30 Best Camping Essentials: Cool Gear and Gadgets for Every Outdoor

Last Updated on July 20, 2023 by Nikki Jain

Are you planning a camping trip and thinking about the best camping essentials? Have questions in mind like what is a must, what can be useful, or simply what would be cool to have? In this article, I will present some of the must-have camping essentials, cool camping gear, and other camping necessities that you can add to your packing list and enhance your nature outings.

Some people like to go camping Bear Grylls style, but I am not that guy. I enjoy being in nature and the open sky, but I am also accustomed to some comfort.

Camping is the time to relax and unwind, so I have prepared a camping essentials list of the best camping gear that can improve your overall outdoor experience.

Some of the things here might not be essential but are simply cool camping gadgets that can be fun to try out, and others are a must, at least in mind. So, let's take a look at some of the best camping essentials.

Also Check: 50 Useful Camping Gifts for Outdoor Lovers

Best Camping Essentials

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1: LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

This can be both a cool camping gadget and an essential camping gear. That depends on your adventures, but either way, it is great.

With the LifeStraw water filter, you can easily drink water from various water sources. It is very light and very simple to use. The price is very affordable.

It can filter out pathogens (bacteria) and particulates and even protozoa. It can even get rid of chemicals! It surpasses filtering standards set by the EPA. The only thing it cannot filter out is viruses.

The capacity of the LifeStraw is 1,000 gallons which or 4,000 liters of dirty water. That is a lot of drinking!

2: Sleepingo Double Sleeping Bag

Sleepingo Double Sleeping Bag

This is another one of the best camping essentials that is perfect for couples! You can surprise your significant other with it. It is very light to carry, it has 2 pillows, and it makes camping extra warm and cuddly.

Sleepingo double bag is 87”x59”, which is more than enough for 2 adults. This sleeping bag can also be unzipped and made into 2 separate bags, which gives it more versatility.

It is water-proof and rip-resistant, and the interior is made of cotton, which keeps you warm and feels great on the skin. Sleepingo is easily packed and folded up. The dimensions are 15”x 2”.

Regardless of the weather, this is a perfect sleeping bag, and even though it was designed as a sleeping bag for couples, it can also be separated into two bags so that you can help out a friend in need.

3: Coleman Sundome Tent

Coleman Sundome Tent

A tent is one of the top camping essentials, and while choosing the tent for your trip, it is important to consider the number of persons that'll be sleeping inside of it.

This Coleman Sundome Tent is one of the best selling tents for various reasons such as high durability, affordability, and easy setup. It is available in various sizes ranging from 2-person, 3-person, up to 10-person. The dimensions of a 3-person tent are 7 x 7 feet and 4 feet of center height; you can easily place one queen size bed inside it.

It is rain and wind tested, and it can withstand wind speeds up to 35 mph. Their exclusive WeatherTec system guarantees that the tent will remain dry! The floor is very durable, and no matter where you put it, you can rest easy in knowing that you will be dry!

Great ventilation keeps the air fresh and the temperature comfortable. Setting it up is not very complicated, and the instructions are sewn into the carry bag, so you don’t have to worry about misplacing it.

If you go camping regularly, you already know about the Coleman Sundome, and for a good reason!

Also Read: 10 Best Tents Under $100

4: Portable Camping Chair

Portable Camping Chair

Another must-have camping essential is a great foldable chair you can put in your backpack and forget about until you need it. When it is folded, it is very small and light which makes it easy to pack and go.

GCI Freestyle Portable Rocking Chair is nicely built and the price tag is very affordable. The frame material used to make the chair is Alloy Steel – a very durable and light material.

The chair dimensions are 24.75"D x 24.5"W x 34"H, more than enough to sit comfortably. It can also support weight up to 250 pounds.

On top of all this, it comes with a patented rocking motion technology and is quite easy to set up, which is exactly what you need after a long hike.

Also Read: 10 Best Camping Chairs in 2020

5: Solar Powered Camp Shower

Solar Powered Camp Shower

The next gear in our best camping essentials list is the solar powered camp shower. This portable shower can hold 5 gallons of water, which means that you can take a shower even in the middle of the jungle!

