If you’re planning a camping trip, you’ll need to consider clothes to wear, shelter to keep you safe from the elements, and gear items for cooking and cleaning.
The best hiking and camping gear is tailored to your specific environment. For example, you’ll want to consider extra hydration, sun protection for desert environments, comfortable footwear, and breathable clothing for forested ones.
A headlamp is one of the most critical camping gear items. A good headlamp will make life much easier, whether setting up camp at night, trail running on dark forest routes, or needing hands-free lighting to cook dinner after the sun.
To find the right headlamp, consider your planned activities (hiking at dusk, reading in your tent), power options rechargeable or battery, beam pattern, distance, and run time. Also, think about a strobe feature that flashes red to let people know you’re coming, which is a great safety feature for trail runners and hikers.
It’s also a good idea to bring a couple of camping towels. Rather than bringing bulky, heavy towels from home, try packing some lightweight, quick-drying microfiber towels that pack down small and dry fast. A Hydro Flask thermos is also an excellent camping item to have on hand, keeping your drinks hot or cold all day long. And remember the bug spray; it’s the best way to avoid those pesky insects that can spoil an outdoor adventure.
Comfy Shoes or Sandals
If you want to do anything other than lounge around the campfire in flip-flops, choose a pair of supportive and comfortable sandals or shoes. You can use them to hike without hurting your feet, hang your bear pack, get water, and handle muddy terrain. These gripping, snug-fitting camp sandals from Bass Pro Shops fold easily to clip to your backpack’s side.
Another option is the imago and nymph, made of sustainably sourced felted wool insulating, thermo-regulating, and fends off the stink. They also feature a rubber sole for extra durability, traction, and waterproofing.
A fully stocked first aid kit is a must for any camping trip. You can assemble your first-aid kit or purchase a premade one for camping. It’s essential to include a whistle, a pocket mirror, and a reflective band for your pack to help you find yourself in case of an emergency. These items will also show rangers and ambulances where to find you if you are in a remote place.
You should also make sure to bring along a pair of tweezers that are designed explicitly for picking splinters and ticks from wounds. This small item will save you a lot of pain and anguish. It would be best to have a tube of sunscreen and bug spray. These are two easy items to forget but are necessary for comfort and safety. Even on cloudy days, it is best to be safe than sorry and protect yourself from sunburn and bug bites. A Leatherman multi-tool is also an excellent addition to any camping first-aid kit.
Water is one of the most essential items when camping, especially if you plan to hike or camp far from the car. A good camping water supply includes water filters, purification tablets, and other options to ensure a steady source of clean drinking water.
Many modern campers forgo the traditional canteens and instead bring a wide-mouthed plastic bottle, commonly called a Nalgene. These bottles are BPA-free and can hold enough water to last a camping trip, plus they allow for easy cooking of soups and other liquids.
Another great option for campers who prefer to reduce their plastic waste is a life straw filter water bottle, which can give you a drinkable, clean, and healthy glass of water with every sip. You can also buy a camping mess kit consisting of a plate, skillet, and cup that quickly assemble into one compact package. It is the ideal camping gear for backpackers and hikers who want to leave the campsite with as little trash as possible.
Regarding camping essentials, a flashlight may seem like a conspicuous extravagance compared to other lighting options. However, having a good camping light is very important for safety and to help you navigate your campsite at night.
There are a variety of camping lights to consider, including lanterns and task lights. If you opt for a lantern, look for a model that provides 360-degree lighting and can easily adjust to suit your needs. If you choose a task light, it is crucial to ensure that the unit can be set up on a sturdy base and that it generates a lot of lumens to illuminate a large area.
For an eco-friendly option, consider bringing a solar-powered camping light. These models are rechargeable and can run for hours. They can also be easily stored in a bag when you’re not using them.