35 camping essentials


Camping was really never my thing. Well, let’s say I love my bed and am no friend to the bug world. In fact, that is probably an understatement. On the other hand though, my beloved (and little ones) love to camp and anything outdoors related. Well, that too may be an understatement of how deep his love for the outdoors is. It is a real relationship!

So, what is a gal to do? Give in but find a way to make camping or rather the outdoors somewhat acceptable.

Perhaps a few items to make that happen;

  1. Tent; it has to be real good and reliable just in case the weather goes south.
  2. Tarp – don’t forget to put your tent on a good size tarp. Not too big or you will get rain between your tarp and your tent floor.
  3. Sleeping bags – Depending on where you camp, we would recommend a 20deg bag.
  4. Camp Cot or Air Mattress – If you want a good night of sleep this is a must. The ground is hard and lumpy but it also will always be cold and you need something to insulate you from the cold.
  5. Air pump – A lot of air mattresses have them built in but a backup does not hurt.
  6. Blankets
  7. Flashlight
  8. Tent Light – It seems like a waste till you have one. It is handy to have a dedicated light in the tent.
  9. Lighter and Match box for back up.
  10. Emergency weather radio
  11. Hatchet – whether you take firewood or not, you need to chop up some small pieces to get the fire going well before you put the large pieces of wood on the fire. you will also need to pound in the tent stakes.
  12. Pepper spray – just in case….
  13. Pocket knife
  14. Dutch oven
  15. Charcoal briquettes (optional) – Despite the fact that you can use coals from the camp fire for Dutch oven cooking, you will get a lot better temperature control with charcoal briquettes.
  16. Camp shovel
  17. Channel lock pliers or Dutch oven tool
  18. Camp chairs
  19. Portable potty; this is a necessity for me.
  20. Water jerry can
  21. Wash tub and dish soap
  22. Food – Bring more than you think you need (smores fixins)
  23. Ice chest
  24. Camp stove
  25. Camp Kitchen
  26. Camping utensils – you may think you can borrow from the kitchen but trust me, you will forget them and be stuck stirring beans with your pocket knife above.
  27. Salt and pepper shakers – dedicated plastic ones that seal are the best. Scrambled eggs with no salt are not very good.
  28. Lantern – Gas or electric, for a long time, the gas was always the best but with LED’s now, a nice battery option will last a long time.
  29. Marsh mellow/hot dog rosters
  30. Cookware – We use cast iron both in the home and camping. It’s easy to clean and handles the open fire well.
  31. Dishes
  32. Coffee pot – coffee never tasted better than over an open fire. This coffee pot is a must.
  33. Sealed Rubbermaid tubs – if you’re camping in Texas like we do, you don’t have to worry as much about bears and such but a good container that seals tight will keep the “locals” out of your food in the middle of the night.
  34. Camp wagon – depending on where your vehicle is parked for unloading, from experience and some good back pain, this expense will pay for it self and you will never regret it.
  35. Cell Phone charging battery pack – Most camp sites in Texas have no issue with cell phone reception. So keeping it charged for emergencies is great idea. We have one and have loved it.


If you are new to camping, this list may look like a lot and certainly has a cost associated with it. You can buy things slowly when they are in your budget and make due. As long as you stay dry, warm and well fed it is a nice time to be out with your family and enjoy peace and quiet.

P.S This list maybe missing a few things just like we always do whenever we go out camping. So feel free to share more ideas of what you usually take with ya.

God Bless.



23 thoughts on “35 camping essentials

  1. We enjoy camping/hiking as well. Thanks for sharing your list! It’s so nice of you to sacrifice your comfortable bed for your family. Hopefully you all will have great memories because of it! 🙂

  2. I enjoyed your list of essentials. My husband’s idea of camping was hiking in with a 100 pound pack for half the day and setting up the other half. This was before we were married. We camped a couple of times, and then a couple more I went home at night with the youngest child and returned to make breakfast. That suited me just fine. I love cooking over a fire, but sleeping on the cold, wet ground, not so much. A shower before bed is also nice, without dodging bugs! 😉

    1. Thank you Miss Deborah 💝. I think my groom and I are total opposites in the outdoors department. If he had it his way, we would literally spend most of our days out in the woods. I am terrified of bugs and snakes and everything else that comes with the outdoors. As for sleeping, I love my bed but can not sleep without my pillow. We have found a middle ground though mostly in favor of my side 😁.

  3. I camped as a Girl Scout camp counselor, and I feel I’ve done my duty to the world. Kudos to you for your sacrifice for your family. Our son camps every chance he gets, and he has all the equipment to make himself comfortable. I’m so happy he never invited me to go with him.

  4. A great list. We’ve camped a lot over the years and I find a head torch (flashlight) is much more convenient than a hand-held one. And don’t forget the toilet paper. 🙂

  5. oh gees nooo i’d never camp. i’m afraid of bugs. and as for bears, well we dont have them in ireland, but man would i be scared in case one would come and eat me! 🙂 xxoxox enjoy the camping though. xox

    1. 😂😂😂😂😂. I used to say that too. I am absolutely scared of the beautiful nature out there but in the name of love, I have found myself exploring more. It’s actually beautiful. You should try it😁

    1. 😂😂😂. This took years of resistance from me. I was never an outdoors person. I blame my groom… He does the collecting. I just follow his lead all the way.😂😂.

  6. Great list! I went camping as a kid. I don’t know how many of these things made it, but I remember having a blast. My hubby camped out under the stars as a kid. I so hoped we’d camp when we married, but he decided he needed to be in an RV with our own bathroom! Then 39 years later, we started living full time in a camper as our oldest grandson calls it!

  7. A pocket knife is the most essential tool to have in camping. Because of its lots of uses despite its size. But I also bring a roadeavour knife for extra blade in case of larger things to cut.

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