Taking a long weekend to unplug, drive out into the woods and experience the great outdoors is the ultimate summer activity. With more and more great sites popping up across the province, there are a lot of opportunities for people of all experience levels to set up camp. If you’re planning a car camping trip in the near future, here are some essentials you’re going to need to make the most of your time.

Get a good tent

Camping means being prepared for whatever is going to be thrown at you, and that includes spectacular thunderstorms, blustery winds and other kinds of unpleasant weather. Spending some extra cash on a tent is worth it for just those bad weather days. Before you purchase, take some time to do a little bit of research to find a tent that fits all your needs. While you’re at it, get a ground sheet to save your butt (literally) in the rain.

Sleeping investments

There are a lot of different kinds of sleeping bags out there, so it’s best to keep in mind what kind of camping you are doing. For car camping, usually a three-season sleeping bag will offer you comfort on both warm and cool nights. It also means you can extend your camping season into early fall.

First Aid Kit

This should be something that lives in your car 24/7 — especially if you’re a fan of seeking out random adventures. If you don’t have one, there are plenty of first aid kits that are built to fit into a car but make sure it has all the necessities: bandages, gauze and alcohol wipes. If you do have one, make sure it is fully stocked before you head out.

Get cookin’

There’s nothing quite like cooking a fresh caught fish over a campfire, but sometimes, it’s just not in the cards. Your car camping essentials should include a decent propane camp stove that will allow you to cook a variety of dishes in all sorts of weather. While you’re at it, invest in a decent set of unbreakable dishes.

And, while we’re talking about camping essentials . . .

Pack light

When you’re out in the woods, it’s OK to wear the same pair of shorts more than one day in a row, so resist the need to pack every article of clothing you own. When you’re packing think about being prepared for temperature changes rather than wardrobe changes (although clean underwear is always a good idea).