Top 25 Camping Essentials for Beginners [ Your Ultimate Guide]

Camping essentials for beginners

So you’ve decided to get out and venture the great outdoors…


Well this guide certainly provides the best camping essentials for beginners who are looking to explore nature, it’s wilderness and simply be able to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life!

Now, deciding what to bring when going camping can become slightly overwhelming and before you know it, you have the car packed with everything you think you need – including the kitchen sink!

Don’t worry

As long as you have the few key essentials, you’re camping experience will be much more enjoyable and will go by without a hitch.

So, how about delve in and have a look at the top 25 camping essentials you’ll need:

1. TentA tent is a camping essential for beginners

Seems a bit obvious, but you will not believe how many times we have went away and forgot the main necessity – the tent!

Tents nowadays come in many shapes and sizes that fit the required amount of people looking to camp. When searching for a tent, there are 3 things you should consider:

  • How many people are looking to camp and sleep in it
  • What type of tent you want to own e.g rods, inflatables or pop-up
  • Your budget

If you are looking to camp by yourself or with a partner or friend, a 2-man tent is perfect. These usually come in 2-types, rods or pop-up.

Check out these insanely easy pop-up tents that get you camping quicker

If yourself and your family are looking to camp, you will need a much larger tent that will either be set up with rods or by inflating.

Choosing the right tent for you is essential and knowing how to take care of it will make sure that your tent will serve its purpose for years to come.

2. Sleeping Bag

A good sleeping bag is a camping essential for beginners

When we first started camping years ago, we would take our tent and simply throw every blanket and pillow we had in the bedroom, only to come home and the duvet to be dirty, grimy and wet with condensation.

So we decided to invest in a good sleeping bag.

Not only will it retain the heat but it will also keep out condensation with its waterproof polyester material.

Not to mention, they are super comfortable and cosy!

They are lightweight, can be easily packed away in its compression sack but its purpose is to keep you warm at night even in temperatures that are well into the minus.

3. Air Mattress

A firm mattress is an ideal camping essential for beginners

Take it from me !

Investing in an air mattress is key!

Laying on the hard ground (even if it is sand you have pitched your tent on) will surely lead to a difficult night’s sleep.

Air mattresses are very cheap and provide that much-needed support when camping.

Once filled with air either by a foot or electrical pump, a good air mattress will stay firm and retain its shape throughout the night allowing for an excellent night’s sleep.

4. Pillow/Headrest

Getting a good pillow is a great camping essential for beginners

Same again, having somewhere to rest your head whilst drifting off for the night makes for a much more comfortable experience.

You can use a standard pillow if you prefer, but if you are serious about camping and feel that you wish to get outdoors more often, it’s worth investing in an inflatable camping pillow.

These can be inflated and deflated in a matter of seconds and will be able to fit away perfectly into your camping bag or rucksack.

5. Lantern

Getting a good lantern is a camping essential for beginners

Being able to see in the dark can only be a good thing surely?

Especially if you are camping in the middle of nowhere.

Lanterns are a very trusty and handy companion to have during the night, whether it be for simply reading a book or venturing outside your tent to go to the toilet.

Good camping lanterns are tough, resilient and fully waterproof that can either be powered by batteries or wind-up and will be able to provide a bright light through the night.

6. Survival Knife

A survival knife is a great camping essential for beginners

When camping there are a number of tasks that may require the use of a good survival knife such as filleting a fish, cutting a rope or whittling a stick.

Having a survival knife that can slice and chop items as part of you’re camping gear, will make such tasks a lot easier.

7. Medical Kit

Having a medical kit to hand is a great camping essential for beginners

Being out in the wilderness can always be dangerous and accidents can happen from time to time.

Always make sure to practice caution when doing anything dangerous but in case something does go wrong, its always advised to bring along a medical kit.

It doesn’t need to be anything that they use in ambulances but even the most simple of medical kits contain lifesaving items that you will appreciate you had.

