There is something particularly fun about camping with your airplane—as long as you are prepared.
This list is by no means comprehensive, but here are a few “must haves” before you head into the great outdoors, or encounter an unexpected overnight stay at an airport.
A Blue Tarp
You know the one we’re talking about. They can be used as ground cloths, or when paired with parachute cord, they can be used as shelter. If you have a high-wing airplane, the tarp should be large enough to go over the wing.
You will be out in nature where the bugs are. There are some places where the mosquitos are so large they should be given N-numbers. Protect yourself.
A Sleeping Bag
There are times when a pilot does not intend to spend the night with the airplane but is forced to by happenstance. If you do not have a tent and a hotel is not an option, you may be sleeping in the airplane. Be prepared. It is also a good idea to have extra clothing for the same reason.
This can be as simple as a poncho—which can also double as a shelter.
Food & Water
There are times when food is not convenient to the airport and the vending machines are non-existent or inaccessible. Carry non-perishable food items, such as nuts and granola bars.
It is always a good idea to carry a bottle of water in your airplane. If there aren’t any restroom facilities at the campsite, you may find yourself looking for a spigot on the exterior of a hangar just to brush your teeth. Also, pack a few treats for celebrating the evening out at the airport.
Spare Ties, Straps
Tie down tools, including an anchor kit, straps, and wheel chocks as the airport may not have any.
You can get really clean with these.
Public restrooms (if there are any) often run out of toilet paper. Bring your own to be safe.
A Trash Bag
“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints,” is the camper’s motto. If you pack it in, pack it out.