Essentials for Camping

Although cities are growing in size, people still desire to escape the rat race and get back to nature. Now more than ever, camping is catching on as a weekend getaway. The best part about this is usually camping can be quite inexpensive assuming you already have all your camping gear. There are a few essentials you will want to make sure you have with you before heading off into the wilderness. Take a browse through our list of essentials for camping to make sure you have some of the not so obvious camping items which can make your trip a lot more enjoyable.


It usually goes without saying but the single most important item to bring on a camping trip is likely to be your tent.  I say usually, because there is a recent trend in camping under the stars. If you have never heard of camping under the stars, it is a camping technique as the name implies camping without a tent. There are also now tent hammocks which are basically hammocks with netting on top to prevent bugs. Nonetheless, this is a modified version of camping under the stars.

Now assuming you are not camping under the stars nor do you have one of those fancy RVs or travel trailers, you’ll need a tent. Tents have really come down in price lately, so there is surely a tent to fit almost everyone’s budget. Tents can be had for as little as $20-40 now, especially if you catch a good sporting goods sale. On the other hand, tents can get up into the hundreds of dollars, especially if you plan to do some extreme camping in harsh conditions which requires a higher grade tent.


Many times if you are camping out in the wilderness, you’re likely to be miles away from the closest store. Not only will a store likely be miles away for your camp site, half the adventure of camping is cooking over an open flame. Everyone loves a good cooked camping meal such as hamburgers and hot dogs and of course some beans!

As with tents, coolers have come a log way in recent years. The traditional Coleman coolers are being replaced with the high end Yeti and Pelican brands. The trouble is, these coolers can often command upwards of several hundreds of dollars. The good news is, the higher end coolers do hold ice for days at a time. If you plan to go with a top of the line cooler, you’ll want to look at websites with yeti coolers on sale to try and save you a few bucks. Another consideration is whether you’ll ever be camping in bear country. Many public or state campgrounds require that you store your food in your truck or a bear resistant device. The upper end coolers are often times certified bear resistant.

Fire Source & Lanterns

Although tents were previously mentioned as one of the most important essentials for camping, a fire source is the most important essential you can pack (aside from water of course). Being able to make fire will give you somewhere to cook your food and stay warm when the sun sets. Fire sources come in multiple versions now days with the most convenient being a lighter. In addition to a lighter you could try matches, flint stick and even the traditional friction bow. Most people won’t forget to leave home without a fire source, or so we hope anyways, but many people do forget to pack a portable light source. Lanterns which can be hung from a tree as well as carried around can be extremely handy while camping. Many state campgrounds have at least a toilet, but many of these campgrounds will not be well lit at night. Having a lantern you can take with you to the bathroom in the middle of the night sure will be nice. Not to mention, having a way to look for items which are away from your campfire is always a plus.

Plastic Totes

Most are familiar with plastics totes which many use for moving or storing unused house items. However, those plastic totes really come in handing when packing all your camping gear. Not only do plastic totes offer a lot of storage room, they provide you with the luxury of a water proof or resistant storage area. Having at least one tote at the campground to store your items which cannot be exposed to water is a great idea. This is an item which is often overlooked and you don’t realize what a great idea it is until you get to the campground and see others with them; and then it dawns on you what a good idea they are.

A Bucket

Having a bucket at the camp site can serve multiple uses. Again, this is an item that is often overlooked when pack the truck for a weekend camping get away. A five gallon bucket can work as a trash can, a make shift toilet and of course offers you a way to transport water when you go to put your campfire out before you leave the site. Many state campgrounds can now fine individuals if they leave a campfire unattended, therefore you better be sure to put your campfire out. A surefire way of doing this is dowsing the fire in water from a nearby stream.

Although some of these items seem like a no brainer when packing for a camping trip, many of them are often overlooked. Making a checklist before you begin packing will help you to focus on the items you want to bring and not get caught up in the moment and forget. We all know what its like to be halfway to the campground and remember you forgot something. Hopefully these items can help make your camping experience a little more enjoyable.