Spring is in full swing, which means that camping trip you’ve been itching to take is just around the corner. Of course, you’ve also been meaning to buy the required gear too. Don’t worry, whether you’re a complete beginner or a vet looking to cover your bases, we’ve got you covered.
What you should take on your camping trip depends on what type of trip you have in mind. Driving somewhere and going on small day hikes from a populated base camp? You can bring a nice, big stove. Hiking 25 miles into the middle of the Grand Gulch? You want something a little more portable. The distinction between the two is usually labeled as “camping” or “backpacking.” Campers drive somewhere and camp out of that location. Backpackers hike in and then make camp with what they’ve brought.
The gear best suited for each usually has to do with weight and packability, so make sure you consider which you’ll spend more time doing when you shop for gear. Backpacking gear tends to be pricier because it focuses on weight, but it’s great for both camping and backpacking. That dual-use nature is good for anyone planning on doing both. You should consider your specific needs instead of relying on a generic checklist, but the list of essential items for most trips remains the same.
The Basics: Essential Camping and Hiking Equipment
Let’s start with the most obvious camping-specific equipment: Tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, and all that other stuff that immediately comes to mind when you think of camping. This is all the expensive gear you’ve been putting off buying until you really needed it. Thankfully, you can get by with a lot less you think.