Must-Haves for Montana Camping
I love a good spontaneous road trip. I love exploring the backroads and small towns of Montana, so often times on a whim I will hop in the car and just see where the road takes me. However, not all Montana adventures can be as unplanned. Camping in Montana is definitely something you want to take a little time with. Of course, you don’t want to plan it to death, but a little forethought can go along way in having a fantastic time spending the night in the splendor of Montana. Here are my suggestions for must-have camping essentials to make your trip great!
A Variety of Footwear and Socks
While camping, you’ll probably want to do some exploring. A nice hike or maybe a little dip in that mountain stream always makes the trip extra fun. In preparing for your adventures, think about your feet! If you’re going hiking, blisters can ruin the fun, so opt for some thick, comfy socks that keep your feet warm, dry, and blister-free inside your hiking boots. Speaking of hiking boots, don’t bring new, out-of-the-box footwear on your trip. This should be time for your most comfortable, tried and true footwear. When lounging around the campfire at night, a cozy, comfy shoe is a must. I like to set a pair of sandals or flip flops outside of the tent in case of late-night bathroom breaks. If it’s really cool a night, how about some mukluk socks from Lazy One? Warm and cozy, these are sure to keep you comfy and happy while camping!
Emergency/First Aid Kit
I have a friend who was so concerned I didn’t keep a first aid kit with me at all times that she gave me one as a Christmas gift to carry in my car. And let me tell you, that thing has been a lifesaver. You never realize how often you could use a bandaid when you’re camping. Whether it be a splinter from the firewood or a scrape from crawling around rocks and trees while you’re exploring, you can never be too prepared with medical supplies while camping. While they sell pre-made kits in any grocery or camping store, feel free to customize. I’d recommend bandaids, bandages, something to clean wounds with, cotton swabs, and possibly a small scissors or tweezers. Also, store it in a watertight container to keep your supplies safe and dry!
It’s amazing how often you can make use of a multitool when camping. From setting up camp to prepping food, a good, reliable multitool is a must-have. Snipping rope, tightening a loose screw in a cooler, or even opening a cold beverage, you can get a lot done with this one good utility. You also want to look for something easily portable and easily carried, so a belt clip is a nice added feature as well. We actually have two different styles: a Montana multitool and a Lewis & Clark multitool. Both come in a mini size to help you conserve space. Yes, space when packing for camping is a continual issue. But, check out our two styles of multitool so you’re never left unprepared on your camping trip.
Airtight, watertight storage is an absolute camping essential. This is basically a no-brainer when it comes to food but think about all the other camping necessities that can be saved by good storage. Remember those spare pairs of socks I mentioned earlier? Put them in some water-proof storage to keep them dry until you need them! Bringing some water-proof matches? Makes sure your storage game is one point so they actually stay waterproof! Plastic bags are always an easy go-to, but if you’re looking to reduce your single-use plastics, there are loads of alternatives out there. I also recommend just some classic, no-frills trash bags. Obviously, you can toss your trash in there (leave no trace, people!), but they can also double as quick tarps or ponchos should you get stuck in a Montana rainstorm!
Trusty Sleeping Bag and Extra Blankets
One summer in the dead of August, my brother and I ended up camping in Gallatin Canyon just before Big Sky. It was a beautiful summer day with a high in the 80s, but by night it dipped down into the 30s. That’s just the nature of Montana camping. Thank goodness for furry warm dogs, but also get yourself a really good sleeping bag and bring extra blankets. I recommend getting a sleeping bag that’s rated at least for temperatures below thirty, bare minimum. We’ve gotten in the habit of also including those egg crate mattress toppers as well, just to give us a little insulation between our sleeping spot and the ground. And, if you want to get real fancy, spring for that camping cot. I have one now and it is glorious. Yes, blankets take up a lot of that precious camping space, but if you’re headed anywhere into the Montana mountains, you’ll thank me later!
Now get out there and enjoy your camping adventure fully stocked with Montana camping essentials! Have fun!
Written by: Cassi Miller