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    29 Things People Who Camp Swear By

    Everything you need from the basics to outdoorsy extras.

    1. A basic tarp that'll come in handy in more ways than you can imagine, but for starters as a tent footprint, shady cover for your picnic table, or a little rain shelter if you're in a pinch.

    blue tarp rolled up in packaging

    2. A lil' two-person tent with a footprint to prevent you and your plus one from soaking up any water when rain or morning dew inevitably make an appearance.

    a standing, orange, two-person tend

    Promising review: "We set this tent up at Kite Lake in CO for the first time out of the bag, putting in the last stake SECONDS before an intense storm came through. Very sturdy and dry tent thanks to the built-in footprint. I’m 6’0" and she is 5’5" and we had plenty of room...Would totally recommend for car campers and backpackers." –geauxcamp

    Get it from REI for $199.

    3. collapsible, solar-powered lantern that's as easy to travel with as it is to charge! Leave it out during your day's hike, and it'll be ready to pop up and use by the time night falls.

    reviewer photo of them holding the lit, fully extended light
    reviewer photo of the collapsed light turned off

    Promising review: "I don't really know where to begin with how impressed I am with this little light. It's made out of sturdy materials and the light it puts out is a warmer tinted glow, compared to the harsh white light of other lamps. The light disperses over a fairly broad space for such a small piece, too! The candlelight flicker setting is an awesome touch as it actually does add a bit of ambiance to the environment. Plus, this thing packs down so small, it's barely bigger than a couple of drink coasters stacked together. I plan to buy a few more of these because they are much more compact for motorcycle camping or backpacking. I have a two-person tent and it put out more than enough light to cover the entire area on the dimmest setting." –The Seamstress of Misadventure

    Get it from Amazon for $19.95+ (available in two styles).

    4. A hanging gear organization system so you have access to your necessities without having to dig through your absolutely stuffed backpack every time you need your headlamp.

    strap with fabric rings attached to tent ceiling with twist ties hanging S-Biners and carabiners  hlding gear like water bottles, hats, and keys

    5. A Lifestraw personal water filter that allows you to safely drink from any water source. When you're camping and hiking a ton, it's just good to have reassurance that you won't run out of clean water.

    reviewer drinking out of a stream from a lifestraw

    6. A compact broom and dustpan for sweeping dirt out of your tent quickly and effectively. It may seem inevitable, but there's nothing worse than a super dirty tent floor.

    reviewer holding a small dustpan in the palm of their hand with a tiny broom inside.

    7. A BioLite headlamp so you don't have to struggle with a flashlight AND the dishes AND your toiletry kit when you're re-packing your car after dark. This one is super slim and unobtrusive and even tilts downward so you can have a better view of right where you're walking.

    8. A pop-up trash can that will help you keep any and all waste contained. Always remember to take out everything you brought into the site — especially trash!

    green soft trash can with black corded spiral around it to help it pop up

    9. A pack of cleansing wipes so you can freshen up a little bit between showers, much to the satisfaction of your campmates' noses.

    wipes in their flexible plastic container

    10. A lantern and fan hybrid that's as close as you're gonna get to sweet, sweet AC in the woods. I cannot help but stan a mini ceiling fan gadget, it's just so cute and helpful.

    light and fan combo hanging inside a tent

    11. A bottle of Campsuds biodegradable soap so you can wash your dishes, hands, or anything without harming the environment. Just remember to bury your soapy water!

    small green bottle of camp suds

    12. A portable Jetboil camp stove, which boils water in just 100 seconds, has a color-changing boil indicator, and is light and easy to travel with.

    13. Or a Camp Chef two-burner stove perfect for whipping up a full meal in the great outdoors. With two burners and heat control, you're gonna be the head chef of the wilderness.

    stove with two burners and three knobs with the top open

    14. A handy double-ended spoon and fork that's like the CatDog of utensils. I have this and love it! It's super easy to travel with, feels sturdy to eat from, and is super easy to wash off or clean with a little Campsuds.

    purple plastic utensil with a spoon at one end and a fork on the other

    15. A solar power bank to give all of your devices the boost they need while you're off the grid.

    solar power bank with droplets of water on it and carabeener attached

    16. An REI Co-op Trailbreak sleeping bag available in men's and women's sizes that's rated for use down to 20 degrees! It's weight-cutting mummy shape, hood drawstring, and extra foot insulation makes this one of the coziest options available, and I just really want that for you.

    purple mummy sleeping bag

    17. A Therm-a-rest compressible camp pillow so when you gently lay your head down to rest at camp, your cheek isn't mushed up against a rock or root. Worth it, in my opinion.

    small green and blue patterned pillow

    18. An inflatable lounge chair that will make your midday nap feel like the height of luxury after sleeping on the ground for so long. You inflate it just by whipping it in the wind, meaning no pesky hand pumps or electricity needed!

    reviewer laying in purple inflated chair

    19. A lauded Yeti cooler, because you'll want your ice to last as long as possible to keep your perishables fresh. Ice doesn't grow on trees!

