Camping is one of the best ways to get out and enjoy nature, but it's important to be prepared. There are camping essentials you'll always need for your trip: a tent, sleeping bag, camping stove, first-aid kit, flashlight, etc. But there are also the things that just make the whole trip better!
Camping is all about relaxing and enjoying the great outdoors, so make sure you have everything you need to make the most of your trip. Of course, you'll also need food and water. It's always a good idea to pack plenty of snacks and have a backup plan for food in case you get stranded.
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This list of camping gear is all stuff we use. Tried and tested!
Clothes for Camping & Hiking
The outdoor apparel brand that Mr. Misadventures and I wear the most is Stio. Not only do we wear it for all our outdoor adventures, but also in our daily lives. They have exceptional quality, sustainable practices, and great-looking clothing and outerwear!
Coalatree Eco-Minded Goods | Outdoor Apparel & Accessories
Coalatree is an outdoor brand based in Utah and knows how to make solid gear for hiking, trails, and camping. Their clothing is organic and sustainable. The Misadventures household has lots of outdoor gear from Coalatree that we wear hiking, camping, road-tripping, etc. The same goes for their gear.
More Clothing Gear for Camping & Hiking
I wear these traveling, on road trips, and most definitely while hiking and camping. Long says can be tough on your legs and these babies definitely increase my comfort level.
Wallaroo Sun Hat
I have this Wallaroo Breton hat in blue and red. It has UPF 50+ sun protection. It is lightweight, comfortable, breathable, and rolls up for easy packing. Wallaroo has other styles as well.
No outdoor adventure is complete without my trusty Osprey backpack. My first one lasted nearly 14 years and was replaced for free. Even when I don't hike it is my constant companion.
Halle Pant II
My Halle Pant II from Prana is what I wear for hiking and camping. They are durable and sturdy. For warmer weather, they are great, for cold weather camping add a base layer.
Other Essential or Unique Camping and Road Trip Gear
PAKMULE Hitch Rack Cargo Carriers
We are preparing for a big southwest road trip. It will include a cross-country trip to get to Arizona-Utah and then some back-country camping at White Pocket, etc. We have our Tepui tent on the top of the truck, and the truck bed has a slider to keep gear, but our PAKMULE hitch rack cargo carrier is a bonus as it is giving us extra storage capacity!
During the trip from North Carolina to Arizona, we can keep the things we need most accessible on the rack. This is super convenient for quick overnight stays. Then once we hit camping mode, we will use it to hold our cooler and other gear (a) off the ground and (b) in reach for easy access.
It is tough and durable and will be able to handle off-road driving, but only ways 42 pounds! 100% aluminum and doesn't rust – great for snow and rain conditions as well. It is also 100% made in America!
Generark Solar Generator
[Gifted] This baby only weighs 23 pounds so it is easy to lift and carry around. The solar panels come in a case that keeps all the cables together. We use it to recharge devices, small appliances (like your tire compressor), coolers, etc. It is the perfect power station for camping and long road trips.
I wrote more about this awesome solar generator that I think everyone should have!
More Gear to Consider:
Coalatree Kachula Adventure Blanket
This is the ONLY blanket you will ever need for camping, beach, or otherwise! It stuffs into itself making a great pillow. There is a snap-on hood that you can use to make it a wearable poncho. It is spill-resistant too!
Coalatree Eco-Packable Hammock
The perfect hammock to pack for your campsite no matter where it is! In a campground or off the beaten track (or heck even a hostel) this little hammock is compact and awesome! It's very light so bring it everywhere!
Petzl ACTIK CORE Headlamp
For walking to a photo spot before sunrise or after sunset. For getting to that at stargazing spot. For going pee at night without killing yourself! Rechargeable so you don't have to worry about batteries!
BioLite, Alpenglow 500 Lantern
This light has been in our camping gear for a few years and every time we camp I remark on how awesome it is! We hook it in our tent at night and use it on our “dining table” for meals. It has a USB-A charge-out port.
Pull Start Fire Firestarter
No matches, lighters, or flames required. Simply pull the string and witness your fire roar to life in seconds! Burns for an impressive 30 minutes. Perfect for outdoor campfires, provides effortless fire-starting for fire pits, and is designed to withstand wind and rain.
UTTY Portable Gear Hanger
Drying rack, hanging and organizing rack, one for “he” and one for “she” rack. Would probably work for kids too, with each one getting their own spot to hang their stuff. We get so many uses out of this portable rack that can hang from our tent, or truck, etc, it is a lifesaver!
