14 Essential Pieces of Camping Gear You Need for Your Next Trip

All the essentials you'll need for your next outdoor adventure are right here.
All the essentials you'll need for your next outdoor adventure are right here. / Coleman/Amazon
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Camping doesn’t have to be synonymous with roughing it. A trip to the great outdoors can be vastly improved by bringing along a few pieces of useful gear. There are products that make every part of the camping experience more enjoyable, from outdoor cooking to lounging in the woods. Whether you’re planning a relaxing weekend outdoors or a long backpacking trip, these are the camping must-haves to add to your packing list.

1. Stanley Easy Carry Outdoor Cooler; $50

Stanley Easy Carry Outdoor Cooler in red against white background.

The food and drink menu for your next camping trip shouldn't be limited by your equipment. This double-walled cooler from Stanley keeps items cold for 27 hours, which is roughly 40 percent longer than a standard cooler. It's big enough to hold nine cans, or seven quarts of goods, if you're looking to eat as well as drink on your outdoor excursion.

Buy it: Stanley

2. Stanley Full Kitchen Base Camp Cook Set; $90

Stanley Full Kitchen Base Camp Cook set against white background.

This full camping kitchen only weighs 5.7 pounds and fits in your backpack. Thanks to the innovative nesting system, the cooking gear set is super portable, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality for convenience. There are 21 pieces of durable kitchenware featured in the package, including a stainless-steel pot, a cutting board, and a frying pan.

Buy it: Stanley

3. Stanley Stay Hot Camp Crock; $70

Stanley Stay Hot Camp Crock against white background.

Enjoying a hot, homemade meal on the trail is possible with this portable camping crock. It holds three quarts of whatever you want to pack, whether it’s soup, chili, or mac and cheese. The double-walled vacuum insulation also keeps cold things cold, making it a perfect portable ice bucket.

Buy it: Stanley

4. Coleman Sundome Tent; From $35

Coleman Sundome Tent in green against white background.

Coleman’s Sundome Tent is designed to keep you safe and comfortable. Large windows and a ground vent promote airflow, while the welded corners, inverted seams, and rainfly keep the interior dry in any weather. There’s even an e-port you can use to power your electronic devices. With sizes ranging from two to six occupants, you can choose the tent that’s best for your camping party.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Wise Owl Hammock; From $30

Wise Owl Hammock in blue with accessories against white background.
Wise Owl/Amazon

Even the simplest campground can become a serene oasis with this hammock from Wise Owl. Just attach the straps and carabiners to two nearby trees and climb into the comfortable parachute nylon sling to start your relaxation session. The hammock folds up into a package about the size of an eggplant, according to the company, which means you can even take it on long trips when space is limited. It’s available in sizes for one or two occupants.

Buy it: Amazon

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6. Coleman Camping Chair; $35

Coleman Camping Chair in red in front of woman leaning over cooler.

At least one cupholder is the standard for most camping chairs, but this one from Coleman goes above and beyond. The collapsible cloth chair features a cooler pouch built into the arm that can fit up to four cans at once, so when you take a seat around the campfire, everything you need is within reach.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hydro Flask Water Bottle; From $23

Hydro Flask water bottle in pink against a white background.

This water bottle from Hydro Flask is made from 18/8 food-grade stainless steel and works just as well for hot drinks as it does for cold ones. It’s also a stylish accessory to have on the trail; the bottle comes in a range of sizes, with a powder coating available in 13 colors.

Buy it: Amazon

8. BEARZ Outdoor Blanket; $25

Close-up of a BEARZ Outdoor Blanket in camo print held by hand.

If you aren’t sure what kind of blanket to bring on your outdoor adventure, grab this one from BEARZ. The versatile piece of gear is a beach blanket, picnic blanket, and hiking blanket all in one. It’s even waterproof, so you can attach it to your tent and use it as a tarp when it rains. When it’s not being used, it folds up into a package that fits in your pocket.

Buy it: Amazon

9. TETON Camp Pillow; $15


It’s hard to justify bringing your fluffiest pillow on a camping trip when space is limited, but this travel pillow from TETON solves that problem. It compresses into a compact carrying case, and when unpacked, it expands into a soft, comfy pillow that rivals the one you left on your bed at home.

Buy it: Amazon

10. LifeStraw; From $15

LifeStraw against a white background.

If you’ve run out of water and need a drink from a nearby stream, it could have bacteria and parasites that are harmful to your body. Instead of running that risk, the LifeStraw might be a good alternative, as the brand claims it can remove 99.999 percent of waterborne parasites and about 99 percent of waterborne bacteria (like E. coli) as the water passes through the straw. 

Buy it: Amazon

11. Bayite Flint Fire Starter; $14

Bayite Flint Fire Starter against a white background.

Getting a fire going out in the wilderness can be frustrating when your hands get cold or there’s a breeze in the air. The Bayite flint fire starter comes with a 4-inch, metallic ferrocerium rod, making this annoying task much easier. The rod, which works in any weather condition, is attached to a 5-foot paracord with a striker on the other end, so you'll have everything you need to keep a flame roaring.

Buy it: Amazon

12. GearLight LED Headlamp, Set of 2; $22

GearLight LED Headlamp against white background.

Whether you arrive at your campsite late or want to find the best stargazing spot, a headlamp keeps your hands free at night. This water-resistant one comes as a set of two so you and a friend can light up the way together. The headlamp features a white light and a red light mode for night vision. It also has an adjustable headband, more than 10 hours of runtime on low, and tilts.

Buy it: Amazon

13. Protect Life First Aid Kit; $15

Protect Life First Aid Kit close-up, against white background, held by hand.
Protect Life/Amazon

When you're on hiking trails, there's always the possibility that you could stumble and scrape up some knees or get blisters. This first aid kit is compact enough to fit into your pocket and includes necessary items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and blister pads. It’s available in pack sizes of 100 pieces, 200 pieces, and 250 pieces. 

Buy it: Amazon

14. Oaskys Camping Sleeping Bag; From $27

Oaskys Camping Sleeping Bag against white background.

A good sleeping bag is a must when you're camping; this one is weather-resistant and comes in a compact travel bag for lightweight storage. It comes in 13 colors and three different sizes, and each sleeping bag has a drawstring at the head to keep the wind out.

Buy it: Amazon