Are you tired of city life and ready for adventure? Or do you simply want to de-stress and breathe in some fresh air? Looking through a catalogue for camping tents all prepared to head into the great outdoors?
As fun and relaxing as camping can be, preparing your camping supplies can be just the opposite. Even the sheer amount of camping tents, one of the main but not only pieces of necessary camping gear, can be overwhelming.
We’re here to offer some guidance. Read on for the 10 essential camping supplies for your next camping trip!
1. Camping Tents
Protection from the elements is a must, especially if you’re adventuring around Australia, and tents give you that true camping experience. Once you start searching, It’s easy to get hung up on which tent you should buy.
Here are the common tent shapes you’ll find in stores and online, and a brief description of each:
- Ridge/A-frame – These are great at dealing with rain and bad weather, and generally simple to set-up. They can be heavy, and don’t give you a lot of headroom.
- Dome – These are inexpensive tents that are easy to put up and take down. They also offer more headroom than A-frame tents. However, they’re unstable in the wind or bad weather.
- Tunnel (or Swag tent) – These are great for larger groups because they give you a good amount of headroom and livable space. They’re heavy, and while they can hold up to wind, heavy rain is prone to pool on top.
- Geodesic – This is much like a dome tent with added poles and much greater stability. They give you a good amount of headroom and are lightweight. They can be expensive and aren’t great for large groups.
- Cabin – These tents are perfect for camping with your family because you can stand up in them and even divide them into rooms with internal dividers. They’re also fairly inexpensive. However, they’re heavy and complicated to set up.
- Pyramid – These are probably the simplest tents. They typically have a single central pole with the corners and edges staked down. If pitched well, they’re very stable in bad weather and are easy to set up. Since there are no vertical walls, your space is limited, and they don’t usually have groundsheets.
Take into account how many people are camping with you, your location, the predicted weather, and what type of camper you are. This will greatly narrow down your options!
2. Sleeping Bags
Much like camping tents, you need to take into account all the specifics of your trip to find a sleeping bag that’s both comfortable and functional.
One of the most important features to pay attention to is the sleeping bag temperature rating. You want to choose one that has a lower temperature rating than the lowest nighttime temperature you expect when you camp.
Summer season bag types are -1 degrees Celsius (30 degrees Fahrenheit) and higher. Three-season bags are -10 to -1 Celsius (15 to 30 Fahrenheit). Lastly, winter bags are rated -10 degrees (15 Fahrenheit) and lower.
Sleeping Bag Shapes
You want a sleeping bag that will give you enough room to stretch and move around. There are three main shapes:
- Rectangular – These give your arms and legs room to stretch out, and can even be unzipped all the way to use as a comforter.
- Semi-rectangular – This is a broad term for a variety of shapes that differ from the rectangular shape. They’re also called “modified mummy” and “barrel” shape. These make a compromise between added warmth and less space.
- Mummy – These bags have a very snug fit in order to keep yourself as warm as possible.
There are additional features, accessories, and insulation types to take into account, but once you narrow down your choice of sleeping bag shape, the rest of your decisions should be fairly simple!
You can’t have an authentic camping trip without a cozy evening campfire. The easiest way to obtain firewood is to buy it at your location, but if this isn’t possible you’ll need to forage. Here are some rules of thumb to keep your fire burning long and bright:
- Look for dry wood with as little bark as possible
- Collect a mixture of hard and softwoods
- Give yourself enough time before sundown to search
- An armful of wood is about 45 minutes of fire – make sure you get enough!
- Don’t burn anything larger than an adult’s wrist
4. Water Jug
Besides bringing along a refillable canteen, it’s important that you also take some emergency precautions. Make sure you have some sturdy emergency water storage containers stowed away in case of emergencies.
Calculate how much water you think you’ll need for cooking, cleaning, and drinking. Ensure that it’s made out of sturdy material, and if you’re short on space you can purchase collapsible containers.
Now that water is taken care of, you need a cooler to keep your food cold. Note that coolers are also multipurpose – they can be used as a prep station or temporary bench as well! The best coolers will be long-lasting, highly insulated to keep food cold for the duration of your trip, and easy to clean.
6. Portable Stove
You’re probably not going to cook above a campfire every night, and camping stoves make it easy to prepare meals. You can also opt to use a grill on top of your fire pit with a cast-iron pan to cook in, but you don’t want to stand over a hot campfire for your entire camping trip.
There are many different options you can choose from; here’s a brief description of each:
- Standard Propane Stove – These are durable, reliable stoves and are a great choice if you plan on feeding a lot of people. Although there are “semi-portable” versions, they’re still too bulky to backpack with.
- Canister Backpacking Stove – Unlike standard propane stoves, these are extremely light and very portable. This makes them perfect for backpacking, kayaking, and other activities that have you moving from location to location.
- BioLite Camp Stoves – To use these stoves, you pack them with twigs and leaves, then light them from the bottom. They also produce electricity.
- Wood/Charcoal Ovens – Like the standard propane stove, these are great options if you need to feed a lot of people and don’t plan on changing locations. These stoves run off wood or charcoal.
7. Hot Water Heater
There are many options available, from pots of water over a camping stove to a percolator over your campfire. It’s a great way to make sure your dishes are clean, and it gives you more beverage and dining options, for instance, if you want to make coffee or oatmeal.
Remember that camping is about disconnecting from modern life, and that means keeping your device use to a minimum. Cards and board games are a great way to keep you occupied, and help you create fun, lasting memories with loved ones.
It’s important that you take flashlights along, but lanterns are even more important. Stumbling in the dark without a hiking stick is less prone to happen when your path is well lit!
From reading in your tent to lighting a dark trail, the best lanterns will give you hours of reliable light. Here are some important features to take into account:
- Brightness – You need around 100 to 200 lumens per lantern. Larger groups will need 200 to 400.
- Fuel Type – Electric lanterns are safe, fuel-efficient, and weigh less than fuel-burning lanterns. Solar lanterns are also a great option.
- Durability – Your lantern needs to be rugged and durable. Waterproofing is also another important feature, especially if you’re kayaking or spending a lot of time near water.
10. Camping Chairs
Yes, you’re out in the middle of nature and away from modern life, but that doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable! Camping chairs are an absolute necessity to trade tales around the fire to relaxing by a nearby lake or river to fish.
The best camping chairs will fold up easily, but will also be able to withstand rough weather while still remaining comfortable. Of course, the camp chairs you choose also depends on whether you’re camping or backpacking.
Preparation is Key
From camping tents to camping chairs, now you know the top 10 essential items for camping. By taking into account your location, the weather, and the number of people you’re traveling with, you can make your first camping experience fun and stress-free.
Ready to read more articles to be as informed and prepared as possible before your camping trip? Continue reading our camping and hiking gear guides for informative articles.