Camping Advice

Top 50 Best Tent Camping Essentials – Ultimate Guide

Finally, your long-awaited tent camping trip has arrived, and to make things easier for you here I have listed the best tent camping must haves you’ll need to pack.

With being busy with our daily routine we barely have enough time for camping. Therefore, many people spent only 1-2 nights during weekends. If you have enough time you can spend 3-4 nights camping. Many pro campers go 3-4 nights camping. No matter how long you’re willing to stay, without the right gear, you’ll be fed up with your camping trip. The amount of stuff you need differs with the number of people you’re going to go camping with. Let’s see one by one.

Bedding & Shelter | Tent Camping Must Haves

Bedding and Shelter

01. Tents

The most obvious gear in our camping must haves list is the tent. But when choosing a tent you have to be aware of your group’s size. Choosing a tent for a single person won’t be a big deal. But, when it comes to a group, you’ll have to choose a tent based on your group’s size.

Always choose a tent that has an extra room for another person to fit in. For instance, if your group’s size is 3, go for a tent that has enough sleeping capacity for 4 people. That way it will be more spacious and comfortable for you to move around.

For solo campers backpacking tents are more suitable since they are light weighted and easy to carry. There are many backpacking tents in the market for you to choose from. Find one that has enough space and comfort. These tents come in different shapes and sizes.

A-frame tents are good at dealing with the rain but, the headspace is not enough. The dome tent has enough head space but it is not stable in bad weather conditions. Tunnel tents have a lot of space and relatively stable in the wind. But they don’t do well with heavy rain.

Whereas geodesic tents are very stable in bad weather conditions like heavy rain and high winds. They also have good headroom. But they can be pricey and not very easy to put up. Cabin-shaped tents are fairly spacious, have good headroom, and not expensive but, can be a little heavy. Pyramid tents are easy to set up, light-weighted, and very stable but, the liveable space is limited due to vertical walls.

Bivy tents are also for solo campers who prefer to carry as light as possible. Bivy tents are small in size when packed and light-weighted. The hammock tent is also for solo campers who like to camp in forests, where they need to stay up from the ground.

02. Footprint

Does a camping footprint deserve a place in our tent camping must haves list? Well, it does. And why is that? Because, you don’t wanna ruin your expensive tent with rocks, roots, and sticks. Choose a footprint according to your tent’s size.

03. Sleeping Bag

The third item in our tent camping must haves list is the sleeping bag. Sleeping bags come in different shapes like rectangular, semi-rectangular, mummy, and double bag. A sleeping bag will keep you warm on cold nights outdoors.

04. Sleeping Pad

The sleeping pad is an important item when it comes to bedding and shelter in tent camping must haves. A sleeping pad will provide you a comfortable and soft place to sleep outdoors.

05. Camping Chairs & Table

I have added camping chairs and tables to my tent camping must haves list because you’ll need a place to keep your food and drinks while chilling with your family and friends. There are many foldable and light-weighted chairs and tables that are specially designed for camping.

06. Camping Tarp

I find a camping tarp is a versatile item. Tarps provide shelter from rain and sunlight. Taking a tarp with you is optional. But I love to stay under a tarp in the breeze exploring nature.

Gear & Equipment | Tent Camping Must Haves

Gear and Equipment

07. Backpack

When we talk about camping gear, the backpack is the first thing that comes to our mind. Yes, it is one of the main things in tent camping must haves. Choose one that is comfortable and has a sufficient capacity. They come in different sizes according to how much gear you want to pack. 70L backpack is enough for two or three nights.

08. Maps & Compass

Always carry a map and a compass when traveling. Then it will be easier for you to get directions and can have an idea about your surrounding.

09. Hiking Poles

Hiking poles or you may also know them as trekking poles, are handy when you are camping on a mountain. They are very useful when going uphill or downhill.

10. Camp Knife

Camp knife is another major item in the tent camping must haves list. You’ll need a camp knife for a variety of reasons like cutting sticks and ropes, preparing food, etc.

11. Camping Shovel

Having a camping shovel is useful when pitching your tent, digging holes, and moving rocks or soil. Pick one that is portable and easy to carry.

12. Camping Rope

The next item in our tent camping must haves list is the camping rope. You’ll need a rope to tie and pack your luggage. Also, for tying your tarp and for tying the tent poles. You’ll need a camping rope for tying sticks and wood that you collected for the campfire.

13. Solar Battery Charger

Since you are going to camp in the wilderness, you’ll be unable to charge your phone or laptop. So don’t forget to take a solar battery charger with you.

14. Watch

Having a smartwatch is very necessary when camping. There are camping watches that are full of excellent features like GPS, barometer, compass, thermometer, heart rate monitor, wi-fi connectivity, and much more.

15. Campsite Radio

Campsite radios are great for cutting the boredom and chill while tent camping for extended periods. There are battery-powered radios as well as solar-powered radios. So don’t forget to add a radio to your tent camping must haves list.

16. Headlamp

The headlamp is an important gear. Since you are staying somewhere you are unfamiliar with, it could be scary at night. So, for your safety take a headlamp with you. A headlamp will light your way and will keep you safe from wild animals and tripping over logs at night. Also, you can use a headlamp for reading at night.

