Important things to pack for a Swimming Trip

One of the most fun filled activities for the summer is swimming.  Around the black hills there are a lot of lakes and reservoirs to go swimming in.  Here is a list of important items you should take on your swimming trip.

  • Sunscreen
  • Swim Suits
  • Beach towels
  • Beach bag- (Best if its Waterproof)
  • Water goggles
  • Clothes to wear after swimming
  • Body wash, Shampoo, Conditioner- (optional)
  • Comb, Hairbrush
  • Flip Flops
  • Hat
  • Drinking Water
  • Deodorant
  • Snacks

Hiking Checklist

Here is a list of items I find useful when I go hiking. Always make sure to check the weather before your hike so you can pack accordingly.

  • Extra socks
  • Rain jacket/ rain poncho- (In case it rains)
  • Backpack
  • Map
  • Water, camelback
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Compass
  • Matches, fire starters
  • Pocket knife
  • Flashlight
  • Watch
  • Whistle
  • First aid kit
  • Insect repellent-(optional)
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • First aid kit

Twelve Life Saving Items to Keep in Your Camping First Aid Kit

A well stocked first aid kit can go a long way in an emergency. It’s nice to make your own first aid kit so that you can customize it to fit your needs. It’s good to have different important health information about yourself or whoever is going to be using the first aid kit. Here are some suggestions for your kit. Many of these items you can purchase at local drug / convenience stores.

  • Any personal medications you need to take that don’t need to be refrigerated. (inhalers, heart medicine, insulin, Tylenol , heart burn meds, Etc)
  • Band aids
  • Bandage wraps/gauze
  • Tape
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Alcohol wipes/disinfectant wipes
  • Q-tips
  • Hand sanitizer
  • List of medication allergies
  • Petroleum jelly or other lubricant
  • Scissors/Tweezers
  • Eye drops

You always want to make sure to keep your first aid kit up to date as well as keeping it an easy to get location. It is way to easy to have it underneath all of your gear in the back of the truck.

Eight Essentials to Make Your Picnic Perfect

Picnics are a great way to enjoy the wilderness without having to stay overnight. I enjoy going out for a picnic after a long day at work. The nice part about picnics is that you don’t have to get any days off work and there almost like a mini vacation. Here is a list composed of many different items I like to bring on a picnic and things to look out for. So without further ado here is the Picnic Checklist 

  • Binoculars
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Charcoal –(a lot of times picnicking area’s will have a grill you can cook on)
  • Garbage bags
  • Plates/Silverware
  • Food (I like to bring steaks to cook on the grill but you can also bring food that’s already made. Chips are a great thing to bring as well as sandwiches, hot dogs, apples, oranges, and carrots.
  • Camera/Camcorder
  • Always check the weather/travel conditions before leaving

Poison Ivy

There is a lot of poison ivy around the Black Hills area. Poison ivy may cause itching and very painful Rashes. If you’re going to the bathroom in the wilderness make sure you’re not around any poison ivy. Make sure you don’t get it in your fire if you inhale the smoke it may cause severe inflammation of the lungs. I have posted some pictures of this plant so that you know what to look out for. Here are some tips on what to do if you come into contact with it. Remember what they say. Leaves of three let them be….Berries white run in fright.

  • Wash your skin off as soon as possible it can take up to 2 hours before it starts affecting you
  • Rinse off your skin before you use soap. Soap can spread it around.
  • Use cold water
  • Let the affected area air dry
  • Wash your hands
  • Try to keep all clothing that could have poison ivy on it separate.
  • Keep the area clean
  • Don’t scratch I know it sucks but try not to scratch
  • If it’s really bad seek professional help


Motorcycle Camping Checklist

My Husband and I like to take our motorcycles out a lot when we go camping. However it is very difficult to carry to many things on the bike. I have composed a list of the most important things you should bring if you don’t have too much space. Here is a smaller list of things you can bring if you don’t have enough room or if you don’t have enough room or you’re on a motorcycle

Outdoor Sleeping Equipment

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Pillows
  • Air mattresses (if they are small)