Sage Canyon Sun Shelter Deluxe
We are not sun worshippers in the Misadventures household so when we are at camp (or at the beach) we need a sun shelter and depending on the spot, protection from the wind also. This line from Big Agnes is lightweight and easy to assemble which is also a big bonus.
REI Co-op Skyward Chair
What I want most in a camp chair is for it to be travel-friendly (lightweight) and comfortable. At the end of a long day out adventuring, I want to sit and relax and enjoy a drink (drink-holder, yay!) before my evening meal. This REI Skyward Chair hits on all the marks and I love mine!
What You Need to Sleep
Do you enjoy camping but want to make sure your slumber is just as restful and comfortable as at home? Having all the right gear makes a big difference when you sleep outdoors, so let's explore what you need for a cozy night of sleeping under the stars. Get ready to enjoy nature without sacrificing comfort!
Sea to Summit Compression Sack
The Sea to Summit Ultra-SIL Compression Dry Sack, Ultralight Dry Bag will help you compress your sleeping bag into a teeny tiny ball. It really saves a lot of space when you are packing!
Sea to Summit Aeros Down Inflatable Pillow
I do not skimp on our pillows. Usually, I bring the ones right from my bed. But for a cross-country trip where space is limited then I turn to this inflatable pillow which is very comfortable!
Large Waterproof Camping Tarp
This tarp from REDCAMP sits outside the tent to keep your sleeping area clean. Of course, it's a tarp so it has a million uses while camping. We like this one because it is very compact.
Eye Mask & Earplugs to Sleep!
There are a lot of strange noises (could be other campers nearby too) and light-walled tents. Plus the sun or moon can be bright! I ALWAYS have these essentials with me to get a good night's sleep.
Stuff to Keep You Clean
There's nothing worse than getting all dirty and grimy while trying to enjoy nature. It may seem like a nearly impossible task to stay clean while out running wild in nature’s playground for days on end – but fear not! Fortunately, there are lots of great products available on the market today that make it easy for campers to keep themselves clean without sacrificing comfort.
Wash Yo Self
These Post-Workout Face & Body Wipes are also perfect for camping. After a hike when you aren't ready for a shower, or first thing in the morning when you wake up and want to refresh yourself, or if there is no shower at all, Wash Yo Self has you covered! Each pre-moistened towelette has aloe vera and witch hazel extract so they are okay for sensitive skin. I think these are great after a long flight too! Small-woman owned business too!
More Clean-Up Gear:
PackTowl Microfiber Towel
We use these super quick-drying towels daily on our walks and they are fantastic for long hikes in warm weather. The larger format ones are great for quick drying after camp showers.
BAR-D Biodegradable Body Wipes
Sometimes you can't shower so these extra large and thick biodegradable body wipes are what you need! Wipe down your entire body. Face, armpits, down there. They smell great too!
On-the-Go Biodegradable TP Kits
I have been using these for years and love them! They are ever present in my gear. Each kit includes both tissues five 2-ply tissues and two wet wipes) in a single resealable package. 10 kits per box.
Sea to Summit Water Storage/Dispenser
The Sea to Summit Watercell X Lightweight Camping Water Storage/Dispenser can also be used for a primitive shower. We also use it for holding fresh water for cooking.
Battling those Insects
Nature isn't just something you look forward to – it's a battleground that requires an arsenal of bug sprays and insect repellents! Sure, those bugs can be annoying (and sometimes even scary!), but with a game plan and plenty of skills to combat them, there's no reason why insects should keep you from enjoying your time spent in nature.
The Lemon Citronella Line from Broken Top Brands
[Gifted] Hello bugs, sorry to say, I hate you. I know you are good for the planet and all, but I am just not a fan! The most important item in my Osprey backpack, packed with my camping gear, or heck, sitting on the coffee table on my back patio, is bug repellent!
Don't let bugs invade your outdoor fun! Broken Top Brands has the perfect defense against annoying critters with their Lemon Citronella line including the Lemon Citronella Repellent Stick, an easy-to-apply stick that gives you full protection when enjoying nature.
You can keep the insects away by putting on key pulse points like wrists, neck & knees. Make sure to pack one before any of your future hikes or patio hangs – it'll repel those buggers in no time!
And P.S., they smell great!