8. Portable Phone Charger

A portable phone charger is handy camping essential for beginners

Can be seen as a technological life-saver!

Making sure your phone is fully charged so that you contact the outside world…

Or as we all do, see how many likes we got on our last Facebook post.

Having a portable phone charger at hand will make sure you have the additional battery needed if your phone is ever about to die. Depending on the phone make and model it can power a full battery between 3-5 times.

In some circumstances, if you ever are in a difficult situation, it will just give that extra boost to your phone so you can call for help.

9. Portable Gas Cooker

A portable gas cooker is a brilliant camping essential for beginners

Wake up, cook some fresh bacon and sausages on the hob whilst staring out onto scenic views.. with the smell of crispy bacon!

C’mon what’s not to love here!

Portable gas cookers are incredible instruments that come with a free supply of gas canisters that you simply link up into the cooker, strike a match across……..and voila!

Time to test your outdoor cooking skills.

10. Camping Utensils

Camping utensils are a handy camping essential for beginners

After you cook your food, you’ll need some utensils to eat it with.

Or dig in with your hands, I’m not here to judge.

You can clear the cupboards in the house for cutlery if you wish, but if you want something to fit your surroundings and plan on using again, try these utensils.

They are durable, easily cleaned and light enough to carry around.

11. Lighter / Firestarters

Firestarters are an ideal camping essential for beginners

Once you have set up camp, its time to start on the fire.

Now, I prefer to stay true to the roots of it all and start a fire using sticks but if you are in a rush or you have 5 other camping buddies staring as you try to find a spark then you can use firestarters.

They will get the fire roaring in no time and take the pressure off you….phew!

12. Firewood

Firewood is great to have when you go camping

When camping, one of the must things to do is build a fire!

Not only does it keep you warm during a cold night but also provides a centre piece to sit around and talk, share stories and to tell one or two ghost stories.

If you’re camping is simply for recreational purposes, bring enough firewood to feed the flames long into the night as you sit around with a beer and stare into the starry night.

Why not check out some great ways to make a fire when camping!

13. Camping Axe

An axe is a great camping essential for beginners

Now, always check where you are and the laws in your area in regards to cutting trees for firewood

Although if you need to keep your fire going, having a strong camping axe can become very handy indeed.

Most camping axes are small in size so they can be easily carried around, they are durable and sharp to the edge that make cutting for firewood a breeze.

14. Water

Having a water container is really handy to have when you go camping

Making sure to stay hydrated is key when camping

When you’re out in the wilderness, it tends to knock you out of your daily routine and you forget to rehydrate.

So, by simply having a water bottle or storage container with you will allow you to stay hydrated throughout the day.

15. Rainproof Clothing

Having a waterproof jacket is a camping essential for beginners

Rain comes hand in hand with camping usually

So when you’re outdoors always make sure to bring rainproof clothing or even a rainproof jacket.

Rainproof jackets are very lightweight, waterproof, wind-resistant and breathable so will keep you dry without weighing you down such as a heavy coat.

16. Camping Chairs

A camping essential for beginners is definitely a camping chair

There is nothing better than sitting next to a campfire with a cold beer in your hand with family or friends.

Camping chairs are an excellent accessory to you’re camping gear as not only are the comfortable to sit on instead of the hard ground but are light, foldable and can be easily packed away.

I highly recommend a camping chair when you’re camping.

17. Cooler

A cooler will keep food and drink cool for hours and a great camping essential

If you have space in the boot of your car, another incredible item to have is a cooler to keep drinks and any fresh food cool whilst your away.

Some coolers can hold between 32 to 64 litres and are great at keeping food and drink cool for a long time.

Not only that, if you forgot to bring a camping chair…its the perfect place grab a seat.

18. Air-tight Containers

Air-tight containers will help to keep food fresher for longer when camping

Not only would a cooler help to keep your food fresher for longer but having air-tight containers allows for longer preservation of your food.

