How to plan the best camping adventure? Simple: by packing the best gear. The right accessories and outdoor tools can make a big difference to your camping enjoyment, and even prove to be life-saving in emergency situations. To instantly navigate you towards must-pack products, we’ve bundled our favorites in this 7 Must-Have Camping Items post:
A must-have gadget for any camping adventure is a multi-tool knife. This compact tool offers maximum functionality, but only takes up minimal packing space - and can even be attached to your backpack or belt. Multi-tool pocket knives can help with all kinds of outdoor tasks, including emergency repairs, food prep, and cutting firewood. Which accessories should your multitool have? We’d get one that contains at least a can opener, a bottle opener, a rope cutter, a screwdriver, pliers, and - of course - a sharp knife: the essentials for any outdoorsman.
Solar Power Bank
A great way to stay connected in the great outdoors is by packing a solar power bank. This device lets you recharge your smartphone, camera, or tablet - even without a power socket in sight. These days, solar power banks are more portable and compact than ever and can weigh as little as just 5 ounces. To boost battery lift, simply expose the power bank’s solar panel to direct sunlight and voila: your power bank is charging. While camping is a great way to disconnect from the urban jungle, a solar power bank lets you reconnect when necessary. For example, when you have to make an emergency phone call and your smartphone is out of battery. This makes a solar power bank not just a fancy gadget, but potentially a life-saving must-have!
First Aid Kit
Speaking of life-saving camping gear, a quality First Aid Kit should always be on your packing list. This camping must-have enables you to be prepped for all kinds of first-aid situations. Whether you’ve cut or scraped yourself on a hike, need sting relief from insect bites, or have an allergic reaction: a First Aid Kit is always a great investment.
These kits come in all types: from small backpacking kits to full-sized emergency kits - there is a match for every camping scenario. You can mix and match supplies, or just buy an all-in-one First Aid Kit that includes bandages, antiseptic wipes, antihistamines, pain killers, and possibly some small tools like tweezers and/or scissors.
Camping Mess Kit
Every camper should invest in a quality mess kit, as this piece of camping gear will always come in useful. Whether you want to brew a cup of coffee for some much-needed caffeine, or are making s'mores around a campfire: packing lightweight cookware and dinnerware is always a great idea.
There is an abundance of ultralight and foldable mess kits on the market, which take up minimum space in a backpack and won't weigh you down. Mess kits come in all shapes and sizes. From 1-person dinnerware with utensils to 4-person kits ideal for family camping.
The easiest way to stay warm on any camping adventure? Thermal underwear, one of our favorite camping must-haves. You may associate thermal underwear with cold-weather camping, but it’s fantastic for year-round use. Instead of bringing a bulky camping blanket ‘just in case it gets cold’, pack thermal pants and a thermal top.
Thermal underwear is thin, lightweight, and easy to pack. Whether you layer it underneath outdoor clothing or wear it instead of pajamas at night: thermal underwear is a clever choice to stay toasty and comfy - even when temperatures drop...
The Perfect Tent
This must-have is one of the trickiest to find, but worth the effort: the perfect tent. Not every tent works for every camper, as all of us have different requirements. That is why it’s important to carefully consider which buying factors are most important to you, and matching them to a tent.
For example, if you’re a family camper, choose a tent with multiple rooms and room dividers. This allows you to create some privacy from your kids when desired, a much-needed luxury on long camping holidays. Perhaps you’re a taller camper. In that case, choose a tall tent with ample headroom. High-quality tall tents allow you to walk around, without copping a face full of nylon at every turn. If you’re a beginner to camping, picking an instant pop-up tent will save you from spending hours on setup. And for backpackers, an ultralight fiberglass framed tent helps save on its packing weight - making your tent easier to carry.
Whatever your preferences, think about them carefully and don’t just buy the first tent you see. It may sound like a given, but doing your research pays off - and can make a real difference to your camping enjoyment!
The Best Sleeping Bag
Equally important to packing the right tent, is packing the right sleeping bag. When you’re shopping for this camping must-have, always check a sleeping bag its temperature rating. Or, in other words, the lowest outdoor temperature a sleeping bag will keep you toasty. For summertime camping, a temperature rating of 40°F will already offer sufficient warmth. If you’re a 3-season camper, choose a bag with a temperature rating of 20-30°F. And for winter camping, we recommend a temperature rating of 0°F to keep you warm.
Other features to consider when buying the best sleeping bag are its dimensions, the type of fill (natural down versus synthetic), and shape (rectangular versus mummy). Keep in mind that out of all the buying factors, the temperature rating is most important, whilst the other features are negotiable!