Food and Water for Camping

  • Cooler (very small Cooler or a lunch bag)
  • Cooking pan (if there’s not room for this just bring food you can cook over the campfire hotdogs bratwurst marshmallows etc. or food that doesn’t need refrigeration chips, apples, carrots etc.)
  • Food
  • Silverware
  • Plates
  • Liquor (it can fit in a smaller place. I usually bring a canteen mixed with a very strong beverage,)
  • Water (you can boil water from a stream but then you’re going to need a pan)

Camping Toiletries

  • Toothbrushes/toothpaste
  • Toilet paper
  • Tampons (women only unless you have anal leakage)
  • Sunscreen
  • Sponge/rag
  • Hand Sanitizer (Travel size)
  • Soap
  • Deodorant

Misc Camping Equipment

  • Flashlight/Batteries
  • Binoculars
  • Sunglasses
  • Lighter/Matches
  • Pocket Knife
  • Camera/Camcorder (optional)
  • First aid kit
  • Garbage bags
  • Clothing
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • T-shirt
  • Sweater
  • Shorts
  • Pants

Camping Checklist

There have been so many times that I have gone camping and forgotten that one important thing. It’s always worse the first couple of times you go camping each year. I have now made this list of important camping provisions. I hope this helps you not forget that one important thing. We also have this entire list as a Adobe PDF document so you can print it out and check everything off as you go

Printable Camping Checklist PDF

Outdoor Sleeping Equipment

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Air mattresses (optional)
  • Backpack

Food and Water for camping

  • Cooler
  • Cooking pan
  • Food
  • Chips
  • Silverware
  • Plates
  • Beer
  • Water
  • Water filtration system (optional)
  • Propane stove (optional)
  • Napkins/paper towels

Camping Toiletries

  • Toothbrushes/toothpaste
  • Toilet paper
  • Tampons (women only)
  • Sunscreen
  • Dish Soap
  • Sponge/rag
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Bug spray
  • Comb/Hairbrush
  • Hair ties


  • Swimsuits
  • Towels
  • Long socks (at least one pair)
  • Underwear
  • Tennis shoes/Hiking Boots
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Shorts
  • Short sleeve shirts
  • Hats/gloves
  • At least one sweater
  • Jeans

Misc Camping Equipment

  • Flashlight/Batteries
  • Binoculars (opionial)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sandwich bags
  • Lighter/Matches
  • Pocket Knife
  • Camera/Camcorder (optional)
  • Music Player (optional)
  • Firearms (If they are allowed)
  • Ammunition(If firearms are allowed)
  • First aid kit
  • Garbage bags
  • Fire starters (optional)
  • Firewood
  • Rope
  • Bicycles (optional)
  • Deck of cards
  • Books on identifying plant, bugs, and birds

Pets Items (optional)

  • Pet food
  • Leashes
  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Poop bags
  • Food and water dishes
  • Collars


Water – I usually bring one two liter per person per day unless you have a water filtration system or they have running water at the campsite. Always check to make sure the water they have is drinkable.

