Camping is a highly personal experience, and every outdoor adventurer brings to it his or her own strengths, weaknesses, needs and desires. This means that you will probably want to bring along a different set of items than your buddy when heading out on your next trip. For example, you may want to bring along your camera, while your companion would prefer to bring a book. But your camping accessories list won’t differ entirely from that of your partners — there are a half-dozen or so things that every camper will need to bring. There are also a few items that are necessary for the group but needn’t be carried by every individual member of the party.
We’ll cover both types of equipment below – those things that should appear in every camper’s pack, and those things which should be divvied up between the members of the group.
What Supplies Should I Bring Camping?
For the most part, you’ll need these things no matter where you are heading or how long your trip is scheduled to last. Because you’ll use these items on each and every trip, it is always wise to prioritize these things when allotting your camping-gear budget.
A sleeping bag or camping blanket will keep you warm while you’re sleeping out in the elements, and they’ll cushion your body a little bit too. Most campers elect to bring a sleeping pad too, but this is not absolutely necessary, particularly if you are the type that can sleep anywhere.
Most campers will also be using a tent, but extreme campers may prefer using an enclosed or bivvy-style bag, which will protect you from rain and snow. These are rarely as fun for recreational campers, but they can actually keep you warmer than a traditional tent in extreme conditions, and they obviously help you free up pack space and eliminate a lot of weight.
Decades ago, camping websites books would list a canteen among the items every camper must bring, but in the 21st century, campers have a number of better options. Canteens make water taste kind of funky and they have narrow mouths, which limits their flexibility. You can’t, for example, cook soup in them very easily.
Instead, most modern campers bring along a wide-mouthed plastic bottle. Often called “Nalgene bottles,” because they were originally produced by a company of the same name, these bottles are now made by a variety of manufacturers. There are differences between the various models, so be sure to think carefully about your choice and be a discriminating buyer.
Every camper should have a flashlight on his or her person. Flashlights are not only imperative for safety reasons, but they’re also good for your sanity – sharing a flashlight is no fun at all. Try to select a small, lightweight flashlight that has an easy-to-activate switch, fits comfortably in your hand and pumps out plenty of lumens.
Some campers like to bring along a headlamp, but you’d be wise to bring a flashlight too, as they excel in a variety of ways that headlamps do not. For example, it can be difficult to hold a headlamp steady for a lengthy period of time.