A Beginner’s Guide to Camping Equipment

Looking to make camping a new hobby of yours? That’s good news! Camping just might be one of our most favorite past times here. Beautiful nature, fresh mountain breezes, warm, cozy campfires, and all the peace and quiet you could ever dream of are just a smidgen of what camping has to offer. But where do you start? How do you ensure you get all the gear you need without spending thousands and thousands of dollars on it? Well, this guide is here to help you out! We’ve compiled a list of nothing but the essentials. No frills here, just the bare necessities to get the job done!

1. Hammock & Hammock Straps

Let’s face it, tent camping is so yesterday. If you haven’t tried hammock camping yet, you need to! It’s literally the next best thing and it’s gaining popularity for a very good reason. Why? Because it is lightweight, compact, super easy to set up, and only a million times more comfortable than sleeping on hard, uneven ground. ($40-$80)

2. Sleeping Pad

So essential to comfort and warmth, especially when hammock camping. Most hammocks do not have insulated bottoms, so putting a layer of air between you and the underside of your hammock will ensure you sleep comfortably all the way through the night. ($60-$100)

3. Warm Sleeping Bag

No explanation necessary here. Our only recommendation is you get a sleeping bag that is rated to right around freezing temperatures (32F, 0C). This will ensure you stay warm all year round providing you avoid extreme temperatures below freezing. ($60-$150)

4. Firestarter

Butane lighters are great… until you run out of butane. When you are out in the middle of the woods, the last thing you want to do is get caught with your proverbial pants down. Always make sure you have some matches, or even better, a flint firestarter that can be a durable and reliable backup. ($5-$10)

5. Portable Cookware/Utensils/Plates/Drinkware

We all gotta eat so no-brainer here. Look for lightweight, durable, and preferably a set of cookware, plates, and drinkware that come as a set and all fit neatly together for simple packing and use. For utensils, look for a 3-in-1 tool (fork, spoon, knife) for simplicity and efficiency’s sake. ($10-$20)

6. Camping Stove

Portability and durability are the most important aspects to look for when picking out a good camping stove. You can either go with the backpacking version, which is small, light, and a single flame, or you can go with the bigger family style camping stoves that have multiple burners but take up a lot more space. If your car is nearby, I suggest going with the bigger option as they are easier to cook on and more versatile when it comes to preparing meals. If your car is not nearby and you are out hiking miles upon miles, you definitely want a backpacking stove. You will also need a full fuel canister and at least a backup or two in case one fails. ($40-$250)

7. Cooler

I don’t think the need for a cooler requires an explanation, but in case you were not aware – you need a cooler to keep your food cold so it doesn’t spoil! If you plan on camping for several nights, I would recommend going with a little higher-end model so your food stays colder longer. Also, make sure you buy one large enough to comfortably store all your perishables. ($25-$200)

8. Camp Chairs

Unless you like finding fallen timber or big rocks and sitting on those for hours on end, a couple good camp chairs make all the difference in the world when it comes to your campfire comfort. Make sure you get one with cup holders so you can crack a beer, sit back, relax, and truly revel in the moment. ($20-$50)

9. Paracord

Not always necessary, but good to have nonetheless. Paracord has almost an infinite amount of uses and can be a very handy survival tool so always a good idea to have some around. Plus it’s quite inexpensive even in large quantities. ($8-$17)

10. Hatchet

Have you ever gone to a grocery store or gas station to buy firewood? It’s expensive! It also is very messy and consumes a lot of space in your vehicle. With a good hatchet, you can forage for your own firewood and make easy work out of any log or piece of wood your heart desires. ($20-$40)

Obviously, there are so many options out there when it comes to camping gear and they can range quite drastically in quality and price point. However, the truth is you don’t really need a lot of gear nor a lot of money to be well-prepared and plenty comfortable on your camping trips. If you go for decent quality, you can get everything you need for less than $1,000 and easily get your money’s worth with all the years and camping trips you are likely to get from it all. Let this guide be a starting point for you, an outline per se, that can help you find what you need with more confidence and control. Once you start camping, you’ll see why so many people love it so much. There’s just not much like escaping to the peace and quiet of the woods for a couple days where you can let all the daily stress and troubles of your life just wash away. Happy camping!

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