In this article, we want to outline some of the essential camping gear that will make your outdoor adventure more memorable.
Memorable for good reason though!
I remember at a young age when camping it always seemed to be raining.
Either that or we did not have some of these items on this list to make it just a touch more comfortable.
To say it was not memeriable would be a lie but some of the memories were memorable in a bad way.
The look on your friend’s face when they wake up and the dew had frozen them to the ground while they were asleep without a tent.
That type of stuff we want to avoid unless you like the tough challenge of doing without.
It can be great for building experience to these types of events but in this article, we want to outline the alternative option.
Table Of Contents
- Upgraded Tent Ground Anchors
- Comfortable Sleeping Bag
- Camp Pillow
- Camp chairs
- Cooler For Storing Food
- Water Bottle
- Water Reservoirs
- Utensils For Eating
- Utensils For Cooking
- Plates and Bowls
- Pots & pans
- Camping Collapsible Sink
- Camp Trash Can
- Camp stove
- Fire Starters
- Portable charger for your devices
- Camp table
- Rain Gear
- Camping Health & Hygiene Items
- First Aid Survival Kit
- Optional Items
- In Conclusion
Did you know that not all tents are waterproof?
A lot of them are just water resistant.
This is essential camping gear that you need to keep yourself and your family dry from the elements.
Which means if you plan on waking up in a dry sleeping bag you might have a surprise when you wake up.
The tents that are waterproof have their folds coated with polyurethane and seams taped.
This is to prevent water from seeping inside.
This tents are rated in millimeters for water resistance measuring between 1000mm to 10,000mm.
The higher the rating you see in the description of the listing, the more waterproof the tent will be
Waterproof vs. Water Resistant vs. Water Repellent
Water-resistant fabrics provide the first degree of protection against water.
Such tents have a tightly knit fabric that creates a barrier for water so that it cannot permeate easily inside.
Water repellent tents arrive at the second degree of protection against water.
These tents usually come with a DWR label that stands for Durable Water Repellent.
This means that not only does the tent resists natural water, it also carries an extra coating of water repellent material applied on the exterior causing the water to bead-up on the outside and slide right off.
Waterproof tents offer the third and highest degree of protection against water, although it’s misleading to say so.
Nothing can be 100% waterproof, ever, but with the right material and preparation, it’s easier to stay dry.
Waterproof tents have a more robust, sturdier fabric with a solid layer of DWR and can withstand heavy pressure or continuous rain longer than the above two types of tents. (source)
Top 5 Tents & Their Ratings
|Brand||Capacity||Water Rating||Set Up Time||Purchase|
|Moon Lance||2 people||2,000 mm||10 mins||Click Here|
|Bisanna||2 people||2,000 mm||10 mins||Click Here|
|V Vontox||2-3 people||3,000 mm||10-15 mins||Click Here|
|Coleman||2-4 people||2,000 mm||10 mins||Click Here|
|Ulecamp||2-3 people||5,000 mm||10-15 mins||Click Here|
Upgraded Tent Ground Anchors
Most camp tents no matter what brand you get come with cheap and not so useful ground anchors.
Nothing will make you have a bad day more than having some strong winds that move your tent to another location for you.
Some of the best tent ground anchors are the ones pictured above made by Orange Screw.
They are a bit pricey for what they are but for the piece of mind of knowing your tent will be where you put it after a long hike or adventure makes them worth it.
They come in a clear tube that doubles as the handle to twist them into the ground.
Then after use can be stored safely back into the clear tubs.
Comfortable Sleeping Bag
Similar to a tent a sleeping bag is another essential camping gear item that you need.
These do also have certain ratings for degrees in Fahrenheit you will be camping in.
As a result, picking one for the condition you will be camping in can be very important for your comfort.
Comfort is not the only thing you want to strike a balance with.
Other factors like price and weight of the sleeping bag need to be considered especially if you are backpacking or hiking.
The lower the temperature rating of these sleeping bags will make the weight of them increase due to the extra filling required for that temperature.
For our top picks for sleeping bags, we will take into consideration the temperature rating and the weight of the bag itself.
Top 5 Sleeping Bags & Their Ratings
|Kelty Cosmic||0-40 degree F||2lbs 6oz to 4lbs 11oz.||Click Here|
|Coleman||0 to > degree F||7.15 lbs||Click Here|
|Teton Sports||0 to > degree F||7.05 lbs||Click Here|
|HiHiker||25 degree F or >||4 lbs||Click Here|
|Songmics||41-60 degree F or >||2.9 lbs||Click Here|
Add Extra Comfort With Sleeping Pad
For people looking for a product that will make it feel like you are sleeping on a cloud, Powerlix has a sleeping pad you can put below your sleeping bag.
