Our Top Picks
- Kelty Bestie Blanket
- Coleman QuikPot
- ENKEEO Bug Zapper
- Advanced Elements Shower
- überleben Firestarter
- Chill Gorilla Tarp
- Coleman Instant Canopy
- RAVPower Solar Charger
- What Camping Gear Do You Need?
- Packing Your Camping Gear
- Final Thoughts
Best Blanket: Kelty Bestie Blanket
- LIGHTWEIGHT: Only 1.8lbs
- Finished with super-soft fabrics on both sides
- It’s totally washable
- Stuff sack includes a handle for easy transport
- Not well suited for cold weather, more suited for cool nights or as an extra layer
The Kelty Bestie is a throw sized, indoor/outdoor, insulated camping blanket, perfect for lounging around the campfire, warming up with a good book in your tent, or as an extra layer over or under your sleeping bag.
Make sure you inspect the blanket upon arrival, reports of damage have been described.
Specs And Features:
- Dimensions: 75.5 x 42.5 x 1 inches
- Weight: 1lbs 8oz
- Material: Insulation: Cloud loft, Shell Material: 75D Polyester Taffeta, Liner
Best Coffee Maker: Coleman QuikPot Propane Coffee Maker
- Coleman is a well-respected brand
- InstaStart push-button ignition pot worked perfectly
- Brews much faster than the grill top
- Very easy cleanup
- It gets very hot on the outside
- On the higher end of weight
The Coleman QuikPot lets you make a perfect cup of coffee while enjoying the quiet morning.
The InstaStart push-button ignition is ideal for convenient matchless lighting and delivers 4,500 BTUs of cooking power and doesn’t take up a burner on the grill. This camping coffee maker can prepare a pot of fresh coffee in about 20 minutes.
Great for camping, hunting, tailgating, and more, just fill with coffee grounds, pour in the water, turn on the burner and come back in 20 minutes.
Pick up a couple extra propane tanks and extra filters.
Specs And Features:
- Dimensions: 13.3 x 17.1 x 8.9 inches
- Weight: 9.38 pounds
- BTU: 4,500 BTUs of cooking power
- Dishwasher safe- Carafe and removable filter basket- Yes
Best Bug Zapper: ENKEEO Bug Zapper
- Super lightweight and compact design
- 2000mAh rechargeable battery
- Provides a 16 x 16 foot mosquito free zone
- Needs to be charged daily
- It was a pain getting the removable shade off the first time
This is a 2-in-1 unit that works as a lantern for lighting and as a zapper for slaying mosquitoes.
The zapper lantern effectively kills mosquitoes and other biting insects with physical method, which is much cleaner and safer than its chemical counterparts.
The camping lantern has three different lighting modes, providing you three different brightness levels. You can hang it on a string from a tree branch, or put it upside down like a ground lamp.
The cordless design and its light weight, allow the camping lantern to be used outdoors without needing a electrical outlet. Charged by USB port, the unit has a built-in 2000mAh battery and power-saving circuit to ensure a long time use.
It’s raining outside?
No problem. Thanks to its highly waterproof body the lantern withstands rain perfectly, and it can be cleaned directly with running tap water.
Specs And Features:
- Dimensions: 1.2 x 2 x 2.8 inches
- Weight: 0.44lbs
- Colors: Orange, Green, Black
- Cord can be used to charge other devices in a pinch.
Best Shower: Advanced Elements Shower
- Lightweight very strong construction
- Easy-to-use on/off showerhead and extra-large filling valve
- Heats water up quickly
- Pockets and Velcro straps were nice touch
- No Sun No Fun
- No adjusting the flow, it’s either on or off
- Needs a longer hose
Give yourself a hot shower anywhere you go!
This solar shower is powered by solar technology and is designed with an efficient 4-layer construction for optimal heat retention and performance. Simply fill and layout in the sun clear side up and you will have a hot shower in no time!
