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Camping Essentials: What To Bring For Your Outdoor Trip

Going on a camping adventure for the first time? Can’t wait to soak up the great outdoors and sleep under a million stars? Before you embark on your camping trip, let’s first talk about the things you need to pack. Of course, camping in the wilderness normally requires much less, when it comes to shoe and clothing departments, than other types of vacation. On most getaways, you can easily grab something at a nearby store, if you forgot to pack it. But, when you’re in the middle of the wilderness, it’s completely a different story.

When you’re out camping, and you’ve found out that your travel bag is missing a crucial item, there’s literally nothing much you can do. That’s why you need to take a look at our checklist and see that you have everything for your trip.

Whether you’re a camping newbie or a hardcore outdoor aficionado, this checklist will surely come in handy for your next trip.

Camping tent

The tent is, no doubt, the first piece of equipment that comes into mind when you think about camping in the outdoors. A camping tent provides you shelter as well as protects you and your belongings from small wild animals and natural elements. Today, you’ll find a wide array of tents in different fabrics, sizes and shapes. So, you’ll need a few insightful ideas that will help you choose the right tent for your camping escapade.

How to pick the perfect tent for your camping trip

Size and capacity

Find out how many people will be staying in your tent. Tent sellers, usually, advertise the size of their equipment by the number of people that may fit in, without the personal space. If you’re an experienced outdoor adventurist, you really don’t need a big tent with some extra space. If, however, you’re camping with the whole family, and you have a car to transport your equipment, you might consider buying a bigger tent.


Knowing when you’re going to go on camping will help considerably narrow your search. Tents, for the most part, are available in two seasonal categories: four-season and three-season. The three-season tents are the perfect choice from spring to autumn while the four-season ones are the go-to choice for winter campers.

The three-season tent is, as the name suggests, not suitable camping in winter. They are relatively lightweight ad provide great ventilation in the summer heat. Additionally, it includes a roof canopy that keeps out rain.

The four-season term is actually kind of misleading. The truth is, four-season tents are only suitable for the cold weather. They aren’t quite breathable, meaning they are not ideal to use in the warm weather.


There are basic tent shapes: the wall tent, geodesic tent, umbrella tent and a-frame tent. Each tent shape offers specific living conditions, but the most common shapes are the umbrella for families and a-frame for adventurers.

Ease of handle

If you’re going on a multi-day hike, then you certainly need a light, small and easy to install tent. Family tents are traditionally big, offering you plenty of space. Plus, this kind of type comes with windows to make sure you have proper ventilation. Even so, this type of tent can be rather difficult to carry and handle. You’ll even need a vehicle and a few people just to install the tent.

Camping tent fabric

You should, by no means, go cheap, when it comes to the tent’s fabric. Even if you don’t go camping often, a good tent fabric can save you from a world of trouble. If your camping tent is made of high quality fabric, everything will be nice and dry inside, allowing you to continue your pleasurable time communing with nature.

Camping Essentials: What To Bring For Your Outdoor Trip

Sleeping gear

Don’t know what to bring for camping when it comes to bedding? For a memorable camping trip, we recommend that you leave the mattresses and pillows at home and enjoy the beauty of nature like a bona fide adventurer. Just don’t forget to pack these items.

  • Sleeping bags: These bags will keep you cozy and warm as you spend the night outdoors.
  • Groundsheet: It’s meant to isolate your body from the cold ground. Even if you’re camping in summer, you’ll still need this tarp. The ground is pretty cold at night and your body will quickly lose temperature in direct contact. It’s recommend that you put a layer of moss, small branches and leaves under the camping tent to isolate from the ground.
  • Sleeping pad: Like the groundsheet, the pad’s role is to prevent your body from getting direct contact to the ground. Furthermore, the pad will improve your level of comfort as you sleep at night.
  • Air mattress: If you can’t directly sleep on the sleeping pad, I suggest that you take this piece of camping equipment with you. Since you can directly inflate it inside, an air mattress will be so easy to place inside your tent.
  • Hammock (optional)
Camping Essentials: What To Bring For Your Outdoor Trip

Personal items

Unless you’re planning on going on a full glamping experience, be picky with your personal care items and carry the basic necessities, such as:

  • Painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen
  • Prescribed medications that you need to take
  • Toiletry kit, including a toothbrush, soap, hairbrush, toothpaste and others.
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bug spray
  • Itch relief such as topical antihistamine
  • SPF lip balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Toilet paper
Camping Essentials: What To Bring For Your Outdoor Trip


