Planning your first or next camping trip? You might be focusing on what you need to pack. However, you should consider what things you shouldn’t bring with you as well.
Some things are better left at home when you go camping. We’ve compiled a list of things that you should not take camping. Let’s take a look at what these things are and why you shouldn’t pack them.
Why Shouldn’t You Bring Some Items Camping?
To seasoned campers, some things are obviously not meant for camping. However, if you’re newer to the hobby, you may be wondering why there are things you shouldn’t bring with you.
The most important reason you shouldn’t bring some things along on your camping trip is that they attract animals. You don’t want to put yourself in danger because you brought items with you that draw in larger or dangerous animals.
Another reason to leave some things at home while you camp is that you might end up damaging or breaking them. While you’re camping, it’s harder to protect valuable items, like expensive electronics.
If you’re worried about something being exposed to the elements, getting lost, or damaged, you probably shouldn’t bring it.
When you go camping, one of the main goals is to protect the area you’re visiting. This means you don’t want to bring anything that will harm the area around you.
You’ll want to educate yourself on leave-no-trace principles and make sure that you aren’t bringing things that break rules or that will impact the area.
Things You Should Not Take Camping
Here is a list of things that you should not bring with you when you go camping. Take a look at this list to decide what to bring with you and what is better left at home.
1. Personal Items With Fragrances
Perfumes, lotions, and other personal hygiene items can leave you smelling great. So great that bugs and animals may be attracted to the scent. Not only can this be annoying, but it can also be dangerous if you attract the wrong animals.
Here are some items that have fragrances that you should avoid bringing. Instead, opt for fragrance-free versions of items that you need to bring along.
- Scented wipes
- Clothes laundered with scented soap, softener, and fabric sheets
The thought of leaving some of your most used electronics at home can be difficult. However, unless you’re willing to risk something happening to your devices, you should not bring them along.
Unless you’re planning to stay in a camper, cabin, or well-protected tent the whole trip, you’re going to be exposed to the elements on your trip. If there is a sudden downpour of rain, you don’t want to have items lying around that can’t get wet.
Plus, you don’t want to miss the beauty and wonder of the outdoors because you’re hooked to a screen the whole time. So, it’s best to leave electronics at home or at least somewhere where they’re accessible for an emergency but protected until you need them.
3. Clothes or Items You Can’t Get Dirty
We know you want to look good while you’re camping. Especially if you’re with your boyfriend or girlfriend. However, you shouldn’t bring your favorite clothing items that you don’t want to ruin.
If you’re taking it easy the whole time, you probably aren’t going to destroy the clothes you bring. However, you’re more likely to get stains and tears in the clothes you wear camping.
So, you shouldn’t wear clothing that you’re afraid of getting dirty or that you’d be devastated to get a hole in. Wear things that you can happily sit around the campfire in and not worry about.
Did you know that insects and diseases can be present in firewood? Tiny bugs that are hard to see can cause a ton of damage by invading nearby trees.
The general rule is that you shouldn’t transport firewood more than 10 miles from the source. This includes taking it camping.
Many campsites even state that you shouldn’t bring outside firewood in the regulations. Check before you go to see what your options for firewood are and where you should source it from.
5. Noisy Items
Most folks go camping to get away from the noise and chatter that is present in their day-to-day life. So, the last thing your camping neighbors want to hear is a ton of noise coming from your camp. Plus, it’s not nice to the animals who live there either.
You should leave anything super noisy at home. You have an excuse if those noisy things are your kids… you should bring them. But, leave the noisy things like loud generators, speaker systems, hairdryers, and anything that can be heard by neighboring campsites.
6. Excessive Items
The worst thing about camping, in our opinion, is packing up and packing out. To limit the amount of work you have to do, you should pack as lightly as you can while still including all of your necessities.
Check your packing list to see if there are excessive things that can be left at home. Do you need 5 different cooking utensils? Or will one spatula work? Do you need ALL of your kids’ favorite toys? Or will they be fine with one thing and exploring outside?
Check if there are things that can serve more than one purpose and use those to replace excessive items on your list. This will make for a lot less work for you. You’ll also have an easier time finding things when you need them if you don’t have to sort through a bunch of stuff.
7. Perishable Foods
It’s really fun to cook meals over the fire or in your dutch oven. We love bringing meats, veggies, and other ingredients for our favorite meals and desserts. However, we always only bring perishables that we know we’ll use quickly or that can be stored properly.
If you bring a bunch of perishable foods like raw meats, you need to be able to properly store them before you’re able to cook them. This can be tough if you’re camping for an extended period and the weather is hot.
Make sure that you plan your meals around the foods you’re bringing. Bring the proper gear to keep your food safe so that it doesn’t go bad before you eat it.
We recommend bringing a lot of no-cook meals and non-perishable items for your trip. Invest in an efficient cooler or use fridges or other resources to store your food.
8. Any Prohibited Items
Make sure that you check the rules and regulations before you head out on your camping trip. Your state, city, or campground might have some rules and regulations that you need to follow.
Rules can usually be found when you make your reservation online, on state websites, or by calling or asking the local campground host. Make sure you know the restrictions regarding what you can bring before you head out.
For example, some sites don’t allow pets or generators on site. They may have noise restrictions, fire restrictions, and other regulations that will affect your trip.
9. Animals That Won’t Stay in Camp
We’ve heard so many heartbreaking stories of animals getting loose on camping trips. The owners weren’t able to find them and ended up losing them.
If your pet won’t stay with you, it’s a good idea to find them a sitter when you go camping. If you do choose to bring your pet, make sure that you have a way to keep them at your campsite. Some sites don’t allow pets to be off-leash anyway, but it’s a good practice in general.
You don’t want to lose one of your best friends. So, if you aren’t sure you can keep your animal close and restrained, it’s better not to bring them along.
10. A Bad Attitude
One of the most important things to bring camping is a good attitude! Leave your bad one behind!
You can’t control a lot of things while camping. Things like bad weather can happen out of nowhere. You need to be able to be flexible and go with the flow. If you leave negativity behind, your camping trip is sure to be a much better experience.
What Not to Bring With You Camping FAQ
What shouldn’t you bring camping?
There are a few things that you should not bring camping with you. These include items that have fragrances like lotions and soaps. You should also avoid bringing items prohibited by the campground you are visiting and things that would disturb the wildlife and other campers near you.
Can I bring electronics camping?
You can bring electronics with you when you go camping. However, you might not have service for those items and there will likely not be a wifi network unless provided by the campground. You should take extra care when camping with electronics so they don’t get damaged or lost.
What foods shouldn’t you take camping?
You shouldn’t bring perishable food that you won’t be able to store properly when you go camping. Be sure that you’ll be able to maintain safe temperatures for food storage and that you cook and eat things before they spoil.
Conclusion on What Not to Bring to Camp
There are a lot of things that you need to take with you when you go camping. There aren’t a ton of things that you absolutely shouldn’t bring. However, you should keep things like wildlife, the potential for damage, and preservation in mind when you’re packing up.
The most important thing to remember is to follow rules and regulations so you don’t get in trouble for bringing things you shouldn’t. Check the rules before you leave to avoid bringing prohibited items.