The hexagon air cells in their design is made to ergonomically support all of your pressure points.
This gives you superior support and comfort all night long.
The sleeping pad comes with a carry bag, 2 repair kits, and an inflating bag.
A patch kit is also included, stored in a small pocket on top of the storage bag it comes in.
If you are looking for better sleep when camping with a 100% lifetime warranty click here.
For even more comfort added gear you can also combine the above with a camping pillow.
I do like the inflatable pillows that can be flattened out and put in a backpack.
They tend to be a lot lighter to carry if your hiking or backpacking but they are not as comfortable as the ones that have a filling of fibers.
So depending on exactly what you are looking for either weight saving inflatable pillow or one that is a touch heavier but more comfortable.
Teton Sports makes one that is extra soft and comes with a brushed poly-flannel pillowcase for warmth.
Camping chairs can give you a lot more comfort than sitting on the ground.
It can be used to keep you off the ground if it is wet or cold while camping.
Most of these chairs can be found at almost any store you goto nowadays but you can not go wrong with the one from Coleman that has a built-in 4 can cooler on the armrest.
It also comes with a mesh storage spot on the other side along with a cup holder.
I will say sticking to a brand like Coleman you can trust for durability is a plus.
Some of these chairs are made so cheap they tend to start to fall apart after one camping season use.
The cheaper brands use cheap cloth and even worse stitching that will start to break down after a year of use.
Cooler For Storing Food
Whether you’re looking to tailgate or out in the boat fishing a cooler can be pretty handy for the days catch.
A good cooler can mean the difference between a successful trip or one that ends sooner than you would have liked.
Keeping your food from spoiling or ending up all over the campsite after animals find it can be very important.
Hands down the best cooler on the market is the Yeti Tundra cooler.
They are money well spent with the construction of the coolers are dang near industructable.
They come in a variety of sizes for whatever your need maybe with latches that will not break off after your first couple of uses.
Whichever cooler you decide on make sure it can withstand what you will be throwing at it or in it.
If you are looking for a budget cooler that meets all these criteria similar to the Yeti coolers, Igloo is a reputable brand and makes one very similar to the Yeti brand.
It is a very sturdy family cooler made by Igloo called the BMX Family.
It features Cool Riser Technology with a fish ruler and tie down points.
Not to mention it is a third of the price as the Yeti brand.
One thing I always hated was getting everything set up at camp and the sun starts to go down.
You reach over to grab your lantern and the batteries are dead.
In modern times we live in solar-powered devices make this a thing of the past.
Almost any electric solution you need while camping can be found with solar built in.
Two of my favorites are:
- LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lanterns
- Pocket Light 2.0 Collapsible Solar Lantern
Both are very compact and lightweight while offering up to 75 lumens of light charged by solar panel built into it.
They also have convenient handles to make them easy to hang on a tent or tree branch if needed.
|Brand||Lumens||Battery Cap.||Hours Of Usage||Purchase|
|LuminAID||25-75||1,000 mAh||24 Hours||Click Here|
|Frog & CO||25-63||800 mAh||12 Hours||Click Here|
Let’s face it.
At some point when camping in the outdoors the need might come for you to have to take a little walk by yourself.
When nature calls it calls.
In that case a headlamp might be a suitable option for you to take with you on your walk.
Leave the lantern hanging and use your headlamp for the times when hands free might need to be used.
It can range from a dim 5 lumen beam or a max of 330 lumens.
At the dim setting the battery can keep this headlamp going for around 40 hours with the max setting only going for around 3.5 hours of use.
The banding is made from a moisture-wicking material that will keep you dry and comfortable with no abrasion to your head.
For some other recommendations on flashlight you can view our article on the best tactical flashlights by clicking here
This should not be forgotten about when thinking about your camping adventure.
A camping gear list would be incomplete without thinking about this before heading out.
When picking a water bottle you want it to have plenty of storage and be strong enough a small drop will not break the bottle.
One brand I recommend is the Nalgene Outdoor OG.
It can hold 32 ounces of water but has a neat feature built in.
It comes with a built in water filter good for filtering 100 gallons of water.
This makes it great for hikers or campers of the beaten path.
You can grab this water bottle with built in water filter here.
More than likely one container of water will not do you justice on longer camp outings.
For backup water reservoirs I recommend getting either an expandable jugs or containers to hold more water.
They have all kinds of options on the market and you can easily just get water jugs from the store to load up with you.
One of my favorite options is the reusable water brick containers.
There are stackable bricks with handles built in for carrying made easy.
Each brick can hold roughly 3.5 gallons each and can be stacked like bricks hence the name for a more compact storage system.
For a more compact designed water storage that you can pack with you, I recommend the expand-a-jugs.