It is made of a material that locks heat – that means that it heats the water (when you leave it to get some sun) even on the days that are not very sunny. A valve controls the flow of water, so you can leave some for later or share with others.

It can be easily hanged or carried. It is very durable and very affordable, which is always a plus in my book.

Imagine coming to your tent after a hot and sunny day filled with action. You are a bit sweaty, but you remembered to put out the Coleman shower bag in a sunny place. Now, you already have warm water; all you need is a branch to hang it on and maybe some soap. But let’s not go too far; who brings soap to a camping trip (heh).

6: Emergency Survival Kit

Emergency Survival Kit

God forbid that you ever really need it, but better safe than sorry. It is compact enough to carry around, and you can keep it pretty much anywhere, even in your car and especially on a camping or hiking trip.

Its dimensions are 6.3”x4.3”, and the case is made of plastic, which ensures durability and waterproof conditions for its content. The goal of the designers was to make a light and easy-to-carry emergency kit, which they have achieved!

The 18 accessories included in this survival kit are just enough to aid you in an emergency until you can reach help. Some of the accessories are a whistle, tactical pen, alcohol pad, needle, compass, bandage, survival bracelet, survival knife, etc. The survival bracelet alone is like a mini emergency kit!

This survival kit is definitely one of the important camping essentials.

7: Mini Pocket Blanket

Mini Pocket Blanket

Another very light and compact camping essential. When it is opened, its dimensions are 63"x44." It has metal stakes in the corners (rust-proof) for windy conditions and sand pockets to get the blanket fixed on a beach. Pretty neat.

It is also puncture, tear, and water-resistant! The satin fabric on top is there to prevent it from being sticky to the skin. It has a pouch in which you can fold it up, so there is no need to carry a bag for it.

This is a pocket-sized blanket and it is perfect for hiking, camping, beaches, parks, etc. It can seat up to 4 people, depending on how close you are (hehe)!

8: Portable Wood Burning Campstove

Portable Wood Burning Campstove

This little portable camp stove is a combination of a portable stove and an off-grid charger. This means you can cook and, at the same time, charge your phone or other devices.

It can be carried in a backpack, and its dimensions are 4.7"x4.7"x8.2" or 12x12x21cm. The stove is made of stainless steel, which means that it won’t become rusty and it will last long!

20 minutes of burning will give you approximately 60 minutes of charging, which is crazy, considering that you are in the middle of nowhere and you are cooking a meal while making electricity. Sounds good to me.

The fuel that it uses is pretty much anything that burns, so wood, coal, etc. This camping gadget is simply amazing.

9: Portable Espresso Machine

Portable Espresso Machine

Morning coffee is a sacred ritual for some, including myself. And my religion is, “Don’t talk to me until I had my coffee.”

For people like me, this portable coffee machine is a godsend. It does not require batteries or electricity to operate! It is light and small, very easy to pack and carry.

You can use it with any coffee beans you want, which gives you room for adventure in terms of flavors. Hell, you can even bring it to work if they don’t have the beans that you like.

Operating it is very simple; just add ground coffee, then slightly push to level the ground coffee. Afterward, add boiled water in the tank, unlock the piston, and finally pump a few times to create pressure and voila, your espresso is ready!

10: LED Solar Lantern and Phone Charger

LED Solar Lantern and Phone Charger

This 2-in-1 phone charger lantern is so neat; I got excited just looking at the pictures! It is an eco-friendly, solar-powered lantern and phone charger.

You can use it in your tent or while going to take a leak at night. You can also charge it via USB when it is cloudy. When it is folded up, it is smaller than the average smartphone! Its weight is 0.53 lb. It is ridiculous how compact and easy it is to carry.

It is quite cheap; it can be purchased for less than 50 bucks. It takes about 12 hours to get it fully charged in the sun and can provide 50 hours of light on a single full charge.

Since it can serve both as a lantern and a phone charger, this is must-have camping essential if you ask me!

