The Most Important Camping Supplies for Every Trip

The specific camping supplies an individual takes when camping vary widely and depend on the season of the year, whether you are camping or backpacking, the length of the event, and other considerations. So, the specific items you take will vary, but you need camping supplies in four broad categories: shelter, cooking, toiletries, and essentials. Others might categorize them differently.

Shelter includes core items to keep you warm, comfortable, and safe, including your tent, sleeping bag and pad, clothing, sunscreen or hat, and bug repellent.

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Each can be critical to keeping you safe and comfortable during a night in the woods.

If needed, you can go without eating for only a few days. Prepare with cooking gear and mess kits, biodegradable soap, a water bottle, and food, whether fresh food in a cooler or dehydrated, packaged meals. You will also need toiletries, toilet paper, a shovel, hand sanitizer, and medications. What you bring in those categories depends on your camping location and sense of adventure.

The last category includes essentials kept in a waterproof bag or on your person. These include knives or a multitool, matches or other fire-starting gear, and lighting, such as a hands-free flashlight. The waterproof bag also holds your car keys, mobile phone, or other valuables that must stay together and dry.