Camping Essentials for Every Outdoor Adventure

Date Posted:22 July 2019 


15 Camping Essentials for Conquering the Great Outdoors

Nature can be your best friend or your worst enemy. So which will it be? It all boils down to arming yourself with essential camping gear.

Long gone are the days when all you needed for a camping trip was a tent and a bag of s’mores. Today, campers want an exciting experience that entails the use of all kinds of equipment.

As much as the gear you’ll take with you depends on your own needs, there are a few camping essentials that you don’t want to forget. They can make a world of difference to your outdoor experience, so no camping adventure should go without them.

To make sure you don’t forget anything, here’s a camping essentials list that you can turn to.


1. Tent

The first and the most obvious thing that you can’t do without is shelter. If you’re the proud owner of an RV that can follow you on your adventures, that’s amazing. But for everyone else, including those who want to reconnect with nature the right way, you’re going to need a tent.

Sure, sleeping under the stars can be amazing, but fighting off mosquitos and bugs is anything but. In addition, campers know how unpredictable the weather can be. You’ll want to make sure the storm doesn’t catch you by surprise, in addition to preparing for different conditions.

If it’s been a while since the last time you went camping, it would be best to air your tent out for a little while in advance of the trip. Check for any mould and make sure it’s in an overall good condition. It’s also hugely important that you check if all the necessary equipment is there - this includes:

  • Stakes
  • Poles
  • Fly
  • Extra tarp

And if you’re buying a tent for the first time, make sure to pay attention to the following features:

  • Size
  • Materials
  • Weatherproofing
  • Ventilation
  • Included gear


2. Sleeping Bags and Pillows

Sleeping bags are basic camping essentials that you should always have with you. The weather forecast might not be as accurate as you think, and nights in nature can get quite cold. Even if you don’t end up using them, it’s better to have them and not need them than vice versa.

You also need to make sure you don’t forget to bring pillows. They’re among the most important family camping essentials, especially if you have your kids in tow. Whether they want to take a nap in the car or ensure a restful sleep, pillows can always come in handy.

Both sleeping bags and pillows come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s no doubt that you can find the perfect ones for your family. And if you already own them, triple check that you have packed them before you leave your home.


3. Flashlights

There are so many reasons why flashlights are camping essentials that you should never leave home without. Make sure to bring at least one for every camper, as well as a few spares. They’re generally quite cheap, and they are so useful that it definitely pays to have a few of them with you at all times.

In addition, a camping lantern might be a good idea if you want better coverage. They’re quite affordable as well and can make nights in the great outdoors much more enjoyable.

Of course, you should expect all kinds of bugs to join the party. Make sure to turn off all sources of light before you go to bed if you don’t want to spend the night fighting them off.

This brings us to the next piece of essential equipment.


4. Insect Repellents

Insect repellents are hugely important family camping essentials since your kids will likely want to wander around the campsite and play in nature. It’s not uncommon for them to return with a few bites from various known and unknown insects.

Not only can this potentially ruin your trip, but it can be a potential health hazard, as some insects may be carriers of dangerous diseases. This is why you should always arm yourself with repellents.

Of course, kids aren’t the only ones prone to getting bites and stings. Whether you’re going with friends, family, or on your own, never forget to bring a spray, cream, or another form of repellent that will keep unwanted guests away.


5. Food and Drinks

Pretty much nobody goes camping without food unless they really want that survival experience. It’s not a matter of whether to bring food but rather if you’ll bring enough for everyone. This takes a bit more planning than you might think.

Factor in the number of days you’re staying, meals, and people that will share the food. Always bring a bit more than you need as you never know if some food might become spoiled. You might overcook it, spill it on the ground, or lose it due to some factors outside of your control.

The same goes for water, which you always need to have when you’re out camping, perhaps more than you might think. In nature, you’ll run into situations where you have to use water for so much more than drinking. If your campsite doesn’t have a communal water pump, bring a few litres more than you think you’ll need.


6. Airtight Containers

When it comes to storing food, airtight containers are the essential camping gear that you don’t want to be without, especially if you’re staying outside for a few days. They can keep your food fresh for a much longer time than other containers, and you shouldn’t waste food while you’re away from home without the ability to make up for it.

In addition, these containers keep animals from dipping into your food. They keep the smell from spreading through the campsite and inviting some hungry guests that you didn’t account for.



7. Survival Knife

No, you won’t have to fight bears and cut your way through the forest (hopefully). Still, a survival knife falls under camping essentials for so many reasons. Whether you have to cut ropes, whittle sticks, or fillet a fish, it’s much more useful than a regular knife.

