Be prepared for almost anything with the best camping gear

·Contributing Writer
·8 min read

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Must haves camping gears
Must haves camping gears

Camping just isn't complete without the proper gear. Well, technically you can go camping without gear, but unless you’re a trained survival expert, you probably won’t do very well. Camping gear is useful for both novices and wilderness veterans, it can help improve your conditions dramatically when out in the wild. This type of gear can be almost anything — a simple flashlight, a sleeping bag or other useful items — and they all have the potential to improve your camping experience.

So whether you’re out in the woods with some friends or just looking to enjoy some alone time in natural splendor, you’ll need some good camping gear to keep you prepared for whatever comes your way. Here are some of the leading camping gear options for 2022.

Top Picks

Best overall: Lcfun Arc Lighter Plasma Lighter

This waterproof lighter is your best choice when you go camping, traveling, survival tactical, or hiking
This waterproof lighter is your best choice when you go camping, traveling, survival tactical, or hiking

If there’s one thing you need to stay alive in the outdoors, it’s fire. Fire not only keeps you warm and dry but it also helps with cooking food and can even ward off potentially dangerous animals from your campsite. This option uses a rechargeable design that’s both waterproof and windproof, allowing you to light a fire any time of day in almost any weather conditions. As long as the fuel isn’t soaked to the brim with water, you can start a fire with this product. That’s why we consider this lighter to be the best overall gear on this list.

Key Features:

  • Windproof and waterproof

  • Rechargeable, battery-based design

  • Available in multiple colors

Perfect for cooking: Coghlan's Non-Stick Camp Griddle

Extends over two burners of most camp stoves; integrated hook for hanging to dry or storage
Extends over two burners of most camp stoves; integrated hook for hanging to dry or storage

A core part of camping’s social experience is grilling. Grilling is something that’s just fun to do with friends, and with the right tools, you can make food that’s just as good as the stuff you buy in restaurants. This griddle from Coghlan’s is designed specifically for outdoor use, and has a non-stick material that lets you cook anything from vegetables to meat. It’s also very easy to clean up too, and that’s a real bonus when you’re camping out in the wilderness. Due to its size though, this option is probably more useful when camping in RVs or vehicles rather than on foot.

Key Features:

  • Easy-to-clean surface

  • Non-stick design allows you to cook safely

  • Engineered for outdoor use

Durable materials: Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Hammock

Whether you're relaxing by the fire, sleeping under the stars, or just lounging around this summer, our camping hammock has everything you need to stay comfy and covered throughout the night for your next camping, hiking, or beach trip -- even just lounging in your backyard & patio on a hammock stand!
Whether you're relaxing by the fire, sleeping under the stars, or just lounging around this summer, our camping hammock has everything you need to stay comfy and covered throughout the night for your next camping, hiking, or beach trip -- even just lounging in your backyard & patio on a hammock stand!

What better way is there to enjoy the outdoors than with a durable hammock to catch some Zs in? Hammocks are a staple in camping, and you don’t even need a sleeping bag to get some rest in a properly installed model. These devices are especially fun because they let you enjoy the view while laying back. The only real issue with this option is finding a place to set it up, and if you can’t find any sturdy trees you can always bring a portable stand. Pack a hammock if you prefer a more laidback camping adventure.

Key Features:

  • Great for relaxing in the outdoors

  • Includes a carrying bag and tree straps

  • Comes in a lot of different color options

Most comfortable: Hikenture Double Sleeping Pad

Hikenture double sleeping pad is the comfiest and most portable camping mattress for 2 people on the market!
Hikenture double sleeping pad is the comfiest and most portable camping mattress for 2 people on the market!

A general-purpose sleeping pad is always a good thing to bring camping. While they may not offer as much protection as a regular sleeping bag, they’re still pretty comfortable, and they have the advantage of being usable on just about any flat surface. Whether it’s on dirt, grass or even on the back of a pickup truck, a sleeping pad can turn almost any flat area into a place you can sleep on. Just don’t expect the pad to be clean the day after since you’re basically exposing it to the elements throughout the night.

