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Essential Outdoor Camping Equipment

Updated on October 8, 2014

Outdoor Camping Equipment For Your Fun Activities

The right outdoor camping equipment is essential in making your camping vacation enjoyable. I love the outdoors and used to do a lot of camping when I was a kid which I really enjoyed. One of the reasons was that I could go barefoot all the time :) Camping doesn't mean you have to be uncomfortable.

I still go camping today although not as often as when I was little. Yes, I also still love going barefoot. That's something I will never outgrow :)

Outdoor camping equipment may have improved over the years but the basics remain the same. So what's the essential outdoor camping equipment?

A tent is one of the most important things on your list. They range from one man tents to group tents which can sleep twelve people or more. I guess that depends whether you're a loner or a social creature :)

Another thing to decide on is the size and whether a basic tent will do or if you need something to withstand bad weather conditions. Look at marquees, gazebos and awnings. You also need to make sure the tent has a good groundsheet and adequate tent pegs and poles. You'll need a mallet to knock the pegs in.

Some outdoor camping equipment stores sell tent food larders and storage pouches for clothes. The larders help to protect the food from wasps and bugs, which is especially important when you camp in the summer. While you're at it, check out some picnic hampers, cool boxes, and camp fridges as well.

Image source: morgue file

Other camping equipment that should be on your list - Don't camp without them!

outdoor camping
outdoor camping

You will also need sleeping bags or bivy bags. The more expensive ones will be good for winter camping (read more about it below). Some people like to rig up a hammock and a windbreaker, which is a good idea. If you want a good night's sleep, there's a range of mattresses and airbeds available with built-in pillows.

Don't forget an important piece of outdoor camping equipment, the pump to blow your airbed up! If you have babies, they can sleep snugly in a travel cot.

Toilet tents may not be glamorous outdoor camping equipment but they can come in handy especially in remote areas.

Cooking gear and crockery etc. are very sophisticated these days. There are various cookers and grills to buy. Apart from the usual plates, bowls and pans, you can get outdoor camping equipment like wok sets and paella sets. It's also possible to buy a campsite barbecue. What could be better than eating food cooked over charcoal when you're outdoors? You may want to bring some BBQ sauce to go along with it!

I also recommend bringing beef jerky which is a great snack for camping and backpacking. It's delicious, nutritious, and easy to carry around. In addition, it stays fresh for a long time.

To me there's nothing like eating my meal sitting cross-legged on the ground, but I know not everybody is like me :) So if you prefer tables and chairs, be sure to add them to your list.

Other outdoor camping equipment to consider is torches, lanterns, heaters, map measurers, first aid kits and midge and mosquito repellent. If hiking is on the agenda, you should bring along a jerry can and rucksacks. A pedometer is a piece of outdoor camping equipment which will tell you how far you've walked Bring a pair of binoculars if you plan on bird watching.

Kids need to be entertained and you can take some fun water toys such as inflatable dinghies, squirt guns, and sea scooters. The weather may not always be good, so some board or electronic games are a good idea for when you need to stay in your tent for a long period.

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Great camping equipment at bargain prices - Make your camping experience extra special

Winter Camping - Experience the fun of camping in cold weather

Have you ever gone winter camping? Many people enjoy camping in the summer or whenever it's warm. However, winter camping has its advantageous. First of all, you don't have to worry about the heat and humidity, especially if you sweat easily like me. Second of all, there are no bugs to... well, bug you! :) No blood thirsty mosquitoes or ticks, and you don't have to share your food with the ants and flies.

The air in winter also tends to be crisper and cleaner and hence, more refreshing. Don't worry about the cold too much. Just get the right winter camping gear and a good sleeping bag, and you will hardly notice that you're camping out in winter :)

Read more about winter camping.

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Camping stoves

A good camping stove is essential for any overnight backpacking or camping trip, since food preparation in one of the most important elements of such an outing. A fun trip into the great outdoors can quickly turn into a nightmare without the right cooking equipment. You certainly don't want to chew on raw macaroni or eat cold beans after a really long drive or a whole day of vigorous hiking, right?

You should never count on a campfire to make your dinner even though the idea of cooking a meal over a campfire might sound exotic or romantic. Firstly, cooking anything other than hot dogs over a campfire is harder than it looks. Secondly, you can't always count on the availability of usable wood. In addition, many state parks outlaw campfires altogether because of their inherent danger.

