Essential Camping Gear: What You Need to Know

by Tadej Kožar
essential camping gear

Are you going camping for the first time and don’t know what to bring along? Maybe you’ve camped before but still want to know the most important and essential camping gear needed for a pleasant camping experience.  No matter which camp group you belong, you should always be prepared for the outdoors. In this article you will find out what camping gear you should pack in your backpack or a car to have a safe and satisfied outdoor adventure.

Camping Gear that Every Camper Needs

When it comes to spending time outdoors you should know that you won’t have the comfort as at home. However, going camping means having fun while exploring nature and learning survival skills. Here is the equipment that I use each time when I want to have a memorable and stress-free camping trip.

camping gear tents

(Photo by Photo by Matthew DeVries on Pexels)

Camping Tent

An outdoor tent is the first piece of gear that you should get if you intend tent camping. It is an outdoor shelter that will protect you from the elements and offer a dry place to spend the night. When you are buying one, consider its features so you will get the right one for your type of trip.

Going Winter Camping?

Let’s say you are going camping in wintertime. Not every tent will provide protection in harsh weather with snow and wind. Most of the tents are made with lots of mesh for camping in first three seasons (spring, summer and fall). This type of shelter won’t be able to protect you from the winter conditions. Getting a 4-season tent would be the right choice.

How Many Campers?

The size of a tent is very important. Will you camp alone or intend to camp with your friends or family members in one shelter? Solo camping demands a tent that will provide a space for one person for sleeping and gear storage.

Nancy Zaffaro eagle

(Photo by Nancy Zaffaro)

Group Camping

However, inviting more people to camp with you in one tent requires a bigger camping tent that will comfortably fit all of you and the gear. Choose a bigger tent that manufacturer is advertising. So, if the manufacturer claims that his tent is meant for 6 people, rather get a tent that can accommodate 8 campers.

Sleeping Options

Sleeping on a hard ground is a past when enjoying outdoors. I remember how I slept on a tent floor without padding. It was awful. So, if you don’t want to experience the same as I did (I felt like a train drove over me the next morning) consider my useful tips regarding outdoor bedding.

Today you have a lot of options when it comes to comfortable outdoor sleeping. The outdoor sleeping equipment provides warmth and padding that will upgrade your adventure.

Here are your options:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Inflatable air mattress
  • Camping cot
  • Inflatable camping pillows
  • Blankets

All these items will make your trip more like a glamping experience with the comfort that you need to wake up full of energy for the active day.

Camping Cookware

If you intend to survive outdoors only by hunting and fishing you must have some survival skills. However, most campers like to take their camping cookware set with them to cook their favorite camping meals at the campground.

These sets include the utensils for eating, plates, pans and pots for cooking on an open fire or camping stoves. Look what the set includes and where you can use it (can you cook on open fire or not) before getting one.

The most obvious benefit of the camping cookware is that its pieces fit one within another so you won’t use too much space in your backpack or a car.

(Photo by Uriel Mont on Pexels)

Food Supplies

What will you cook in those camping pots and pans? Think about food supplies that have long expiration date and won’t spoil soon. Consider taking dehydrated foods, vegetable, fruit and meat cans, cooked vegetables, bread or toast and other solid foods.

Avoid fresh eggs, meat and dairy products that will spoil soon without a cooler. A cooler comes in handy no matter what type of food you are taking out there as it will stay fresh and cool.

Clean Water and Water Supplies

What about water? Will you drink of the nearest river or a creak? I don’t advise you to drink from nature’s water sources as the water can be contaminated. You can use it if you have a water purify kit or other items as tablets to purify it.

I advise you to get clean containers and fill them with fresh water just before heading outdoors with a vehicle. However, if you are going backpacking or camping on foot, store a few bottles of water in the backpack and don’t forget to bring outdoor water purifiers so you will have enough water supplies when you need it.

(Photo by Uriel Mont on Pexels)

First Aid Kit

Going camping unprepared and without a first aid kit can be a disaster. This is the first thing that you should pack as it can save your life. A first aid kit includes bandages, scissors, gauze rolls and pads, tweezers, antiseptic wipes and other items that will help you in a case of injury.

Don’t forget it at home as it can help you to stop the bleeding and spare some time until you get to the doctor.

Personal Hygiene

Many campers nag about how difficult is to stay clean while camping in the wild. There are many hygiene products that will help you to stay clean and fresh. Body cleaning wipes, intima wipes, environment-friendly shampoos and soaps are available for you to try.

If you want to upgrade your camping level you can get a portable toilet, and portable camping shower that will make things much easier for you.

Still, you can bath in the river or a lake to wash the dirt and sweat before going to sleep, the choice is yours.

camping gear

(Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels)


Prepare medications that you regularly take each day. This is a very important aspect of staying safe and sound without unwanted health complications. Patients with high blood pressure, diabetes and other dangerous health conditions should store a supply of their medications in a zippered bag or toilet bag that you can reach easily when you need to.

Other Camping Gear, Outdoor-friendly Items

I should also mention the other items that will come handy while camping in the wild or at a campground. These items are:

  • Flashlight or headlight
  • Extra blanket
  • Emergency (Mylar) blanket
  • An axe
  • A camping/survival knife
  • Extra warm/insulating clothes
  • Rope
  • Shovel
  • Tarp
  • Containers
  • Waterproof matches
  • Fire starters

These things will keep you warm, help you to set a campfire, help to clean a fish and cook and protect you from the elements. Go ahead and put them in the trunk of your car as they could be a life-saver.

camping gear knife

(Photo by Gantas Vaičiulėnas on Pexels)

Enjoy a Comfortable Camping Trip: Have the Right Camping Gear

Going camping in nature requires some thinking and preparation of the essentials that will help you to stay safe and satisfied. Consider my guide and bring the necessities that you will need.

Don’t forget to check the rules of a campground if you are going to camp in an official camp place. Do the same when going wild camping as some states don’t allow it. I wish you a happy and excited camping adventure.

For More:

  • On our site: We love the outdoors and camping; take a look at more on our site.
  • On our site: Our writers have a lot of travel tips to share!

-All photos as credited. Cover photo by Baikhaki Hine.

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Martin September 2, 2021 - 5:44 am

I just like to go for travelling and doing all adventure activities. I was searching about Essential Camping Gear and i got your blog. This blog includes all important details and it is very helpful for me. Thanks for sharing!

Nancy Zaffaro September 2, 2021 - 5:03 pm

Thanks so much, Martin. So glad you liked! Having the right gear when you’re camping is so important.


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