Camping, Gear

A Guide to Essential Camping Gear

A Guide to Essential Camping Gear

It has been a long winter folks – and by following our guide to essential camping gear, you will be both prepared and safe for your excursions. Your camping gear depends on the type of outdoor expedition planned. Let’s break down a few categories first, as your essential camping gear depends on some key factors. For this piece, I spoke to a couple of outdoorsmen, including Ben over at Airsoft Gun Guy, to find out exactly what the best pieces of kit would be to bring with you on your trip.

Camping definitions

  • Standard Camping – driving to a location and popping a tent right there at the site
  • Backpacking – hiking through the outdoors to make camp at an isolated location, can be further broken down into three categories
    • Day packing – for a day long excursion where overnight is not planned
    • Overnight – going out with the plan to stay over one or two nights
    • Long Haul – only for the more experienced campers, this can range from as little as a week of planned camping, to upwards of months (i.e. hiking the appalachian trail)

Now with these in mind, let’s focus on the essential camping gear.

Shelter – Tents and Tarps

Tents come in two main categories: three season or four season. As their names imply, the former will get you through anything but freezing temperatures, with the latter lined with fur or insulation made for harsher conditions such as snow, ice, and freezing or below temperatures.

The size of your tent depends on the size of your party, and when camping you can go just about any size desired. When backpacking overnight or long haul, encumbrance becomes an issue and you should pack only a one person tent, or even just a tarp and stakes.


Campers may want a small backpack or a water bladder for short hikes, but all around since your vehicle should be close they are not necessary. Backpacking however would be nothing without its namesake. The backpack you buy will depend greatly on the weight of your belongings, as well as how much space they take up. Some backpacks can be customized and your sporting goods expert will train you on how to optimize your carrying capacity to maximize distance.

Hiking boots

Look for comfortable waterproof boots, and be sure to wear them for a few weeks before going on a long excursion. They should be broken in before tested in the wilderness.

First aid kit

Ointments for poison ivy and bug bites, as well as peroxide and bandages for minor scrapes.

This is just a guide to essential camping gear. You can go further with maps, rations, and water, but this should get you started.


About Justin

Justin is an avid outdoorsman and hiker. He loves exploring new places, reaching new heights (literally and spiritually), and meeting all sorts of new people. He has been around the world, but currently calls Colorado home. He loves blogging about his adventures, giving tips, and talking about outdoor gear.
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