This premium-quality shower also features an easy-to-use on/off showerhead that saves water, along with an extra-large filling valve with a convenient twist-off cap.
Filling the shower is literally as easy as turning on a water valve.
To make your showering experience more convenient, the Summer Shower includes a pocket for soap and shampoo, Velcro straps that hold wash cloths and other small items, a reflective mirror, and a water temperature gauge.
An ideal accessory for your next camping, fishing, or hiking trip.
Specs And Features:
- Dimensions: 20 x 6 x 2 inches
- Weight: 1.32 pounds
- Capacity: 5 gallons
- Side pocket for soap and shampoo
- Water temperature gauge
Best Firestarter: überleben Firestarter
- Very lightweight and portable
- Throws sparks like crazy
- Multiple size options
- Rod can separate from wood
- Not ergonomic
The original überleben Zünden is everything you want, and nothing you don’t.
The wood handle looks handsome with a good grip, and the slightly larger rod make it easier to throw big sparks. Crafted with simplicity, each Zünden is 100% handmade with natural hardwood, a mil-spec 550 paracord lanyard for neck carry, and their signature 6-funtion multi-tool scraper. Überleben; to survive and outlast.
If you are not 100% satisfied, send it back and they will take care of you. Great customer service.
Specs And Features:
- Dimensions: length= 5-inches, available in three thickness variations (8mm) (10mm) (12.5mm)
- Weight: less than 3oz
- Material: Natural hardwood handle and Überleben’s Sånft-korr(TM) ferrocerium rod
- A neck lanyard & All Überleben products come with a limited lifetime warranty against defects
Best Tarp: Chill Gorilla Tarp
- Very lightweight and quick easy setup
- Multiple guy line tie down points
- Sheds water perfectly
- Some small patches of tarp beaded up with water and dripped
Polyurethane-treated ripstop nylon offers long-lasting protection, instant shade, and is perfect for sudden downpours or building a water-front basecamp or emergency shelter.
The compact size easily fits in your backpack.
The square shape with 9 guy points, give you the ultimate rain fly.
There are so many uses for this tarp including: rain shelter, sun shade, wind break, backpack tent tarp and hammock rain fly.
It’s lightweight, durable, tear and puncture resistant. Ideal for camping in bad weather because it will not fail under stress. Truly waterproof in a torrential downpour!
• RAIN FLY – Chill Gorilla BASE Fly with 170″ Centerline & Reinforced Corners.
• 6 X 3 Meter Guy Lines w 3 hole tensioners.
• 4 Aluminum 6″ Tent Stakes
• 1 SMALL STUFF SACK (guy lines, tensioners, & stakes)
• 1 LARGE STUFF SACK.
Specs And Features:
- Dimensions: Centerline: 170″ L: 10′ W: 10′
- Weight: 1.4 lbs
- Material: Polyurethane-treated ripstop nylon
- Comes with aluminum 6″ tent stakes and two stuff sacks
Best Canopy: Coleman Instant Canopy
- Very lightweight and portable
- Easy setup and takedown
- Fits two camp chairs perfectly
- Not great for people 6’ or taller
- Legs could be made more study
Quickly deliver comfort and shelter to any outdoor get-together with this Coleman Instant Canopy.
In three easy steps, this 7-foot by 5-foot canopy tent sets up to deliver 35 square feet of shade. The rectangular design and vaulted ceiling make an ideal camping canopy for those under 6’ tall.
And, with the canopy’s heavy-duty UV guard material providing 50+ UPF, you will be protected from sun. When your stay is over, the entire pop-up canopy quickly folds down into a compact wheeled carry bag for easy transport and storage.
Specs And Features:
- Dimensions: 54.25 x 11.25 x 9 inches
- Weight: 28 pounds
- Material: UV Guard material provides 50+ UPF
- Comes with a compact wheeled carry bag
Best Solar Charger: RAVPower Solar Charger
- 3 USB ports was nice to have
- Rugged construction
- Very lightweight and portable easily packs up in a small package for long hikes
- DO NOT use on CONCRETE, SAND, ROCK or other high heat conduction surfaces in direct sunlight
- The pouch at the base has Velcro and doesn’t span the entire width of the pocket. The pocket opens at the bottom which can be tricky.
