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Camping Essentials For Beginners

For most urban dwellers – the urge to take out a day from their busy schedules and getting out of the city to camp amidst nature’s full glory can seize the imagination at any time, and during such moments of contemplation, there should be no road blocks that stump your flow of energy and present the activity as a cumbersome task.

This can be true if you’re camping for the first time! The process of finding the right gear and the prep required to carry out the camping plan can seem a little daunting. But sweat no more, because we got you covered!

Look no further from our carefully written pointers that tactfully explain every camping essential to carry for a camp-out. This list is sure to benefit beginners and pros alike.


TentIf you’re willing to splurge a little, then go big with your tent!

  • For a cozy couple, purchasing a 3-person tent that can give a little extra breathing space, and a 6-person tent can be ideal for a family of four.
  • If you want a tent that you can stand up in for getting dressed or just moving around easily, you can choose your tent based on its peak height.
  • Additionally, vestibules outside the doors are apt for stowing muddy shoes while tents with two doors can help you avoid climbing over sleeping tentmates after late-night bathroom breaks.  

 Sleeping bagWhen selecting your sleeping bag, temperature rating is a good determining factor.

  • For camping in unpredictable shoulder-season weather, a 3-season bag will give you more flexibility but if you’re planning on going fair-weather camping, a summer bag can be sufficient.
  • You can also choose between a super-snug bag like backpackers use or a rectangular camping bag that gives your body more room.

 Sleeping pad: A good sleeping pad is like the mattress on a bed but fitted with high-tech insulation that prevents your body from losing heat on cold surfaces. While the big air mattresses you sleep on at home, might look temptingly lush, their lack of insulation will leave you feeling cold, especially when camping in cold weather. The insulation value (known as the R-value) can be a determining factor when comparing sleeping pads. Always look for one which is thicker, longer or wider, and has a higher R-value — if you prefer to be more comfortable and warmer

 LightingSince most campsites lack sources of illumination, you will be better equipped by carrying your own light source.

  • While a flashlight can be helpful, a headlamp is more beneficial as it frees up your hands for camp tasks.
  • If you’re looking for ambient light, a lantern can be a good option, as well as building your own campfire – but beware of fire restrictions.

Stove:A classic two-burner propane camp stove is an ideal instrument to carry as you do not have to spend a fortune on its purchase, and it can be used to cook breakfast and to prepare your morning brew simultaneously. But

  • Do not forget to carry at least a couple of fuel canisters and a lighter.
  • Fire up the stove once at home, to be sure you know how it works.

Cooler: A camping essential to store perishables and keep liquids cool.

  • Be sure to carry a cooler that has enough capacity for your perishable food and a few drinks.
  • It should also have room for enough ice to keep everything cool. To make ice last longer, you can purchase the newer pricier coolers that are built with extra thick insulation.

 Pots, plates, cups and sporksMake sure to carry all essentials for food prep and consumption like pots, plates, cups and sporks from your home kitchen, just do not bring your fine china.

  • You will also need to carry a scrubber, biodegradable soap, a towel, and a small washtub or two (one for dirty and one for clean) to keep your utensils fresh.
  • You can also opt for using disposable cutlery.

Camp ChairsThese are useful when your campsite provides a picnic table to sit around and enjoy a warm meal, or the chairs can be simply perched in a comfy spot to revel in some downtime around a campfire. For camping in wetter climate, mesh camp chairs are ideal as they let water drain easily and can also dry quickly if left out in the rain or morning dew.


Getting dirty is part of having fun while camping! But avoid wearing clothing that is bound to make you uncomfortable. Consider the following qualities when purchasing clothes for camping:

Wicking: Important in a base layer, or any clothing that touches the skin. Fabric with this ability can pull moisture (sweat) away from the body and move it to the fabric’s outer surface, where it can dry quickly. So, you can break a sweat without feeling damp or chilled.

Insulating: Important in a mid-layer as it has the ability to keep you warm. This type of clothing does not actually generate heat but is efficient at holding in the heat that the body produces

Waterproof and windproof: Important in an outer layer because the fabric can prevent the inner layers of clothing from saturating with rain water or chilling you when wind whisks away the heat produced by your body. 

Breathable: Important quality in all layers, especially when the inner layers do not breathe collectively, and inefficiently dry the perspiration wicked off your skin, getting you soaked by your own sweat.

Sun protection: Clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating will protect the skin against the sun’s damaging UV rays, which can be beneficial for any hiker and any environment.


This can include prescription medications, hygiene items, bandages, sunscreen, and insect repellents from home.

You can pack all these items in a separate first-aid kit that can provide comprehensive supplies in a neat, handy and compact case.

Also bring your own soap, toilet paper, a small towel, and hand sanitizer incase the campground bathrooms run out of supplies.


Always be mindful that simple prep is better when camping outdoors. You can do a basic meal plan, that includes a simple dinner, breakfast, and lunch, depending on the number of days to plan to camp out.

Choose to pack boxed or canned entrees and side dishes, fresh food, plenty of snacks, and maybe fixings for s’mores if you plan to revel around the campfire.

For caffeine lovers, there are several options that range from instant coffee or tea bags to a stovetop percolator or teakettle that can give you your caffeine fix.

Remember to always seal up every food item in a large bin – anytime you’re away from camp, and keep it locked in your vehicle at night. Do not leave food or garbage in the open overnight, nor unattended, as critters that hang around campgrounds can raid the food and spoil it.


When deciding where to camp, the enthusiasm can be endless, and reserving your campground well in advance can be beneficial. You can find private campgrounds in several online sites, or through a simple Google Maps search.Of you are unable to book a campground, months in advance, a viable option can be campgrounds that are open on a first-come, first-served basis, but remember to check with the campground authorities on the best time to show up in order to secure a perfect site.

Unless you wish to have a fully immersive experience in the wilderness, avoid dispersed camping with no facilities or primitive sites with pit toilets. You’ll be more comfortable in a developed campground with flush toilets, running water, and treated water coming out of a spigot.

    1. To maximize your comfort, always bring appropriate clothes for cold and rain.
    2. To satisfy your fresh-air-fueled hunger, bring plenty of food.
    3. To ensure you get a good first impression, postpone your campout if the weather forecast is awful.
    4. Do not litter and be sure to leave a good impression for those who come after you
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