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Camping Supplies You Shouldn’t Go Without

Published on December 11th, 2020 by Tina Klinefelter

camping supplies

Camping Supplies You Shouldn’t Go Without

Having the right camping supplies can make or break your next adventure. There are camping supplies necessary for the day-to-day normal activities such as eating, sleeping, and bathing. Then you need supplies for adventuring, and lastly, emergency situations.

Whether you are tenting or RVing, many of these camping supplies are necessary in all situations. Tenting will require you to have more of the living items since you will not have a kitchen, bathroom, or sleeping area included initially.

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If you are taking an RV camping, you should also consider the weight of any supplies you add to your rig. It’s important to only choose those camping supplies that are essential and bring you happiness.

camping supplies
The right chairs are essential camping supplies. Photo by Canva.

Outdoor and adventure camping supplies


There are so many different types of outdoor chairs. This can lead to overwhelm when searching for the right one for you and your family. Think about when you will be using the chairs the most when camping.

Will your chair be used for eating or just for sitting around the fire? Do you want a chair that folds and is lightweight? Would you like to be able to take a nap in your chair? These different needs will determine if you get a popular gravity chair or the kind that folds up and fits easily into a bag with a carrying handle.

Flashlights, lantern or other options

How much time will you be spending outdoors at night? There are many options to meet your needs for outdoor adventuring. You will most likely need a flashlight and a lantern to keep your campsite lit. Beyond that, you may need headlamps if you will be hiking into the evening hours or just in case you are out longer than you expected.

Hiking and backpacking gear

Having the right footwear for your next big hike could make or break your adventure. Comfort, durability, and waterproof features are important to look for.

A versatile backpack with a water reservoir is a must-have. Sizes range from daypacks to multi-day trip packs to meet all your needs. Sometimes it’s good to have both.

Keep a lightweight rain poncho in your backpack for unexpected weather changes.

Depending on your level of hiking, having trekking poles comes in handy when traversing sharp elevation gains or steep declines. Most fold up and attach easily to your backpack.

Outdoor activity supplies

Make sure to bring your favorite outdoor activity gear. Do you enjoy kayaking, mountain biking, or golfing? If so, bring the gear you need to experience those hobbies.

Cooking and eating supplies


Coolers are excellent for keeping your food fresh and cold during any time of year. Even if you have an RV, the refrigerator is usually small and can’t fit a weekend’s worth of food and beverages.

If you need to keep food cold for a longer period of time with no access to ice, consider a cooler with a thicker wall such as a Yeti. Check out 15 of the best portable coolers in this RV LIFE article.

Camp stove

If you don’t have a stove attached to your RV inside or outside, a portable camp stove is ideal for cooking. Make sure to have the necessary propane bottles and hook-ups before you venture out into the woods.

Camping supplies needed for cooking outdoors. Photo by Canva.

Water jug

When doing dishes outside, it’s always good to have a 5-gallon water jug. Fill it up at the water source in the campground to save back and forth trips to the bathhouse.


You never know what condition a picnic table will be in at a campsite so having your own tablecloth is ideal. There are also clips you can purchase to keep the tablecloth down if the wind picks up.

If there is no picnic table, it would be handy to take a folding table.

Eating utensils

If you don’t want to use the traditional throw-away plastic wear, pick up a set of inexpensive silverware to use just for camping.

Cookware and appliances

The type of cooking you like to do and whether you have access to electricity will dictate the type of cookware and appliances you will need.

If you will be doing most of your cooking over the fire, a good cast iron skillet will get a lot of use. If you will be using a small cook stove, there are pots and pans made to fit on them.

Remember to bring the utensils needed for flipping and serving. A good set of tongs with long handles is great for reaching over the fire. Also, a set of oven gloves will protect you even further.

Need some good strong coffee for the morning and have electricity, bring your Keurig or drip coffee maker. Otherwise, you can get a Moka Pot that sits over the campfire on a grate or a French press.


If you are cooking over the fire, there may not be a grate at your campsite. You can get a tri-pod which is a height-adjustable grill that has 3 legs and stands over the fire.

Food storage

There are always squirrels, bugs, and the occasional bear around, so protect your food with a tight-sealing container or bin.

Having the camping supplies necessary to start a fire is essential. Photo by Canva.

Camping supplies for safety

Emergency kit

Although you don’t want to assume anything bad will happen on your camping trip, it’s best to be prepared. Having an all-inclusive Emergency Survival Kit will give you peace of mind. These kits usually include things like a fire starter, knife, thermal blanket, compass, stakes, bandaids, first aid cream, and so much more.

Weather radio

When you are camping, it’s likely you may not have good cell signal or any at all. Having a reliable hand crank weather radio is another must-have to prepare you for bad weather.

camping supplies
Having a good night’s sleep is essential to enjoying your camping experience. Photo by Flickr.

Sleeping supplies


If you do not have an RV, you will definitely be pitching a tent to keep you out of the elements while sleeping. The size and functionality will be determined by your needs and weather. There are 1 person up to 8 person tents for all families.

Another type of tent you may want to invest in is the pop-up canopy type. This is especially helpful when in the direct sun in the height of the summer or when it’s going to be raining a lot on your camping trip.

Even if you have an RV, a camping tent can come in handy in a variety of ways. Check out this article from Do It Yourself RV for more ideas.

Sleeping bag and pillow

Choose a sleeping bag based on the type of climate you will be experiencing. There are top-of-the-line zero degree bags or thinner options to meet your summer needs.

Some sleeping bags have a pillow built in, otherwise, you may want to consider bringing your own.

Ground tarp, mat, or air mattress

Waking up with aches and pains is not the best way to spend your camping trip. Make sure you have at least a tarp to cover the ground before laying down your sleeping bag.

If you want more comfort, a small air mattress can make all the difference. You can blow them up yourself or you can bring a small pump.

Mosquito net

Will you be sleeping under the stars in the summer at the height of mosquito season? Then you will need some type of mosquito netting to avoid waking up in misery.

camping supplies
A shower tent is essential when you don’t have access to a regular shower. Photo by Canva.

Cleaning and bathing camping supplies


Sometimes campgrounds have a big sink outside the bathhouse for dishwashing. A basin will come in handy to take the dirty dishes to the sink and it’s helpful to wash them in there as well.

Otherwise, you can use the basin at your campsite. Just heat up the water over the fire. If you have an RV, you are all set.

Dish, bathing & hand washing soap

Don’t forget the soap needed for washing dishes and yourself. Depending on how the soap will be disposed of, using environmentally friendly products will be kinder to the earth.


You will need a large towel for bathing, a washcloth, and hand towels for hand washing and drying dishes. We recommend picking up quick dry towels such as these.

Shower caddy

If you don’t have an RV with a shower, you will need to shower at the campground bathhouse. In this case, having a caddy with a hook to easily transport your soap and shampoo into the shower is a must.

Shower tent

If you are truly roughing it with no bathhouse or RV, you may want to invest in a shower tent for privacy. There are water bags that attach to the top and you pull a handle to let the water shower over you. It certainly won’t be warm but it’s better than nothing.

Find more camping supplies

With all the electronic devices we use these days, having a power source when you don’t have electricity is a must. Check out 9 Reasons Every RV Owner Needs A Portable Power Station.

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