A successful camping trip depends on what you pack.
And what you need to pack depends on a lot: the weather, how long your trip is, who you’re traveling with, etc.
In another post, I gave you tips on clothing and accessories to pack for camping.
In this post, I’ll share the best camping gear to pack on your next camping trip.
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Basic Camping Gear
The top 4 basic items that I bring on a camping trip are a tent, sleeping bag, collapsible chair and a backpack.
If you’re not glamping in a rustic cabin, be sure to pack a good tent. A tent that is waterproof, not water-resistant, and includes a rain fly is a good buy.
I also recommend bringing a waterproof, rip-stop tarp at your local hardware or sporting goods store.
Set the tarp up above your tent by tying each corner to a tree or other sturdy object. Angle it down on one side, away from the tent, to allow rain to drain.
Some campers like to also add a tarp underneath their tent, especially if the ground is already wet.
Trust me on this tip! I learned the hard way on this. Waking up in an inch of rain on the floor of your tent is no fun!
Sleeping Bags for Camping
Sleep well with a warm sleeping bag.
Before you buy, make sure you are purchasing a sleeping bag built to withstand the nighttime temperatures of the location you’ll be camping in.
The temperature information should be available in the production description if you are shopping online.
If you’re shopping in store, look for the temperature information on the packaging or tag.
In addition to a sleeping bag, you might also want to consider a sleeping pad or air mattress if you’re not used to roughing it.
Collapsible Chair for Outdoors
A lot of campgrounds will include a picnic table with their campsites, but if you’re camping with a group, you’ll want more flexibility to sit around the campfire at night.
A collapsible chair is just what you need.
I love this chair from Coleman that includes a cup holder and pockets for a book, camera, phone, flashlight, etc.
Backpacks for Camping
A durable backpack is great for packing your camping gear or to use as a hands-free day bag.
I recommend purchasing one from a company like The North Face or Burton, which offer lifetime guarantees on their bags.
Myself? I use the Borealis backpack from The North Face as a daypack and a larger backpack from Burton as a weekender or when I don’t want to use traditional luggage.
Camping Gear for Food + Drinks
The best camping gear I recommend for making meals and drinks while camping include a cooler, filtered water bottle, s’mores kit, and a coffee maker.
Are they all totally necessary? No…but for me, I always bring these 4 items!
Filtered Water Bottle
Coffee Maker for Camping
Fun Camping Gear
Up your camping game with these fun, entertaining items.
Flash back to your childhood and bring along some glow sticks, necklaces, bracelets – whatever strikes your fancy.
Bonus: they double as a light source to help you find your way to the bathroom.
Travel-sized games are great for camping trips, especially if you’re trying to pack light. A deck of cards or a classic game, like Yahtzee, are great for all ages.
Check out my post on travel games for adults for more ideas on fun, travel-sized games that you can bring on your camping trip.
Cards Against Humanity Game
On my last camping trip, we couldn’t wait to sit by the campfire and play Cards Against Humanity. This hilarious game guarantees a good time and is great for groups.
NOTE: it is definitely not for kids or the easily offended!