These jugs can fold down into a more compact size when not in use and will expand big enough to hold 3 days worth of water.
Utensils For Eating
I am not opposed to eating like a caveman in certain situations but if you can pack some comfort items like utensils it is a plus.
Most of these you can find have multiple uses and can come in handy when camping.
The one above is a spork multi tool that has some other built in features.
The following features will come in handy whether you’re chowing down at the campfire or need to fix something on the fly.
- 10 mm hex wrench
- 8 mm hex wrench
- 6 mm hex wrench
- Bottle opener
- Flathead screwdriver
Utensils For Cooking
While camp tools in my opinion can have multiple uses this kit is not different.
It is nice to have some dedicated utensils for cooking while at basecamp.
I recommend finding one kit that has most of everything you need in one kit that is nicely organized in a carry case of their own.
This will prevent things from becoming lost or miss placed.
I like the kit made by Wealers for the sheer amount of things it comes with and the quality for the price is a great deal.
The kit comes with:
- A stainless steel spatula.
- 1 Steel soup ladle.
- A stainless steel steak fork
- 1 Camping Towel
- A Plastic cutting board with non-slip silicone edges.
- Stainless steel tong with silicon handle and locking feature
- Food Scissors can be used as a Nutcracker as well.
- 2 Pieces plastic spice shakers
- 2 Knives with plastic covers
- Carrying and organizing case
Plates and Bowls
These will ad in having something to hold the food while you eat. I recommend getting collapsible ones that can be easily stored in your daypack or at base camp.
UCO makes a 6 piece mess kit that comes with a plate, bowl, camp cup, two-piece Switch Spork utensil set, and tether for securing kit and contents.
If you need to move in a moments notice or need a way to secure your food this kit is great for that.
The kit is designed in a way that the bowl and plate connect with an airtight seal; collapsible camp cup stows inside kit; included tether secures spork and keeps kit contents contained.
Pots & pans
For pots and pans I like a more minimalistic approach and like everything else on the list of essential camping gear I like things that have multiple purposes.
The best part about the Wealer kits is that they are all encapsulated in one compact kit that can be easier to store all the items together in a compact system.
This system comes with 10 piece pot set suit for cooking for 2-3 people in your camp.
The kit comes with
- It comes with 2 pans
- Two pots
- Two spoons
- Three plastic bowls
- One cleaning sponge
Everything packed in a small Nylon Travel Bag Drawstring Pouch
Camping Collapsible Sink
This collapsible camp sink is perfect for camping.
It can be used as a washbasin for dishes or hands, an ice bucket for drinks, a storage container for your items for camping, hiking, or boating.
It is durable and sturdy with a plastic rim and base providing for additional stability.
Has dual carrying handles which makes it very easy to move when filled.
It is foldable and features a pop-up design for space-saving in a backpack or duffle bag.
Camp Trash Can
This camp trash can is another collapsible design for easy storage when not in use.
It has a built in spring to allow for easy deployment when opened.
Has a zipper and velcro straps for closing it up to prevent stuff from spilling out or dumping.
In this section I will recommend some open camp fire alternatives.
Remember if you are going to be building an open fire to cook on be aware of the ecosystem around you.
In recent month certain locations have been overtaken by wildfires that have gotten out of hand by campers who started them.
Build a fire properly and contain it to the location.
Open Campfire Alternative
BioLite makes a great camp stove that has a flex light great for cooking with low light at night time.
It also has a creative way of capturing the wasted heat that is usually dissipated into the air and turns it into electricity.
This can allow you to charge things like lanterns, headlamps, and other things you might need charged while you are using the stove.
You can build a fire like normal with sticks and twigs to power and charge your devices while at camp or hiking.
It also has automatic fans to control airflow to the fire, keeping it at an intense enough burn temperature to avoid creating smoke and attracting any unwanted guest to your camp.
Fire will be essential for cooking and or keeping warm and unless you want to be trying an old fashion way of making fire having these items will ad you in making fire.
The Quick survive 100% waterproof fire starters are designed to be able to get a fire going quick.
These will make a fire by themselves that burns for around 10 mins at 750 degrees Fahrenheit.
They are great for any hiker, backpacker, or survivalist with a shelf life of 30 years and come with 12 pieces per bag.
The Tesla rechargeable lighter and waterproof matches will also ad you in getting a fire started.
The Tesla lighter on a full charge can light around 300 fires before needing to be recharged again which takes 2 hours to completely charge.
Charging can be done via Micro-USB port with the next item in our list.
The lighter also features a built-in waterproof flashlight that has three modes:
- Flashing mode 100 Lumens
It comes with a 15″ para tinder neck lanyard that can be cut open to expose flammable material.
