5 Camping Essentials You Need to Bring

5 Camping Essentials You Need to Bring

You’re going camping soon, but what should you pack? Whether you’re just going on an overnight hike or staying outside for much longer, camping is a fun way to spend time outdoors, but it also requires preparation. We put together the ultimate list of essentials for your next camping trip. If you’ll be staying at a campsite, contact them beforehand and see what gear they already have available for campers like you. Want to read more of our tips for enjoying the outdoors? Check out all of our blog articles on camping.

1. Water

First, make sure you bring enough water. If you plan to camp overnight, you will need at least one gallon per person per day. Bring more than that just in case. If you’re planning on spending any length of time outdoors, you’ll need to make sure you keep yourself well hydrated. A good rule of thumb is to drink half as much water as you weigh in pounds. So if you weigh 150 lbs., you should drink 75 oz. of water each day. Many campsites will have water stations that you can fill up your water bottle at. That’s why we recommend bringing a water bottle—and you’ll be even better off with a collapsible one like this bottle by Nomader, so that when you’re done drinking it’s easier to store.

2. Portable Grill or Gas Stove

If you’re planning on cooking outside, then you’ll need an outdoor cooktop such as a portable grill or a gas stove. This will allow you to cook without having to use an open flame, which is dangerous and difficult to regulate. Plus, it’s much easier to control the heat with an outdoor cooktop than an open flame. There are many options available, but we recommend this handy propane stove by Coleman. If you’re planning on doing a lot of cooking, check out our article on the 5 essentials you need for camp cooking.

3. Cooler Bags

To keep your food fresh, you should bring along a cooler bag. These bags are made specifically for keeping food and drinks cold. They come in different sizes and materials so you can choose one that fits your needs. One of the main benefits of a cooler bag is that it’s a lot less bulky than a traditional plastic cooler, and of course, it doesn’t require electricity like a refrigerator. When it comes to cooler bags, you want them to be reliable. You don’t want your food to go bad or your drinks to heat up. We recommend the RTIC Soft Cooler.

4. Tent

If you’re planning on spending more than just a few days camping, then you’ll need to make sure you pack everything you need to sleep. This includes a tent, a sleeping bag, a pillow, etc. Depending on if you’re going to be camping alone, with your partner, friends, or family, you’ll need a different sized tent. There are many options from small, single-person tents to extravagant family-sized tents. Unless you plan on building your own shelter like Survivorman, you really can’t forget to bring a tent and sleeping bag. If you’re planning on going solo, try the Night Cat Backpacking Tent. If you’re looking for something a little bigger, try the Coleman Cabin Tent with Instant Setup in 60 Seconds, or if you want some fancy, we recommend this canvas bell tent by WHITEDUCK.

5. The Ultimate Camp Coffee Kit

Camp coffee is one of the best things to wake you up and get your body and mind ready for the day and it’s even better with the Ultimate Camp Coffee Kit. In minutes, you can brew enough pour over coffee for your whole day with the Big Joe Coffee Maker right into your DrinkTanks® Craft Growler. The growler makes sure your coffee stays piping hot throughout the entire day and offers an easy to pour spout cap. Plus, the DrinkTanks® spout cap has a lock that keeps it open but secure so you don’t have to worry about lost parts on the trail or in the backyard. Toss the instant coffee in the trash and elevate your cup of joe with the Ultimate Camp Coffee Kit. Make sure to bring the Ultimate Camp Coffee Kit on your next camping trip or other outdoor excursion.

Other Camping Essentials 

That’s not everything you need for camping by a longshot. Depending on where you’re camping, who you’re going with, and how long you’ll be camping, you’ll need to bring different gear. Don’t forget to think ahead and double check you’ve brought everything, because you don’t want to be out in the wild unprepared. Other camping essentials include:

  • Extra batteries for your flashlight
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • First aid kit
  • Matches
  • Fire starters
  • Trash bags
  • Compass


Spending time with family and friends at a campsite during the summer is a wonderful way to enjoy nature. However, you’re not going to want to forget essential gear for camping or you’re going to have a bad time. With this guide, you’ll have a start to your list. If you expect to do a lot of cooking, make sure to check out our tips on what cooking gear to bring, and if you’re going with coffee drinkers, check out our favorite ways to make camp coffee in this article. What is something that you can’t miss packing when you go camping? Let us know in the comments.

Please note that Big Joe receives a small commission from sales of certain items linked in this article.

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