I’m not going to lie to you, it can sometimes feel like the sheer amount of camping items you “need” to go camping can be overwhelming.
Think about it: if you’re miles from the closest store, and trying to vacation on a budget, can you really afford to forget something….anything?
My camping items must-have list include things that:
- have many different uses
- that take up as little space as possible
- that are affordable
- and that will stand the test of time.
Give the list a go – I promise you won’t be disappointed!
A Tent Ceiling Fan
When it’s super hot that fan can be the difference between sleeping well and restless, sweaty sleep.
Not to mention that some of us can’t sleep unless there is air movement.
This ceiling fan runs on batteries so you can use it even if you don’t have a place to plug it in. As a bonus, it has a light on it for when it gets dark outside. The fan and light both have 2 speeds, and to make it even more versatile it clips to the tent magnetically – about as easy as it gets. Grab my pick for $24 on Amazon.com
Hard Shell Egg Carton
How about an older RV fridge that tends to give off quite a bit of condensation?
If you haven’t tried this yet, let me spare you some heartache. Buy a plastic egg carton for camping if you don’t already have one at home so you avoid the soggy, nasty cardboard egg carton 2 days into your trip.
Because fishing eggs out of the bottom of a freezing cold cooler isn’t my ideas of fun. $6, Amazon.com
A Great, Versatile Lantern
Seriously, though, a good lantern can kind of make or break a camping trip because you will eventually drop something after the sun goes down, and without a lantern to help find it you’re looking at a whole lot of frustration.
Plus, it’s always helpful to have a bright light on hand for trips to the bathroom, for safety, and for your own peace of mind. For the kids I like this two pack of expandable LED camping lanterns. They lightweight and just light enough – but not too light ($15 for two, Amazon.com). For a more heavy-duty light, we light the AYL StarLight. It’s battery lasts for 6 days straight – if you left it on 24 hours a day – is bright, water resistant, and even shockproof ($25, Amazon.com).
Especially when it gets dark.
And they have to walk through said darkness to get to the bathroom.
It’s understandable, really. I don’t even like walking through the dark to the bathroom – which is why I always stock our camping tote with glow sticks. They’re super cheap ($10 for 100, Amazon.com) and they keep the kids from being scared of the woods, or waking up and not knowing where they are.
A win-win for everyone.
A Really Good Knife
Yep, I’m know for keeping a stash of dollar-store knives in my tote at all times, but I also have this really good, lightweight knife in a case to do all the heavy lifting for me.
I love this one for several reasons. It’s affordable, at only $32, it’s super lightweight (seriously, you won’t believe how light it is), and it’s crazy sharp. Like, cut yourself and not even know it because it’s so sharp. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. ($32, Amazon.com)
A Floating, Waterproof Phone Bag
Not many people.
Sure, you could purchase a waterproof camera just to be safe, but if we’re being honest our phones work just as well – so long as they don’t meet with water. That why I love these phone dry bags – especially one that floats.
This particular bag ($13, Amazon.com) is not only affordable, it has an audio jack and armband built in, all while boasting, lanyard, 45 day money back guarantee, waterproof test paper, and peace of mind knowing that your expensive phone will be protected.
But you still need clean teeth.
The Steri-Pod ToothBrush Protector ($20 for 8, Amazon.com) solves this problem for you. It’s patented “Active Vapors” technology helps keep your toothbrush clean and fresh by using a compound made of thyme extract to wipes out fungi and bacteria naturally. Each pod lasts for 3 months and is small enough and light enough that you won’t notice it – except for when you brush your teeth with a clean and fresh toothbrush.
Solar Phone Charger
That’s exactly why I love the Matone Solar Phone Charger ($20, Amazon.com). It can be used with any phone, and (obviously) can charge your phone anywhere there is sunlight – a pretty handy feature when camping without electricity.
As a bonus, this particular charger is just slight larger than the average phone, comes with a 45-day money back guarantee, and a 1 year warranty, the best on the market.
Sea to Summit X-Pot
Packing pots and pans for cooking is one of the hardest (and bulkiest) items I have to pack, not to mention that I then have to unpack them immediately after returning home so that they can return to their rightful spots in my kitchen.
Which is exactly why the X-Pot ($60, Amazon.com) is so cool.
The X-Pot is fully collapsible cooking pot that distributes heat evenly like aluminum, but is flexible, durable and light like silicone. The base is made out of anodized aluminum so the contents boil faster and the tall silicone walls allow it to hold more liquid and collapse completely when not in use. The large size is the perfect size to feed 2 adult campers.
There you have it: my top picks for camping gear that will serve you well and not break the budget!
What is the one thing you won’t leave home to camp without?
Til Next Time,
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