    20. An impressive six-person tent with a 78-inch peak height so even all of you 6'5" peeps out there can stand, change, move, and groove comfortably!

    a standing blue and tan six-person tent

    Promising review: "I have used my new Skyward 6 with my family of four on two separate trips. This tent is easy to set up and there is a lot of room. There are many ways to adjust ventilation to provide airflow and a large protected vestibule. The tent stood up to high wind conditions, driving rain storms, and snow. I highly recommend this tent!" –Rick

    Get it from REI for $449.

    21. A Coleman camping chair that has its own side table (with a built-in cupholder!) so you can keep your drinks, snacks, and speaker on hand while you kick back and bask in the natural ambience. 

    reviewer photo of them sitting in their black camper chair with the side table extended out and their water bottle in the built-in cupholder
    reviewer photo of the black camping chair with the side table extended out

    To see some other styles, head over to our list of the best camping chairs!

    Promising review: "I purchased two of these and will probably get at least two more. Love how slim these are when they are folded up. We took these camping, they folded up slim enough to hang from a hook in our camper. They were great when we got back from canoeing to realize it had rained all over everything for hours, these chairs dried super quickly, everyone else we were with had wet chairs for the remainder of the trip." –shawnajab

    Get it from Amazon for $74.39.

    22. A pull-string fire starter because you're a little rusty on your Boy Scouts skills and no one in your camp crew is going to give you a badge anyway. Put the sticks down – this'll do all the hard work for you!

    a hand pulling a string on the fire start box, which is sitting on a bed of wood
    the lit fire starter and wood catching on fire

    Promising review: "Genius! Lit immediately and our wood was soaking wet! It’s a must-have for all camping/fire-pit events! No more newspapers, boxes, or lighter fluid!" –Mcee

    Get a three-pack from Amazon for $17.99.

    23. An Aeropress coffee and espresso maker that brews top-notch coffee anywhere boiling water is available. It's also small, durable, and easy to clean, so bringing it to the ends of the earth with you is a no-brainer.

    grey cylindrical aeropress sitting over a coffee mug

    24. Extendable skewers so no knuckle hair is harmed in the making of scrumptious s'mores and hot dogs.

    25. A Rumpl indoor/outdoor blanket to keep you warm and cozy all through the night. Its smooth surface is waterproof and resistant to dirt, so there are no worries about exposing it to the elements.

    26. A self-inflating sleeping pad so you don't have to choose between struggling to blow up a pad with your own breath or sleeping on the hard ground.

    27. A cot and air mattress if the only thing keeping you from sleeping outdoors more is discomfort laying on the ground. Sleeping under the stars is rad, but sleeping in a BED under the stars? Unbeatable.

    28. A waterproof backpack cover to keep all of your belongings safe from Mother Nature's unpredictable wrath. Come rain or come shine, you're still hitting the ol' dusty (or in this case muddy) trail!

    reviewer photo of them showing how the cover wears over their large hiking backpack, back
    reviewer photo of them showing how the cover wears over their large hiking backpack, side

    Promising reviews: "I hiked the Mist Trail at Yosemite National Park last week and this cover was invaluable. It not only kept my pack contents dry going to the top of Vernal Falls but also a tripod attached to the outside. Later, on the John Muir trail I had to actually walk under a small waterfall. Again, the cover kept everything dry. After leaving the wet area it dried quickly too." —Rick

    Get it on Amazon for $7.39+ (available in five sizes and in 11 colors and designs).

    29. A portable and waterproof bluetooth speaker so you can blast your expertly curated adventure playlist from any surf or turf location.

    a wet blue bluetooth speaker sitting on a log outside

    Promising review: "I bought it to have some low music while playing golf with my buddies, and it is capable of way more than that. First of all, the battery life on one charge at half volume gets me through three to four rounds of golf (approximately 12 hours). The sound quality, as always, is spectacular (for the size and cost), and this thing can dish it out if it gets to that. I have never had to raise the volume past 3/4. It is super small and super portable. I use it to walk a round of golf and it has been rained on a few times with no issues. Now I use it on my patio for get-togethers, picnics, outdoor activities, you name it. I've had it for seven months now." –GustavoLangoni

    Get it from Amazon for $119 (available in four colors).

    Enjoy your camping trip! Stay safe!

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