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    31 Camping Essentials That Should Be On Your Packing List

    Because I'm ready to get the heck outta Dodge (and into the woods).

    1. A 55-litre hiking backpack that'll hold your tent, sleeping bag, and the rest of your gear. It's equipped with loops in case you need to attach anything extra onto it, along with roomy side pockets you can use to stash you're go-to items.

    A person wearing the pack

    2. A solar-powered charging bank that'll come in handy if you ever need to reboot your headlamp, fancy camera, or even your phone. Reviewers say this baby is small, but mighty and that it will power up multiple devices on a single charge.

    The solar-powered charging bank unfurled over a rock in the sun

    3. A dry bag that'll make sure your not-so-waterproof items won't get drenched. It's an absolute must if you'll be in a canoe with your valuables, plus it's an excellent spot to stash a set of dry clothes in (in case everything else gets soaked and the temperature drops).

    A person fishing with the dry bag on their back

    4. A two-person tent with two doors, mesh ventilation windows, and a fly that allows for two vestibules. Reviewers rave about how waterproof, lightweight, and durable it is (especially considering its reasonable price point).

    5. An inflatable sleeping pad, because let's face it — no matter how "outdoorsy" you may be, there's nothing worse than a lousy sleep after a hard day of portaging. Reviewers say it's thick enough that they don't feel the ground when it's inflated, but small enough to comfortably tuck into their hiking pack.

    6. A portable chair, so you have somewhere to put your tush at a muddy campsite! Plus, it'll just be nice to sit on something with some back support to 'lax in after a long day of hikes.

    Two people sitting on foldable camping chairs by a dog on a beach

    7. A lensatic compass that'll help you make sure you're headed in the right direction, or get back on track if you ever get lost. Its interface glows in the dark, so you'll be able to use it easily even at night.

    The compass next to the case it comes with

    8. A rechargeable headlamp, so you can see where the heck you're going when you pop out of your tent for a midnight pee. Reviewers say it wildly bright for how small it is and that it's super durable.

    The rechargeable headlamp next to a USB cord and a small, round, protective case

    9. A deck of waterproof cards, so you can play outside without worrying about 'em getting wrecked by the elements.

    Waterproof plastic cards

    10. A roll of utility cord that'll secure your tarp on rainy days, act as a clothesline on sunny days, and help you hang your food bags every night. It's super reflective, so you'll be able to see it at night when your light bounces off of it.

    11. A LifeStraw that'll filter bacteria, parasites, and microplastics out of contaminated water as it travels through the straw's microfiltration membrane. It's super light and easy to pack, which makes it the perfect tool for backcountry camping.

    A person drinking river water out of the LifeStraw

    12. And a pack of water purification tablets, because it's always a good idea to have a backup filtration plan. Just pop in one tablet for every litre of water, give it a mix, and after thirty minutes you'll have river water you can safely drink.

    A person filling up their nalgene water bottle next to a packet of water purification tablets

    13. A compression sack that'll keep your bulkier items (like your sleeping bag or sweaters) from eating up all the space in your pack. Reviewers say the seams are strong and that the material of the bag is thick and water resistant.

    The compression sack attached to the bottom of someone's hiking pack

    14. A bottle of biodegradable soap, so you can wash your dishes without messing with the environment. You can even use it on your bod — just make sure you don't use it directly in any body of water (it needs soil to actually break down, so grab a pot, fill it with water, and take your washing at least 200 yards away from whatever lake or river you're near).

    A bottle of campsuds biodegradable soap

    15. A cooking utensil set that'll help you make some proper meals out in the bush. You'll be amazed by how happy you are to have a cutting board (and something besides a stick to flip your blueberry pancakes with).

    The contents of the cooking set

    16. And this compact cookware set that'll provide you and your camping companion with all of the dishes you'll need to boil, stew, fry, drink and eat out of.

    17. Or this pair of pots, if you're just packing for one and don't want to bother with plates and cups. You can stash your dish sponge and cutlery inside, too.

    The two pots stacked together

    18. A rimmed sun hat that'll be a heck of a lot less fragile than your pricey sunglasses. Plus, what's camping without a fun (and practical) hat?

    an adidas bucket hat with an adjustable tie

    19. A tarp, because if it rains overnight, you'll be sorry if you don't have one. You can use it as an extra layer between the ground and your tent, over top of your fly to prevent flooding, or to cover your stuff overnight if your vestibule isn't the most reliable.

    A tarp laid out on some grass

    20. A mummy-style Marmot sleeping bag that'll keep you warm even if the temperature dips below freezing. Reviewers say the bag warms up quickly once your inside and love that it has glow-in-the-dark zippers (which makes it easy to zip and unzip in the middle of the night).

    The sleeping bag in the light of a rising sun

    21. A pair of Sorel sandals that won't hurt your feet on day hikes. Please, step away from your flip flops and invest in something with support.

    22. A mini camping stove that'll literally fit in your pocket. You can use it to cook a hot meal, even if it's raining (or you're just too tired to be bothered with collecting firewood).

    The mini stove attached to a canister of propane

    23. Or a heavy-duty camping stove, if you're going car camping and weight isn't a particular issue. Reviewers say they're impressed by how sturdy it is and love the protective case it comes with, too.

    A heavy-duty camping stove

    24. A folding hand saw, so you can set yourself up with some hearty firewood. Reviewers love that it comes with three different blades, which will allow you cut through a variety of materials.

    a person using the saw to cut a branch

    25. A portable espresso maker, if you can't stand the thought of being without your daily dose of crema. Just scoop your grinds into the filter basket, pour your boiled water into the tank, and pump out your fresh espresso.

    A person holding the portable espresso maker

    26. A foldable shovel, if you're setting off to a campsite without an outhouse or thunderbox. Because yes, you need to bury your business.

    The small shovel with a stout handle and small spade that folds in

    27. A rain shell that packs down into its own little pocket! It'll come in handy if it starts to rain, and it won't take up much space in your pack, either.

    28. A super-lightweight day pack you can stash some snacks, a water bottle, and whatever else you may need on day hikes that don't require you to tear down camp.

    The lightweight backpack shown next to a person on a mountain

    29. An inflatable pillow that'll get you through even the bumpiest of nights. It packs down super small and will let you actually wear the extra sweater you brought (instead of sacrificing it to use as a make-shift cushion).

    A person leaning up against the inflatable pillow

    30. A pair of hiking shoes that'll get you through long portages on rugged terrain. They have excellent grip along the bottoms, so you won't slip and fall when it's wet out.

    One of the hiking shoes from the side

    31. And finally, a wilderness survival and backpacking course that'll teach you the basics if you've never been camping before. Even if you have, it's a great way to refresh your mind with essential skills and safety tips.

    A mountainous range in the sunshine with the words the backpacking course written across it

    Good luck out there!

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