The kind of camping stove you buy should depend on your needs. If you are "car camping" and aren't planning on hiking with your equipment, you can buy whatever stove you want. Nevertheless, you'll want something that's easy to set up and take apart, easy to light, as well as easy to clean. So I would recommend that you get one that has two or more burners, so you can cook more than one thing simultaneously.

Most camping stoves today work with white gas. Some alternatives use propane, though I recommend using white gas if possible since propane comes in throw away canisters, whereas white gas containers you can refill and save on waste.

If you are planning on hiking with your equipment, the highest priority for your camping stove should be weight. If you are going for an especially long hike, or extended backpacking trip, you should consider getting a very small, single burner stove. Just remember that you can only cook one thing at a time when you're trying to decide what food to bring. Some single burner stoves are really small, even smaller than the gas canisters that connect to them. These are ideal for 25+ mile trips.

Keep in mind however, that a more expensive camping stove doesn't always mean it's a better one. If you're going on a long backpacking trip, a cheap lightweight stove will be much better than an expensive heavy one.

Check out the great deals on camping stoves below...

Do you like camping? Ever gone winter camping? Share your experiences or just let me know you were here.

Your comments about camping

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    • CampingMemoriesD profile image

      CampingMemoriesD 5 years ago

      I love camping. So much I have a lens bout Altruistic Camping. Nice Lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great lens, blessed by a squidangel :)

      outdoor camping tents

    • profile image

      StevePotman 7 years ago

      This is a great lens. Thanks for all of the information. I just bought new sleeping bags and I am so excited to try them out.

    • wasatchmax profile image

      wasatchmax 7 years ago

      Great lens! I always love reading about camping equipment and various suggestions!

    • jackieb99 profile image

      jackieb99 7 years ago

      I can't live without tarps

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens, blessed by a squidangel :)

    • profile image

      hallow 8 years ago

      Great camping tips and very important to consider the equipment you mentioned before going camping. Just to add a portable propane heater can come in handy. 5** BY Portable Propane Heaters

    • profile image

      SimplyCamping 8 years ago

      Nice lens. I've never tries winter camping though I've thought about trying it. You have given me a renewed desire to bite the bullet and do it.

    • profile image

      steveBaxter63 8 years ago

      Very thorough lens with lots of good info. I couldn't agree with you more in regards to winter camping - for the "no bugs" aspect alone! And with all the great equipment available these days for camping, colder and even wetter weather really isn't the excuse it used to be. I noticed camping toilet tents on the list but I didn't see a camping toilet listed?

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      This a great informational resource! Obviously cooking equipment is essential for camping without proper cooking equipment camping turns into a starving nightmare or a junk food party.

      Peter the commercial ice machines expert.

      By the way I recently purchased portable beer cooler, with ice compartment, that hooks up to the car battery, a great piece of equipment for camping. Holds up to 24 bottles of beer. Makes a lot of people happy.

      Thank you for the great lens, great post and very interesting comments!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      What a great resource. I particularly like your links to other relevant Squidoo sites. The eBay auction links are also very helpful. I've been a camper since childhood but have moved from tent camping to the comfort of camping trailers as I've gotten older, much older. Stop by and visit when you've got a moment at

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      e2kkot 9 years ago

      Nice info. Having the right cooking equipment is essential for camping, because camping with pre-made food or food from the supermarket is ruining the experience.

    • profile image

      Recoup 10 years ago

      I love being outdoors camping and fishing. Camping is a great family activity. If anyone is contemplating going camping they may want to try some used gear first before putting alot of money into new gear. A good place to go is Recoup Gear

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      Tim_McCarthy 10 years ago

      I love camping! I work a lot with a Utah Hiking website. Keep up the good work!

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      catch-cheating 10 years ago

      great information here, 5 star

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    • Gail Faulkner profile image

      Gail Faulkner 10 years ago

      I invite you to join my Best Ratings Group Go to the headquarters read the rules and submit your lenses. Gail

    • Gail Faulkner profile image

      Gail Faulkner 10 years ago

      Great Lens, Keep up the good work 5*s. I have serveral lenses you may find interesting. Please take a look and see what you think. Gail

    • CliveAnderson LM profile image

      CliveAnderson LM 10 years ago

      There is some highly interesting information here. Certainly is a really great lens. Better yet is its usefulness. I'm surprised I've not seen it on the SQUIDOO Zone in my Free Forum . 5 Stars. Clive Anderson...