Sleeping Bags
Backpack –I always bring at least one extra backpack because If you decide to go biking or hiking while you’re camping you’re going to want to bring some water, food, sunscreen, swimsuit, hand sanitizer, and other misc things.
Blankets –It get rather cold at night especially during the first few months of the summer. I like to bring enough blankets for everyone. However if you have really nice sleeping bags its not completely necessary to bring that many blankets.
Pillows –having a body pillow works really well. However its best to have separate pillows that you will use just for camping. Many times you will be sleeping on the hard ground and having extra pillows helps for extra padding.
Air mattresses – I really love bringing my air mattresses. The ones I have are Insulmat. These mattresses are very small and lightweight. They inflate by themselves; I really like how comfortable they are to sleep on. If you’re on a motorcycle they are small enough to carry
Cooler –The size of cooler you bring depends on how many people are going and for how many days you’re camping. It also depends on how much room you have in your vehicle. Unless you’re taking a motorcycle then its best to have a small cooler with a lot of dry food to go with.
Portable propane stove –not all campsites let you you have fires. This is mostly in the National forest area where there is no campground and you’re just camping in the forest. Having a portable stove is not bad to take camping if you have the room for it.
Water filtration system –
Cooking pan – no plastic handles metal only. It’s best if you use a pan you really don’t care for because it will probably get ruined when you have it over the fire. Unless you bring your own gas stove.
Food –I often just bring bratwurst, hot dogs , ramen noodles, bread and eggs. Fruit and vegetables such as apples, oranges, or carrots are very nice to bring because they don’t need to be refrigerated and they are delicious. If it’s just me and my man ill bring some t-bones. It depends a lot on what kind of a cooler you have and how many people you’re camping with. Here are a few easy camping recopies that work very well over a campfire. Ramen noodles eggs and hot dogs. Graham crackers marshmallows and chocolate (smores). Eggs and hot dogs, Sandwiches not over a campfire.
Toothbrushes/toothpaste –Not completely necessary however you will have a much comfortable time if you bring them. If you go to the dollar tree or the dollar store you can get a pack of toothbrushes with caps those seem to work the best.
Deodorant –If I just get an unscented deodorant spray I find it works very well. You don’t have to get this kind I do because then everyone can use it and it won’t attract mosquitoes.
Shampoo –you really only need to bring it if you campsite has places to shower. I like to get the body wash/shampoo in one or just the cheap shampoo.
Hand sanitizer –This is a very important thing to bring. You are going to want to have clean hands for eating, after going to the bathroom (if there’s no bathroom/vault toilets), or if your treating a cut. It’s very cheap to get and it’s a very impotent thing to bring. Trust me to do not want to go to the bathroom in the wilderness then go eat a hotdog.
Dish soap –This works well for cleaning plate’s, dishes and other objects. It also works great for cleaning wounds, cuts, or for just washing your hands it’s very important to remember to wash your hands while you’re camping.
First aid kit –You can make your own first aid kit or buy one that already assembled. In mine I carry alcohol wipes antibacterial ointment band aids and bandage wraps. If you are on some kind of medication it’s good to bring them in your first aid kit.
Bug spray –This is optional it’s good to bring I would rather just wear a long sleeve shirt and jeans at night to avoid getting bit. It’s not a bad idea to bring.
Sponge/rags –Good for cleaning up messes you might accidently spill something in your tent or on your sleeping bag and you’re going to need something to wipe it up with
Towels –I only bring one towel per person. I have a lot of friends that bring one for going swimming and one for showering. I don’t really think that it’s necessary.
Tampons – ladies you should always bring at least one or two pads or tampons just in case. This is defiantly a really important thing to bring believe me it suck if you need it and don’t have it. I have many uncomfortable camping trips because if forgot this item.
Sunscreen –Even if you don’t get sunburns. I am very tan but I still use a little bit of sunscreen to protect myself from those u v rays.
Swimsuits -I like to bring a swimsuit even if im not swimming. It gets really hot during the summer and a swimsuit is a nice cool outfit. The same goes for swimming trunks. Swimsuits are also nice tanning.
Flashlight/batteries –There are many uses for having a flashlight.
Pocket knife –Pocket knives are important they nice for sharpening sticks and there have been a lot of times when I’ve just need a pocket knife for some random silly thing.
Sunglasses –This is a very important small thing to remember. You’ll survive without them but they are awesome if you don’t forget. I really like to use them when I go hiking.
Lighter/Matches –There really isn’t another easier way to start a fire without these. It is possible however a slight pain in the ass.
Plates – I just take regular plates however there’s nothing wrong with brining paper plates just remember to pick up after you. You can always throw them in the fire as well.
Silverware –I like to bring real silverware. The plastic ones are alright but they break easily. If there are a lot of people going camping, it’s better to bring the plastic one’s especially for kids.
Bicycles –I like to bring bikes if I can to take on the bike trails if they have them on the campsite. If you don’t have room they are not a necessary thing to bring.