Top Ten Must Have Camping Gear

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Top Ten Must Have Camping GearCamping gear is very important to a good camping trip. This is a Top Ten must have camping gear and equipment list for any prepared camper. Camping is a lot of fun, but your enjoyment will be limited if you don’t have the right camping gear to make your camping trip successful. Sure you can head out into the wilderness and live off a short length of rope and a hunting knife. But this kind of survivalist camping isn’t for most campers. In fact, most people go camping for vacation, to get out and relax in the wilderness. It’s hard to relax if you are struggling to get your camp in order, to eat, or to get a good night’s sleep.
Here are the top ten must-have pieces of camping gear to have a great time:

Top Ten Camping Gear List

#1 Tent

If you are really heading out to go camping, you will need a tent–the number one item on the top ten list of must-have camping gear! There are tons of tents out there. It is important that you get the right one for your needs. Don’t skimp on a tent when camping. This will be your home and your shelter from the weather and the bugs when you are camping outdoors.

When looking for a tent, a good rule of thumb is finding a tent that says it holds twice the number of campers that will be sleeping in it. The number of people per tent they list on the side of the box is the number of people that might fit if they are stacked like cordwood. They don’t take into account any room for space between people, air mattresses or cots, gear or a place to get dressed. The tent should also have good zippers. You definitely don’t want your door or windows stuck open. Also, look for a tent with a good rain fly, and make sure that the tent you purchase is good for the climate in which you camp.

#2 Sleeping Bag

Sleeping bags are also a very important part of your camping gear in this top ten list. Your camping trip will be much better with a nice warm night of sleep. Just like with tents it is important to get a good sleeping bag. It’s important the sleeping bag is warm, handles moisture correctly, and easily opens and closes. Stuck zippers can be a nightmare. Spend a little extra extra money and you are sure to have a better trip. When deciding on a sleeping bag make sure to get a sleeping bag that is rated colder than the coldest point in the night. This way you can be sure that it is going to keep you warm. Also look for materials that help to repel moisture from the outside. Some sleeping bags are also designed to help whisk water away from the inside. If the temperatures may approach or fall below freezing, consider purchasing a mummy bag. Mummy bags are narrower at the feet to keep your heat closer to you and can also come around your head to keep your head warm too. this will help you stay much warmer through cold camping nights.

#3 Sleeping Bag Mattress

A sleeping bag mattress is important for a comfortable night’s sleep as well as a warm one. When looking into sleeping bag mattresses make sure that you get one that has enough padding for you. Different people prefer a different comfort level. Also keep in mind that the more separation there is between the ground and the sleeping bag, the warmer you will be.

#4 Canopy

A canopy may not seem like must have camping gear, but I have found it is vital. Do you need it to survive? No. Do you need it for a good time? Yes! It keeps both rain and sun off of you and allows you to enjoy the outdoors in bad weather and hot days. The canopy that you get for camping should be of the quick setup variety. They might be a little more expensive, but they are easy to set up. They also hold up quite well in bad weather. Consider getting one or two for your camping trips. Setting them up side by side can give much more protection.  

#5 Camp Stove

Another vital piece of camping gear on this top ten list is a camp stove. Camp stoves are great for cooking in the out of doors. They can also be used as a water purifier, to start fires, or even a quick little heat source to warm your hands in the morning. Camp stoves come in all shapes and sizes. Think about your overall needs for the camp stove and what meals you plan to prepare. Is 1 burner going to be enough? Or will you need 2 or 3 to handle the pots and kettles? Make sure to get a camp stove with wind guards if possible. They can make a huge difference in ease of cooking.


#6 Cooler

What’s worse than having your food spoil? Not much. Especially when you’re away from civilization and food is very difficult to replace. Make sure to have a good cooler or two for your food and drinks.  When choosing a cooler, look for one with a drain. It helps to easily remove the extra weight of melted ice and it helps to drain the cooler when the trip is over. Also a latch or lock is really nice. Lighter colored coolers tend to hold cooler temperatures. Larger coolers sometimes have wheels built in which are really handy for moving a heavy cooler around.

#7 Camping Chair

Camping chairs are really nice to have. Its good to get up off the ground or stump or rock and sit in a normal position. It is amazing how sore a body can get if it doesn’t get the chance to rest in a good position. When looking at camping chairs, first make sure that they are big enough to handle your size. Mesh back chairs will help keep you cool in hot weather but could chill your back in cool weather. Some chairs have one or two drink holders. Camping chairs fold up when they are not being used so they can be easily packed into your vehicle.


#8 Emergency Kit

Nobody likes to think about the bad things that can happen. However, it is very important that you plan for emergencies when you are camping. That is why I have included emergency kit on the top ten camping gear list. Hopefully these will be things that you never have to use, but responsible campers should be prepared. These emergency kits can save lives and tackle unforeseen situations that arise when camping. Campers often do activities they do not normally do. These activities can lead to injuries or accidents. So be prepared whenever you go camping with a good quality emergency and first aid kit.  

#9 Water Filtration

Water filtration is another one of very important things to have when camping. Boiling water can kill microbes and bacteria, but it will not remove many of the chemicals that are being found more and more frequently in our water. Many of the filters below have the ability to filter out or neutralize both biological and chemical contaminants. There is no reason to take chances on questionable water when camping. Keep water filtration with your camping gear.

#10 Backpack

Often overlooked is a simple backpack for camping. I have included a backpack in the top ten camping gear list for several reasons. It’s a great tool to keep track of the many items you take camping, like sunscreen, bug spray, water bottles, and snacks.    

That’s the Top Ten Must Have Camping Gear List

I hope this top ten camping gear list helps you find the most important and best equipment for your camping trip. It’s important to have good quality gear when camping. This helps you enjoy camping while leaving the worry of malfunctioning camping gear at home. It may be tempting to skimp on quality or gear, but you’ll surely regret that decision when you are hours from anywhere and have a problem when camping. So make sure that you have these top ten must have camping gear items every time you go camping!

If you are looking for some other good lists for camping gear, check out the camping gear lists at Coleman.

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