14 Must-Have Products for Your Next Camping Trip
The perfect activity for these trying times
Camping is a great way to get outside with family and friends or even by yourself. You can go camping in many state and national parks, at private campgrounds, in the backcountry or even in your own backyard.
Part of the joy of camping is needing very little gear. But a few choice products will help your time outdoors be more fun. Here are 14 products that should never be left at home.
Pro tip: A Rubbermaid bin stuffed with everything you need for camping is one of the best ways to keep everything organized. Simply throw the box in your car with a tent, a sleeping bag, and some food when it’s time to head out.
REI Half Dome 2 Plus Tent
The Half Dome Plus includes two doors and two vestibules so there’s no crawling over your tent mate to get in and out. Other smart touches include vents on the fly, pockets to stuff the opened canopy doors into (saving the hassle of lashing them aside), and an “attic” to dry socks or hold a headlamp for overhead lighting.
Sea to Summit Comfort Deluxe Sleeping Pad
If there’s one piece of camping gear to splurge on, it’s a sleeping pad. The Comfort Deluxe inflates on its own in minutes and features over three inches of plush foam. If you’re camping with a partner, they also make a double-wide version that will have you feeling like you’re in your bed at home.
Therm-a-rest Corus HD Quilt
If you loathe the restrictive feeling of sleeping bags, try a quilt. It’s essentially a puffy blanket with a pocket at the bottom to stuff your feet into. The Corus HD is my favorite thanks to its lofty waterproof down insulation, which traps precious warmth from escaping on cooler evenings.
Black Diamond Apollo Lantern
A headlamp is great for doing chores or late-night bathroom breaks, but if you’re hanging out around camp after dark, you’ll really appreciate a lantern. The Apollo runs on a lithium-ion battery and emits 250-lumens of light for 50 hours.
Camp Chef Everest Stove
The Everest has two burners managed by matchless ignitions and temperature controls worthy of your at-home stove. The folding lid still has a three-sided windscreen for easier cooking when it’s windy out, and the drip tray helps you clean the stove a bit easier.
Coleman Compact Camp Table
The best camping spots come with a picnic table, but if yours doesn’t, pick up this cheap and portable table. It’s too small to sit at, but it’s handy for putting your stove on or washing dishes.
GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper Cookset
Your normal pots and pans will work for camping, but if you want to keep them clean, or you want to keep something in your camp box, I recommend getting some camp specific cookware. This set includes four plates, bowls, and mugs, plus two pots and a frying pan—everything needed to cook delish meals for four.
Thermacell Radius Mosquito Repellant
Mosquitos can make even the most idyllic campsite a nightmare, which is why I started bringing a Thermacell on every camping trip. The unique device burns a liquid repellant that creates a 15-square foot zone of protection against bugs. It’s USB rechargeable and lasts for 6.5 hours on a single charge.
Kelty Discovery Lowdown Camp Chair
We’ve all experienced the frustration of shoving a camp chair into a too-small bag. The Discovery solves that problem by eliminating the bag altogether. When you’re ready to pack up camp, just roll it up in the included storage wrap.
Gerber Center-Drive Multi-Tool
I usually prefer knives to multi-tools, but when camping it never hurts to have a screwdriver or pair of scissors on hand. The Center-Drive has those plus 14 other tools including a saw blade, 12-piece bit set, and spring-loaded pliers. Its unique design allows the driver to align like a traditional screwdriver, making it the most efficient multi-tool on the market.
Rovr Rollr 60 Cooler
For an overnight, a cheap cooler will do, but if you’re going for a weekend or more, a good cooler is worth the investment. The 60-liter Rollr will hold enough food for a family for a long weekend (and will keep anything cold for 10 days). The best part? Two all-terrain wheels make it easy drag so you won’t throw your back out when trying to move it.
Anker PowerCore 20100 Battery Pack
I’ll admit, I like to watch Netflix before bed, even when camping. I bring along one of these Anker battery packs so I don’t have to worry about draining my phone on night one. The PowerCore 20100 holds enough juice to charge a phone eight times or an iPad four times.
Adventure Medical Kits Day Tripper Lite First Aid Kit
Fire, knives, the outdoors—there’s a lot that can go wrong, so a first-aid kit is a must-have. Sure, you could go to CVS and assemble your own but it’s much easier to buy a pre-packaged kit. I like the Day Tripper Lite, which gives you all the essentials to manage most basic first-aid issues in one organized package.
Dude Shower Wipes
If you’re camping for a few nights, you’re gonna want a way to wash off. The name sucks, but Dude Shower wipes work really well. The eight-inch by 10-inch size is larger than the competitor’s options, and the individual packaging means you can throw a few in your camping box so you’ll have them when you need them.
OnX Offroad App
If you’re going to a campsite in a local state park, this app is unnecessary. But if you really want to get off the grid, it’s a worthy download. The app helps you find trails and dirt roads in all 50 states. It also makes distinctions between public lands like national parks, BLM land, and National Forests so you can find a campsite miles away from anyone else.