Camping is a great way to spend some time outdoors and get outside all year round! Before you go camping, you’ll need to know the must have camping gear. It seems pretty simple, just pitch a tent outdoors. However, camping takes a lot of planning and preparing. Read below to get a great guide.
I live in a van and I have gone camping in many places throughout the list. So, I have made a list of all the camping gear you might need on your next trip along with a food list you can find here. Many campsites include a site to pitch your tent, a spot for fires, and a table, so look into what your campsite has before you go! Use this list as a checklist and you will be well prepared for your time outdoors!
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Table of Contents
Camping Gear Must Haves
- Tent – Note how many people can fit in your tent and what your site has capacity for. We were able to fit three tents of varying sizes on our recent trip.
- Tarp – If your tent doesn’t come with a mat, you’ll want a tarp to keep your tent from getting any moisture from the ground.
- Sleeping Bag – There are all kinds of sleeping bags, but they are the first thing you think of when creating a must haves: camping gear list.
- Pillow – We didn’t have a pillow on our last trip and I regretted it all weekend. You can find inflatable ones or just bring some from home.
- Sleeping Mat – You’ll get better sleep if you make yourself more comfortable. Mats help lift you off the ground and provide a little cushion.
- Mallet – It’s a great tool to put the stakes in the ground and make sure your tent is secure.
- Lantern – Once you put out the fire, you’ll need some way to see around your campsite or your tent.
- Headlamps – Headlamps are awesome for walking around and getting things done at night. It’s much more convenient than bringing a flashlight.
- Camp Chairs – You’ll need something to sit on as you sit around the fire. We found camp chairs for 5 bucks at Walmart.
- Camp Table – This is only necessary if your campsite does not include its own table.
- Hammock – You can get a hammock to hang between two trees or get the kind that fill up with air. Hammocks are a wonderful place to lounge.
- Trash Bags – Leave no trace when you camp. Bring trash bags to clean up and then you can find a dumpster to get rid of them.
- Aluminum Foil – Foil is useful for cooking, for packing lunches, and for storing things.
- Paper Towels – Use paper towels or wipes to clean your items and put them in your trash bags.
- Plastic Bags – Plastic bags are useful to hold items or to put your laundry away for camping.
- Citronella Candle – Place this next to your campfire and the bugs will surely stay away from you!
- Pot and Pan – If you plan on doing any cooking during your trip, you’ll need these.
- Tongs – Great to pull things out of a fire or to turn things around as they are on the fire.
- Long Spoon – These are a super useful utensil for stirring things, serving things, or cooking in general.
- Plates – We found a great set of plastic plates, collapsible cups, and utensils for camping. Bring reusable plates to eat on.
- Utensils – Another item you’ll need for eating.
- Cups – Bring cups or mugs for drinking throughout the trip.
- Firewood – It will be really hard to start a fire without good firewood. You may be able to find some sold near your campsite, but it’s a necessity.
- Lighter/Fire starter – Starting a campfire can be really tough. Make it easier with these two items.
- Cooler – If you want to keep drinks or food cool then a cooler is a great add for a camping trip.
- Biodegradable Soap – Clean your items and leave no trace with some biodegradable soap and water.
- Grill Rack – You can place a grill rack over the fire to put your pots and pans on for cooking.
- Stove and Fuel – For people without a grill rack, you can bring a George Foreman stove to use for cooking.
- Cutting Board – These are easy to bring and will help you prep your meals during your trip.
- Knife – Good knives can be used to cut food, open items, or chop some wood for the fire.
- Can opener – You’ll only need these if you bring canned foods without tabs. We opted out of this by only bringing cans with tabs.
- Bottle opener – Don’t forget this if you plan on drinking from any glass bottles.
- Water bottles – This is a must for camping. Fill them up and make sure that you stay hydrated your whole trip.
- Marshmallow Tongs – Some campsites have little extra wood. Buy a pair of cheap tongs and use them for hot dogs or s’mores.
- Speakers – No campfire is complete without some good tunes. Bring some speakers and create a wonderful vibe for the weekend.
- Playing Cards/Games – When you’re not hiking or doing other activities, you will definitely want to have fun with your friends. Cards are a great form of entertainment.
- First Aid Kit – This is especially important for pandemic times, but it’s always helpful to have a first aid kit to solve any small issues.
- Duct tape – Duct tape is a wonderful tool to have around. You can use it to fix any items or hold things together.
Anything you’d add to this list of Camping Gear Must Haves? Don’t forget to pin it to save for later!