Must-Have Camping Gear

For some, the idea of camping summons a great childhood memory of weekends spent in the mountains or a forest filled with s’mores, campfires, and hiking trails.

Camping is all about connecting with the great outdoors, but you will need some things to keep you safe and comfortable. So what are camping gear essentials that you should bring on your next big trip? 

Read on for all the must-haves for your next excursion into nature, from cooking gear to sleeping accessories!

For Comfort

Comfort is key even when camping, so make sure you include some basic necessities to keep yourself happy and hygienic while on the trail.

1. Biodegradable Soap

Always ensure that any soap you bring into nature is environment-friendly and can be safely used without risking damage to any plants, animals, or other organisms that come across its residue.

2. Hiking Poles

While not strictly necessary, trekking can be made much easier with hiking poles that help you traverse uneven ground.

3. Mosquito Repellent

Whether it’s a net, a spray, or a nifty allethrin-filled device that can remove pesky bugs from your vicinity, don’t let mosquitoes ruin your camping fun.

4. Portable Pressure Shower

The aroma of a campfire can be comforting and summon great memories, but smelling like one for the rest of your camping trip can be vexing. Bring a portable shower to remove unwanted scents and excess dirt!

5. Towel Set

Opt for a microfiber towel set that dries quickly and comes in a compact package. These are great for showers, swimming, or drying dinner dishes.

For Eating 

Who says you can’t be a chef in the great outdoors? With the right cooking equipment, you can turn your firepit into a zone of culinary creation.

1. Camp Chair

Give yourself and your other campers a place to sit down and enjoy the view with a folding chair that doubles as a kitchen chair! 

2. Camping Stove

You can do a surprising amount of cooking over a campfire, but bringing a camping stove along on the trip will allow you to make even better meals for everyone.

3. Cookware Kit

Opt for a cookware set that includes collapsible or stackable pans, utensils, and other essentials for your outdoor cooking setup, so you don’t have to worry about bringing anything from your home kitchen.

4. Portable Cooler

Keep your food chilly with a heavy-duty, portable cooler. Make sure it holds enough food to keep your camping trip supplied right to the end!

5. Thermos

Make your campfire coffee last longer with a heat-proof thermos. It’s also great for soups, tea, and other hot items!

6. Water Purifier

Investing in a water filtration and purification system will help you turn natural water sources into potable liquids for drinking or cooking.


Some gear is absolutely essential for a camping trip, including the following items. Make sure you have these packed into your car before you drive off to the wilderness!

1. Backpack

You will need a good backpack to get to the campsite and when adventuring. It should be waterproof, lightweight, and easy to carry all your essential items.

2. Gear Bags

It’s important to have somewhere to put your items, so they don’t get lost in the campsite. Zippable gear bags help organize the area and keep everything where you can quickly grab it.

3. Handheld LED Flashlight

The woods get dark at night, so having an LED flashlight is essential when camping. Make sure it has plenty of extra batteries, too!

4. Hatchet

Chopping firewood is much easier with a good-quality hatchet that gets your timber trimmed to size in no time.

5. Headlamp 

A head-mounted light is great for nighttime exploration or walking around the campsite in the dark.

6. Indoor Propane Heater

Keep warm as the stars come out with a propane space heater that is safe to bring inside the tent when you’re ready for bed!

7. Instant Fire Starters

Save yourself some effort by bringing instant fire starters along for the trip. These will make lighting your campfire easy and stress-free.

8. Knife

Everyone needs a good outdoor knife when camping, whether it’s for cutting rope to put up a swing or for personal protection. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

9. LED Lantern

Like the flashlight, an LED lantern gives plenty of light and can be used as steady campsite illumination as night falls.

10. Multi-Tool

No hiker or camper should be without one—a good multi-tool includes several types of compact tools to fit into your pocket and help out in an emergency.

11. Solar Charger

There are no USB ports in the woods, so a solar charger is an excellent idea for powering any gadgets that require it. 