I tried the entire line which includes:
- Lemon Citronella Soy Candle
- Lemon Citronella Repellent Spray
- Lemon Citronella Incense Cones
- Lemon Citronella Repellent Stick
More Insect Controlling Gear:
Sea to Summit Mosquito Head Net
Since my crazy mosquito misadventures in Crater Lake Oregon, I never go anywhere without this baby! Packs up into a tiny bag.
Cliganic Mosquito Repellent Stickers
We do spray our clothes for ticks (during the season) and have mosquito sprays and lotions, but I also like these patches )and bracelets).
Bug Soother Spray & Candle
This natural bug repellent has a blend of vanilla and lemongrass which I like but mosquitoes hate! The candle has the same scent as well.
Thermacell Mosquito Repellent
This repeller creates a 20-foot zone of protection against mosquitoes. Perfect for mealtime and near the tent at night for bug-free sleep!
Camp Kitchen + Dining
Eating in the great outdoors is a timeless pastime and one that can be spiced up with some creative ingredients, kitchen gadgets, accessories, and outdoor gear. Whether you're an experienced camper or just getting started, set your sights on incredible meals while hanging out in nature.
UCO stands for Utility, Comfort, and Originality. With everything from UCO Ware to lighting and fire pits, this Washington state gear company has a wide variety of products that you can find in the Misadventures family list of gear for camping!
UCO Camping Gear for Eating
Mr. Misadventures and I have been using UCO camping plates, bowls, cups, and silverware for a million years. Their products are made with 100% recover recycled materials and have a LIFETIME guarantee. We take them in our suitcase even for travel and throw them in the car for road trips. They clean up easily and are very durable.
UCO 6 Piece Mess Kit
Mr. Misadventures and I prefer to use reusable dishware. We use glass containers for our food and mess kits like the UCO 6 Piece Mess Kit to eat on rather than paper plates, etc. The kit is designed to make your camp life a little bit easier. It includes 6 pieces, including the spork and collapsible cup so you can enjoy any meal on-the-go.
Flatpack Grill and Fire Pit
I LOVE this product so much! This Flatpack Grill and Fire Pit from UCO Gear is tiny! Who knew you could have a fold-up grill??!! This baby fits in its own canvas case and practically disappears, yet it is durable enough to hold your firewood and food if you cook on it.
More Camp Kitchen + Dining Gear:
OXO 3 Piece Silicone Measuring Cups
We bring these to measure water for our dehydrated meals. They collapse into nothing and don't break if the heat dries them out.
Waterproof, Oil-Proof Vinyl Tablecloth
Even when we don't actually have a table we use this as a picnic blanket or across the back of our truck for dining.
Hydro Flask Insulated Food Jar
Fantastic for food prep! Insulated food jars keep food fresh (hot or cold!0, no matter where the day takes you.
Dreamroo Travel Utensil Set
- Great for camping, travel, and road trips
- The metal utensils are easier to clean than plastic (think oil and grease – so hard to get off plastic!)
- Minority-owned, Veteran-owned, eco-conscious brand
- 100% food grade silicone that's freezer, dishwasher, and microwave safe
- This compact sets in your backpack, mess kit, or glove compartment
Camping Food: Eats and Treats
Expand your culinary horizons beyond just s'mores and hot dogs when you go camping. Check out these amazing eats and treats that will make your next outdoor adventure one of the best meals you've had all year! Whether it's a classic campfire dinner or something a little more exotic, everyone can find something new here to indulge in once they hit the trail.
Our Picks for Dehydrated Meals:
When it comes to camping, Mr. Misadventures and I prefer to focus more on how we are spending our time outdoors without messing around with a lot of cooking. We prepare food ahead of time, do lots of healthy snacking, and bring dehydrated food. The dehydrated food industry has come a LONG way since my Dad was eating MREs and you do NOT have to give up your gourmet ways to enjoy these meals!
Peak Refuel Camping Food
Is it weird that I now look forward to camping so I can eat meals like Peak Refuel's Beef Stroganoff? These meals are fairly low carb as I would like, and are full of protein. When I am out hiking I doubt mind the extra carbs or calories as I know I am going to burn through them. They have a full line of meals from breakfast to lunch – all delicious!
Another boutique pouch meal brand that makes incredible meals! Oh my goodness is it hard to choose. I LOVE their Lamb Bourguinon, Comrade Doeganoff (venison stroganoff), and Las Pollos Hermanas chicken stew. The only downside to this brand is they have a very long lead time to fulfill orders, more than the 2 weeks they usually claim they are behind, so buy them early!
