There are many things you can take with you on a camping trip. Some of it you will need and some of it you won’t end up using at all. Here are the four essential pieces of camping gear that you should take on every camping adventure.
As it might seem obvious, for traditional camping the most vital piece of equipment is a tent of appropriate dimensions for you and your camping companions. Selecting just the right tent for your needs may seem difficult, but most outdoor product websites provide all of the specifications required to make an informed decision. If you really feel unsure during the selection process, visit a local sporting goods store to speak with someone in-person about your specific tent requirements. Many stores even have tents set up for you to explore. And, when purchasing a tent, make sure you don’t forget to purchase the stakes and guylines needed to secure it to the ground (these may or may not be included with a packaged tent).
A cozy sleeping bag is also critical to the enjoyment of any camping trip. When exploring your options, consider what type of setting you will usually camp in. Most sleeping bags are designated with a temperature recommendation, informing you of how cold an outdoor temperature they advise would be comfortable for the bag’s use. Other considerations when selecting an appropriate sleeping bag include bag size and shape. Sleeping bags come in various lengths to accommodate an individual’s height, and shape choices include square and mummy depending on your preference for how snugly you like to sleep. There are also several material options to choose from, such as down and synthetic fill, that each provide a different feel and warmth level.
A backpack with room for all your essential gear is invaluable for all your camping adventures. As you peruse the options either online or in-store, consider the size that will work the best for your specific needs. Also, think about the weight of the backpack and determine what will be the best choice considering how long you normally intend to wear it. Will you be using the pack for day hikes, or maybe for overnight trips in the mountains? A smaller pack might be sufficient for short hikes or in-camp use, but longer treks will require a backpack that allows you to carry a tent as well as all vital camping gear. Price is also a major consideration, as backpacks can get expensive depending on size and brand.
Whether you are camping for one night or for a week, every camper needs several light sources on-hand. First, a powerful flashlight to help you navigate the campsite and campground in the dark is critical. LED flashlights are particularly effective, and last much longer than traditional options. But any flashlight will work in a pinch, so explore the prices to determine what fits best with your budget. Consider purchasing an LED headlamp with an adjustable band so you can wear your light and have your hands free for other tasks. The adjustable band is handy to comfortably wear your light with or without cold weather accessories such as a beanie or hooded parka. A lantern is another helpful item to include in your camping gear list, as it can be used for outdoor night treks as well as when you sit outside or spend time inside your tent when the sun goes down. Lanterns are useful to have in addition to flashlights, because they can be hung from inside the tent to provide full illumination. Don’t forget extra batteries!
Essential Camping Gear List
- Tent, poles, stakes
- Hammer or mallet
- Repair kits for all gear
- Air pump
- Fire starter
- Water bottles
- Cookware, plates, utensil supplies
- Trash bags
- Corkscrew (essential for some)
- Biodegradable soap
- Toiletries, deodorant, razor, feminine products etc.
- Insect Repellant
- First-aid kit
- Prescription, medications