11: Coleman Xtreme Wheeled Cooler

Coleman Xtreme Wheeled Cooler

Imagine a hot summer day, after a long hike, you get back to your tent, and there are your drinks, ice-cold, awaiting your arrival. This Coleman cooler on wheels is a state of the art camping gear for maximizing enjoyment in the shade!

This 62-Quart cooler is so spacious that it can hold 95 cans and able to retain the ice at very high temperatures. Now you have Coleman’s unmatched insulation and toughness on wheels!

On top of that, the wheels are puncture-resistant and impact-resistant, so you will never have to worry about the tires. The handle is firm, and it can carry all that you can pack.

Coleman Xtreme is like an armored truck for cooling, and it is nearly impossible to destroy it! It is perfect for people that love their beer safe and icy cold on a hot summer day.

Also Read: 10 Best Camping Coolers in 2020

12: Medical First Aid Kit

Medical First Aid Kit

We never want accidents to happen, but they do! We don’t plan them to happen; that is why we call them accidents. So, when you go hiking or camping, you should have some kind of a first aid kit. This one was updated in 2019, following the customers’ advice. It holds 18 items or 163 pieces like strong metal scissors, flashlight, tweezers, etc.

Items in this kit are MEDICAL GRADE! It is used by lifeguards, EMTs, doctors, nurses, teachers, parents, etc. It can be used pretty much anywhere, traveling, camping, hiking, home, etc. All the items have a long shelf life, and after you use it, it is very simple to refill the kit.

It is very durable and compact, only 8.2" x 5.1" x 2", so it is easy to bring it around. And to top it all off, they offer your money-back guarantee!

It’s one of the most important camping essentials on this list!

13: Rechargeable Headlamp Flashlights

Rechargeable Headlamp Flashlights

It is getting dark, and you are still some way off the campsite; no problem, just put on the headlamp and keep marching. You want to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, no problem, put on the headlamp, and do your business! This headlamp/flashlight has 5 different light modes, 3 modes of white light (strobe, low, high), and 2 red lights (flashing, stay on). This headlamp can illuminate from 150 feet away!

It is charged via USB, and it takes about 4 hours to get it fully charged. Once it is 100% charged, you will get 30 hours of non-stop lighting! And 30 hours is more than enough! This headlamp also supports the 5 volts DC adapter (the USB cable is included; however, the adapter is not).

It is very compact and light, so you don't have to worry about space when packing it, and it is also waterproof! The light is adjustable, and both kids and adults can use it. This headlamp is pretty cheap, has excellent illumination, and can provide 30 hours of continuous light; it's a no brainer.

14: Camping Cookware Kit

Camping Cookware Kit

Time to eat! But you want a freshly cooked meal in the middle of the forest. Luckily, you brought your MalloMe cookware, and you can make your favorite dish! This Cookware Kit is made of aluminum – that means it is very light and durable, it gets heated quickly, and that is all that you need when you are out camping. Because of the quality of the material, it will last for a long time.

Cleaning is very simple, just like packing! All 10 pieces can be packed into 1 petite bundle, which makes it even easier to carry. The anodized aluminum allows you to cook and guarantees that the food won't stick. With the bundle, you will get a pot and the cover, a nonstick pan, 2 bowls, stainless spork, etc.

When you put it in the bag, you no longer have to worry about cooking in the wild, you can relax knowing that you have all you need. They also offer a satisfaction guarantee, so you can return it if you are not 100% happy with it. All of that sounds pretty good!

15: Double Camping Hammock

Double Camping Hammock

Hiking can sometimes be draining, especially if the weather is hot. Just imagine coming back exhausted and having this hammock already set-up. You can just slide into it like into a cocoon, take a nap and come out a rested butterfly.

This hammock can support up to 500 pounds, and 2 people can comfortably fit in it. It is made of 210T nylon fabric, which is used for parachutes, and because of that, you can know that it will be safe and comfy in it.

It is super light, easy to pack, and effortless to set up. You can use it anywhere you want - beach, hike, picnic, home, etc. The dimensions of the hammock are 118" x 78", and the straps are also 118" long. The straps combined have 32 loops, or 16 each, and they can be adjusted easily.

