25+ Camping Essentials To Bring On Every Trip

Whether you’re a seasoned camper or preparing for your very first trip, there are quite a few camping essentials that will make your experience much more enjoyable.

camping essentials

From sleeping gear to kitchen essentials and everything in between, there are so many things that you just can’t go into the wilderness without. Here are the categories of all the camping essentials in this blog post (be sure to take a look at them all!) –

  • Sleeping gear
  • Kitchen essentials
  • Eating & drinking gear
  • Campsite essentials

Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty camping essentials that you need for your next trip!

[ RELATED POST: The Best Free Campsites in Colorado ]

Camping Essentials To Bring On Every Trip

camping essentials
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Sleeping Gear

Sleeping Bag

Let’s start off with arguably the most important camping essential – a sleeping bag!

This mummy sleeping bag is cozy and amazing at conserving heat, which is critical during colder nights. It’s also super compact and portable!

If you’re traveling with family or a partner, this 2-person sleeping bag is another great option.

Sleeping Pad

Camping doesn’t have to be uncomfortable, and with a sleeping pad like this one, it won’t be!

It’s compact and lightweight enough to carry around in a backpack, but with just a few breaths, it turns into a makeshift mattress. Much comfier than the ground, that’s for sure!

ENO Camping Hammock

This is definitely one of my favorite things to have at camp. Just imagine setting up the hammock between two trees, relaxing into it with a good book, and gazing at the mountains until the stars come out at night. It’s a wonderful addition to any camping setup!

camping essentials

Car Side Window Sun Shade (4-Pack)

If you’re car camping, these are definitely a camping essential. I put these shades on my window every night to give myself some privacy while sleeping in the Jeep. What’s cool about these is that you put them over the car door so you can crack the window at night and no bugs can get in!

Kitchen Essentials

Coleman Gas Propane Stove

I used this propane stove every single night while camping and I couldn’t be more pleased with it! Not only does it heat things up extremely quickly, it’s also super affordable and long-lasting. This is a camping essential you will use constantly.

1-Burner Propane Stove

If you’re pressed for space, this is a great alternative to the 2-burner stove. It takes up much less room but still gets the job done!


12-Piece Cookware Set 

This little set has been one of my favorite camping essentials. It includes a pot, pan, kettle, spatula, sponge, soup spoon, foldable silverware, and a few small bowls.

The best part? Everything fits together inside a small drawstring bag. It’s super portable and versatile!

Collapsible Multiuse Wash Bin

This is a super versatile and compact wash bin that I use to wash my dishes, hold ice, store miscellaneous items, etc. It’s very easy to pack down into a small space!

Wilderness Wash Biodegradable Soap

This stuff is amazing! It can be used to clean dishes, wash your clothes, and even as shampoo/ body wash. The best part is that it’s biodegradable which adheres to Leave No Trace principles.

Soap Dispensing Palm Brush

This is what I use to clean all my dishes. You can store the soap in it and it’s super small and easy to pack!

Eating & Drinking Gear


My absolute favorite cooler to use while car camping is this YETI Tundra. It’s not cheap, but it keeps items cold for days and can be used as a refrigerator. It’s a very worthy investment in my opinion!

If you want something on the cheaper side, this one is rated highly on Amazon and would work well for a quick camping trip!

Camping Tableware Set

When it comes to plates, cups, and utensils, you want something that is durable and packable. This one right here checks all the boxes!


Shatter-Proof Travel French Press

I don’t know about you, but coffee is the one thing I cannot skimp out on – even when camping.

This French Press is absolutely perfect for making delicious coffee on the road because it’s plastic and shatter-proof. I broke my glass French Press within the first week on the road, so having something durable like this one is essential!

Don’t forget to get a stainless steel mug to drink your delicious hot coffee (or tea!) out of in the morning!

Insulated Wine Tumbler

When the nighttime rolls around, a cocktail or glass of wine is sometimes just what you need. I used my wine tumbler almost every night while camping and it was the best!

Water Purification Tablets

Imagine being on a hike, getting lost, and running out of water. Not fun!

I always keep these tablets in my pack just in case something bad happens and I need to get water from a lake or stream.

Camping Life

Portable Camping Chair

This might not immediately come to mind when packing for a camping trip, but it’s 1000% necessary! Whether you’re sitting around the campfire, eating dinner, or reading a book, your butt will be sitting right in this chair.

I particularly like this one because it has a cupholder, side pockets, and adjustable arm straps.

[ RELATED POST: The Best Free Campsites in Colorado ]


Microfiber Towel 

Believe it or not, towels take up a heck of a lot of room! I got this Rainleaf microfiber towel before going on my road trip and I am actually obsessed.

It’s super compact and dries in literally two minutes. I’ve used it so many times and it’s definitely one of my favorite camping essentials!

Shampoo Bar 

Not only is this a much cleaner and portable substitute for shampoo bottles; it’s also very environmentally friendly!

I absolutely love this shampoo bar. It moisturizes my hair so much that I don’t even need conditioner, and it lasts for so long!

Portable Phone and Laptop Charger + Car Jump Starter

This is an investment you will thank yourself for every time you use it! Not only can it charge your phone, tablet, and laptop; it also has enough power to jump-start your car. When you’re in the middle of nowhere and need a power source, this will be your best friend.


You don’t realize how dark the night really is until you’re far away from civilization. Having good lighting at your campsite is absolutely key! Here are a few must-haves:

SABRE Frontiersman Bear Spray

I’ve yet to see a bear while camping, but having this with me adds a little extra layer of security while camping or hiking in a remote area. It’s super powerful, so only use it when you have to!


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The Best Free Campsites in Colorado

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