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What to take camping

Learn what to take camping. What you take will depend on where you're going and how long you plan to be away.

What you take with you on your camping trip will depend on where you're going and how long you plan to be away. If you plan to use a new tent or you have not used it for a while, set the tent up completely to make sure all the stakes and poles are included and look for any rips or separated zippers. Several Montana State Parks offer camping equipment, including tents, for rent.

We all think of the obvious gear we need to go camping, but remember to take these essentials to make your trip safer and more comfortable.

Backcountry camping

  • plenty of water (and purification tablets or filters for the backcountry)
  • first aid kit
  • a whistle (in case you get lost, it's easier than calling for help)
  • any needed medications
  • sunscreen
  • radio with extra batteries
  • pocket knife
  • signal mirror
  • cell phone
  • candles
  • matches (in a waterproof container)
  • flashlight and extra batteries
  • sunglasses and a hat for sun protection
  • insect repellant
  • extra clothing, like extra socks (to prevent blisters, avoid cotton socks)
  • rain gear
  • trail or topography maps and compass
  • extra food
  • nylon filament
  • extra pair of prescription glasses
  • space blanket
  • trash bags (which can be used as ponchos or ground cover)

Front country camping

  • matches
  • flashlight and extra batteries
  • sunscreen
  • insect repellant
  • first aid kit