You will also get 2 steel carabiners to help with the setup. This hammock can be a great gift for someone who is active and goes camping or hiking often. You can check the latest price here.

16: Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

You are having a barbecue and drinks with your friends, there is a nice campfire going, and you reach into the bag and say: Do you want some music? This is a great speaker with many cool features. It can connect with 3 smartphones/tablets at the same time! It has a Li/on batter that lasts 20 hours of continuous playtime, and you can also use it to charge your phone or tablet via a USB cable.

It is IPX7 Waterproof, which is very important when you are in nature. It weighs only 1.8 pounds, and it reproduces sound at 20 kHz, which means great sound clarity.

If you own more than one, you can connect them all and create a surround sound system even in the woods! You can also take calls on the speaker as it has echo-canceling and noise-canceling options; all you need to do is push a button! You can find out the price here.

17: Backpack


A backpack is simply a must-have for both hiking and camping. It is the first thing that you should buy when you start hiking. And when you decide to get a new one, why not buy a great one to serve you for many years? Now, this is more than just a backpack. It is a top-seller for a reason. For its price, it offers excellent features, and both men and women can wear it. Torso length can be adjusted from 15" to 19.5" and the waist belt too, from 26" to 60".

It is great for backpacking or hiking trips. The full capacity of this TETON Sports Backpack is 55 liters or 3400 cubic inches, and it only weighs 2 kg or 4.5 pounds. The fact that it can be customized to fit different body types means that you can adjust it to your comfort and liking.

It also has molded channels and a lumbar pad that are designed for comfort! The reviews of this backpack speak for themselves – so you know that you are buying a high-quality, comfortable, and durable backpack for your adventures.

18: Swiss Army Pocket Knife

Swiss Army Pocket Knife

My personal favorite camping/hiking gadget. This pocket knife doesn’t need any introduction. They are so famous for being compact, durable, useful, etc. You can use it to cut, screw, clip, repair, cook, eat, and more. Just stop for a second and consider that this company has been making Swiss army knives (as we know them) since 1897.

Well over a century of experience, success and trust. Victorinox is so confident in the quality of their knives that they offer a LIFETIME GUARANTEE from material defects and defects in their workmanship. Your read it correctly, lifetime guarantee.

This Swiss Army Pocket Knife is durable, compact and can be used for a range of situations. If you ever get stranded on a desert island, this is what you would want in your pocket.

19: Emergency Paracord Bracelet

Emergency Paracord Bracelet

Let’s say you have a hammock, but there is a problem with the set-up; one of the straps broke and now you can’t do anything unless you have a certain type of bracelet. Much more than a bracelet, this Paracord Bracelet is a survival tool. It has a compass, flint, fire scraper, a whistle, and it can be an emergency knife. A 5 in 1 survival tool! You also get instructions on how to correctly and fully utilize this tool.

They also have sizes for everyone, adults and kids, fixed sizes from 7.5 to 9 inches and adjustable size for the wrist between 8 and 9.5 inches. The bracelet is very light and comfy, and it is a great tool for camping, hiking, fishing, etc. They offer various colors, so you can even pick out several to match with the rest of your gear!

The cord itself can withstand up to 250 kg or 550 lbs, and it is 12 feet long. The cord can be used in various situations like shelter, traps, climbing, rescue, etc. And it all fits in a bracelet so get a paracord bracelet and add it to your camping essentials.

20: Insect Repellent

Insect Repellent

Mosquitoes are annoying pests; we all know this. And when you are in nature, you can’t escape from them, but you can make them run away from you! This insect repellent is made of lemon eucalyptus oil, and it is DEET-free. You can use it at home while camping, or anywhere you have to deal with bugs and insects. It repels mosquitoes for hours and up to 6 hours!

It can give you hours of fun and relaxing time without annoying insects. The smell is pleasant and refreshing, unlike the common sprays that don't have a pleasant smell.

Most bug sprays are sticky and greasy, while this one is not! You can use it on your skin without that uncomfortable feeling of stickiness. For any camping or hiking trip, this is a must-have addition to your camping essentials.