More Camping Food Ideas:
Good to Go
We have been eating REI's Good to Go dehydrated meals for years. While I prefer a little more gourmet, they are still a really good choice for a hot meal. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Plant-based, protein-packed dehydrated meals that are also pretty low carb. I like Nomad Nutrition for their Hungarian Goulash and Irish shepherd’s pie meals. Very filling and great flavor.
NuTrail Nut Granola
This is our go-to breakfast most of the time. We mainly eat the Cocoa and Blueberry ones but also have tried their Honey Nut. Makes a great base for trail mix too, just add low-carb chocolate chips.
The Wild Zora line of instant grain-free hot cereal is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts! Packed with organic flaxseed and almond-based goodness, they are loaded with fiber and protein.
IQBAR Brain and Body Keto Protein Bars
We love low-carb protein bars in the Misadventures family and keep a wide variety of them on hand. I am a HUGE fan of banana and QBAR makes an excellent one! Lots of other good flavors as well. Great for the trail or just a good, healthy snack.
Duke's Smoked Shorty Sausages
We have been big fans of Duke's for quite a while. They are a great low-carb snack when you need to fight the munchies between meals. Perfect for hiking. My favorite is the Hatch Chile version, Mr. Misadventures loves the new Chorizo & Lime!
Pop Art Popcorn with Olive Oil
Not your average popcorn! The foodie in your life will love ALL the flavors! Popcorn is fun for camping! We eat it as an apéro with a bottle of low-carb beer after setting up camp the first night. Some versions are with avocado oil. All yummy!
S'mores Bark Luxe Milk Chocolate Bark
S'mores are too messy! Instead, if I want the same flavor profile without all the fuss, I am going for the S'mores Bark Luxe Milk Chocolate Bark by Chuao Chocolatier. With crushed honey goodness, fluffy mini marshmallows, and creamy milk chocolate.
Camping Drinks: AM to PM
Let's explore all the delicious drinks from the morning until the night that will help fuel your adventures! Here is something for every discerning camper – no matter how early or late you rise out of their tents! So pour yourself a cup and let’s dive in as we explore some awesome camping drinks perfect for an AM (or PM!) adventure.
Steeped Instant Coffee Bags
Easy and convenient eco-friendly single-serve packages of delicious coffee. These are perfect for camping, just add hot water and you are set!
Mosi Tea Infuser + Cold Brew Infuser
We use a tea infuser and cold brew infuser from Mosi, a local company in the Raleigh-Durham area (woot), and have fresh caffeine to fuel our days.
Nuun Sport: Electrolyte Tablets
These low-carb electrolyte drink tablets provide improved hydration. We add them to water during the day, for our walks, hikes, and more.
LMNT Zero-Sugar Electrolytes
This is my favorite electrolyte drink mix. I love the flavors and the salty flavor doesn't bother me at all, in fact, the opposite! Perfect electrolytes ratio.
Camping Planners & Journals
Whether you’re planning a short weekend trip or an extended stay, having a plan in place can help make sure your time outside is fun and relaxing. Planning ahead for all the details — from packing the right gear to mapping out where you'll go — takes effort, but by using specific camping planners & journals, it doesn't have to be overwhelming. So if you're looking for an easy way to keep track of everything as well as capture memories along the way – then look no further!
Le Shop: Camping Trip Planner
If you’re the kind of person who spends hours daydreaming of the perfect camping trip, then my camping trip planner is an absolute must-have to track all the details!
Simple Family Camping Planner
Are you ready to enjoy a camping trip with your family? My all-in-one Simple Family Camping Planner is here to help you make the most of your outdoor adventure.
Camping With Your Dog Planner
With my Camping With Your Dog Planner, you can check off all your preparations and get ready for some outdoor fun with your natural-born adventuring buddy!
Document your camping adventures with this camping passport from Letterfolk. Keep track of the best campsites and the meaningful moments while you are out and about. Great way to journal.
Camping is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and spend some time in nature. Before you head out into the wild, have all your camping essentials. And then pack the good stuff, the gear!
While it might seem like a lot to remember, packing the right camping gear will help ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable trip. So before you head out on your next camping adventure, be sure to check the products I've shared!
How about you? Is there something new, cool, or interesting that you are bringing on your next camping trip? Do share!
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