camping gear essentials

Spending time in the great outdoors is one of the best things you can do for yourself, any day of the year! Camping can either go very well, or very badly, depending on how prepared you are! From glamping (luxury camping with all the fancy things), to backpacking, to just one quick overnighter, there are many ways to camp, and no shame in whichever way fits your fancy. No matter if it’s your first time, or 100th time and perhaps need a refresher, you will always need certain things to have a successful outing. In this post, I’m giving you the ultimate list of essential camping and backpacking gear.

Remember, there is no shame at ALL in bringing exactly what you want/need. Some people truly prefer to use nature itself to really camp, like rubbing two sticks together for fire. But look, I’m all about old school stuff and encouraging people to get away from the modern things, until I go camping. Since there are fire starters, you bet your ass I am going to use them. I am not a caveman, I live in the 21st century with great technology. I am always hungry, so yes, I will be using the Jetboil to cook my food faster.

For an awesome, easy going, problem reducing camping experience, read on down to see a few of my favorite things!

Camping Kitchen Essentials

  • Jetboil – This is a STAPLE for backcountry or car camping if you need to boil hot water for a beverage or dehydrated meals. Jetboil has tons of accessories to compliment anything you need to cook. This brand really is FAST at boiling water, and like always, you get what you pay for. Bite the bullet and get one so you won’t have any inconveniences or hiccups! You can even visit Jetboil’s Amazon store here.
  • Multi-tool utensil – Spoon, fork, knife, bottle opener all in one pocket sized tool!
  • Multi-spice container – Holy grail of camping food essentials – never have bland food again!
  • Cookware set – Hot tip: hang this bag of cookware on the side of your backpack so you don’t have to worry about space! Everything folds down for convenience!
  • Grab a fuel canister for your heat if you don’t get a Jetboil! At 230 grams, this canister boils 24L of water.
  • Marshmallow roasters/skewers – If you’re not into using sticks for your marshmallows, check these out!
  • Backpacking mug – BPA free, doesn’t hold odor, insulated, sip lid. What more could you need?
  • Fire Starters – I don’t have to explain why these would be convenient.

essential camping gear

Tent & Sleeping Bag Essentials

You don’t really want to skimp here – comfortability is key when you have to sleep on the ground.

Affordable 2 Person 3-Season (Spring-Fall) Backpaking Tents

Sleeping Bags & Pads

  • Marmot Trestles 15F – “Wondrous warmth without breaking the bank”… Pretty much sums it up. You can’t go wrong with any Marmot product. This bag is best for car camping as it doesn’t pack down as well as a backpacking bag.
  • North Face Cat’s Meow 20F – This bag packs down great and keeps you super warm!
  • ALPS Lightweight Sleeping Pad – With durable fabric and plenty of squish, you’ll get a great night’s sleep. It comes with compression straps and a sack, so it’s perfect for backpacking!
  • NEMO Tensor Sleeping Pad – You can choose from either rectangle, mummy or wide shapes! This pad includes a pump sack, and offers more comfortability, and packs away perfectly for backpacking.

Saving money for next Summer’s camping trips? Check out my guide here on Brutally Honest Guide to Save Money for World Travel! It 1000% applies to saving money for anything.

Accessories

  • Compressible Pillow – Super comfy and packs down! This one is not inflatable! Thankfully it has soft foam filling so you’ll be well rested.
  • Tent Light – Hang this LED lamp inside your tent!
  • Packable Chair – And on the 8th day, God created packable camping chairs. It’s so inconvenient carrying around a standard camping chair, so here we are. It’s pricey, but worth it!

I hope this list of camping gear will make your nature getaway a lot more enjoyable. Tell me in the comments anything you think is an “essential” item for a short camping trip!

Sony a6000

Best affordable mirrorless camera

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Osprey Fairview40

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 Crossbody

This baby holds SO much!

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Bose Soundsports

Sweatproof and doesn’t budge!

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Sony a6000

Best affordable mirrorless camera

Learn More

Osprey Fairview40

Men’s version is the Farpoint

Learn More

 Crossbody

This baby holds SO much!

Learn More

Bose Soundsports

Sweatproof and doesn’t budge!

Learn More

Essential Camping Gear for a Short Trip