21: Coleman Gas Camping Stove

Coleman Gas Camping Stove

Another cool gear in our camping essentials list, this stove will ensure that you have the most delicious hot meals, even when you're out in the wild. Food isn't something you want to compromise on, even when you're out camping. Anything that helps make the experience a little more comfortable is a hundred percent worth it. This stove has a cooking power of up to 20,000 total BTUs.

Specially designed with campers in mind, this stove is portable and convenient in the outdoors. The weather can be unpredictable when camping. It may be cold or windy. Luckily, the Coleman Gas Camping Stove comes to your rescue with its state-of-the-art technology. This comes with two adjustable burners, which help in controlling the temperature.

It is equipped with wind-blocking panels that shield burners from the wind and a pressure regulator to ensure your food cooks perfectly every single time. It comes with a 3-year warranty attached, just in case something goes wrong. This product would be an excellent investment for someone who camps regularly.

22: Coleman Comfort Smart Cot

Coleman Comfort Smart Cot

If you find sleeping bags too uncomfortable or blow-up mattresses too complicated, then this product from Coleman is for you. Regardless of who you are, if you like to go camping, this product is for you. Designed by keeping convenience and comfort in mind, the Coleman Comfort Smart Cot delivers the highest quality of sleep you could get while outdoors. The weight of this product is 8.9 KG, which makes it easy to carry anywhere during camping.

The mattress is made of thick foam, offering excellent support while you sleep. Its framework is made of durable steel material. It is portable and can easily be stored away in the trunk of your car and opened up when you reach your destination. If you're on the taller side, you're in luck. People up to 6 feet 6 inches tall can use this bed with convenience. It can resist the weight up to 300 lb. Go for it without a second thought.

23: Klymit Drift Camping Pillow

Klymit Drift Camping Pillow

If you've ever been camping, you've likely missed your pillow when sleeping. A comfortable pillow is so important when it comes to getting sleep. Unfortunately, most travel pillows are simply too thin and don't offer support, or they are bulky and take up too much space.

But with the Klymit Drift Camping Pillow, you won't find that situation spoil your camping experience. It is one of the camping essentials that will let you sleep well at night. This pillow is made up of 95% polyester and 5% cotton.

Soft and highly collapsible, this pillow packs down into your camping bag with minimum space disruption. It comes with an outer cover, which is easy to wash and ensures hygiene, particularly when traveling.

The inner pillowcase is made of fine jersey cotton, which offers the softest possible surface to sleep on. This pillow comes in two pretty colors, a muted green and a bright orange, to fit all different tastes.

24: Mosquito Repellent

Mosquito Repellent

One thing we can all agree on is that mosquito bites are the worst. Nothing ruins an otherwise pleasant camping trip, like being attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes and having itchy red bites all over you. Most mosquito repellents that you apply to your skin have strong smells and can often cause allergic reactions in sensitive skin. Additionally, they aren’t even effective most of the time.

The Thermacell Patio Shield Mosquito Repellent offers the perfect alternative. You simply turn it on, and it provides a 15-foot zone of protection against mosquitoes. Activated by heat, you don't have to bother with batteries or electrical cords. A 12-hours of fuel cartridge is included in it. It contains three unscented repellant mats, and each can last up to 4 hours. It indicates by changing its color when it needs to be refilled.

Coming with two years of warranty, there are no chemical smells, and this product draws its inspiration from nature itself. While this product is affordable, there is truly no price you can put to the luxury of being safe from mosquitoes. This is one of our top picks for camping essentials; it's exactly what you need when outdoors.

25: Igloo Ice Maker Machine

Igloo Ice Maker Machine

As the hot weather approaches, having an ice-cold drink when camping becomes essential. In the outdoors, you may not have access to this. However, the Igloo Portable Ice Cube Maker is the answer to your problems.

Simple and easy to use, this product is hassle-free, and it can prepare 26 pounds of ice in 24 hours. An electrical control panel guides you through the process and indicates when you need to add in the water and when the ice tray is full.

You can also customize the size of your ice cubes at your convenience. It is quick and can prepare 9 ice cubes in just 7 minutes. The water tank has a capacity of 3 quarts, so you won't have to bother with refilling it.

