When you camp for the first time, what gears to take solely depends on what type of camping trip you intend to pursue. Camping gears are important for your safety, security and other benefits. First-time campers will always be anxious to purchase outdoor adventure gears but these essentials will put on a successful camping trip. There are many different types of camping – outdoor, winter, summer, night, day, etc., and every single one of these camping trips can be safely and successfully completed only using trip specific gears. You can always rent equipment but if you plan do camp regularly, some gears are worth the investment in the long run.
Camping gears are exclusive tools used specifically for camping adventures, but in case of backpacking, adventure enthusiasts use the equipment they have to construct the tent and so on. Never rely on a basic outdoor adventure checklist, because most of the backpacking gears are costly, and it is always better to purchase gear that is specific to your trip. You can easily find gears that come with a dual benefit, allowing you to use them in almost all types of outdoor adventures, which will be a good option. Below, we list down essential camping gears for beginner campers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
When you walk into an outdoor equipment store, you’d be amazed to find the number and types of equipment on offer, but remember to never get overwhelmed by this and always stick to your plans. There are many small gears which are often tempting and many users buy them without evaluating their purpose. Plan well ahead before your trip to give you enough time to prepare a checklist and purchase the gears you will need.
The first and the most obvious gear that comes to our minds when thinking about camping is the tent. You’ll need proper shelter therefore it should at the top of your priority list. You cannot find a one size fits all tent, so you need to buy a tent according to your comfort and requirements. If you are travelling as a group and if you need privacy, then you can purchase a single or two-person tent. Group tents are also available, which means you can buy a tent as per your requirement. Make sure to buy a highly reliable waterproof tent so you can stay dry during winter or rainy conditions.
A roomy tent is always a better choice because sleeping in a cramped space is only going to spoil the camping fun. For two campers, a 3-person capacity tent would be the perfect choice. Lightweight tents are very popular amongst backpackers and if you are planning on a camping trip in your car, then there are some ultra-luxury tents which will be exciting. A 3-season tent will be perfect for all three seasons except for chilly conditions. 4-season tents have additional fabric layer, which is highly durable and have the ability to withstand even snowfall and extreme cold conditions.
First time campers should be ready to face extreme dark conditions, but that doesn’t mean you cannot be ready to handle the situation. It gets pretty dark in the woods, so you want something to help you see and navigate at night. Campfires should not be your sole lighting source in the outdoors. Any cheap, sturdy, reliable flashlight will work here, but having some extra gear is helpful too. Most LED flashlights can be purchased for under $10 Lanterns and headlamps are costly compared to other forms of light source. But, remember that lighting equipment are very important, especially if you are going to construct the tent at night.
LED is the best source of lighting, but you can even get a lighting equipment that is powered by fuel cell, battery, gas, electric and so on. You can buy a light source according to your budget. Some campers even use their smartphones as the sole light source.
Sleeping Bags and Pads
Sleeping bags are as equally important than tents that you will need. Bags and pads of different dimensions and weights capable of handling different temperature conditions are big considerations. The location of your campsite will play a major role in finding the most suitable sleeping bag for that particular climatic condition. Sleeping bags in the range of $150 to $200 are available.
Sleeping pad on the other hand, is an air-filled pad that gets sandwiched between the ground and the sleeping bag. Pads offer a more comfortable sleeping position and are preferred by many pro campers. First-time campers who are used to sleeping comfortably at home can buy this product.
Most of you may not be familiar with the shovel but this product will be very useful for performing all kinds of camping tasks. Shovel is an essential equipment for digging holes, fixing fire logs, banging tent pegs, campsite clearing, etc. This equipment also helps when you want to go for toilet in the wild. Folding shovels are handy for first-time campers and for those who are not aware of its benefits.
First Aid Kit
This is probably one of the most essential camping gears for first-timers because accidents happen outdoors from cuts, falls to bruises and so on. Thus, it is very important to carry a well-stocked first aid kit with you. Band-Aids and insect repellents should be at the top of the list. Beware of snakes, as they are quite common in certain regions and climates, so it is better to have a pressure immobilization bandage. Camping specific first aid kits are offered exclusively by some hospitals and ambulance services, which is one of the best places to buy one.
This camping gear acts as the first line of defense in protecting you against infections caused by insects, ants and other deadly elements. Tarps should be placed at the bottom of your tent and should have enough overhang. Choose a tarp that perfectly fits the tent you have. The tarp you purchase should be waterproof and easily washable. A highly durable heavy-duty tarp with grommets is ideal.
Pack of Matches
Matches are important for starting a fire, which makes it one of the most essential camping gears. Fire is very important for cooking food and also for regulating your body temperature and surroundings during cold nights. Most campers have a bad habit of buying matches in bulk; this is not the right way because they’d end up in your backpack for years without any use and may not even fire onsite, so buy them just before the camping trip.
As mentioned earlier, there is a huge difference between camping and backpacking. A backpack is the differentiating factor between the two. Backpacks are not an essential gear for camping but if you are planning on small hikes then a backpack will prove valuable. Day packs are more than enough for first-time campers. Camping enthusiasts can purchase a cheap backpack that costs just about $150.
Food items that are meant to stay cold should be maintained at their optimum temperature in order to prevent them from spoiling. Portable fridge or cooler will come in handy. Party ice will keep your food cold for about 24 hours or more. You can get them in all major supermarkets and retail stores near your campsite.
Water Filtration System
Setting up your campsite near a stream is a perfect idea for getting access to water, but make sure to get clean drinking water, free from sand, dust and other components using a water filtration system. Most of the camping sites are near a freshwater source or have clean drinking water readily available, but make sure that you have an effective water filtration system with you readily so you need not worry about the risks. Portable water filtration system and tablets are available online and in-store for just under $20.
All the basic cooking equipment essential for cooking your favorite meal or snack may also be needed. For cooking outdoors, you may need fire starter, fuel, stove, pans, pots, utensils, bowls, coffee making tools, cleaning gear, trash bag, and more. One strong cooking equipment will do the job for you. A reliable cooking option should be the preferred choice. Family camping adventure will require a conventional 2 burner stove. Campfires are banned during summer in many parts of the country, so check for the rules and regulations in your campsite before purchasing cooking tools.
Sun Protection Hats
This particular gear is very important especially when you are planning on a camping trip during summer. Sun protection hats will protect you against harmful UV rays. Many wide brimmed hats are made of UPF fabric which eliminates risk considerably. Strings that are adjustable and built-in sweat pads can be found in most of the conventional hats.
This particular gear may not sound essential for camping but the presence of it will make your camping experience simple and hassle-free. Folding camping tableis an inexpensive gear and can be used for cutting vegetables, fruits, placing your gear and it can also turn out to be your meal table. Folding chairsalso play an important role and could be useful in various circumstances.
Pocket knives are essential for ensuring safety and security at all situations. Swiss army knife is one of those tools which hardly takes up any space and is one of the most valuable outdoor tools. The most exciting aspects of a pocket knife is that it doesn’t take up much space and you get all the essentials in one easy-to-carry handy device.
Maps and Compass
Everybody owns an advanced smartphone these days and these devices come with advanced GPS and compass; but in some remote camping sites, these feature packed phones may not work at all times. A map and compass would be an excellent navigation tool for your outdoor camping adventure.