Camping Essentials That You Always Need To Bring

It’s a beautiful twilight. You’ve found this gorgeous spot in the forest where you pitch your tent. It overlooks a valley. Far in the distance, the sun sinks to the horizon. It casts an orange glow over the forest floor. The sky darkens to lilac, to purple, and then to midnight blue. The stars come out.

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Do you know what else comes out at night in the forest? Mosquitoes. And, if you didn’t pack some repellant, you might be in for an unpleasant evening.

What are some of the other essentials you should take with you when you go out to enjoy the great outdoors? Consult this list and let it guide you for all future trips.

For ease of reference, what you’ll need is split up into the following categories:

  • Campsite items
  • Kitchen Items and Tools
  • Clothing 
  • Personal care items

Campsite Items

The primary item here would be your tent. In the outdoors, your tent becomes your home away from home. There are a variety of models you can pick according to style, color, the location you’re going to use it, and the number of people to be accommodated. If you’re really keen to sleep under the stars, get yourself a camping hammock that you can hang directly from the trees without causing damage to them. Add an unobtrusive mosquito net to fend off those pesky critters.

Other items you will want to put on your campsite list include:

  • Mallet (for tent assembly)
  • Stakes (for tent assembly)
  • Tent repair kit
  • Sleeping bags
  • Camp pillows
  • Camp chairs
  • Flashlight
  • Lantern
  • Batteries
  • Firewood (it may be illegal where you are to transport this to your campsite, so source this locally)
  • Firestarter
  • Cooler
  • Airtight containers for food

Kitchen Items and Tools

If you’re going to be camping multiple days, it may be a good idea to bring items to prepare meals on-site. If you’ve gone to the lake for a fishing trip, why waste a day’s catch?

Be prepared by carrying the following:

  • Camping stove (you may not be allowed to light a fire at your campsite)
  • Cooking utensils
  • Eating/Drinking utensils
  • Bins
  • Garbage bags
  • Soap for washing up
  • Water (carry a separate supply of water in case this isn’t provided for you at the campsite)
  • Other tools
  • First aid/medical kit
  • Survival knife
  • Survival whistle
  • Map
  • Compass


It’s not advisable to wear your everyday clothes when you go camping. Outdoors you’ll be exposed to the elements, so make sure you take waterproof, warm clothing with you like a fleece jacket and/or clothing that will protect you from the sun. What you pack will of course be dependent on the weather.

Other items of clothing you should carry are:

  • Appropriate shoes for the area you’ll be camping
  • Clothes with moisture-wicking technology
  • Thick soled socks
  • Hat (sun protection)
  • Long sleeves shirts (sun protection)
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Sleepwear

If you go to an area where swimming is allowed:

  • Swimwear

Personal items

Rules of personal hygiene must be observed, even if you plan on being alone. At the campsite, you’ll never know who you’ll run into.

You’ll also want to pack items that will keep you safe.

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Bathing soap
  • Menstrual pads
  • Any medications you might be taking
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper
  • Sanitation trowel (if the area has no toilets)
  • Comb
  • Brush
  • Towels

In addition to these must-haves, there are some “nice to bring along” items that can make your camping trip that much more memorable, especially if you are going with friends.

Board games, puzzles, and cards – In case you get bored with nature. You can challenge yourself to a game of Solitaire. Or you can face off against friends

Mobile phone/Tablet – You can carry this if you want to catch up on your reading and don’t want to weigh yourself down with heavy books. These will give you access to your saved music library or YouTube as well if you feel for some music.

Camera – You’ll want a camera because you’ll want everyone back home to see that huge fish you caught. It’s also good to have on hand to record special moments with friends and family.

Fishing gear – If you are into catching fish, it’ll be difficult without this.

Binoculars – Bird watchers will find these may come in handy on a camping trip.

Watersports gear – For those who plan to camp near water

Bikes – To explore the terrain

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You should also try to walk with some money and a personal ID.

With this list, you’ll have everything you need to have the best camping trip ever. The only thing you need now is to relax and enjoy.