What to Pack for Camping: A Guide for Staying Protected on the Campground


It’s camping season! Whether the kids are going for a week of adventure or the entire family is heading to the campground, it’s vital to stay protected from all forces of nature, including bugs. Mosquitos and ticks are known as some of the most dangerous bites to humans, so stay protected by packing the necessities, including an effective mosquito and tick repellent.

To ensure you stay protected, read Ranger Ready’s guide for what to pack before heading out into the wilderness this summer.

A Fully-Stocked First Aid Kit

Safety first, always. Whether it’s scraped knees, insect bites, allergic reactions to plants, or other camping-related injuries, it’s important to be prepared as possible. Regardless if it’s a store-bought kit or a homemade one, make sure to have at least the following items onhand:

  • Adhesive bandages of various sizes
  • Gauze pads / gauze wrap
  • Antiseptic ointment
  • Pain / anti-inflammatory medicine
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunburn relief cream
  • Tweezers
  • Prescription medication

Plenty of Extra Clothing

Camping can be fun and games, but it also means mud, sweat, and inclement weather. Pack enough extra clothing to keep warm and dry for the entire camping trip. And don’t forget the long layers, even on a warmer day. Wearing long pants with long socks will provide protection from ticks and tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease.

Spray an effective mosquito and tick repellent on your skin and all clothing to prevent ticks and insects from crawling under them. Wearing a hat is always a good idea, as well, for protection from the sun and biting insects. 

bug spray at zion national park

Wearing light colored undergarments, like a white t-shirt under the rest of the camping gear, makes it a lot easier to check for ticks later in the day, so be sure to pack enough light-colored clothing.

Navigational Tools

If hiking is in the camping agenda, be prepared with navigational tools. A portable GPS and guidebook (check with the campground for this) are great tools to use. As a back-up for the GPS, bring a compass and map. 

Other important navigational tools are lanterns, headlamps, or flashlights to keep the hiking path lit and all possible dangers in sight – whether it’s animals or trail obstacles in the way.

Family Friendly, Kid Safe Bug Spray

With all of the different types of bug sprays to choose from, make sure to pack the best insect repellent for camping that’s also the safest and most effective for the entire family. Ranger Ready’s picaridin insect repellent is DEET-free, so It’s safe for children over the age of 1 and during pregnancy. It’s also long-lasting, so there’s no need to constantly reapply to stay protected all day long.

person spraying leg with ranger ready insect repellent

Picaridin 20%, the active ingredient in Ranger Ready’s picaridin products, offers mosquito and tick protection for 12 hours and protection from biting flies, gnats, chiggers, and other biting insects for 8 hours. That’s plenty of time to hike, fish, and picnic - just don’t forget to reapply after swimming or excessive sweating.

Waterproof Matches or a Lighter

Even the most skilled campers can use help from a flame when building a campfire. Great for warmth, cooking up some camping goodies like s’mores, or just a relaxing activity after a long day of hiking, canoeing, and fishing. Have a responsible adult build the campfire using these tools and then enjoy a beautiful evening under the stars.

Tents, Fishing Poles, and Other Gear

Depending on the campsite, there could be many different activities to choose from – canoeing, fishing, nature walks, and rock climbing, just to name a few.

While packing camping gear safely is a no-brainer, what about protecting it when it’s being used? DEET, the active ingredient in many well-known bug sprays, is a plasticizer that corrodes many surfaces, including fishing gear, cameras, and sunglasses. That’s one of the reasons why choosing a DEET-alternative is best when shopping for mosquito and tick repellent.

Don’t let camping season lead to itchy bug bites and potential vector-borne diseases. Stay protected with the best insect repellent for camping, Ranger Ready, and take all the necessary precautions when outdoors this summer. That means packing the first aid kit and all of the camping tools and gear needed for a fun, safe camping trip.

For campgrounds and summer camps, Ranger Ready also has bulk insect repellent, perfect for large groups to stay protected all season long.


Ranger Read Repellents protects you at National and State parks. Check out the Wherever You Go Series

grand canyon national park retro vintage illustration