Key Features:

  • Very compact design

  • Can be used on almost any flat surface

  • Usable in the back of pickup trucks

Most multipurpose: Odoland Portable LED Camping Lantern

Spending a night outdoors is something everyone should experience
Spending a night outdoors is something everyone should experience

Another essential for camping aside from heat is light, and this portable lantern by Odoland provides lots of it. This option is more than just a light source though — it also doubles as a fan, and you can use it to keep yourself cool during hotter days. If you can’t find any shade, the fan really becomes a nice bonus. Just remember that you can’t use both the lantern and the fan at the same time, so you’ll have to sacrifice one for the other in situations where you want to use both.

Key Features:

  • Powerful LED light source

  • Includes a fan for cooling yourself

  • Easy to carry with a hook

How to find your next camping gear: A buyer’s guide

Camping gear makes camping more interesting, less stressful, and more fun. Here are some things you should know about these products.

Why camping gear matters

A lot of people have never camped outdoors before and are considering camping for the first time. Great! Camping is a fun experience that everyone should definitely try at least once. The wilderness is not to be underestimated though — even in nature reserves and parks, the outdoors can be unforgiving, and that’s without even mentioning the untamed wilderness that exists throughout the world.

Mother Nature doesn’t choose favorites, and you can either get the best or the worst of what nature has to offer on a camping trip. Because of this, it’s never a good idea to go unprepared, especially if you’re new to camping. That’s why camping gear exists — to provide campers with a few extra conveniences and to put some tools at their disposal. These products can make camping both safer and more enjoyable for everyone involved.

1. Lights and lighters

Two of the most important things you’ll need when campings are heat and light. Heat is important for keeping you warm and helping you cook food. Light is important so that you can see your surroundings more effectively. Heat and light often go hand in hand, but with camping gear, they can be split into two categories.

Flashlights and lanterns are great sources of light during camping trips. Flashlights offer directed light and lanterns provide more ambient lighting. Directed light is extremely important when traveling forward in the darkness, it lets you see where you’re going. On the other hand, ambient lighting becomes more important when staying in place since it illuminates the area around it evenly.

Then there are heat sources. Of course, by heat sources we mean fire, and to start a fire you can use a few things. You can use matches or fuel-based lighters, or you can use something else like a firestarter, which is a tool that produces sparks to light a flame using dry wood and fuel.

2. Sleeping pads, bags, and hammocks

Aside from heat and light, another important thing you’ll need on your camping trip is a place to sleep. The first thing that often comes to mind is a tent, and while this is usually the best solution, it’s not the only way to catch some Zs outdoors. Tents can be great when you’re sleeping in an area with lots of bugs or even wild animals, but if it’s a relatively mild environment, you can afford to be a little more open with your options.

Sleeping pads and bags are two of the most common options besides tents. Sleeping bags are a safer bet, but sleeping pads can also be incredibly cozy in the right weather conditions. With a sleeping bag, you can tuck yourself in and prevent any bugs from getting at you (other than on your face, that is). While you’re more exposed with a sleeping pad, it also means you’ll feel more relaxed and less restricted, which is perfect for stargazing and enjoying picnics at night.

Hammocks are more of a daytime thing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sleep in them. Some hammocks are even closable, allowing you to sleep in a sort of cocoon until the next morning. Hammocks also have the benefit of being extremely fun to sleep on, though you’ll need to find the right place to set one up if you’re considering using one on your next camping trip.

People also asked

Q: Is my camping gear really necessary?

A; While not exactly necessary, camping gear can make your camping experience a lot safer and more convenient than it would be without it.

Q: What type of camping gear do I need?

A: The type of camping gear you need varies depending on where you’re traveling when you’re traveling and what you plan on doing during your trip.

Q: How much camping gear is too much camping gear?

A: While over-preparing isn’t a bad thing while camping, it’s not a good idea to bring every tool imaginable — only bring what’s necessary for that specific trip.