17. Lanterns

Lanterns are a must when it comes to tent camping. Lanterns will lighten your surrounding at night. You’ll need a light source at your campsite at night. You can choose a lantern of your choice. You can find lanterns that need to be powered by different methods like gas, batteries, solar panels, or USB ports.

18. Lighters

I recommend using a lighter over matches because matches get wet easily. You’ll need a lighter to start a campfire or for cooking.

Personal Care | Tent Camping Must Haves

Personal Care

19. Sunscreen

To avoid sunburn from summer camping I highly recommend using a sunscreen that is SPF 30 or above.

20. Bug Spray

Tent camping won’t be fun with bugs. So, don’t let bugs ruin your long-desired tent camping experience. Make sure you’ve added a bug spray to your tent camping must haves list.

21. Sanitizer

Use hand sanitizers to stay clean and hygienic. It is very important to stay hygienic after using the bathroom and when preparing food.

22. Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is best because it doesn’t require water. You just have to apply it to your hair and brush through.

23. Mouthwash

You don’t need to bring a full-size toothpaste or toothbrush. Just bring a travel-size mouthwash to feel freshen up.

24. Towel

Bring a clean, small towel. You’ll need it to wash off excess water.

25. Feminine Products

Be prepared for having periods while camping. The most effective and eco-friendly way to deal with periods is by using a menstrual cup. They are washable and don’t produce waste.

26. Baby Wipes

Don’t forget to add baby wipes to your tent camping must haves list. Baby wipes are great for quick body clean-ups.

27. Toilet paper

Do bring toilet paper but use as little as possible. They must be disposed of properly after use.

28. First Aid Kit

The first aid kit is another very important thing in our tent camping must haves list. You may never know when you’ll need them. Include disinfectants, wipes, saline solution, eyewash, bandages, gauze, tweezers, gloves, antiseptic creams, safety pins, and scissors in your first aid kit. If you are taking any medication, do bring them too.

Camp Kitchen | Tent Camping Must Haves

Camp Kitchen

29. Pots & Pans

You’ll need to bring some good quality, stainless steel pots, and pans for cooking your dishes.

30. Re-usable Tableware

Don’t use plastic cups, plates, or utensils at your campsite. Always stick to the ” Leave no trace ” camping code. Instead of plastic use silverware.

31. Camp Stove

A camp stove is a necessary item when tent camping. You’ll need a camp stove to boil water and for preparing food. Choose a camp stove that is portable and light-weighted.

32. Fuel

Fuel is needed for your camp stove. So bring fuel according to your stove type.

33. Kettle

You’ll need a kettle when boiling water. I mean who doesn’t want to have a fine cup of coffee.

34. Reusable Food Containers

Having reusable food containers is a must. You can store your fresh food and also leftovers.

35. Water Filter

Keep yourself hydrated and drink filtered water.

36. Cooling Bag

An average-sized cooling bag that is like 50-70L is enough for storing food and drinks that should be chilled.

37. Garbage Bag

For the proper disposal of waste and to keep your campsite clean you’ll need garbage bags.

38. Cutting board

The cutting board is an essential item in the camp kitchen for chopping, mincing, and dicing.

39. Grill

Your tent camping experience won’t be completed without a grill. Sitting around a campfire and enjoying some delicious grilled food is just something else. So, this tent camping must haves list won’t be completed without a grill.

40. Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foils are handy when cooking outdoors. It makes cooking easy and clean. Not only for cooking you can also make DIY containers with aluminum foils. You can collect rainwater with it.

41. Knife

Of course, you’ll need a knife in your camp kitchen. I prefer folding knives because they are easy to carry and good when making basic meals.

42. Main Meals & Snacks

The best part of tent camping is having self-made delicious meals in a peaceful place. If you don’t have an idea about what to cook, click here to see delicious meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that require fewer ingredients. Then you can decide what ingredients you should include in your tent camping must haves list.

Clothing | Tent Camping Must Haves 2021


43. Inner Layer

Don’t underestimate the importance of clothing when camping. Keeping yourself warm and comfy will lead you to have an awesome camping experience. Dressing in layers will help you to keep the warmth in. Wear shirts, tank tops, vests, or underwear that can draw away any sweat or moisture out as the inner layer.

44. Middle Layer

Middle layer clothing should be thicker than the inner layer. This includes hoodies, jumpers, sweaters, or fleeces.

45. Outer Layer

This layer is to protect you from wind, rain, or snow. You can wear a waterproof jacket as the outer layer.

46. Pants

Choose pants that are stretchy, not too tight, and have extra pockets.

47. Rain Pants

These will keep you safe from rain and also from mosquitoes.

48. Gloves

Gloves are used not only for warmth but also for sun protection.

49. Headgear

Bring two hats. One to protect your head from the sun and a wool one for warmth.

50. Footwear

The last item in this tent camping must haves list is footwear. Hiking boots and socks that are made from synthetic or wool material are ideal for camping.

I hope this tent camping must haves checklist covers all the essentials you’ll need when tent camping and will save your time. Stay safe and have a worry-free camping experience!

If you are interested in car camping essentials, click here the link below.

Excellent Car Camping Essentials | The Ultimate Guide

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