List of the Best 20 Camping Essentials for Beginners

Camping is one of my favourite activities during summer with my friends. Let me share with you the list of camping essentials for beginners. It’s always a good feeling that comes with trying something new, and if you are a newbie camper, there are the essentials when camping that you need to know before you head out.

Camping is fun – most especially if it is your first time – but it can be tricky, too! It takes a lot of research and preparation in order to make your expedition both safe and enjoyable.

The things needed for camping vary greatly depending on your gender, age, and even preference. In general, there are three key terms you need to look out for when it comes to completing your camping supplies list. Before you buy, ask yourself these questions:

Read More: Travel Essentials List: What to Pack for Carry On Luggage Like A Boss

1. Is it really essential? Maybe you are just drawn by (very) good marketing, or you have something on your list that can perform the same task. Think thoroughly – you wouldn’t want to end up leaving it behind. Your personal list of camping necessities is the backbone of your whole adventure.

2. Is it of good quality? Imagine building your camping tent, moving in, and being ‘shelterless’ after just one blow of the wind! Spend your money on things that will not only provide you with what you need but will also stick with you throughout your camping trip – and on the next ones to come.

3. Is it worth the price? Look for brands that offer the same quality and efficiency as the one you’re eyeing, maybe they are selling it at a lower price. Alternatively, consider the comfort and safety that the product offers; maybe that’s why it’s expensive, it’s because of the features it promises to deliver.

When you’re ready to hit the shops, bring with you our list of camping essentials for the newbie camper:

The list of camping essentials for beginners

Camping Tent

Camping essentials for begginers: Camping Tent for Beginners
Camping essentials for beginners: Camping Tent

A camping tent should be on the top of your list of camping essentials. There are various types of camping tents to choose from depending on your budget and needs. Invest in a good quality camping tent, because this will be your home away from home when camping. Make sure that it has a good brand and reviews prior to purchase.

I have a couple of camping tents that I use when I go away camping with friends. I mainly use my Skandika tent for our main camping and I also use my portable pop up tent mainly when we hang out at the beach.

Airbed

Bring an airbed when you camp is essential. This will make your camping experience less of a shock. Sleeping in an airbed will give you a comfortable sleep than sleeping on the floor. You can also opt for the raised airbed for more comfort and will also help you to get up quicker. This is ideal for people who have a bad back or other difficulties in moving in and out of the bed.

Airbeds for camping
Camping essentials for beginners: Raised Airbeds

I have a Trespass airbed single. It is very easy to pack and inflate. In our previous campings, I have also used a raised airbed.

Sleeping Mat

A sleeping mat is one of the camping essentials for beginners, due to its multifunctional use.

I have a self-inflating sleeping mat and the foam sleeping mat. These couple of sleeping mats, I use the self-inflating one to line my airbed to prevent it from any sharp hazards on the ground and another that I use, so I can sit on the floor and act as extra insulation on the tent floor.

Eye Mask

An eye mask is a common staple to any travel accessories. Camping is not exempted, but I would say it is a camping essential accessory. Using an eye mask when you sleep, helps you to blackout the long summer daylight. An eye mask can also help you to improve your sleep by having total darkness and helps your body to rest well.

Any eye mask would be ideal to use depending on your budget and style preference. You can use this eye mask that has an extra space for your eyes to blink and would not put eye pressure.

Ear Plugs

Earplugs is another accessory that is on top of my camping essentials for beginners. Earplugs can be your new camping best buddy to help you sleep if you are a light sleeper or to cancel the loud snore and other environmental noises on the campsite.

I bring a pair of earplugs when I travel. This has become one of my important travel accessories.

Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag is another one of the camping essentials for beginners. Choosing the right sleeping bag is crucial to help you survive the cold environment when camping. The sleeping bag comes in various thicknesses. It will determine how your sleeping bag can withstand a cold environment.

I have a Skandika Aberdeen sleeping bag. It can withstand up to -20 degrees Celcius. This has been my camping blanket and bed cover. It does surely make me warm and I sleep like a baby.

Camping Chair

Every camper needs to have their own camping chair, hence this is one of the camping essentials for beginners that I can recommend on getting one. Camping chair comes in different styles (single or double), designs and functionality. Depending on your budget, you can buy a fancy camping chair or a pretty basic one.

