Camping Gear Essentials Every Beginning Camper Needs

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    Being outdoors in the wilds is a wonderful experience for young and old alike. If you’ve never been camping before, there is some essential camping gear that you should bring with you. Most of what you bring will depend on where, how, and when you are camping.

    tent camping

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    Your Tent

    Your tent is one piece of gear that you can not leave home without, even if you intend to sleep outside under the stars. Having a tent with you does not mean you have to sleep in it. It will protect you in the event of rain and other weather conditions. It can also keep bugs like mosquitos away from you.

    Make sure you set your tent up a few times at home for practice. This will also allow you to find out if the tent is big enough for your needs. Remember, most tents are designed to be a close fit, so buy bigger if you want more room. Setting up the tent at home is practical because the last thing you want to be doing is trying to set it up during a rapidly approaching storm or while being eaten by mosquitos.


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    Lighting is extremely important, particularly if you are out hiking. Most campsites do not provide lights, making it difficult to get up and go to the restroom at night. You will need to bring a lantern, flashlights, and other forms of light. Most modern lights are battery-operated, but kerosene and propane lights are still available if you don’t want to wander around with batteries.

    Some of your lighting options are:

    • Headlamps
    • Flashlights
    • Lanterns
    • Floodlights
    • Directed lights

    There are many more depending on how much light you want or need.


    No matter what devices you use, you probably will need extra batteries. Either choose those with a long life or ones that you can charge while you are outdoors. You can also use solar power and other forms should you need to charge devices, but most of them still take batteries.

    gps unit

    GPS Navigation Device

    A good GPS is an essential piece of survival gear if you are hiking or going off-trail. This way, you can navigate your way to a ranger’s station or help if necessary. You cannot rely on your cell phone. While some camping areas have cell service, most do not.

    Every year, a few thousand people get lost in the woods in the United States. Being able to navigate towards help is essential. It can mean the difference between life and death. If you are hiking, a GPS can help you get to your next site or help you when you are lost.

    How to deal with a wet sleeping bag | ActionHub

    Sleeping Bag

    Sleeping bags have a variety of uses. They can:

    • Keep you warm and comfortable while sleeping
    • Hold toiletries or other supplies up in it
    • Help you pack delicate items like lanterns with glass
    • Act as a pillow if you are not sleeping inside it
    • Act as a back rest when you are sitting around the campfire

    There are many other uses for a good lightweight sleeping bag. If you are in a cold climate, you can sleep inside or under it. If you are in a warm climate, you can sleep on it for added comfort. Some sleeping bags are waterproof, allowing you to use them as a rain shelter or collect rain if necessary.

    First Aid Kit

    The first aid kit is another piece of camping gear you should never leave home without. At a campground, a regular simple first aid kit might be adequate, but if you are hiking and camping in more remote areas. For remote hiking and camping, you need something more.

    What you will need depends on where you are going. For instance, your kit should include warming packs and hypothermia blankets if you are going somewhere cold. In any case, it should include:

    A variety of bandages in different sizes

    • Injury wraps
    • Medical tape
    • Medical scissors
    • Safety pins

    Your hiking First aid kit should be able to handle anything from mosquito bites to broken bones. Some other things that you might want in there are flares, a trauma kit, and disinfectant. Splinting a broken bone while waiting for help can mean the difference between a cast and painful surgery later.

    You will want your first aid kit to be waterproof. This will protect the contents from mold and mildew. It will also protect your supplies from getting wet should the kit fall into the water or get rained on.

    campfire pot


    No matter where you are camping, you need a way to light a fire. Fires are useful for both cooking and keeping warm. You will want to bring water and windproof lighter, matches, or flint and steel. There are a variety of lighters available, be sure to choose the one that is right for your camping trip. Some are ordinary lighters, while others are built to survive everything from a dip in water to a torrential downpour.



    A solid backpack can make your camping and/or hiking trip much easier. It is a place to keep all your other supplies while keeping your hands free. This is an essential piece of camping gear. Most camping or hiking backpacks have multiple pockets for all of your supplies, along with hooks and clamps for things like tents and sleeping bags.


    Other Outdoor Gear

    Although not absolutely essential, there are some other things you might want to take with you. A backup source of fire is an excellent choice. You could also bring:

    • Flares
    • Ready-to-eat meals
    • Water depending on where you are
    • Protein bars
    • MRE’s (meals ready to eat)
    • Coolers if you plan on fishing, hunting, or carrying cooled items to your campsite

    These are all good to have with you.

    A lot of your gear will depend on where you are going and what you plan to do. Thinking ahead and purchasing your gear at an outlet that sells reliable, high-quality camping supplies is best.

    This article was published on behalf of Hinterland Outfitters.

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