Many have already been bitten by the camping bug. It gives your senses a totally different environment, away from the urban busy lifestyle that most of us have a commitment to. However, if you are new to what is to camp in the modern-day, you might be surprised that it is no longer the notion of staying in the wilderness uncomfortably. We often get the question; what gear do I need for camping?

Camping gears have evolved to provide its owners the leisure of staying in the outdoors while doing everyday tasks a breeze. And with that, we have thought of the things you must have on your camping essentials list when you camp out. We often get the question; what gear do I need for camping? Tents, sleeping pads, chairs, tables, lights, cooking items, hygiene products, and first aid kits are the basic items you must bring when you go camping.

What Gear Do I Need For Camping?


This one is a dead giveaway and a must for campers. Obviously, tents will shelter you from the elements while you sleep. If you happen to want to dine, relax, and sleep all within the confines of your tent and you are camping alone or only with someone else, you may want to consider buying one that would fit around 8 people as this will provide you with enough space to set all of your equipment inside your tent. Another option is buying a smaller tent and at the same time buying an awning. Whether the awning is mounted on your vehicle or something portable that you can pitch on-site, either option will provide you with the same comfort when you camping out in the sun or rain. Lastly, if you’re leaning towards setting up your own Overland vehicle, you may want to consider a rooftop tent, as this would be a luxury when camping. This provides elevation and protection from animals and insects as you are high up the ground. Not to mention wet soil after a downpour that seeps into the tent flooring will be no longer a problem when you have a rooftop tent.

Sleeping beds/pads

Sleeping beds or pads are also one of the most important items you should bring to camp. This will either make or break your camping experience the moment you wake up in the morning. Back in the day, campers usually settle with just a sleeping bag when sleeping inside a tent. However, many have opted nowadays to sleep on inflatable mattresses or on a folding bed as this provides more sleeping comfort. We at MotoKampo don’t have a specific preference. Some of us sleep on an air bed, and some of us use a folding mattress. As long as it gives comfort when sleeping, you can choose whichever you like. For pillows, it would be according to your preference. Some are fine with inflatable pillows. I personally find it a little too stiff which is why I often bring throw pillows (small enough to pack) alongside my inflatable pillows. Another tip when you find inflatable pillows to be stiff, stick them inside a bag and use that bag as a pillow. Trust us, it makes a difference!

Chairs and Tables

Chairs are definitely a must but tables may be an option. I experienced going out camping, without chairs and tables, and it was harder for me to get by without a chair than without a table. I might be wrong but it’s all about your comfort. It’s really hard to sit comfortably on the ground which is why a folding chair should be necessary. However, it is a whole lot of difference when you also have a table. Even a small one is enough when you cook at camp and for stowing your food and drinks. We normally bring a table and use them as a kitchen table and just use our laps when having to eat.

Rechargeable lights

Basically, you can get by with a campfire to illuminate your campsite, but with the availability of rechargeable lights nowadays, try purchasing one or two as this is very helpful at night. It comes in different sizes and has different battery life spans. Check out our LED Camping Lights – Buying Guide for a more in-depth discussion on which LED light you should buy You should also consider the color of the light it emits. Camping lights, white in color, attract more bugs at night compared to lights that emit a warm color. Consider purchasing multiple lights as these rechargeable lights often last only 3-4 hours. Finally, for cooking, it is best to purchase lights with garters for your head as these allow both of your hands to function rather than holding one light with the other for cooking.

Kitchen Essentials

Cooking is part of the fun of camping. Whether you’ll create a simple dish just to get by or you’ll be cooking up cuisine to impress those who will camp with you, you should have a kitchen set at hand. Some of the things that should be in your collection are the following:

There are cooking sets that you can buy as a bundle. One of the famous ones that many have bought is the ones from Decathlon (you can check our review here). All you need to consider are the basic ones to cook all three meals. Just buy a small set for yourself or accommodate two more and just bring a bigger one when you’re expecting to cook for a group. The goal here is to be able to cook properly. You can use the campfire as the heat source when you’re cooking. But for times that you are not allowed to set a campfire, at least you have a burner at hand to cook with. You can consider old containers for your cooking ingredients (oil, salt, pepper) for you to save up on the small things.

Health and Hygiene

Always put your cleanliness as well when your camping. You can get by taking a bath once a day at camp, but having your personal toiletry is a must when you do. Most camping sites have a common toilet and bath built up for their guests but there are times that you can wash on the lake or river. And when you do, these are the basic things you should bring:

  • Shampoo/Shower gel
  • Soap or liquid soap
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Menstrual Products
  • First Aid and Medications
  • Mosquito repellants
  • Sunscreen lotions/sprays

We cannot stress enough the possession of a First aid kit and Personal Medications. These are things you wouldn’t expect you would need until something bad happens (knock on wood). There were times that one of us might get a cut or burn themselves while cooking and having a first aid kit is handy. Another important item on your personal medication kit is antihistamine tablets as there might be instances that there is someone that might catch an allergy to your camp food. Finally, another to consider on your medication kit is motion sickness medications for those who get sick when traveling.

Personal Items

Personal items such as IDs and clearances are brought on a case-to-case basis. During pandemic times you might be required to print out a clearance pass and some campsites might also require you to print out a reservation document. Pandemic times might also require you to present your vaccination card at checkpoints prior to your arrival at the destination. Finally, money and ways to contact the outside world are also important. Always ask the campsite whether they have cellular reception. And when they don’t, kindly ask if they would happen or there is a place that would happen to have internet or any way to contact the outside world when something happens in case of emergency.

5 thoughts on “Camping Essentials: What Gear Do I Need For Camping?

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