Camping has become the alternative of choice for many holidaymakers around the world. This year, campsite bookings are up by 500%, and the number of households that own RVs increased by 2.6 million. Yet new trends tell us that there are many other ways to enjoy a camping holiday: from vanlife to glamping, hiking, and wild camping, the options are nearly endless!
Thanks to the travel restrictions that have dominated the past two summers, people have started to rediscover the beauty of local hidden gems and natural surroundings. If you are thinking about trying this vacation style, make sure you have all the essentials you need for a memorable vacation. Here are the 10 best camping gear essentials you can’t miss out on.
Portable Camping Chairs and Tables
There is nothing quite like enjoying a drink or a picnic with your friends and family. Undoubtedly, sitting on logs or just on the grass can be fun at first, but it can easily become uncomfortable once the sun starts to set or the weather takes a turn for the worse.
That is why a portable camping table and foldable chairs are must-haves for your next camping trip.
The type of camping you practice will determine the kind of chair to invest in. If you are hiking, backpacking, or travelling light, you might opt for a three-legged, small chair that takes minimal space. Oppositely, if you are travelling by RV or by car, you don’t need to compromise on comfort and size.
All-Season Sleeping Bag
Choosing the perfect sleeping bag might not be easy, especially if you are planning a long camping trip in a variety of locations. An all-season sleeping bag is the best option to find comfort in a variety of geographical locations and climate zones.
A Smart Tent
If you remember those cumbersome, complex tents that were common a few years ago, you will be surprised to know how far tent design and technology has come. Today, there is a great variety of options that don’t involve spending hours trying to put up your accommodation for the night or juggling pegs.
Some of these include:
- Cabin-style tents
- Rooftop tents
- Pop-up tents
- Blow-up tents
These options above can be put up within two to 60 seconds. However, if you have a greater budget to invest and you are looking for a more hassle-free experience, you should consider buying a caravan, campervan, or RV.
In any case, sleeping outdoors requires serious preparation. And if you are a backpacker who prefers to carry their gear and shelter on the back, we recommend reading this guide at Hyke & Byke. It will help you comprise a gear checklist to be well prepared to enjoy any upcoming backpacking and camping experience safely.
A Cooking Kit and Stove
If you are still figuring out whether a camping trip is the right vacation option for your needs, you might be tempted to keep your investment to a minimum. This is undoubtedly a smart choice, but there are some gear essentials that you need to make your camping trip comfortable and enjoyable.
One of these is a cookware kit and camping stove. Surely, you could make do with pots, pans, cutlery, and plates you already have at home, but these can easily become damaged and take up too much space. Instead, a camping-friendly kit can be smartly stored and will withstand the harshest traveling conditions.
Make sure you pick your cook set based on the number of people traveling, the quality of materials used, and the type of cooking you wish to enjoy.
Whether you are enjoying a road trip and you have plenty of space to pack a tent or you are backpacking and thus need smarter sleeping arrangements, a hammock is a must.
Similar to tents, today’s hammocks are much smarter and more innovative than old-school hammocks. Today, you can find models built to withstand impressive weights, designs that incorporate mosquito nets and roofs, and waterproof alternatives to sleeping anywhere under the stars.
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
A Powerful Camping Flashlight
Whether you have a pitch booked at a campsite or you are planning for a wild camping holiday, lighting is essential. A powerful camping flashlight, headlamps, fairy lights, and a fire starter are just part of the essentials you need to have with you when camping.
After all, you might be miles away from inhabited locations, and artificial light might be entirely absent.
When looking for the perfect lamps, opt for waterproof alternatives that will light your pitch even in the rain, and don’t skimp on lumens. You can also find red lights, warmer color temperatures, and flashing lights to draw attention in an emergency.
No matter whether your camping trip is set to last a weekend or a fortnight – you will need to keep your drinks cool! When it comes down to selecting the right cooler, there are several valid alternatives, including:
- PVC coolers using ice packs
- Battery-powered coolers
- Electricity-powered coolers
- Solar-powered coolers
Since these can be cumbersome and heavy, make sure to select the best one for your specific type of trip. If you are backpacking or have limited space, you should consider opting for drinks that don’t need cooling or for buying fresh foods and drinks before your overnight stop.
A Solar Charger
We are all highly dependent on technology and various devices – and we are even more so when camping. In fact, you will need to power several devices, including your phone, laptop, speaker, cooler, fridge, and shower. With so much going on, you need to invest in a solar panel or charger. This smart piece of kit can help you keep everything charged and working with minimal effort and no waiting times – especially when charging your devices on the road!
Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels
First Aid Kit and Backcountry GPS
As the number of people and households that enjoy camping adventures rise, the number of recreational outdoor injuries, emergencies, and incidents increases too. Official outdoor safety tips by the US Forest Service tell us about the importance of traveling with others, finding an adventure suitable for your fitness level, and planning ahead.
However, one of the most fascinating aspects of a camping trip is its adventurous feel. While you should be open to changes to your plan or itinerary and adaptable to all situations, make sure you are ready for any unforeseen emergency. Great starting points include investing in a first aid kit and a backcountry GPS.
Outdoor-Friendly Clothing, Outerwear, and Shoes
The clothing you choose can determine your level of comfort throughout your vacation. Naturally, a holiday is to rest and relax. However, if you have opted for a camping adventure, you will also be walking, hiking, sleeping in a tent or hammock, and eating off a foldable table.
Make sure you invest in high-quality shoes, weather-ready outerwear, and breathable, sweat-wicking clothes. This will help you go a little further and enjoy your time in the great outdoors even more!