One of the coolest things about camping is that you get to spend quality and uninterrupted time with family and friends, sans the typical high-tech distractions. And, you can maximize the fun by packing some of these things:

  • Bikes with locks
  • Kayaking gear with a repair kit, paddles ad life jackets
  • Fishing gear with tackle, lures, line, reels and poles
  • Playing cards
  • Board games (travel-sized)
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Night sky identifier
Camping Essentials: What To Bring For Your Outdoor Trip

Cook set

Everyone knows that cooking in the woods at a camp fire is incredibly satisfying and relaxing. The fresh air and fire give a new, delightful flavor to the dishes and make us feel better and healthier. And, the whole experience becomes even more satisfying when you find your own food in the wilderness, such as fish, fruits and mushrooms.

Even so, most of today’s campers pack ready to cook food with them. Here’s what to bring when camping if you want to savor some delicious and nutritious food.

  • Camp stove: If you’re not lighting a fire for cooking, you might as well bring a stove to heat up your food.
  • Fuel for camping stove
  • Mugs, plates, plastic or paper utensils: If you don’t want to eat with your hands, pack these items.
  • Eating utensils like spork (spoon and fork combination)
  • Can opener: Camping food, usually, includes cans, so be sure to carry one for your trip.
  • Frying pans and a variety of pots: If you plan to do some big-time cooking or sped days camping out, you’ll need to carry these things.
  • A large bowl and cutting board: You need these, so you can cut and mix all the ingredients as you prepare the food.
  • Coolers and thermos
  • Garbage cans
  • Grill with fuel, for those who want to cook barbecue
  • Large water jug
Camping Essentials: What To Bring For Your Outdoor Trip


When you’re backpacking on your camping trip, every ounce definitely counts. When looking for clothes for your camping trip, choose moisture-wicking, lightweight fabrics. That way, you can reuse them a couple of times. Additionally, be sure to pack these items and pieces.

  • Sandals or water shoes with a good grip
  • Rain clothes (they may come in handy)
  • Sleeping clothes
  • Long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Sunglasses (Ideally, polarized shades as they ideal for blocking the sun)
  • Trail runners or hiking boots
  • Wool socks
  • Breathable and waterproof jacket
  • Lightweight hat
Camping Essentials: What To Bring For Your Outdoor Trip

Navigational tools

Traveling to different spots? Going on a hike during the day? Then, make it point to pack these tools, to ensure a fun and safe adventure.

  • Travel lantern
  • Headlamps or flashlights with extra batteries
  • Two way radios
  • Pencil or pen
  • Guidebooks or maps
  • Portable chargers
  • Compass and map
  • Portable GPS
Camping Essentials: What To Bring For Your Outdoor Trip

Other things to bring for your camping trip


No camping trip is complete without a backpack. Whether you’re going in the backcountry or just car camping, you need a sturdy and multi-functional backpack where you can store your things.

First aid kit

Bumps, cuts, scratches or burns – one of these things is likely to happen on any active camping trip. That makes a first-aid kit one of the most vital camping essentials you need to bring. Don’t arrive at the campsite without it, and make sure to carry it on your outdoor excursions too.

Pocket knife

The Pocket knife, or also nicknamed as the Swiss Army Knife, is a camping tool that every camper must have. With a knife, scissors, saw, and more, you’ll have an array of camping essentials in one, compact, easy to pack size.


Ropes have so many functions when you go on a camping trip, especially if you know how to tie different kinds of knots. You can create a shelter, hang your coolers at night from a branch, create a clothes line for wet garments or even tow people out of a tough situation on a swim or hike.

Folding chairs

You can use it for fishing as well as make your camp stories a bit more comfortable.

Emergency whistle

It’s a camping essential that lets other people know if there’s something wrong or any danger lurking around.

Pack of matches

Unless you’re a certified Boy Scout master, you likely need some kind of flame to create a fire. And, when there’s no fire, you’ve got limited options for food and the nights become a lot colder. So, don’t take the risk, and just buy plenty of matches. You can also leave your matches inside your camping essentials backpack.

Camping Essentials: What To Bring For Your Outdoor Trip

Camping is truly a relaxing and fun adventure that offers tons of breathtaking views and pleasant memories. As you go camping, always respect the regulations and put out all the camp fires before you sleep to preserve the environment. If you respect the rules and arm yourself with a complete set of camping gear, there’s really nothing stopping you from having a blast.

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We want to hear from you! What are your thoughts on the article? What did you find most interesting and do you have any of your own experiences you can you share with us to make this article even better? Let us know in the comments!

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