Small size but big power! The RAVPower Solar Chargers 24W signature solar cells increase the efficiency of charging by up to 21.5% – 23.5% and has three independent iSmart USB ports.
The rugged construction of this item is impressive. It’s made from thick waterproof canvas material with four riveted eyelets to attach the included hooks.
Easily foldable into a lightweight, compact unit, small and light enough to carry in your pack or to a campsite.
Specs And Features:
- Dimensions: 11.8 x 6.5 x 0.2 inches
- Weight: 1.65 pounds
- Material: Premium solar charging cells within thick waterproof canvas
- 4 Stainless Steel Hooks 2 x Micro USB Cables
What Camping Gear Do You Need?
When you’re going camping what stuff do you really need?
Some people love to be over prepared for just a weekend trip, while others don’t mind keeping it simple, even on those longer trips.
In reality, what you bring with for your next camping trip is a matter of preference and the type of camping you’re doing.
If you’re backpacking for a week, your needs are different than if you’re car or RV camping.
However, we’ve got some thoughts to help you pack what you need, to be reasonably comfortable. If you want more or less, that’s up to you.
The Weekend Away
This is really the time to keep it minimal, even if you’re car or RV camping.
You don’t need a ton of stuff for a weekend away, but so often we encounter friends or camp neighbors that have brought everything but the kitchen sink for a quick weekend camping trip.
You, of course, need the basics like your food, water, clothes and toiletries, tent, sleeping bags, and a bedroll, but here’s a list of other useful items that you should bring along.
- Camp Cooking Kit: You’ll need something to cook your meals in, so don’t forget to bring your camp cook kit. A good option for a weekend away is the MSR Flex 4 cook set. This handy set gives you everything you need, in one, compact unit. The only thing missing are utensils, so don’t forget to pack tools to eat and stir with.
- Camp Stove: Sure, you can cook over your camp fire, but not all of us are great at that skill. So, for an easy option, and one that will ensure that you won’t have a weekend of burnt food, check out one of the camp stoves that we recommended earlier this year.
- Lighting: You’ll probably want a light of some sort, to help you find your way to the bathroom or to light your tent, so don’t forget a lantern or a headlamp. We reviewed a number of great headlamp options, here, so if you’re not sure what’s good, we’ve got you covered.
- Coffee Maker: Start your morning right with a hot cup of coffee. French press coffee makers are a great option for camping. They are lightweight, and make a great cup of coffee. If you’re serving a couple of people check out the Coffee Gator stainless steel, insulated French press. It will keep your coffee warm, and since its stainless steel, it won’t break if it’s dropped.
- Camp Chair: You probably don’t want to sit on the ground, or a rock, or a log, so don’t forget the camp chair.
Three to Ten Days – A Camping Vacation
For those longer camping trips, you’re going to want to bring some extra stuff along.
Obviously, if you are going to be living from a backpack, you probably don’t want much more than the options that we’ve listed above, but, if you’re going to be camping from your car, you probably want to bring a few more luxuries.
Of course, you still want the basics that we’ve already mentioned, but here are some other goodies that you’ll want to bring along for a camping vacation.
- Camp Cooking Kit: Upgrade from the compact version to something a bit more versatile. The Stanley Base Camp cook set gives you everything you need, for four people, including eating and cooking utensils in one handy kit.
- Camp Stove: Another upgrade to consider, if you’re going to be out camping for your next vacation, is a multi-burner stove. We reviewed a few great options, but top on our list is the Coleman Classic. This one’s been around for a long time, and it works great. It’s light, portable, and gives you two burners to cook a good meal.
