A Beginner's Guide To Essential Camping Gear
Let’s start with the most obvious camping-specific equipment: Tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, and all that other stuff that immediately comes to mind when you think of camping. This is all the expensive gear you’ve been putting off buying until you really needed it. Thankfully, you can get by with a lot less you think.
Tents, Tarps, Poles, Tie Downs, and Stakes:
You’ll need something to sleep in, so a tent should be at the top of your priority list. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all tent though. Tents come in a variety of sizes and in a variety of types.
Sleeping Bags and Sleeping Pads:
Like tents, sleeping bags come in different weights and handle different temperatures, so you have to do some research to find the one best suited for you, where you plan to camp, and when.
Backpacks are an area where the distinction between camping and backpacking matters. If you’re camping, you arguably don’t need a backpack at all (though you want a good day pack if you’re planning on small hikes).
Headlamps, Lanterns, and Flashlights:
Surprise! It gets dark in the woods, so you want something to help you see at night. Any cheap flashlight A sturdy, reliable flashlight will work here, but having some extra gear is helpful too.
Water Filtration Systems and(or?) Treatment Tablets:
If you’re camping, you can (and should) bring along as much water as you’d possibly need in your car, so it’s easily accessible. Some campsites even have fresh water available, but you should bring some anyway.
Hiking Boots or Shoes:
Depending on the type of trip you’re taking, you’ll want to grab some hiking boots or shoes. Your sneakers will do just fine in many places, but if you’re planning on going for a longer backpacking trip, dedicated shoes are much more comfortable since they offer more support, padding, and stability for your ankles as your cross rough terrain.
Regardless of whether you’re camping or backpacking, there’s a good chance you will not have cell phone service. Get a map of wherever you’re going before you get out there, then learn how to read it and not to rely on GPS, even if you bring a stand-alone satellite GPS unit.
First Aid Kit:
It shouldn’t be a surprise that you need a first aid kit for camping. Include the usual aspirins, bandages, and gauze here, but also toss in some hiking-specific stuff like moleskin for blisters, bug sprays, and aloe vera for burns.