping, you'll want to pick up a source of portable power for any household appliances you plan on using, as well as digital devices like phones, tablets and e-readers.
A generator is a great source of portable power, especially if you're staying in an RV. Shop our selection of portable and inverter generators, or read up on how to find the best generator for your needs.
If you plan on running lights, laptops or other devices directly from your car or RV's battery, you're going to need a power inverter. A power inverter converts the Direct Current (DC) power given off by your vehicle battery to Alternating Current (AC), which is what devices and appliances require. If you apply DC power to a standard appliance, you'll short circuit it. By using a power inverter, you can safely use the power given off by your vehicle's battery.
Looking for portable power you can carry in your pocket? Tzumi power banks are small, lightweight and perfect for charging phones and tablets. Read about additional portable power solutions.
A camping trip isn't complete without bringing the family dog. A light up leash or collar (in small, medium or large) is the perfect way to keep track of your animal after dark. The RadDog Pet Bowl is another great accessory for Fido. This collapsible, leak-proof bowl is perfect for feeding your dog during nature hikes.
Are you the kind of person that spends their vacation constantly worrying about what's happening at home? Smart home products offer great peace of mind. Smart lights and plugs allow you to control lights and appliances remotely to make it look like you're still at home.
Or, shop our selection of indoor and outdoor security cameras. These affordable cameras allow you to monitor your home or yard through your phone, while recording and storing footage. Read about our top smart camera picks, including our favorite indoor and outdoor options.
There's a lot to keep track of when planning a camping trip. Fortunately, you can find everything you need at your neighborhood Batteries Plus. Shop online or visit one of our 700+ locations in person. Our associates are knowledgeable experts who can answer your questions and help you find everything you need to camp like a champ!