Camping experiences tend to hinge on a single factor: the items you brought (or forgot to bring) with you for the journey. Whether it’s your first-time car camping or you’ve been at it for years, ensuring you have the necessary camping gear can determine whether your trip is enjoyable or cut short. Check out this list of camping must have items.
Out of the Elements: Tent
Ideal for solo backpacking trips or a quick weekend getaway with a significant other, because the Toogh is comfy enough for one person, but can easily accommodate a duo. This camping tent has two mesh doors that enable optimal airflow. The mesh windows allow the breeze to come in and keep the bugs out. The ease of assembly is a major draw, promising that it only takes minutes to set up; and it even fits back in its case without having to wrestle with the parts so you can carry it back to your car when it’s time to pack up.
Sleep Tight: Camping Mattress
A good camping mattress provides support for your back and joints, providing a layer of cushioning between you and the ground; this is especially important when camping on uneven or rocky terrain. The Trail Pro is three inches thick, with a stretch knit fabric for ultimate comfort. It’s self-inflating foam makes setting up camp a breeze, while the one-way WingLock valve helps break down the bed in minutes. Both durable and packable, the material resists punctures so no need to fret over small sharp pebbles or pointy branches; equipped with its own stuff sack, the pad packs down to a small 11 x 8.8-in and is lightweight enough to carry with you.
Rest Comfortably: Teton Celsius Sleeping Bag
The Teton Sports Celsius sleeping bag is built to keep you warm during those cold nights. Featuring cushioning around the zipper and shoulder opening keeping drafts out, the cozy flannel lining retains body heat and feels like a luxury sheet. Staggered seams distribute fill evenly and reduce compression to eliminate chilly spots. Fitting both children and adults as tall as six feet tall, this sleeping bag comes highly rated and backed by campers across the country. Pro tip: To be even warmer, fluff your sleeping bag and use an insulated camp pad and wear socks, too!
Fire it up: Camping Stove
Even though the outside is calling doesn’t mean you need to I’ve off trail mix and dried fruit for two days straight. This 22,000 BTU propane stove can do it all when you take the time to cook on it. There are two independently adjustable burners for precise temperature control. Simple push the start ignition button for automatic lighting—no matches needed. If your campsite is in a relatively open space and prone to wind pickup, the Coleman Triton+ has wind guards to help shield burners from strong gusts. And the built-in handle makes it easy to bring to the campsite, while the heavy-duty latch keeps the stove closed when not in use.
Let’s Eat: GCI Outdoor Cook Station
Bring the kitchen outside with a GCI Outdoor Cook Station. Make your outdoor meal prep and cooking easy and convenient. The folding camping tables complete the outdoor experience, offering sturdy and compact camping kitchen tables that set up easily, provide a stable dining surface or side table and break down in a flash for easy storage. From grill stand to card table, s’more station to dining table – this multipurpose table is ready for all your outdoor adventures! It features a unique one-piece compact design which folds to 1/2 the size of other camp tables.
Light the Night: Camping Lantern
The AlpenGlow packs a lot of light, running for 5 hours on high and up to 200 hours on low. Keep in mind that a higher lumen count helps brighten larger spaces and campsites, so be sure to assess your area. Delivering nature-inspired lighting, the ChromaReal LED technology improves color rendering, making colors and textures pop in lowlight conditions so nighttime photos wont literally be a shot in the dark. Simple shake the device to access the various color modes and add some fun to your outdoor hangout. The 6400mAh battery even doubles as a power bank so you can charge devices in a pinch!
Keep it Cool: RTIC Ultra-Light 52 Quart Hard Cooler
Take this cooler on all your adventures, as it is designed to be more than 30% lighter than rotomolded coolers of the same capacity. With up to 3 inches of closed-cell foam insulation, this insulated cooler is all about extremes—your food and beverages will stay colder for longer periods of time. The durable T-latches and integrated locking system work in tandem to keep the cold inside; there are also tie-down slots to attach it to your truck bed, if needed. Holding up to 52-qts, this sturdy chest is true to size. It can double up as a bench, step stool, tabletop, or extra cutting board.
Emergency Prepared: RoverTac Multitool Camping Axe
Sometimes unexpected mishaps occur. You never know when you’re going to need to repair something. Good thing the Rovertac Multitool Hatchet is on your list of camping essentials. Featuring an ergonomic design, durable stainless-steel construction, and a secure locking system, this lightweight tool integrates 14 convenient tools that will make a huge difference during times of emergency. While the hammer and axe are the core of this tool, it can also transform into pliers, a knife blade, Phillips screwdriver, bottle opener, and even a fish scaler, among other useful utilities.
Stay Dry: Rain Jacket
No matter how much we plan, we cannot control the weather, that’s why it’s best to be prepared with a high-quality rain jacket. This Columbia jacket is constructed from a lightweight nylon waterproof material which makes it stylish, comfortable, and capable of protecting you from the wind and wet weather. The fully seam-sealed construction and water-repellent fabric provide excellent protection and its packable design lets you stow it away into its own chest pocket. A few other nice touches include the mesh lining, Velcro cuffs, drawstring waist and a large hood that folds into the collar.
Hold your Things: Hiking Backpack
Every adventurist must have a trusty backpack to carry all of his or her belongings. This Venture Pal backpack stands out because of its thoughtful and intentional design for easy, convenient use. For example, there’s a waterproof “wet pocket” within the main compartment to better separate sweaty clothes or towels. With 40L storage space, this backpack features with multi-compartment storage, you can organize your water bottle, snacks, rope, and other standard tools you will likely need to whip out at some point. And yes, it is strong enough to hold all of these items: the backpack has long lasting durability, a double-layer bottom piece, and is reinforced at major stress points.
Toasty Toes: Darn Tough Hiker Socks
These are considered the ultimate hiking sock for a reason: this fine gauge knitted sock provides mid-level cushion density under your foot. No slipping, no bunching, and no blisters, these socks are breathable, and comfortable. The socks are well-made, with a blend of Merino Wool and nylon, which don’t leave any pressure marks on your ankles. Did you know that Merino Wool has long been favored by outdoor enthusiasts for its exceptional moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and odor-resistant capabilities? Now you do.
Brighten Your Path: PETZL Rechargeable Headlamp
The rechargeable Actik Core headlamp by PETZL is ideal for all dynamic outdoor activities. It offers up to 450 lumens of power, runs for up to 140 hours and features a multitude of lighting options. This headlamp includes a rechargeable battery and, thanks to the hybrid design, is also compatible with 3 AAA batteries if you find yourself in a pinch. Its phosphorescent reflector makes it easy to find in the dark and red lighting keeps you from blinding those around you when you’re with a group.