Oxy Cleaner, Wonder Lube, ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent and a Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener are camp essentials. 

How many times has it happened?

The times you’re at the hunting camp and you find something’s missing, something you knew you needed and just didn’t have at hand.

After spending years — decades really — in hunting camps, there are five must-have items all camps need in addition to the basics, you know, things like salt, pepper and other cooking needs, dishwasher detergent and, yes, toilet paper, paper towels, bath soap and a well-stocked first-aid kit.

In no certain order, this must-have list includes:

Oxy cleaner. The photo is a shower, tub & tile spray cleaner, but there are others on the market. You can use this in the camp, but there are other uses, like cleaning surfaces where you’ve processed game (indoor and outdoor areas) and it’s great in removing smells from ice chests. Spray inside an empty ice chest with this stuff, close the lid and come back in 10 minutes, rinse, and the ice chest is odor free.

Wonder Lube: Found this product works on just about anything with moving parts, from four-wheelers to weapons to truck hinges. There are other oil-based products, and most folks use WD-40, which is good for its WD — water displacement — but shouldn’t be used as a long-term lubricant for rifles and shotguns. Wonder Lube also works on fishing reels.

Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpener: There are hundreds of sharpeners on the market today and the best ones can hone hunting and filet knives to an edge suitable for shaving. But this Work Sharp, it’s electric, has three different bands, each with a different sharpening grit, that can work on the finest hunting blades, kitchen knives (even serrated and scalloped blades), then change the band and sharpen shovels, machetes, axes and hatchets. Depending on the “system” you want, Work Sharp’s MSRP runs $70-$130, and likely should be handled by camp hunters splitting the cost. Trust me, everyone in the camp will use it.

ThermaCELL: More personal than the other items, but with a warmer winter in the forecast, mosquitoes and other insects will be a problem when sitting on a stand or relaxing around the campfire. Remember to get extra refills, too.

Rope: A 50-foot or 100-foot length of three-quarter inch rope is invaluable and versatile. You can hang game, pull ATVs from mud holes, and, when doubled to add strength, can be used to extract stuck-to-the-axle vehicles.

If you need a sixth item, then a well-stocked hunting camp has a gun-cleaning kit. Otis Tactical or Elite comes to mind, but Outers and Hoppe’s are terrific products, too. Make sure to get a kit with attachments matching the calibers and gauges for all hunters in your camp. And make sure to get Hoppe’s solvent and use it after you’ve sighted-in your rifle.