- Cooler: For those longer trips, you’re going to want more food, and probably something that’s going to require some cooling. So don’t forget a good cooler. We recently recommended the Coleman Xtreme, 70-quart cooler. This one has plenty of space for all your food, and even some beverages. It’s easy to clean, and has a built-in drain. Oh, and did we mention the cup holders?
- Coffee Maker: For those longer trips, you might want to upgrade your coffee maker. The Coleman Quick pot, that is reviewed above is an awesome option.
- Lighting: Sure, a headlamp will do for short trips, but if you’re on an extended stay, you might want to have a lantern instead. There are tons of options on the market, so make sure you do your research to find the right one for your camping adventure.
- Camp Cot: No one wants to sleep on the ground, even on a good bed roll, for more than a few days. Investing in a good camp cot will make any extended camping trip more fun.
- Camp Chair: Yep, for a longer trip, consider a better chair. Earlier this year, we reviewed the Colman Portable Deck. This is a great option for a longer camping trip. It’s a bit more roomy than your basic chair, and has a great side table for setting your drink, book, and food on.
- Canopy: We do love the Colman Instant Canopy that we reviewed earlier in this article. It’s a great standard option that is easy to set-up and take down. You never know what the weather might bring, so make sure you have a bit of protection from the elements.
- Shower: You may not need this one, but if you’re stay is more than a few days, and you aren’t in a developed campground, you’ll probably want a shower. The Advance Elements shower we reviewed earlier is a great option.
The Long Haul – More than Ten Days Out
You’re a hard core camper if you’re going to be gone for more than ten days.
We commend you on your fortitude if you’re doing this in a tent!
However, we understand that many of you are making the long haul trip in an RV or Camping Trailer. For these long haul trips, we’d certainly recommend all of the items on the three to ten day list, plus a few added extras.
- Water Purifier: We reviewed water filters earlier this year, and for the long trip, we would suggest the Platypus GravityWorks 4.0 Liter filter. This one will give you plenty of water for a few days, and the ability to filter more if you need.
- Tarp: This is probably handy to have on those mid-length trips, too, but certainly if you are tent camping for an extended period, you’re going to want a tarp. Tarps are handy for covering gear, creating an extra canopy or for keeping your tent floor dry. We recommended the Chill Gorilla earlier in this article, but you can also use the basic version available at your local home improvement store or camping store.
- Charger: Don’t forget the solar charger if you’re going to be gone for a long time (our suggestion is reviewed in this article). Even if you have a generator for your RV or you’re plugged into electric, you never know when you might need a back-up source to charge your phone. Cell phones are a good to have in an emergency, but don’t do you much good if their battery dies.
- Other Fun Stuff: That handy bug zapper we mentioned earlier in this article, and a hammock for more relaxed lounging.
Packing Your Camping Gear
We like to be organized when we camp, and we also like to keep our gear dry, protected from critters and not squished.
Multi-day trips, especially if you are car camping, can benefit from some good gear organization.
Good organization will free up room in your vehicle, keep you from accidentally forgetting something and makes storing your gear after your trip a breeze.
How do you accomplish this feat?
Well, your best bet is to invest in some good storage bins.
You can pack like gear in to separate bins, keeping you organized, all of your gear together, and most importantly, protected from those rainy nights and pesky critters.
When shopping for bins, you’ll want to consider size and portability.
Make sure the bins will fit easily into your trunk or cargo area, and we would certainly suggest that you find bins that have handles.
If you are really into organizing, you may even want to find bins to fit in your bins. This is a great way to keep small stuff like utensils, fire starters and stakes organized and in one place.
The nice thing about storage bins is they can also double for tables and stash easily in tents, so you have extra work space for cooking or more tables for food and beverages if you need.
Camping is as old as time, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for old equipment or just the necessities.
We wanted to discovery the best camping gear to add to your existing list that is available for today’s campers and we sure did, along the way we found some extra bonuses.
We want to hear about what products our customers are choosing and why, so let us know, in the comments below, which must have camping gear you chose to add to your checklist.