Camping allows you to leave behind the stress of work or school and get in touch with the outdoors. It’s also a great way to spend some quality time with the family and experience a more quaint way of living for a little while. Having essential camping accessories can make living the outdoor life more comfortable and more fun.
Some even offer running water and bathroom facilities, which means that you don’t need to bring as many items with you.
However, you shouldn’t skip packing the essential camping accessories.
Having the right items allows you to make the most of your trip and eliminate stress.
But what exactly are these must-have accessories?
Read on and find out:
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1 – Tent Gear
Unless you plan to sleep inside an RV or a van, then you should always double-check to make sure that you’ve packed a tent.
Otherwise, you might as well settle for a long night of swatting away mosquitoes and bugs or risk getting drenched by the rain.
When it comes to tents, you have a wide variety to choose from, such as survival tents, canvas tents, cold weather tents, and so on.
Size matters too.
Dome tents are adequate for one or two people while cabin tents can house anywhere from six to twelve.
The latter is usually quite high as well, proving enough room for you to stand upright while moving about.
Unless you’ve got an instant tent like this CORE 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent, you’ll need to bring along pitching tools like poles, tarps, tie-downs, and stakes as well.
We have more detailed reviews on the different types of tents and sizes below:
2 – Sleeping Bags
A good, comfy sleeping bag can prevent your back from feeling sore when you wake up the next morning.
A good sleeping bag can also keep you warm and protected during those long cold nights in the mountains.
Like tents, there are different types of sleeping bags to choose from that vary in weight and the amount of insulation they provide.
Your choice should depend on the type of terrain you plan to camp in and the predicted temperature of the camping site.
The TETON Sports Queen-Size Sleeping Bag fits is a solid choice for those camping out with a friend or significant other.
It can comfortably house two and provides enough elevation so that you won’t be bothered by hard terrain.
It’s also double-layered, meaning you’ll always be plenty warm.
3 – Camping Chairs
Between taking hikes and sleeping, you’re probably going to be sitting a lot in the camping site, taking in the view or having a relaxed chat with your friends or family.
Sitting on the ground isn’t ideal. In addition to getting your pants dirty, it might also be quite tough on your back and rear.
The better solution is to bring along a camping chair for each person on the trip. A comfortable camping chair with footrest like the Seatopia Camping Recliner can help make those campfire stories more enjoyable and relaxed.
It’s got built-in cupholders and a storage bag so that you can always have a cup of coffee and a good book within reach. It’s pretty lightweight and foldable, meaning that it’s easy to carry around. At the same time, it’s strong enough to support up to 300 pounds.
4 – Water Container and Filtration System
Most campsites will provide plenty of fresh, drinkable water.
So, in that case, you’d only need to bring a container with you, like this handy one from WaterBrick.
One of these can carry up to 3.5 gallons of water, and they’re quite slender, meaning you save space in the trunk by stacking them up.
But what if the campsite doesn’t have a public water pump or a tap line? In that case, you’ll need to rely on natural sources like a lake or creek.
Instead of betting on how clean the water is, we highly recommend that you get yourself a portable water filtration system.
The Sawyer MINI Water Filtration system is quite popular among campers everywhere. It’s easy to use, weighs practically nothing, and removes all water-borne pathogens, including the giardia and cryptosporidium (which commonly cause nausea and diarrhea), as well as microplastics.
5 – First-Aid Kit
If you plan to go on hikes, then it’s best to bring along emergency supplies like bandages, gauze, and painkillers, especially if the campsite is a long drive away from any store or hospital.
You will likely never use the first aid kit 99.99% of the time, but you don’t want to be caught without one in emergencies that can happen 0.01% of the time.
You can either pack your own basic first aid kit or get a pre-made kit like this one from Surviveware, which includes everything you could need to deal with cuts, scrapes, and bruises.
If you think the above is too heavy to carry on hikes, at the very least, consider carrying a mini first aid kit, it should provide you with enough things to deal with small emergencies.
6 – Insect Repellant
One of the most significant drawbacks of going camping is having to deal with bugs, especially mosquitoes in season.
Not only are they annoying, but they can carry diseases as well, especially mosquitoes.
So before you leave on your camping trip, always make sure that you’ve packed one or two insect repellants.
The Repel HG-94108 100 Insect Repellent is probably one of the best you can buy.
It keeps away all kinds of mosquitoes, even those that carry Zika, West Nile, and Dengue viruses.
Its formula contains 98.11 DEET, so you know it’s powerful, but be careful having it around plastic surfaces as the chemical can cause it to melt.
If you’re sensitive to DEET, or just nor comfortable putting chemicals on your skin, consider plant-based insect repellent like Repel Lemon Eucalyptus repellent.
8 – Sunscreen
A nasty sunburn can quickly turn a fun time into a harrowing experience.
Since most of us go camping in the summer, it’s essential to make sure that you’re well protected from the sun at all times.
Coppertone ULTRA GUARD SPF 70 is a great sunscreen lotion to bring along on your trip.
