When you are preparing for camping and hiking trips there is an endless list of stuff you need to bring. And as much as you’d like to bring everything and the kitchen sink, space and weight are always a limiting factor. But there are a few things that you can bring on such trips to make the experience that little bit more comfortable.
Those small comforts at the end of a tough day hiking can make a huge difference. Or if you are just on a camping trip with the family, then investments like these will keep everyone a lot happier.
So what is the secret to a happy camping trip?
On the below list, you will find must have camping gear that will give you those comforts while you are out in the elements. From keeping you warn to cooking your food. And having the ability to see when it’s dark to being able to comfortably carry your gear. These really are the most essential items you should consider.
And the great thing is that for each of these gadgets you will be able to see our extensive research list for the top ten products.
If you can’t find what you need on these lists then it probably doesn’t exist. So, keep reading and get prepared.
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Our Top 5 Recommendations
When it comes to camping and hiking, you could probably create a list of 40 or 50 things that you need to pack. Most items are essential. Some are nice to have. What we want to focus your attention on here is 5 items of must have camping gear that should be at the top of your list.
We are deliberately not including a tent, as that is kind of an obvious item to have. Unless of course you are planning to sleep under the sky. If that’s not something you have tried before then maybe plan for it some time. On hiking trips this can hugely reduce the amount of weight you carry. But it’s only suitable in dry and warm places.
OK, so let’s dive right in and get you some info on what you need to bring.
Having a reliable flashlight is a very important item to consider for both comfort and emergency situations. Imagine you’re on a hiking trip and it gets dark before you have set up camp and lit a fire. Or maybe it’s raining and you can’t light a fire and you end up spending an evening in the dark.
Unless you have practiced setting up camp in total darkness you are in for a pretty rough experience. Especially if you have to put up a tent that has several small parts to it. Those hours of effort are the last thing you want at the end of a long day.
In emergency situations, you might even need to signal to rescue services. With a bright and powerful flashlight that will be a much easier task. And a lot of them even have an SOS Morse code setting that signals automatically.
But even for comfort purposes a flash light can be a great investment. If you wake in the night you will be surrounded by darkness. Or maybe you want to read a book before you go to sleep. It’s a lot more comfortable to do so in your tent and sleeping bag than relying on the light from a fire.
Find out more about our top ten flashlight recommendations.
No matter what climate you are camping or hiking in, this is one item you should never be without. Even in desert like places, temperatures will plummet at night time. That difference between night and day can quickly lead to hypothermia and at the very least will make for a very uncomfortable night.
The great thing is that modern sleeping bags are reasonably priced and available in different climate categories. If you are heading into mountains in winter snow, then you will need something a lot more insulated. At the same time, summer time trips could make you sweat in such sleep sacks.
If you regularly head for the outdoors at different times of year, then it makes sense to invest in a couple of these to have you covered. Unfortunately, there is no one type fits all conditions product out there. But given the low prices you can get, this really is not much of an issue.
For those people that regularly take advantage of weekends in the open outdoors we would suggest in spending a bit extra. When you use a sleeping bag very regularly then you need materials that are anti-tear and will not fade and wear quickly. That does mean spending a bit more, but in the long run it will save you a fortune.
Find out more about our top ten sleeping bag recommendations.
An absolutely essential piece of gear is going to be your backpack. This is definitely an area where you don’t want to scrimp and save for the sake of it. On camping trips where you don’t plan much moving around, this is not essential. But for hiking trips you want something spacious, light, reliable and most of all comfortable.
That particular combination is not that easy to come by. And you certainly won’t get it from some cheap gear. All camping trips require quite a lot of gear and the more you can fit in a backpack the less you have to attach elsewhere. It also keeps things safe and in one place.
But the backpack itself will weigh a certain amount as well. This can be kept to a minimum by using lightweight synthetic materials. But to make them durable and tear proof is not that cheap.
Most importantly though is the padding and weight distribution. You will need to focus on products with waist straps that allow you to transfer some of the weight from your shoulders to your waist. That will make tough days on tough terrain a lot easier to cope with. And to get all the weight perfectly balanced requires expertise from companies that have been in the camping business for many years.
Find out more about our top ten hiking backpack recommendations.
Ok, so this is not something you’ll be bringing on a hiking trip. Unless of course you can employ someone to carry it for you. But for camping trips where you will not be relocating once you arrive it is going to give you immense comfort throughout the day.
Chances are that you’re going to be active on camping trips. And when you want to relax in the evening, that’s hard to do unless you can get comfortable. With even the simplest camping chairs available you will be able to enjoy those small comforts at a camp fire.
For some people a camping chair will also be a vital investment. If you suffer with any kind of back pain, then sitting on the ground or a hard bench will not seem very appealing. The good news is that you can get camp chairs that offer great back support so that you don’t end up in too much pain.
Find out more about our top ten camping chair recommendations.
The final item on our must have camping gadgets list is a stove. Some camp sites will have BBQ areas that are great for cooking meals. Especially evening dinners. That smell of burning charcoal and cooking meat is an essential part of camping trips.
But you’re not going to fire up a BBQ or camp fire to make some breakfast or to boil some water for tea and coffee. The best thing you can have in your supplies is a small to medium size stove.
This will give you a huge amount of flexibility throughout the day. In many cases your kids might be involved in different activities. And that means that you might not all be sitting down for lunch at the same time. Keeping a fire going all day for these situations is just not a good solution.
And for hiking trips a small gas stove can make such a big difference. When you take a break, you might want to make a cup of tea or coffee. With a compact gas stove and bottle you can have boiling water in a matter of minutes. And it won’t involve making a fire.
Find out more about our top ten camping stove recommendations.
That concludes out list of must have camping accessories. Yes, there are many other items that you will need to bring along. But with these gadgets and accessories you will make the entire experience a lot more appealing to you and your friends and family.
Just having some small luxuries will ensure that you are able to relax and have fun at the same time. Just make sure that there is enough of everything for all the family. You don’t want to end up fighting over that one camping chair!