Camping Gears: What equipment do you need for camping?

Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

To answer this question, we’ll first need to understand what types of camping you want to do. If you’re looking for a more rustic experience at a campground with washing stations and electricity, then it’s not as simple as going to the store and buying gear. You’ll need a sturdy tent, warm sleeping bag (for cold weather), air mattress or cot (for comfort), cooking stove or campfire, food supplies, compass/map for navigation and other camping equipment

For more remote and wild camping in warmer weather, you’re just on your own in terms of necessities like food and water. See the best campsite in the US. But ideally, you should have DIY camping equipment like a shelter with blankets and tarps, a mess kit with dishes, cutlery, silverware and etc. Ideally, you want to avoid having the mess kit too though because it’s extra weight and you don’t have a washing station so there’s extra work involved with cleaning the dishes.

Types of camping equipment you will need on any trip

Before we get into different types of camping gear, let’s go over what you generally need when going on any trip. In addition to food and water, you need shelter, fire-starting equipment, a first aid kit, and clothing. These are all separate categories which will be explained below:

The basic shelter is your body for sleeping and protection from the weather. Additional layers may also be used depending on weather conditions like a rain suit or down jacket in winter. An alternative to a tent is a hammock which is super lightweight and can be used in many different environments. A sleeping bag keeps you warm while your body is at rest and doesn’t move. In colder weather, you’ll need an extra layer like some fleece or down to keep you warm. Also if you’re spending multiple nights out on a trip, you should consider getting a bigger sleeping bag that covers your entire body for comfort, especially if there are more than one person in the group. Checkout these top camping tents for your shelter.

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Water starts off being relatively simple with water bottles that are available for sale at any camping store. You use water bottles because they leave less trash behind and fit better into small spaces inside the pack when empty. But you’re usually only able to carry 2-3 of these bottles. For more water storage, there are water bladder packs that you can strap to the outside of your pack. These are better because they’re easier to access and you don’t have to unscrew, fill up, then screw back on a regular water bottle when it’s empty. The downside is these packs weigh more and take up more space in the pack. Checkout our selection of best camping backpacks with generous storage space.

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Food is all about what your tastes are and what you want to eat while camping (if commercial food isn’t an option). It’s pretty simple with snack foods; just make sure they don’t go bad quickly or cause too much trash. Also, the more people you have in the group, the more food you’ll need (or less hungry people). For fresh food like veggies, fruit, meat, or fish, you can use plastic bags or vacuum seals to store them. Cooking tools include wood gathering equipment and fire starters. If you’re in an area where there is enough wood to gather and easy to start a fire, then it’s all about who wants to do it and how much work they want to put into it compared to buying packaged food at a campground.

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Hand sanitizer is an absolute must for any trip that leaves civilization for long periods of time! These are really small and lightweight so you can carry as many as needed. Pajamas are essential to help you feel more comfortable when sleeping. You need to have at least a dressing gown and some pajamas.

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