A Beginner's Guide To Essential Camping Gear


1. Tent

A Beginners Guide To Essential Camping Gear
(image courtesy of Mountain Leon)

Choose a light one because it gets a lot heavier when you walk for long time carrying it on your back.

2. Mat

A Beginners Guide To Essential Camping Gear

Again choose a light one. Here the most important thing is to choose the lightest product!

3. Sleeping-bag

A Beginners Guide To Essential Camping Gear

If you are traveling only in summer, you don't really need it. Because it is always hot. Also if you cannot afford for it you can buy a light blanket.

4. Torch

A Beginners Guide To Essential Camping Gear

That's not a have to but better if you have.

5. Plastic food containers

A Beginners Guide To Essential Camping Gear

If you don't want to share your food with bugs then you need these kind of containers.

6. First aid kit

A Beginners Guide To Essential Camping Gear

You might think that it is not really essential but you can't know what will happen!

7. Pocket knife

A Beginners Guide To Essential Camping Gear

8. Camping bag

A Beginners Guide To Essential Camping Gear

Choose a bag that you can open only from the top but also from the sides. I mean don't get all the things out just to get something on the bottom of your bag.

A Beginner's Guide To Essential Camping Gear
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Most Helpful Guys

  • RickPen
    I prefer cold-weather camping, so much of this lengthy response will be based on that. Military surplus stores are often filled with excellent gear for camping (or at least hiking), and it's usually more rugged and with better design than typical big-box stuff.
    An alice pack would be my first cheap choice at a good pack. They're pretty well designed.
    I prefer gas-powered lanterns and stoves, as a gallon of fuel weighs less than a pack of propane. However, if size/weight are critical, the long propane cylinders pack easier for me. They can be found in normal stores in the torch/pipe-sweating area. MAP gas (yellow cylinder) burns hotter, which can be more useful. Sterno gel is immensely useful for hand warming to fire starting or even cooking food. Energy density is decent. Energy density matters.
    A P38 (or P52) can opener. They are tiny and light, yet strong.
    Medium sized knife (Ontario SP2 or Kabar are favorites). I don't suggest stainless steel as that won't work well with a fire starter.
    Rigger's hatchet, so it doubles as a hammer and wood chopper, and possible digger (in a pinch).
    A foldable pick/shovel for digging a latrine pit, scooping ashes, defense, whatever.
    Pepper spray. Just regular "police grade" pepper spray will work fine, and is cheaper/stronger than "bear spray."
    Either a multi-bit based screwdriver, or an "L" shaped flat/phillips type are handy for any tool stuff.
    Have and be familiar with a lensatic compass; if you can get a tritium one, even better.
    A CB radio with NOAA reception is extremely handy for knowing the inbound weather, as well as potential emergency broadcasting. If possible, bring a larger antenna to get more range.
    Bring a solar charger and use rechargeable batteries wherever possible.
    Use a Sawyer mini or Lifestraw water filter.
    Military mess kits are super handy. I prefer stainless or aluminum cookware to plastic.
    A small sharpening stone.
    Magnesium/sparker combo firestarter.
    Vaseline, or grease-soaked cotton balls or dryer lint. You would not believe how flammable lint is. The grease helps with moisture.
    Waterproof matches; kind of a simple failsafe if having fire-starter troubles.
    These are just some ideas off the top of my head.
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  • humanearth
    Thats not camping, come camping with my family.

    We don't take much with us. A backpack with a few items in it and thats it. A few things we keep is two portable ham radios and extra batteries. They work when cellphones don't. Cellphones don't work everywhere, but ham radios do. We have them for real life threatening ER moments if one should happen. Also everyone carries a pocket knife.

    We make are own shetter, hunt, trap and forge for own food.

    Awww the fire trouble. No matches. Do it from scratch just like people did thousands of years before.

    Dont let me sounding l Iike a dick offend you. I'm glad your going outdoors and doing stuff.

    Keep it up. So few people even bother to even try to step outside a building. Much less go camping.

    Maybe I should have reworded it. So I wouldn't come off as a pompous ass.

    But thats how my family does camping and at the same time I teach kids my survival skills.

    Plus thats how camping was done when I was a kid.
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  • oddwaffle
    To sum up:

    #1-3 sleeping accommodation. Sleeping bags, mats, tents, hammock... etc. depending where you will be camping.

    #4 lighting. I would recommend lighting with fresh batteries AND solar powered.

    #5 Food and water containers. Depending on the trip, I highly recommend vacuum insulated containers for short trips. They keep the heat and cold for a very long time. I also recommend stainless steel containers that can double as a heating container to save space for trips with camp fire.

    #6 I would recommend a very good multi-tool here instead of a 1st aid kit.

    #7 Here would be a "survival kit". You would want this instead of the 1st aid kit. There are a lot you can put in a survival kit but it comes with water filter, small high calorie ration, thermal blanket, fire starter and probably some other tools. Maybe some 1st aid like antiseptic and bandages.

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  • MrOracle
    There are many degrees of camping. You are describing hike/trek camping or wilderness camping - where you are far away from a vehicle and must carry everything. I've been on a 6-day and 8-day camp/hike and it was a lot of fun.

    Where I live, though, it's more common to be camping near your vehicle, which is also your supply base. It's still usually tent camping, but it's either in a designated campground or it's along a river or lake. In that case, weight and size aren't as important, but you usually need to bring all of your fire fuel - wood, charcoal, or gas - as you generally aren't allowed to gather wood.
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  • zagor
    Regarding 3, if you are camping in the mountains or desert, it can get pretty cold at night even in summer.

    You may also need a bear canister in many areas.
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What Girls & Guys Said

  • erandal
    Tent. Get one bigger than you need. Just on your own get a two man, going with one friend, get a three man. The extra space is useful. Also get one with the highest hydro-static head you can (waterproof rating).

    There are lots of other things you should really take but lightness is key because if you are hiking you have to carry it all!
  • Daniela1982
    That's not camping, that is roughing it. And sleeping bags are only soft tacos to bears.
  • Wowgirl30q
    Nice take.
    You must mean camping in a state park or camping area I'm guessing. Because that list isn't accurate other wise.
  • Jltakk
    Never camped before so this was helpful, thank you.
  • FreyaRed
    Anti mosquito agent and a lighter
  • bangyourhead
    9. Hotel reservations (J/K)
  • esotericstory
    Thanks for this mytake.
  • Anonymous
    What about walkie-talkies?
  • Anonymous
    I prefer a blow up mattress to sleep on. And just use my phone as a torch so you dknt hsbe extra weight to carry.