25 Camping Essentials for an Unforgettable Night Under the Stars

Spending a night in the great outdoors can either be an amazing experience or an evening to forget as everything boils down to a single factor-what you have packed and what you have forgotten. Hence it is integral to have a camping essentials list from the get go!

Having all the essential items secured neatly in your backpack can make the difference between an enjoyable time under the stars or a stressful holiday. So irrespective of whether you are a seasoned camper or a first-timer, here is a list of 25 camping essentials for the next time you are out spending time in nature.

Ultimate Camping Essentials List for your Next Adventure

camping essentials

Tents and accessories

When camping, you may prefer to sleep in the open, but what if there is a deluge or a freak storm in the middle of the night. Invest in a good waterproof tent with all the accessories like poles, pegs, rope and tent fly to avoid getting soaked and risk hypothermia.

Sleeping Bag

Temperatures tend to drop significantly as soon as the sun goes down, so going without a sleeping bag can risk exposure to unwanted creatures of the night and add to a miserable night’s sleep.

Water bottle

The more off the beaten path you go, the greater the risk of a source of water drying out. Drinking from a pond or stream may lead to bacterial issues, so make sure you have enough supply to last you the full day in a large container. 

First Aid Kit

You may not catch any life threatening disease while camping, but small injuries such as blisters, cuts and scrapes are bound to occur. Carry a basic first aid kit which includes all the essentials, plus the sunscreen and insect repellent for a trouble-free outing.

Sturdy Knife

backpacking knife

The swiss knife is the ultimate multipurpose tool to have in your backpack whenever you go camping. A knife can come in handy in any situation from opening a sausage can to skinning an animal. So always have at least a swiss knife on you to avoid coming back home frustrated or choose from a list of other excellent knives

GPS and Maps

If your dream night out is in a remote area, don’t forget your map, compass and an activated GPS. Unprepared campers can easily get disoriented and lost and can take days to find their way back or get rescued.


Since camping involves traveling light, you should carry the minimum clothes. Make sure though that they are weather appropriate and easy to dry. Consider an additional rain bag to protect your gear. You can buy all these from any good military surplus store and be assured of durability as well. 

Flashlight/Head lamp

Should you lose something at night or wish to attend the call of nature during night you wouldn’t like to fumble and feel your way in the dark. A head lamp or a good flashlight is a must for any camping trip.

Toilet paper

Even hard core campers disapprove of using leaves or bark as a substitute for toilet paper due to discomfort and hygiene. If you are camping deep in the woods and are concerned about the environment use biodegradable toilet paper and a refuse bag for its disposal.

Hammocks with accessories

camping packing list

Hammocks make for good hang time on any camping trip. These lightweight rigs disappear easily inside the backpack and when pitched are good for relaxation while keeping the bugs at bay 


Be sure to pack a ground blanket or tarp as sprawling on this is much better than the cold and hard ground. Plus it will collect all the crumbs you may drop during snack time.


Boots and shoes should be suitable to the terrain you are camping in. If you want to swap blistered toes with happy feet, go for footwear of time tested materials for the best protection.

Socks and accessories

Few pairs of good Merino wool ultralight hiking socks to take care of your feet on your outdoor adventure. Blisters and hotspots will be rare if you have the right pair.

Camp chairs

A comfortable chair can work wonders on a camping trip. For good reason pick one with a reclined back for added relaxation.


When it comes to preparing a feast by the fireside in the open a camp/grill combo will replace any cumbersome kitchen equipment.


A cooler is essential to keep your food and beer cold and last long. The size and make will however depend entirely on the space you have in the boot of your car.

Batteries or portable chargers

Camping is all about unplugging, but if you have to stay connected carry backup batteries for your headlamp/torch or a light source that can be charged with a USB.

Fire lighting

Starting a fire is not an easy task especially if you are caught in a thunderstorm at night. The right tools like rainproof matches, tinder tabs and replacement strikers are a must.


camping food items

Create a food shopping list before you leave to help plan the meals you would like to have while camping. Freeze-dry soups, hot dogs and sandwiches are a good stand by or carry a camp meal kit which is pre-prepped.

Sewing kit

This compact kit is ready made for emergencies and is loaded with everything you need to fix or mend any tear in the tent or other similar items in your camp gear.

Folding Shovel with pick

If you want to dig or want to make a space for yourself at the campsite a compact tool is a folding towel with pick. It is made of durable steel and has serrated edges for sawing.

Roll-up Table

While most campsites have picnic tables, there is nothing like having a personal folding table to enjoy your cocktails by the campfire.

Bear spray

If you are camping in areas where bears roam, carrying bear spray is a no-brainer. Research has shown that this spray is equally effective against other animals as well which roam in similar territory.

Tools & Repair items

This tool kit should include:

  • Muti-tool kit
  • Duct tape
  • Extra length of cord
  • Tent pole repair sleeve
  • Hammer
  • Saw or axe for cutting firewood
  • Small broom with dustpan

Campside extras

camping list of essentials

Depending on how remote your camp is, you can consider  these essentials:

  • Binoculars
  • Field guides of birds and insects
  • Night sky identifier
  • Book
  • Journal
  • Music player with headphones
  • Games
  • Dog gear, if with pets.

So with these camping essentials handy, you can be assured of a stress-free camping trip.