If you don’t already own one, it’s a good idea to invest in a high-quality survival knife that you’ll be able to use for a long time to come. Even though pretty much all of them are good for some basic tasks, you never know when you’ll need something more capable.


8. Rainproof Clothes

As mentioned, you can never know for certain if the weather might take a turn for the worse. It’s always better to be safe than sorry in this regard. This is why, aside from shelter, you’ll want to bring some rainproof clothes with you.

It’s best to go with some lightweight choices, especially if you have a tent/RV and sleeping bags. You likely won’t need heavy clothes, and they can only make you uncomfortable while you’re in nature.


9. Sunscreen

Let’s steer away from the bad weather and focus on warm sunny days instead. As pleasant as they might be, the chances of getting sunburned are much higher than you might think.

You’ll likely want to do some fishing, hiking, and all kinds of other activities in the sun. Make no mistake, even the morning sun can burn, so you’ll want to bring some protection with you.

Choose the right SPF and see if you can find a waterproof sunscreen. It’s much more convenient if swimming is part of your adventure.


10. Cooler

A cooler is one of those camping essentials that people often overlook. And yet, it can be one of the most important camping gear items you have.

First of all, it keeps your food and water fresh. Not only does this make it last longer and taste better, but it also prevents you from getting food poisoning. This alone is enough reason to always bring a cooler if you plan on staying out in the wild for a few days.

In addition, it also protects your food from animals and insects. It’s great for ensuring that other elements don’t ruin it either, so it can truly be a lifesaver in many situations.


11. Toiletries

When nature calls, you have to respond. You wouldn’t want to be in the middle of nature and realise you’re out of toilet paper. It should be near the top of your camping essentials list, as it’s easy to get caught up in preparing for all other seemingly more essential items and forget the toilet paper. Even though some camping sites have fully-equipped toilets, you don’t want to rely on this completely.

The same goes for soap, toothpaste, and other toiletries. Hygiene is especially important when you’re out in nature, as you’re likely to get your hands dirty more than a few times.

Some people even decide to bring an entire portable toilet with them. But if this sounds like overkill, make sure to at least pack these camping essentials for maintaining good hygiene.


12. Camping Stove

So, you haven’t done your research and arrived at the campsite only to realise there’s a ban on open fire. Now what?

Well, this is why a camping stove should be a part of your essential camping gear. You don’t want all that food to go to waste just because you can’t start a campfire or use a traditional grill. In addition, this is another thing that bad weather can ruin. Always have an alternative way of cooking your food if you don’t want hunger to ruin the whole experience.


13. Portable Power Station

Although the point of camping is to escape the stress of everyday life, not all of us want to go completely off the grid. What’s more, there will likely be a few electronic devices that you’ll have to use for essential tasks like cooking the food.

A portable generator is always a good idea if you don’t own an RV. Even if you do, some extra power always comes in handy. You can find a decent generator at a fair price, and it can be a smart investment for your overall camping experience.



14. Kitchenware

Even though this should always be a part of your camping essentials, there are a few things to remember when packing kitchenware.

First of all, you never want to bring your best pots and pans. They’re likely to get stained or damaged, and you don’t want to ruin a perfectly good set for a few days out in the open. Instead, bring the ones that you can afford to lose. If not, buy some that are for camping use.

Also, fragile things and nature often don’t go in hand in hand. Avoid glass plates and bowls, and use disposable plastic or paper ones that you can just throw away instead of wasting your time doing dishes.


15. First Aid Kit

Camping should be an exciting experience. However, the excitement can turn into danger quite fast. That's why a good first aid kit should be among your essential camping gear. Triple-check whether you have it packed, as you never know when you might need it.

You can find a pre-assembled kit or create one yourself. If you decide to go for the latter, here are some of the most important things to include:

  • Bandage
  • Gauze
  • Antiseptic
  • Painkiller
  • Scissors
  • Needles
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers


Double-Check Everything

Now that you have a comprehensive camping essentials list, it’s time to start packing and embark on your adventure.

Make sure to create a checklist of all camping essentials and go through it with your fellow campers to see if there’s something you might’ve forgotten. After packing all items, always double-check to see if everything’s there.

Of course, you might also bring additional items like games, electronics, and different gear for more convenience and fun. Before you start thinking about the things that you want to bring, make sure you have everything you’ll need with you.

If you’re missing some items from the list, just head over to Tentworld to find everything you might need for an exciting camping adventure.


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