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  • Jessica Zanke

Campfire Essentials For Your Next Lake Visit

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

Camping green tent in forest near lake

Camping is a fun activity for families, but there are a few things you should bring with you. Personal items, clothing, and footwear are essential. Also, bring your favorite book or Audible audiobook. Lastly, don't forget to wear something that makes you feel comfortable and at home in the great outdoors.


When heading to a campground, you'll want to ensure you have all the necessary items for a safe and fun camping trip. Whether you're headed to a remote area or heading out for a family vacation, you'll want to bring the basics for cooking over an open fire. A fire pit, water, and dishwashing station are great additions, but you should consider a few other things.

Fire safety tools include a bucket, shovel, and fire extinguisher. A 5-gallon bucket of water and a small shovel is recommended for use in a fire. Aside from a bucket and shovel, you'll also want to consider the campsite's facilities, including a solar shower or sunbathing area.

Personal Items

Set with different camping equipment on wooden table against white background

Toiletries are at the top of the list of Personal Items to bring to a lake vacation. Your bathroom supplies are just as essential at the lake as at home, but when wild camping, it is even more important to take eco-friendly toiletries that won't ruin the beautiful scenery.

Sunscreen is another necessity. Make sure to pack water-resistant sunscreen and not harmful to the environment, and apply it about 30 minutes before you go out to avoid sun damage.

There may be a first-aid kit on-site, but you should also have your own basic medical supplies. Band-Aids, antiseptics, and pain relievers are some of the most useful supplies to keep close at all times. Even when you are visiting a large, well-maintained national park, accidents do happen. While you can easily pick up a first-aid kit in the nearest drugstore, it is even easier to make a pack yourself at home.

You can also take along fun games such as water frisbee and bottle bash. If you're going with kids, don't forget to pack a water-resistant swimsuit and some baby wipes.

For adults, pack a good book or audiobook to relax. For younger kids, bring extra swim diapers or a portable potty for potty training.

Clothing & Footwear

Whether you're heading to a lake for a relaxing weekend or are preparing for an outdoor cookout, it is important to bring appropriate clothing. In most cases, it's best to dress in layers if the weather allows it.

Moreover, it's wise to invest in materials that wick away moisture. Cotton, for example, should be avoided as they tend to hold moisture and can make you feel uncomfortable.

For clothing & footwear, it depends on the time of year. You should pack clothes that are comfortable to wear and suitable for hiking. Make sure to bring swimwear as well.

Likewise, the right footwear is very important on your camping trip. If you want to get the most out of your lakeside destination's activities, bring the correct shoes. You'll need a pair of comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots as well as a pair of casual sneakers and flip-flops.

Keep in mind that at least one shoe is likely to get wet, so bring a backup shoe while they're drying. nAt the very least, invest in one nice pair of hiking socks. It's disappointing to get blisters on your first walk.

Tools & Repair Items

To keep your camping experience going smoothly, bring along simple tools and repair items to fix unforeseen situations. These items are essential for long trips in the wilderness.

Simple tools and materials can be used to mend broken tents or clothing, which can greatly increase your chances of finishing your adventure. Many of the items in your repair kit can be found in your home junk drawer, but others may be worth investing in for better quality, functionality, and size.

Cooking Equipment

Two fellow campers making tea and preparing food - Camfire Essentials

The kitchen at a campfire is a bit different from a home kitchen, but it's still important to follow basic safety rules. You may have to use a cooler, plastic container, or paper bag, but it's still possible to create delicious dishes. Keeping a checklist of what you need to pack will make your kitchen experience more organized and safer.

When cooking over a campfire, it's always best to use quality stainless steel pots and pans. You should also bring tongs and serving spoons. You might also want to consider a portable camp kitchen box, which will double as a camp stove table and organizer.

Health & Hygiene

If you're planning a camping trip to a lake, there are a few things to remember. First, you'll want to keep your campsite as clean as possible. That means cleaning your kayak hull, bike tires, and boot soles between trips.

You'll also want to pack all trash and odorous items like used toilet paper. You should also avoid digging trenches or building structures. Lastly, don't approach wildlife, even if you can see it from a distance.

It might sound silly, but bacteria thrive in moist conditions, so you'll want to dress in cotton and other wicking materials. Also, don't forget to avoid personal care products like deodorant, hairspray, or shampoo. And never use these products within two hundred feet of the water source or campsite.


So there you have it, that's a decent beginning to any lakeside camping expedition. Of course, your own taste and expertise will influence the final list.

From your lake visit to preparing your camping essentials, we’ve got all the best ideas for enjoying outdoor life.

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