12. Waterproof Lighter

Don’t let a heavy downpour or an unexpected dip in a river ruin your fire starter—with a waterproof lighter, you can still get a fire going even if it gets damp.

For Fun

Just because you are in nature doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun. Set up some ambient lighting, strap on a GoPro, or turn up the tunes for a good time with some of the following gear:

1. Campsite String Lights

Turn your campsite into a fairyland with some solar-powered string lights that can hang from the trees above you!

2. GoPro Camera

Record your latest adventures with a camera specially made for rugged and rigorous trekking, climbing, and biking.

3. Open Fire Popcorn Maker

Who doesn’t like fresh popcorn? And it’s even better over a campfire! With one of these handy gadgets, you can easily and quickly serve up some delicious snacks.

4. Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Pop on some tunes and enjoy a campfire sing-along with your Bluetooth speaker.

5. Roasting Sticks

Sure, you can sharpen some branches for your marshmallows, but why not bring the proper equipment for S’mores, hotdogs, and more?

For Navigation

Commune with nature, but don’t get lost in it! With some simple navigational items and a good head on your shoulders, you can conquer the wilds and make it back in time for dinner.

1. Compass

Go old-fashioned by learning to read a compass and bringing one along. Not only is it a good backup in case your GPS dies, but it’s also a fun experience for navigating!

2. GPS Tracker

Be prepared—a GPS unit will help you get into and out of the woods. Just make sure you have plenty of extra batteries for it. 

3. Maps 

Always bring maps for the area that you are camping or hiking in. In a pinch, these could help you navigate back to safety.

For Safety

When out in nature, safety should always come first. Whether you give yourself a small cut or have a more pressing emergency, it’s always essential to have the means of defending or saving yourself.

1. Bear Spray

Protect yourself against things with teeth that you might encounter in the wild with a good can of bear spray. This peppery deterrent should buy you enough time to get out of the situation!

2. First Aid Kit

Never head into the woods without a complete first aid kit that can cover most emergencies. You should also create smaller medical packs to bring on day hikes.

3. Space Blanket

A space blanket is packable and perfect if you get stuck out in the woods overnight. Plus, it can help you conserve body heat in an emergency.

For Sleeping

Sleeping under the stars can be a great experience, but it can also be a nightmare if you don’t have the right equipment. Guarantee your comfort with cozy gear to help you get a great night’s sleep!

1. All-Season Sleeping Bag

Invest in a great sleeping bag that is good for all seasons—it saves money and ensures that you will be warm and snug even if the temperature changes.

2. Camp Cot

If you don’t fancy sleeping on the ground, a foldable camp cot is a great idea to elevate your sleep experience a bit more.

3. Inflatable Travel Pillow

Not just useful for airplane travel, an inflatable pillow is great to bring on a camping trip to prevent getting a sore neck in the morning.

4. Insulated Blanket

Be cozy with an easily-storable, insulated blanket that will keep you warm all night long!

5. Tent

 Keep yourself safe from the elements by investing in a good tent. There are wide varieties to choose between, but make sure it’s waterproof, portable, and easy to set up—even in the dark.

For Wearing

Keeping warm and dry is integral to enjoying your camping experience, so you’ll need the right clothes for the task. Ensure these items make it into your backpack!

1. Athletic Socks

Don’t risk blisters on the trail by wearing everyday socks while hiking. Invest in good-quality athletic socks to keep your feet warm, dry, and pain-free.

2. Convertible Pants

With zip-off pants, you can go from a cool morning to a sunny afternoon with no issues—and without having to pack shorts and pants. 

3. Hiking Boots

Comfortable hiking boots are a must for any trekker. Don’t risk a sprained ankle by just wearing sneakers!

4. Long-Sleeved Shirts

Camping is all about layers depending on the weather, so bringing several shirts is wise.

5. Parka

Even if you are not venturing into a snowy region, nighttime can get chilly, and a parka can be helpful.

6. Rain Jacket

Don’t let rain showers dampen your spirits—always pack a rain jacket, even if the forecast is sunny! The weather can be fickle for hikers and campers alike.