I bought my first camping chair on the Facebook marketplace. Buying a second-hand camping chair is very cost-effective. It only cost me £5 for a single camping chair with a cup holder.

Camping Gazebo

The camping gazebo is a functional multi-purpose area when camping. It is ideal to invest in one of these as part of your camping essentials for beginners list.

Cooking our breakfast inside our camping gazebo
Cooking our breakfast inside our camping gazebo

Every time my friends and I go camping, we always use a gazebo as our common area that serves as our pop-up dining and kitchen area.

Rubber Mallet

A rubber mallet is a useful tool that you must not forget when you go camping! A rubber mallet will help you peg your tent seamlessly to the ground with no fuss, just like a pro. Hence, I always recommend the rubber mallet as one of the camping essentials for beginners.

Head Torch

Head torch is a great camping accessory that helps you at night most especially when you need to have free hands to carry things or to carry out some tasks. I use my head torch when camping if nature calls in the middle of the night and I have to use the toilet or just simply when I’m looking for stuff in my bag at night. It’s a very good investment hence it should be on your list of camping essentials for beginners.

Camping lamp

A camping lamp is another camping accessory that is handy at night. When my friends and I go camping, we always have a camping lamp in the middle of our activity/common area or inside the tent. Camping lamps come in different sizes, illumination, design, power source and price tag.

Microfibre towels

Microfibre towels are a handy travel accessory that you must bring when you go camping. This is to avoid unnecessary bulky towels when you pack your stuff. The microfibre towel is equally absorbent as your regular cotton towel and lightweight.

Dry bags

Dry bags are great to protect your belongings to get wet. This is handy when doing a water activity or as an alternative toiletry bag. I always bring my dry bag with me when we go camping and use it as my toiletry bag. I will put all my shower essentials in the dry bag so my fresh clothes will also be protected from the shower splash.

Travel toothbrush

A travel toothbrush is an important personal hygiene travel accessory. Travel toothbrush comes in different forms. You can use the manual or electric ones depending on your preference and budget. I have an electric toothbrush and it was also recommended by my dentist.

Wellies

A good durable pair of wellies (wellingtons) is an essential part of your camping packing list. Since you will be spending more time outdoors, it is always a good idea to bring one with you on your camping trip.

I always bring my wellies with me when we go camping because it’s most likely to be raining here in the UK.

Flip flops

Flip-flops are needed when you go camping. It is most especially used in the shower area. I always bring a pair of flip flops when I travel because I think they are really useful as a replacement as well for your usual bedroom slippers.

Camping foldable table

A camping table is a great piece of camping equipment worth buying, due to its functionality. The camping tables are foldable and portable. Depending on the style and size, it can come with extra storage underneath the table that can be used to store your food and condiments.

If you can scroll up again to see the image above where my friends and I were cooking our breakfast, we were using a camping table that has additional storage.

Camping kettle

If you are a big fan of a lovely warm cup of tea or coffee, then it is a must to bring a camping kettle with you. I always bring one! Whether it is an electric or ordinary kettle, would do the job. To keep your hot water for longer it is advisable to use a thermal pot to keep it warm throughout the day.  

Hot mug or flask

The perfect companion for your kettle and warm drinks every morning or tea time is a durable hot travel mug or flask. I always bring one every time I travel because it is more environmentally friendly to drink in reusable cups and mugs.

Indoor rug/mat

Bringing an indoor rug when camping is an ideal solution to prevent or minimise the dirt inside the tent. My friends and I always prefer to have an indoor rug in our tent that serves as a doormat to ensure we always have a clean tent. 

I hope that this list of camping essentials for beginners will help you in organising and making sure that you have what you need to enjoy the outdoor and camping.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Everything Zany Dual Citizen Travel Blog

Everything Zany

Dual Citizen Travel Blog

Everything Zany is a Dual Citizen Travel blog: where East meets West, showing the best of both worlds. Our travel media brand is founded by travel and hotel industry expert – Ryazan Tristram, a Dual Citizen (British – Filipina) based in Worcestershire, UK. Everything Zany is a reputable and award-winning travel blog. Our work and contributions have been featured in Huffington Post, CNBC, Discovery Channel, GMA, Readers Digest, and Lonely Planet. Our missions are to build a great travel community and resource of travel tips, visa and travel guides for travellers. Join us as we travel around the globe with a mission to share the best of the world.

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