It can prepare enough ice to keep your drinks cool through your trip. This has a transparent lid for viewing inside, a removable basket, and a drain plug to drain water when not in use. To top it off, this machine comes in various colors and has the best retro look.

26: Mr. Buddy Heater

Mr. Buddy Heater

In the winter, camping can become a grueling experience. No matter how many layers you wear or how expensive your sleeping bag is, feeling truly warm is a challenge. That is why we have added Mr. Buddy Heater to our camping essentials list.

This heater can help make things a little easier for you. It is small and easy to carry and yet manages to be effective. It is made of sturdy and long-lasting materials like steel and nickel.

It is appropriate for outdoor use and can also be used inside your tent with no worries as it has a built-in safety system. If it accidentally falls down or is in a low oxygen environment, i.e., above attitude of 7000 ft, it shuts down automatically to prevent a fire or another malfunction. You can trust this product to keep you warm and cozy and make camping a pleasant experience even when it's cold.

27: Trekology Portable Camping Side Tables

Trekology Portable Camping Side Tables

This may not be the first product that comes to mind when you think of essential camping gear, but once you buy it, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without one. The Trekology Portable Camping Side Table is as convenient as it gets. It’s foldable, lightweight, easy to carry, and made of durable materials that can withstand harsh weather conditions.

Unlike most others, this table has an innovative aluminum top instead of a wooden one. The aluminum makes the surface water-resistant and easy to clean. This means it can last through rain or snow, and you don't have to worry about any food or drink spills.

It requires no setup and can simply be opened up when you arrive at your destination. It makes for a good surface to set up your stove or to place your belongings on. It comes in two colors, a vivid blue and a classic brown.

28: Klymit Double V Sleeping Pad

Klymit Double V Sleeping Pad

Do you like going camping as a couple? Or with your children? If yes, then the Klymit Double V Sleeping Pad is made for you. Sleeping apart from each other in sleeping bags can be an uncomfortable experience. They are often stuffy and restrict movement during sleep, which could cause aches and pains. This sleeping pad is the perfect solution.

Being 47 inches wide, it can easily fit multiple people. The insulating material and V pattern ensure that this sleeping pad is comfortable in all seasons. It keeps you warm in the winter and cools in the summer.

It is also lightweight, weighing only 3.3 lbs. This makes it easy to transport. Setting it up couldn't be simpler. This mattress requires only 8-10 pumps to inflate. If you use this product when camping, you will certainly have a good night's sleep. It is definitely essential.

Also Read: 10 Best Sleeping Pads for Camping in 2020

29: Cornhole Camping Game with LED Lights

Cornhole Camping Game with LED Lights

This LED Cornhole Game is perfect for families or friend groups that like to have fun. The bright and colorful lights can be changed into 17 different colors. This product can take a simple game of cornhole and transform it into the most fun you’ve ever had. The lights use LED bulbs, eliminating any risk of overheating. 

The lights take only five minutes to install and are highly durable. They can be adjusted using a remote control and run on 3 AA batteries.

You can now play cornhole during the day and when it’s dark. This game will make the camping trip extremely memorable if you have young children. The thrill of playing cornhole with lights will surely bring a smile to their faces.

Also Read: 25 Fun Camping Games For Kids and Adults

30: Waterproof Camping Tarp

Waterproof Camping Tarp

Imagine a situation where you return from a great day of hiking back to your campsite, ready to relax, when suddenly it starts to rain. Instead of resting like you deserve to, you'd be stuck trying to protect your gear from being damaged while avoiding getting drenched yourself. That would be a real downer. Luckily, with the Amazon Basics Camping Tarp, you can say goodbye to your worries.

It is made with extremely durable material and is multi-purpose. It can be used under your tent or over your belongings- any place that requires protection from the rain.

It is lightweight, weighing only 1.5 lbs. It measures eight by ten feet, which makes it large enough to cover most tents. It can also be collapsed to fit easily with the rest essential camping gear. With this product, you will be prepared for any unpredictability the weather has in store for you.

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