Simple air-tight containers are cheap, strong and will hold a fair amount of food when your out camping.

19. Thick Socks

Thick socks are a camping essential as they will keep your feet warm and healthy

If camping during the winter or towards the spring months, it’s best to invest in a pair of thick comfortable socks that will help keep your feet warm but also healthy as these have a breathable mesh design.

Having a pair or a couple of pairs of thick socks will stop blisters from forming if walking great distances and keep out any ticks or mosquitoes.

20. Suncream

Make sure to bring suncream when you go camping, a great essential

Something that every camper should have as part of their camping gear – suncream!

Never underestimate the power of the sun and the UV rays it produces.

Even on a cloudy day, these UV rays can get through with you becoming more susceptible to it as you are in the great outdoors.

21. Insect Repellent

When camping in areas that there are a lot of bugs, insect repellent is essential

If you are camping in an area you expect are a lot of bugs and insects, purchasing an insect repellent will keep those nasty critters away.

When applying, only use small amounts as it can be very strong and harsh on the skin but the smallest amount will deter any creepy crawlies.

22. Music speakers

Having a music speaker is a great camping essential for beginners as it will create a brilliant atmosphere

If your out camping alone or even with family and friends, its always nice to hear some of your favourite music to set the scene.

There are powerful portable music speakers available that will certainly create an ambient atmosphere in the middle of your natural surroundings.

Sit back and relax or get up and get those hips shaking!

23. Portable shower

If camping for a long period of time, you may want to consider a portable shower

Camping and exploring the outdoors surely works up a sweat.

When all you simply want is a warm shower!

So if you are camping for a long period of time, well look no further, a portable shower is here to save the day!

A portable shower can hold up to 40 litres of water and can heat up to 45°C within 3 hours of direct sunlight due to the material it is made from.

All so you can stay fresher for longer whilst exploring!

24. Rucksack / Backpack

An absolute camping essential for beginners is a rucksack that can hold a lot of storage

Having a rucksack is a camping essential for beginners.

Camping or travelling rucksacks have a lot of storage space where you can fit a number of items into.

They are lightweight, very durable and can withstand the harshness of weather.

Instead of taking trip after trip from the car to your campsite or if you are really going off-road

You’ll need a rucksack to help carry the load for you.

25. Windbreaker

A windbreaker a great companion to have when camping

Sitting by the fire and chilling out with a cold one, there is nothing worse than the battering of the wind against you!

But by setting up a windbreaker it will divert that wind elsewhere, providing  a spot of relaxation whilst you can enjoy the warmth of the fire.

It also stops the smoke of the fire from swirling around and getting in everyone’s eyes.

So, some of these things you may consider when camping and some you may not

Although if this guide can even give you a basic understanding and show you the amenities available that will allow for a better and more enjoyable camping experience, I believe my work here is done!

Any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask!

4 comments Add yours
  1. You know I have most of the items on your list, but most of the stuff is not really the best quality.  We are looking at doing some camping trips this winter (yes, we are in Florida!) and so some things will need to be changed out.  The one thing I don’t have that I love is the camp shower!  How long of a shower can you actually get with this?  Will I have to do a really quick soap down and then be done?  The camping ax is another item I wished we had on our last trip.  Thanks for the great list!

  2. This is awesome! I’ll be bookmarking this and coming back to it this spring. We aren’t very experienced campers, but love the idea of doing it. We own no gear, though, so that’s been holding us back. This is the perfect guide to help us make sure we have all we need. Any tips for camping with a toddler? He will be 2 by the time summer rolls around, but he is kind of a rascal.

    1. Hi Holly,

      You may not need all of this gear however I’m sure you’ll be using a good majority of it. They’ll just simply make your camping experience better and more enjoyable. 

      I understand having a young one that they can get bored quite easily when camping. Check out my post on the best games to play while camping:…. It’ll surely take away any boredom!

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