Good camping gear is very important to a fun camping trip. This top ten must have camping gear and equipment list is to help you be prepared for a great camping trip. Camping is a lot of fun, but your enjoyment could be cut short without the proper camping equipment. Even if you have the right equipment it is important that it is all in good shape and working condition. Nobody wants to spend their time camping trying to fix a broken tent. Or be cold and miserable in a shabby sleeping bag.
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.
So take the time and the effort to get all of your camping equipment in order. Make sure to take everything you may need camping. This top ten must have camping gear should help most kinds of campers get everything they need to have a fun, relaxing, and memorable camping vacation.
Top Ten Must Have Camping Gear List
#1 Tent – Your House When Camping
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.
Tips for Tent Shopping
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 – Warm Night Sleep
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.
Tips of Sleeping Bag Shopping
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. They also can wrap around your head to keep your head warm too. This will help you stay much warmer through cold camping nights.
#3 Sleeping Bag Mattress – Comfort Worth Taking
An air mattress is important for a comfortable night’s sleep. They can also help keep you warmer as they offer a nice barrier to the cold ground. Another great benefit is that sleeping with an air slightly deflated can actually help level out your sleeping area. This is great when in rougher uneven terrain.
Tips for Air Mattress Shopping
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. Look for ones that come with patch kits, or purchase one separately. Lastly, you may want to look for an automatic air pump to quickly inflate it. They can be loud, but are very nice to have especially on the bigger mattresses.
#4 Canopy – Reprieve from Rain or Shine
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.
Tips for Canopy Shopping
Keep a close eye on the square footage of shade they offer. Don’t let their advertised size trick you. A canopy might advertise it is 10×10 but only offer 86 square feet of shade. Where others that are 10×10 offer 100 square feet of shade. That is quite a difference! Look for straight legged canopies that have stake downs in all the feet.
#5 Camp Stove – A Hot Meal
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?
Tips for Camp Stove Shopping
Make sure to get a camp stove with wind guards if possible. They can make a huge difference in ease of cooking. Look for camp stoves that are self contained. Meaning that all there parts lock up inside the camp stove. You definitely don’t want to lose parts! Make sure to keep an eye on the fuel types as well. Propane seems to be popular. Plus you can hook it up to your BBQ tank with an adapter!
#6 Cooler – Your Favorite Food and Drinks
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. Remember to keep your cooler in your car or out of sight in the campground. Bears are notorious for spotting a cooler from a good distance. They will come to your camp and rip it apart. So be bear aware and your cooler safe!
Tips for Cooler Shopping
When choosing a cooler, look for one with a drain. Screw drains are best, but plugs work fine. Just keep an eye out that you don’t accidently knock it off. Plugs help to easily remove the extra weight of melted ice and drain the cooler when the camping 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 – Relax In Comfort
Camping chairs are really nice to have. It’s 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.
Tips for Camp Chair Shopping
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. Try to get chairs with extra drink holders or pouches. If you have a bad back look for the director’s chair style camp chair instead of the ones that fit in the bags. Make sure it has a carrying handle or bag.
#8 Emergency First Aid Kit – Be Ready for Accidents
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 first aid 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 and have them. 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. It is a good idea to toss in a fire extinguisher as well, just to be safe.
Tips for First Aid Kit Shopping
Make sure to get a kit that can treat everyone camping twice of minor injuries. Like cuts and scraps. Make sure the kit isn’t too basic and includes supplies to treat more serious injuries like sprains, broken bones, and illness. Good first aid kits will also include basic survival items as well.
#9 Water Filtration – Never Go Thirsty
Water filtration is another one of the 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. There is no reason to take chances on questionable water when camping. Keep water filtration with your camping gear. And never take chances with unfiltered water, even a small sip can make you very sick.
Tips for Water Filtration Shopping
The most important thing with water filters is to make sure they filter out biological and chemical contamination. Many I have found only filter out biological contaminants like bacteria. Also try to find one that is a self contained unit with few parts. It will do no good if one of the many parts to a filter goes missing.
#10 Backpack – Always Carry Vital Gear
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. It also should contain basic survival gear and be taken with you wherever you go camping.
Tips for Backpack Shopping
Look for a backpack with good padding in the back and shoulder straps. Look for one that also has a third strap to connect the should straps. This will help to relieve pressure and make it easier to carry further. Try to get one that is waterproof. Also, it is very nice to have a place for insulated water with a straw or hose attachment.
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!