Camping is a fun and relaxing activity, but without the right gear, it can quickly turn into misery. Preparing ahead of time with the right gear is key. To start, think about meeting your basic human needs: food, shelter, water, clothes. For food, you need easy-to-prepare items that can be kept over ice in a cooler or do not need refrigeration. You should also invest in a table-top stove and a set of camping eating utensils and dishes. Great meal options for camping include burritos, macaroni and cheese, burgers/hot dogs, and the old standby, PB&J.; Shelter is the next item on your list, and a good tent can make or break your camping trip. Make sure that you invest a tent that is large enough for your group, easy to set-up, and will keep you dry in case of rain. Unless you want to get up close and personal with the ground, you will also want to buy sleeping bags. Remember to keep in mind the climate of where you are camping and buy a sleeping bag that will keep you warm or cool as needed. A sleeping pad is never a bad idea either. Water is usually available at most campsites, but call ahead to verify. A 5- or 10-gallon water jug to carry water is recommended. Finally, pack clothing wisely. Remember, you are going into the woods, not the city, so you don’t need to look cool. In fact, the sillier you look, the more comfortable you usually are. Warm clothing such as long underwear, sweat pants, gloves, and hats are recommended for cold-weather camping. Light shorts and tee-shirts are good for warm weather. Also, if it is predicted to rain, rain gear is absolutely necessary.