[1 September 2014 Last updated at 14:54]

Top 10 Things You Need for Camping

Top 10 Things You Need for Camping
Best Places in Europe to go Camping
Thinking of going on a camping trip?

The experience of outdoors camping is truly like no other. Having been on many camping trips, one thing I can say is that I made many mistakes such as not carrying the right clothes, not taking enough water, and even forgetting food (can’t you believe that?)


As silly as it may seem, forgetting the right camping gear is no laughing matter, which is why I want to highlight the camping essentials that you need, whether you’re going on month camping vacation in the wilderness in places such as Wenatchee National Forest in Washington State, or just camping out for the weekend in Yosemite national park.

The bottom line is that if you’re going on a camping trip, you’re going to need ten basic camping essentials that are always part of any camping checklist!

#1 Tent Size

A tent is certainly one of the top 10 things you need for camping, and an important camping essential that you need to get right. The reason I say this is because if you choose a tent small enough to only roll your sleeping bag, you’ll compromise on extra room to keep your stuff in.
Top 10 Things You Need for Camping

Having said this, tent size isn’t much of an issue if you’re going on a weekend getaway camping trip. However, if you’re backpacking around the world, you’ll definitely want to safe weight by choosing a small tent.

#2 Navigation Aid

A navigational aid such as a compass, map or GPS may not seem necessary when camping in well known areas.

However, if you’re planning to do backcountry or wilderness camping (even for two days), you’re going to need at least one of these (preferably all three).
Top 10 Things You Need for Camping

The GPS (Global Positioning System) is one of the greatest breakthroughs in navigational systems, but it isn’t the most reliable or the best navigation aid to take with you camping.

A map and compass are the most popular and most reliable navigational aids out there, if you know how to use them (yes, believe it or not, 90% of campers that end up getting lost had a map and a compass but couldn’t find their way!)

#3 Camping Stove

A camping stove is most definitely on the list of top 10 things you need for camping.

There are many different types of camping stoves to choose from such as a multi or single-burner gas canister stoves, spirit burner stoves and solid fuel stoves, so choosing the right camping stove and fuel type is most important!
Top 10 Things You Need for Camping

Gas canisters, though expensive and bulky, are very convenient for long camping trips, while spirit burners and solid fuel stoves are inexpensive and great for short camping trips.

#4 Camping Utensils Set

A good set of utensils are undoubtedly one of the top camping essentials in a piece of camping equipment, which is why is why on the list of the top 10 things you need for camping.

You’ll find a large range and variety of camping utensils on the market that range from cast iron utensils and ultra-light utensils, to plastic ones.
Top 10 Things You Need for Camping

Which type of camping utensils you choose from will depend on you, but as a general rule of thumb, if you’re going on a weekend camping trip, plastic utensils work great!

Whatever you choose, make sure you include cups, plates, corkscrew, can opener, spoons, knifes, and forks.

#5 Backpack

The backpack you choose for your camping trip  is most definitely one of the top 10 things you need for camping, so don’t overlook this area!

If you’re going on a short camping trip it may not matter as much, but if you’re planning camping for longer than two weeks, the size and quality of your backpack is crucial.
Top 10 Things You Need for Camping

A cheap backpack which isn’t design for heavy items will almost certainly split (trust me, the last thing you need is a split backpack in Alaska in the middle of winter!).

The type of backpack is very important too! It’s generally accepted that a backpack with an external frame on the outside of the backpack is best since you’ll be able to use it as a storage area for stuff like your dirty laundry.

The size of the backpack is also very important since you’ll be carrying your tent, cooking stove, food, water, clothes, etc.

As a general rule of thumb, if you’re planning to go camping for longer than 10 days, you’ll need either an 80 or 100 litre backpack. If it’s only for a couple of days, you can get away with a 50 litre one.

#6 Sleeping Bag & Pad

You won’t enjoy camping without a proper sleeping bag (this is especially true if you’re planning to go camping during the cold months).

Besides the fact that you could freeze to death and wake up with a sore back, choosing a good sleeping bag and a sleeping pad (or air bed) can mean the difference between a good night’s sleep, and…well, a bad one!
Top 10 Things You Need for Camping

You’re probably asking at this point “what is the best sleeping bag for camping?” Again, it depends on your camping trip and what time of the year you’re camping.

Buying an all-weather mummy-shaped sleeping bag is probably the best solution. Again, choose a sleeping bag according to the weather conditions.

#7 Lighting

Camping lighting is on the list of top 10 things you need for camping as it’s simply another essential you can’t overlook.

When it comes to camping lighting, you’ll also find various types on the market that range from the traditional battery-powered torches, flashlight and spotlights, to gas lamps, oil lamps and propane lanterns.
Top 10 Things You Need for Camping

Each of these has their own advantages and disadvantages but one thing I can say after so many camping trips is that propane lanterns are best! Propane lanterns aren’t only very efficient but also produce a very bright source of light.

#8 Food & Water

Food and water is, of course, one of the most essential camping items, unless you’re planning to use your survival skills on the camping trip.
Top 10 Things You Need for Camping

You’ll need adequate containers to store the consumable foods and a portable ice chest (cool box). Since you won’t be able to freeze foods, you’ll need vacuum-seal bags to store things like meat and vegetables in your ice chest.
Top 10 Things You Need for Camping

Water is also very essential, and how you ration it important. You’ll need at least 2-liters per day for cooking, drinking, etc. How much you carry depends on the length of the trip, though if you carry water purification tablets you’ll have the option to refill your water supplies from a lake or stream.

#9 Clothes

The clothes you take on your camping trip need important consideration also, especially if you’re camping on cold weather. You have more room to maneuver in warm weather, but if you're camping in cold weather you need to use the right clothing gear.
Top 10 Things You Need for Camping

Having said this, even in the summer months you’ll need the right clothing gear to keep those bugs and flies at bay!

Typical things you’ll need include a few changes of underwear, t-shirts and socks, as well as trousers, long-sleeved shirts and two good pair of boots.

#10 First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit, what can I say? It can truly be a life-saver so carrying first aid kit (even if it’s a small one) could well save your life!
Top 10 Things You Need for Camping

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