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Camping Gear: Your Complete Guide to Everything You Need on Your Next Trip

Camping Gear Complete Guide

Camping is one of our favourite summer pastimes. Becoming one with nature makes us feel more human and as though we are better people.

When we go camping we need the best camping gear possible. This does not mean that it is the most expensive camping gear you can purchase.

I have suggestions for kids camping gear, winter camping gear, cheap camping gear and so much more.

Keep reading so you know what to buy and what not to buy.

Camping Gear List


You won’t believe what the last one is!

There are many items you need to bring with you when you go camping. Sometimes I feel as though I bring everything but the kitchen sink.

With all of the camping gear that they sell in the stores, it is easy to bring so many things with here. Here is my camping gear list of my necessity items:

Tent and Accessories:

  • Tent with stakes and guy lines
  • Tent footprint
  • Tent pole and repair sleeve
  • Sun shade
  • Sleeping bags and liners
  • Sleeping pads
  • Air mattresses
  • Mattress repair kit just in case
  • Air pump for mattress
  • Pillows
  • Swiss army knife
  • Trekking poles
  • Folding chairs
  • Folding table
  • Cots
  • Hammer or mallet for tent stakes
  • Headlamps
  • Extra batteries for appliances that require them
  • Flashlights
  • Lanterns
  • Lantern fuel
  • Water filter
  • Water treatment tablets

Want to buy a camping tent for your family?

Check out my buying guide for the best cabin tents here and the best camping hammock here!

Fun Camping Activities:

Clothing and Swimsuits:

  • Moisture wicking t-shirts and underwear
  • Quick dry pants and shorts
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Sun shielding hats
  • Swimsuits
  • Bandanas
  • Hiking shoes or boots
  • Socks
  • Long underwear
  • Insulated jacket or vest
  • Insulated pants
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Rainwear
  • Clothesline and clips
  • Water sandalsIn camp sandals

Kitchen Equipment:

  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Funnel
  • Matches or lighter
  • Charcoal
  • Firewood
  • Axe or saw
  • Grill rack
  • Frying pan
  • Pots
  • Dutch oven
  • Portable coffee maker
  • Hot-cold vacuum bottle
  • Hand operated blender
  • Bottle opener
  • Can opener
  • Roasting sticks
  • Food storage containers
  • Repeatable storage bags
  • Trash bags
  • Tablecloth with clips or tape
  • CoolersIce
  • Water bottles
  • Plates, bowls, mixing bowls
  • Mugs and cups
  • Measuring equipment
  • Forks, spoons and knives
  • Paring knife
  • Spatula
  • Whisk
  • Kitchen organizer
  • Cutting board/surface
  • Foil
  • Egg holders
  • Soap
  • Kitchen sponges
  • Standing camp sink
  • Drying rack
  • Quick dry towels

Food Items:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Breakfast food like cereal and granola
  • Breakfast bars
  • Batter mixes
  • Syrup
  • Butter
  • Jam
  • Bagels and bread
  • Meat jerky
  • Fresh meat
  • Soup mixes
  • Prepared meals
  • Food seasoning
  • Milk
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Cheese
  • Crackers

Survival Accessories:

  • Toilet paper
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Bug repellent
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Antiseptic
  • First aid kit
  • Toothbrush
  • Toiletries
  • Brush
  • Earplugs

This is just a basic list of camping gear. There are so many more items you can bring with you!

Kids Camping Gear

Kids always require the most camping gear and equipment. Especially if they are younger kids or toddlers/infants. Since they outgrow their clothing right away, there is no reason as to why you need to invest in any pricey items for them as of yet. I always suggest looking for some items as stores or at outlet stores.

Here are some necessity items for kids camping gear:

