The Ultimate Camping Gear Guide
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Plan on spending a night or two under the stars? Picking a tent is important. Consider durability, size, space and proper ventilation when purchasing a tent because close quarters can easily become a claustrophobic nightmare. Choose wisely.
A compass or GPS device is your best guide around unfamiliar territory. It's a must-have on any campers list of things to pack.
Pack a sturdy flashlight and fresh batteries. You never know when you may need it for an emergency or to help spot things that go bump at night, right outside your tent.
Make sure you have a down sleeping bag when planning your next outdoor adventure. A sleeping mat or pad underneath your sleeping bag will help make your night underneath the stars more comfortable.
Good rain gear, including a rain coat, is important to keep campers dry during stormy weather.
A backpack is a hiker's best friend. Pack it with snacks, water and all your hiking essentials, and hit the trails. Backpacks come in a variety of sizes and some are made specifically to handle all forms of extreme weather.
It's a must-have item to pack for your next trip outdoors. Insect repellant is a camper's first line of defense against bugs, including those pesky mosquitos.
Fire Starter Kit
Yes, you can start fires the old-fashioned way, but we suggest you come prepared with lighter fluid, paper, wood, matches or a lighter to help start your campfire. Of course, make sure you follow the campground's fire safety guidelines.
A small gas stove is helpful to make elaborate, but quick meals while you're camping. Wake up to a pot of coffee in the morning or make a meal out of whatever you bring to eat or catch in the woods.
Don't forget to pack sunblock, especially if you're camping in the heat of the hot sun during the summer. This is especially important for hikers who enjoy long, arduous treks along clearly marked trails in the wilderness.
A good camping experience must include non-perishable food, including s'mores. You can't resist the chocolaty goodness melting over a couple marshmallows and carefully wedged between two graham crackers.
A pocket knife is a camper's ultimate multi-tool. It comes equipped with a magnifying glass, cork screw and small knife to get you out of a bind.
You don't really need to be elaborate when cooking meals over a campfire, but something like this sandwich maker is perfect for making grilled cheese sandwiches when you're tired of the regular camp food faire like hot dogs or hamburgers.
Find a sturdy, comfortable pair of shoes or boots that have good tread -- necessary on hiking trails that are sometimes dangerously close to a steep drop-off.
A cooler keeps your food safe when you're not eating. Store it in the car when you're done munching on a snack, lunch or light dinner to keep away unexpected visitors. Odorless garbage bags are an alternate option if you don't want to drag a cooler to the campgrounds.
A lantern always comes in handy for late-night reading in the tent or if you're just looking for a better way to brighten things up without relying on the light from fireflies at night.