The Basic Camping Gear You Need to Survive in the Wilderness
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Friends enjoying time in nature while camping

The Basic Camping Gear You Need to Survive in the Wilderness

Tired of the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Feeling overwhelmed and stressed? Have the urge to get away from it all and spend some time surrounded by nature? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then camping may be just what you need to wind down and relax.

But before you can enjoy all that nature has to offer, there are a few things you need to do first. Namely, you need to make sure you have the proper camping gear with you to ensure a safe and comfortable trip. After all, you don’t want to be caught off guard in the wilderness without the bare essentials.

What Is a Must Have for Camping? 

So, what exactly do you need to bring camping? This will depend on a few factors, such as the climate you’ll be camping in, the activities you plan on doing, and how long you plan on staying. But despite those peculiarities, there are a few basic items you should turn your attention to when browsing through camping gear online, including:


Close-up of a tent on a sunrise

Starting with what is an obvious necessity, you’re going to need a tent. Where else would you go to sleep out in the middle of nowhere anyway? When choosing a camping tent, make sure to pay attention to the capacity (how many people it can comfortably fit), the seasonality (three-season tents are typically best), and the weight (the lighter the better).

Bigger models may be tempting, but they can be more difficult to set up and take down, not to mention they’re often more expensive. And while three-season tents are generally the most popular option since they can be used in a variety of climates, four-season tents are also available for purchase if you know you’ll be camping in winter conditions.

As for weight, this will be determined by how you plan on getting to your campsite. If you’re hiking in, going with something less bulky will be in your best interest. But if you’re driving or taking some other mode of transportation, weight may not be as big of a concern.

Sleeping Bags and Mats

After you have your tent squared away, it’s time to start thinking about how you’ll stay warm at night. And the answer to that is a good sleeping bag. But much like tents, not all sleeping bags have equal features. In fact, the more you pay attention to the details, the better off you’ll be.

When you’re sifting through camping gear online make sure to consider the fill material that’s been used. Synthetics like polyester and nylon are often less expensive, but they don’t provide as much warmth as natural materials like down or feathers.

Additionally, take note of the design and shape of the bag. Rectangular bags tend to be a little more spacious, while mummy-style models are more form-fitting and offer more warmth. You don’t necessarily need a ton of space in your sleeping bag, but if you tend to move around a lot at night, it may be worth considering a roomier option.

As for mats, they’re not an essential item, but they can certainly make your camping trip more comfortable. Most sleeping bags don’t provide much in terms of cushioning, so a mat can help keep you warm and supported as you sleep. You don’t need anything too thick or bulky, but a little extra padding can go a long way.

Camper sleeping in a sleeping bag and sleeping mat

Oven, Cookware and Utensils

Dragging full-blown kitchen camping equipment with you is usually impractical and unnecessary. But that doesn’t mean you should go without any cooking supplies at all. At the very least, you’ll want to make sure you have a portable solar oven and a pot or pan to cook in.

The specifications of your oven will largely depend on how you plan on using it. Propane models are great for boiling water and cooking simple meals, but if you want to do any serious cooking, you may need something with a little more power. The same goes for the size of your pot or pan. If you’re only cooking for yourself, a smaller option will suffice. But if you’re feeding a group, you’ll need something that can accommodate multiple servings.

As for utensils, your best bet is to go with something lightweight and durable like aluminium. You don’t need anything too fancy, but it’s worth to buy camping gear that will last you a while. Stick to the basics like forks, knives, and spoons, which should be more than enough to get you by.

Hydration Packs

Staying hydrated when you’re doing all sorts of physical activity is important, and it’s even more crucial when you’re camping in hot weather. Sure, regular bottles of water will do the job, but they can be a bit of a pain to lug around. A hydration pack is a great alternative since it frees up your hands and allows you to drink without having to stop what you’re doing.

In short, these packs are basically like a backpack with a water reservoir built in. Each one has a different capacity, starting from about 2 litres and going up to around 10 litres. Obviously, the larger the capacity, the heavier the pack will be.

When choosing a hydration pack, make sure to get one that’s comfortable to wear. A lot of them come with padded shoulder straps and waist belts to distribute the weight evenly. If you’ll be doing any hiking, you should get a pack that won’t bounce around too much and throw off your balance.

GPS Navigation

Getting lost in the wilderness is certainly a possibility, even if you’re just camping in familiar territory. The latest generation of GPS devices is more accurate and user-friendly than ever, making these devices a valuable asset when you’re exploring the great outdoors.

Most GPS units come equipped with a variety of features that can be helpful in a camping setting. For instance, many models now come with topographical maps that can show you elevation changes, as well as the location of nearby waterways. Other useful features include the ability to mark specific locations and track your progress over time.

Two hikers navigating in wilderness with gps device

Outdoor Lighting

If you want to illuminate your outdoor adventures with camping lights, you’ll be spoiled for choice. These days, there are all sorts of different options available, from traditional lanterns to more modern LED lights.

Lanterns are a classic camping staple, thanks to their bright, diffused light. While they’re not as energy-efficient as LEDs, they’re still a good option if you want something that’s easy to set up and use. Just be sure to bring extra batteries, as lanterns can go through them fairly quickly.

LED lights come with a heftier price tag, but they’re worth it for their long-lasting performance. A lot of newer models also come with features like dimming and different light settings, which can be handy when you’re trying to conserve battery power.

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