It’s quite inexpensive but very effective, giving your skin a generous dose of vitamin E while blocking out harmful UVA/UVB rays.
It’s also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, so you can leave it on while you take a dip.
9 – Rainproof Apparel
If you anticipate rain, bring some light rainproof clothes instead of a coat.
Even if you don’t anticipate rain, bring one anyway.
You never know what the weather can bring, and it’s always better to be prepared than not.
Coats can keep you warm, but they’ll be pretty much useless if the weather turns around suddenly.
Something more breathable like this Wantdo Men’s Windbreaker can protect you from the rain while also making sure that you don’t get baked alive if the temperature starts to get warmer.
10 – Cooler
Coolers help prevent your food from going bad for the duration of your trip.
Leaving your meals out in the open isn’t the least bit ideal, considering that there could be a lot of contaminants floating around in the air.
The last thing you want is to get food poisoning while out camping!
Coolers are indispensable when it comes to keeping your beverages cold.
If you’re planning an outdoor trip with your beer-drinking buddies, you’ll probably need to carry a decently-sized unit like this 50 Quart Coleman Wheeled Cooler.
It can hold up to 84 cans, meaning you’ll definitely be able to carry enough beer or cola to last your entire trip.
11 – Walkie Talkie
Staying safe should be your number one priority while you’re out hiking in the wilderness.
There’s no telling how and when you might find yourself in grave danger without anyone nearby to help you.
In such scenarios, the right survival tools can save your life.
We’re talking about items like compasses, paper maps, walkie talkies paracords, and more: things that can get you out of most tight situations.
A good walkie talkie in particular, like the Midland – X-TALKER T75VP3, can help to keep you tethered to your friends and family while you’re outside the cellphone range.
The T75VP3 sports a rugged, water-resistant construction and provides coverage of up to 38 miles.
Plus like any good radio, it’s got dedicated weather alert channels, so you’re never caught unawares by a storm or something similar.
12 – LED Lantern
You can’t rely on just a campfire for lighting since you’ll have to put it out eventually.
Therefore, it’s always good to have a backup light source like an LED Lantern for emergencies or a game of poker in the middle of the night.
Plus, it’ll help you make it back and forth from the restroom safely.
This EZORKAS Collapsible Rechargeable LED Camping Lantern is a perfect choice if you want a powerful light source without busting the bank.
You can power it up with 3 AA batteries or simply plug it into a power bank using a USB cable.
Plus, its lightweight and water-resistant, meaning you can carry it along with you on a hike without a hassle.
13 – Portable Toilette
Just because you’re going out into the wild for a few days, doesn’t mean that you should neglect your hygiene.
In fact, you should be more concerned about it since you’ll be exposed to way more contaminants than usual.
If you’re heading to a campsite that offers restrooms with flush toilets, then you’re in luck.
If not, it’s probably best to bring along a portable camping toilet.
The Camco Portable Travel Toilette is a solid choice for campers.
It comes fitted with a 2.5-gallon tank and a bellows-type pump that flushes water into it for waste removal.
The travel toilet only weighs about 12 pounds but can support up to 330 pounds.
14 – Fire Starters
Being able to start a fire with flint is a very useful skill.
However, it can be enormously frustrating if it just doesn’t work out.
You could keep yourself and your friends and family out in the cold for hours while you try to get a campfire started.
To prevent this from happening, we recommend bringing a few packs of UST WetFire Tinder so that you can get a fire going immediately.
One pack can burn for up to five minutes so they can be quite useful in emergency situations as well.
15 – Survival Knife
You can accomplish a lot of things with a good survival knife, such as cutting a length of rope, skinning meat, or fashioning a walking stick for yourself.
You can also use it to cut through any vegetation that gets in your way while you’re hiking.
Most campers tend to carry pocket knives with them, which are great for simple, everyday use.
However, for more demanding tasks, we highly recommend using a neck knife like this CRT Minimalist Bowie Knife.
It’s got a compact blade and a very comfortable grip, so you definitely won’t mind using it for long periods of time.
16 – Camping Stove
The truth is there’s no telling whether you can use a campfire for cooking your meals because some sites actually have a fire ban.
Hence, it’s best to bring along a portable stove like this trusty Coleman Gas Stove.
It can fit in a 12-inch and 10-inch pan at the same time, and you get two independent burner controls, which means that you can cook two different things at once.
One of the most grating things about cooking with a campfire is having to battle against the wind constantly. The Coleman Gas stove comes fitted with two Wind Block panels, eliminating this problem entirely.
Preparation is the key to a successful camping trip. It helps you eliminate stress and just have a grand time with your friends and family. So before you set out on your next trip, take the time to ensure that you’ve packed all of the camping essentials. Make sure you know as much as possible about your camping site as well because depending on what facilities it offers, you could shave off some extra load. However, try not to skip on any of the items mentioned in this article, regardless of where you’re going.
What’s Your Favorite Camping Accessories?
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