8 Essential Pieces of Gear For Every Camping Trip

For any outdoor adventure proper preparation is essential. When you have the supplies and equipment that you need, then you can really enjoy your trip. If you under prepare then you’re setting yourself up for a bad experience.

Every camping list will vary based on the type of camping (tent vs. camper van, summer vs. winter, etc.) as well as the activities you have planned, the location that you are visiting, and the length of your trip.


Here’s the 8 essential pieces of gear that every successful camping trip needs:


It feels like stating the obvious, but you’ve got to have somewhere to sleep. Whether you’re camping with a van, sleeping in a hatchback or in a tent, you need a shelter where you can relax and organize your belongings.


After a long day out in nature, you need a bed that’s comfy and warm so you can catch some zzz’s. High-tech sleeping bag? Hammock? Your favorite quilt? How you sleep depends on the season and the level of comfort that you need. Try not to over pack, but do bring enough bedding so that you’ll be able to sleep comfortably.


Again, this depends on the season. In general, you’ll want to be able to dress in layers, allowing easy removal and adding of clothes as conditions change. Even in the summer, you’ll want a nice long sleeve to keep the sun off you or to wear in the middle of the night. Depending on the season, you’ll need different gear (winter coat vs. swim trunks, for example), but, no matter when you venture out into the wild, it’s always important to bring shoes that are comfortable. And don’t forget socks and underwear!

Food and Water

Yes, the food! What are you going to eat on this trip! Don’t get stuck eating granola bars for a week straight. Bring on the fruit, the jerky and the sandwiches. Indulge in some chips – you’ll be getting exercise all day as you hike and swim, right? If you’re a bit of a foodie, making and eating meals outdoors may be the highlight of your trip.

Hey, we know you’re a “master fisherman”, but in the event that the fish just aren’t biting that day, you’ve got to have a backup plan besides trail mix. And for those of you who’ve never made coffee and watched the sunrise, well, it’s about as close to heaven as you can get.

Depending on where you go, there may be potable (drinkable) water on-site. Many campgrounds have non-potable water that is suitable for washing, but not drinking. Figure out if you’re going to bring water with you. The real survival enthusiasts can bring a Life Straw or other portable water filter.

Fire Building Tools

Campfires at the end of the day are arguably the best part of camping. Sitting around with a nice beer or soda, warming up your feet by the crackling fire… it doesn’t get better than that. And, of course, a fire is a great way to cook a hot meal or toast a snack. After a day of energy bars, even a simple pot of chili cooked over the fire can be the best meal in the world. To pull off this dinner-under-the-stars, you’ll need a few fire building tools. With enough knowledge and practice, a simple lighter is enough to start a roaring fire.

Hygiene Products

Sure, we’re all about “roughin’ it” here, but that doesn’t mean going without a toothbrush or deodorant. A few simple hygiene products, such as biodegradable toilet paper, biodegradable soap or dry shampoo (a lightweight spray that’s a miracle for camping!) can make you a whole lot more comfortable as you go au naturale. Ladies may need a few extra products. If you’re without facilities, a Diva Cup can be a wonderful way to meet those needs without leaving anything behind.

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is one of the most important things that campers should pack. If you don’t bring a kit you could be helpless in the face of an injury. Better to pack one and not need it, than to need one and not have it! A good first aid kit makes it easier to cope with minor accidents, especially if you’re far away from civilization.

What should it contain? Here’s a few basic items:

  • Bandages
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Painkiller
  • Ice-pack and heat-pack
  • Sunscreen

Honorable Mention: A Camera

Most of us like to detach from technology as we relax and unwind in a natural setting. Still, it doesn’t hurt to bring a camera along the way. It doesn’t have to be selfie central up on the hiking trail, just a few shots can help you remember the beautiful experiences of your trip.

Pack Up And Hit The Road!

Checklists are a great tool to help with your organization, so make a checklist that works for you before you start to pack. Man, all this talk about planning got us excited for our next camping adventure! We hope you feel the same. 

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