  • As children grow, their backpacks should grow with them. Many children’s backpacks offer adjustable torsos on them so they always fit comfortably on their backhand shoulders. There is nothing worse than having a backpack too high on your back when you are hiking. It is just plain uncomfortable. Look for backpacks with adjustable torsos so your bag can grow with your kid instead of having to purchase a new one every so many .
  • Hydration pack. These are great for kids. They look like backpacks, but they are water bottles with a cool straw so they can rehydrate while walking. They come in fun colours and hold around 50 oz. of water which is about their recommended daily requirement. Now they will have two and you will not have to hold their water bottle for them.
  • Trekking poles. You can purchase children’s trekking poles that adjust between 66 – 110 centimetres. This way they can grow with your kids. They come in fun bright colours like orange and yellow. This way the kids can be seen and you can differentiate their trekking poles from your boring coloured adult trekking poles.
  • Sleeping bags. Kid’s sleeping bags are much more fun and stylish than adult sleeping bags. If I was not so tall, I’d purchase a kids sleeping bag. They come in cute shapes like fish or sharks depending in what your child is interested in. Personally, I’d get the fish and pretend I’m a mermaid inside with my fins!
  • Kids’ sleeping pad. As much as you hesitate on buying a kids’ sized sleeping pad, you know their kids’ sized sleeping bag requires one. And adult one is far too big for them. The kids’ sleeping pads are the correct size and offer all of the additional features that an adult sleeping pad has. They self-inflate, soft, non-slip surface, but have a design and fun colours.

Sometimes being a kid is so much more fun than being an adult when it comes to camping equipment and accessories.

Winter Camping Gear

There is something quite special about camping in the winter. There people at the camping sites, and there are different activities to do.

My favourite part is sleeping under the stars tucked into sleeping bag, the fact that there are no insects (especially mosquitoes) and the animals are hibernating.

All you need are a few additional items geared towards the winter months. Here are some of them:

  • Navigation items. Since National Parks and other camping sites are not as busy, that usually means less people are working so you will want to make sure you have good navigation items to get you back safely. Always have a map in a protective case, a compass and GPS. Getting lost is no joke in the winter. It seems that is when most people become lost, so make sure you are not a part of that statistic.
  • Sun protection. If you are where there is snow, the sun will reflect off of it and cause your skin to burn. Always use sunscreen especially on your face. Bring lip balm and sunglasses too. That winter sun is brighter than you think, even thou it is not out as long.
  • If there is snow and ice on the ground, then it is cold out. Bring items like a jacket, vest, pants, gloves, hat, earmuffs, and sleeping bag and so on. You will be glad you did. Frostbite will just ruin your camping trip.
  • Since the sun rises later, and sets earlier, be sure to have a headlamp, and flashlights along with extra batteries. These lights are a necessity if you become lost and need help. Just continually flash your light and someone will know you are in danger.
  • Emergency items. Food like trail mix and jerky, first aid kit, matches, knife and those sort of items. You need to always be prepared in case of an emergency. Also bring plenty of water in an insulated bottle. This way it does not freeze and you can stay hydrated.

Now you are all prepared for winter camping.

Cheap Camping Gear

You may think that you have to be wealthy to afford to go camping, but you really don’t. It is all about where you shop for your camping gear.

As someone who enjoys looking for a great deal, I will let you in on my secret: look online.

Here are some places to find cheap camping gear and the items that they have to offer:

  • Google. This site will tell you which store or online site has the item you want or need at the best price available. This goes from tents and sleeping bags, to kitchen equipment and hiking gear. Type in what you are shopping for on the top right hand corner and it will search the internet for you so you just click and purchase. All of the hard work is done by them. Can’t get much easier than that! My favourite thing to search for are clearance items. Just type clearance sleeping bags and that is all you get. No regular priced items here.
  • eBay. We have all seen the adverts on television for this site and I am happy to say they deliver on their promises. You can purchase tents, camp furniture, airless and sleeping bags at discounted prices on the site. They can list them in alphabetical order, customer ratings, price, new arrivals are items on sale. Your choice. The price shown is that day’s price. You may have a better deal tomorrow, or the item may be gone altogether. That is the risk you play on a site like eBay. Best thing to do is shop during the day and then purchase later on it the afternoon or evening. eBay is great when you want a specific item, but not if you do not know the brand and model number.
  • Amazon. This is always a dependable site you can go on to purchase the items you want at a price you are willing to pay. On Amazon, you can find anything at a discounted price so you are able to purchase necessity items and splurge camping items as well. We all know that portable DVD player is great for the kids when there is no WiFi and it’s a rainy day.
  • Look in certain sections on Amazon and eBay. You can specifically look at tents or kitchen equipment for camping. It just depends on how hard you are willing to dig for the best price.

There are many more discount sites out there that sell camping gear, but these are my personal favourites. Now you do not have an excuse to go camping.


So that was quite the list of camping gear for the whole family, wasn’t it? There is something for everyone when it comes to camping, I love inner tubing and hiking. I have friends who enjoy fishing and others who enjoy hunting. We all agree that sleeping outside tucked into is the only way to sleep.

Go out there and enjoy nature and what it has to offer you and your friends and family.

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