Whether it’s a weekend fishing trip, a cross-country journey, or any other outdoor adventure, having the right gear will make the entire experience more enjoyable. While you can’t bring all the amenities of home with you, “roughing it” doesn’t have to be primitive or miserable. Bringing high-quality camping gear into the woods will help ensure that you enjoy the great outdoors while staying comfortable, well-fed, dry, and warm.
The best camping gear has to be durable, packable, and convenient to use. It shouldn’t take up a bunch of space in your vehicle or an entire day out of your trip to set up. Regardless of the activity, it’s important to remember that simplicity and functionality are absolutely key. This list will help you put together a kit of the best camping gear for your wilderness adventures. You’ll find essential cookware, comfortable seating options, and gear to help beat the weather. These necessities will help you tackle a weekend outdoors, breathe some fresh air, and get away from the hustle and bustle in comfort.
Our Top Picks
If you need some help gathering the gear to head back to nature, check out the following list. These recommended camping products might be what you need when the rivers or mountains are calling.
If you’re not sleeping well while camping, you’re not going to enjoy the trip as much, but the Sleepingo Double Sleeping Bag helps ensure that you stay warm, cozy, and comfortable when the nights turn cool. This sleeping bag will keep you warm down to a chilly 32 degrees, and the waterproof outer liner will ensure that you stay dry. Inside, you’ll find a soft, 210 thread count liner that keeps you warm and cozy.
The Sleepingo Double Sleeping Bag measures 87 inches long by 59 inches wide, providing plenty of room for a couple. You also can separate this bag into two shells and use them as individual sleeping bags. The Sleepingo rolls up into a 15- by 12-inch bag weighing less than 6 pounds for a small but important companion on a cross-country trip when vehicle storage is at a premium.
Vont’s pack of two LED camping lanterns solve plenty of campsite darkness issues. These lanterns use 30 LEDs each to produce a bright, 360-degree beam of light. With these lights set up, you’ll be able to see rocks and roots that you might otherwise trip over, or set up a late-night camp on a leg of your trip that took a little longer than expected. They’re also waterproof, so you don’t have to worry if you forget to bring them in before the rain falls.
Each light uses three AA batteries, though you’ll have to purchase them separately. When you want to lower the light, the LED housing slides down toward the base of the lantern, shutting off the lights when pushed down all the way and condensing down to just 4.8 inches tall.
If you like the idea of being able to spread out and get comfortable, the Core 9 Person Instant Cabin Tent is worth a look. Even though it is large, at 14- by 9-feet, the CORE tent sets up in less than 60 seconds, thanks to its preassembled frame. The easy assembly takes away much of the frustration of tenting. It also can hold two queen-size air mattresses.
The tent comes with standards like a rain fly, tent stakes, and a carrying bag, plus it features a room divider and enough headroom in the center for a 6-foot, 6-inch adult to stand up. It has a zipper closure, zippered windows, and a port through which you can run an extension cord. The 68D polyester shell is wind- and water-resistant, keeping you warm and dry when the weather doesn’t feel like cooperating.
If you like to camp (and cook) in style, check out the Coleman Gas Camping Triton+ Propane Stove. This compact, tabletop stove will help you enjoy hot meals at camp. The dual-burner stove has a push-button ignition system and two adjustable nozzles to help you dial in the perfect temperature. It uses small, 1-pound propane tanks (available here) to provide plenty of heat for camp chili, pots of coffee, or delicious breakfast omelets.
The fold-out wings act as splash guards, catching grease so it won’t splatter onto your table. It has an easy-to-clean chrome surface and folds up into a compact 23 inches by 14 inches by 6 inches, taking up very little space when it comes time to pack up camp.
Sometimes it can be tough to cook a delicious meal while camping, but the Stanley Base Camp Cook Set can help. With 21 pieces of cookware, you’ll be able to prepare a variety of hot fireside meals that up to four people can enjoy. In this kit, you get a 3.5-liter pot, a 7-inch frying pan, spatula, serving spoon, and cutting board, making meal prep a snap. When it comes time to eat, you’ll find four plates, bowls, and sporks to help fill your belly after a long day on the trail.
This kit also includes a heat-resistant trivet and a dish-drying rack. All of the pots and pans are stainless steel, which makes them durable and easy to clean. The entire kit fits inside of the pot, while an included bungee cord holds the lid shut for easy travel.
No list of camp priorities would be complete without a bug solution. The Thermacell Bristol Mosquito Repellent Lantern is designed to chase bugs away without smelly, sticky bug sprays. These lanterns use a fuel cartridge to create a small, long-lasting flame. The flame then heats up the blue repellent mats in the top of the lantern, discouraging bugs from calling your campsite home. The kit comes with enough fuel and repellent mats to provide up to 12 hours of run time, but you can purchase refills (available here).
You might want to buy two lanterns for larger campsites, so you can keep a lantern on either end for the best possible coverage. The light works with three AAA batteries, which you’ll have to purchase separately. You can set this lantern on a tabletop, or use the built-in hanger to suspend it from a hook or tree limb.
Sleeping on the ground can be uncomfortable, and there’s no shortage of bugs and crawling critters in the woods. If you like to get off the ground before you head to bed, the REDCAMP Folding Camping Cot is a great choice. This cot measures 75 inches long, 28 inches wide, and 15 inches tall, large enough for all but the tallest adults. It has a 500-pound weight capacity too, though the cot weighs only 17 pounds, so it is plenty portable.
When packed up, the REDCAMP cot measures only 41 inches long, 9 inches wide, and 7 inches deep, fitting into a car’s trunk without issue. It also has a built-in pocket on the right side of the bed to hold a book or your phone.