It also comes equipped with a whistle that produces a crazy high 120 decibel to alert rescuers or other campers that maybe with you.
Portable charger for your devices
If you are needing some additional charge to your battery bank to charge your lanterns or headlamps this Quadro solar panel power bank is a great option.
You can drape it over our pack while hiking to charge things on the move or hang it from a tree while at your base camp to get everything charged before night strikes.
This unit is called Quadro because it comes 4 individual solar panels that will generate an impressive 5.5W of electricity directly from sunlight.
It is a water resistant so this unit can not be submerged in water but will be safe from rain or other liquids.
It has a built in LED flashlight and built in magnets that make it easier to attach to things that are metal to hang and build charge.
For other hanging options, it does have built-in loops and a carabiner if needed.
As we stated in the eating utensil section a tool that can be used for a variety of tasks is a tool worth having.
A well built multi-tool is almost invaluable for any pack you have or even to carry daily.
The sheer amount of things that can be accomplished in a pinch with these are incredible.
I recommend getting a well built one from a reputable manufacturer with a good track record of user testimonials.
There are two names that are synonymous with the word multi-tool.
Leatherman is a more expensive pick but it has the longest and best track record of not letting users down in any situation they find themselves in.
An alternative and a bit cheaper option is SOG’s multitool.
Still has all the functionality you could need in a multi-tool with an excellent track record as well especially for the price point.
After all, the cooking is done and it’s time to relax it is always good to have a table to set your food upon for the family.
Sportneer has an ultralight folding and portable table that also has a mesh storage compartment under it to keep stuff off the ground.
This is built with reinforced aluminum framing that can hold up to 55 lbs.
This makes a great option for an easy to assemble portable camp table.
As you probably remember from the start of this article it always seems to be raining when I am camping.
Weather people are wrong more times than they are likely to admit to.
As a result, I always have rain gear packed with me.
No matter if it is a simple poncho to keep you somewhat dry, every little thing will help when the rain will not let up.
For this, I recommend something with a top and bottom like the ones made by Frogg Toggs.
The jacket features an adjustable hood with cord locks and elastic wrist cuffs.
It also has a full front zipper with snap-down storm flap that helps keep moisture out.
Pants feature an elastic waist with a straight-leg design.
Nothing fancy they just work and they are inexpensive for the convenience of staying dry.
If you would just like to opt for a regular poncho there is nothing wrong with that either.
The only downside is your legs and clothing below the waste can still soak up water but will still do in a pinch.
Camping Health & Hygiene Items
For cleaning while out on your adventure you should look for items that will not negatively damage the wildlife after you leave.
These items should be as eco-friendly and biodegradable as possible.
In this section we will recommend some items that use natural cleaners and that are biodegradable so you do not damage the wildlife or eco-system of where you are staying.
- Combat Wet Wipes
- Used for cleaning these are 100% biodegradable with no synthetic materials. They are formulated to be alcohol-free and are 100% viscose wipes infused with aloe and vitamin E.
- Base Camp Soap
- Great for dishes, hunting gear, hands, and body. 100% biodegradable and safe to use in the woods or outside when you’re hunting or fishing. Does not contain any antimicrobials, sulfates, or phosphates that could harm aquatic life or contaminate the water table.
- Solar Camp Shower
- A simpler solution for showering in the outdoors. You can fill these up with water and let the sun warm the water up to shower with. Simply hang from a tree and let the gravity feed the water through the spray nose to take showers.
- Wise Owl Quick Dry Towels
- These are extremely soft microfiber towels that are great for cleaning or washing. They are quick-drying and come with a carrying case to keep them separate from your gear. Come in a variety of sizes.
First Aid Survival Kit
For convenience’s sake and the sheer amount of things that come in these kits, it is a no brainer for the price.
MyMedic kits come with 100 quality expert-picked supplies for:
- Sprain & Fractures
- Topical items
They do offer a basic kit for people who may not have the proper knowledge of some of the advanced treatments included with their advanced kit.
These items are optional items that could make for some extra fun for families at base camp.
Whether it is speaker for listening around a campfire while cooking or books to read while they lounge around.
Camping is always a great time to help your kids build up a knowledge base of what is around them.
For example field guides for plants and insects or navigation, items to teach them out to find their way.
- Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival
- Hawke’s Green Beret Survival Manual: Essential Strategies For Shelter and Water, Food and Fire, Tools and Medicine, Navigation and Signa
Camping Fun Items
Our essential camping gear list is complete.
Nothing quite beats the feeling of being out in the woods camping with only the things you packed.
Hopefully with this list you will be more than comfortable on your next adventure in the woods.
Most importantly, make a great and memorable camping trip a reality for you and your family!
For more of an adventure try building a survival shelter from our other article here.
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