Things for camping. Equipment you may need when you go on a trip.

Tent, sleeping bag, good flashlight, utensils....got everything?

The things for camping I use are a mixed assortment of equipment I have collected over many years. Most of the items were inexpensive or even free. There’s no need to go out and spend a lot of money all at once. Especially on stuff you don’t often use.

Sunrise over the San Juan Mountains

It does take some effort to get a good assortment of camping gear together.

Take your time and look around when you are out and about. Make an adventure out of finding things you can use for camping. It’s actually a lot of fun!

The occasional garage sale can be a wonderful place to find useful camping items.

Getting those important things together before your camping trip will make preparations much faster and easier. Of course having the correct combination of camping equipment is equally important.

Let's take an in-depth look at all the various things for camping you may need when you go on a trip.

There are some things for camping for which I didn’t spare expense. That would be the tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad and a flashlight.

#1 The single most important piece of equipment is a tent. Buy the best you can afford.

The tent is there to protect you from the weather. It helps keep you dry from the rain, out of the wind and will protect you from the sunshine. If you need somewhere to change clothes, some tents are great for that too. Click here to find out what features to look for when purchasing a tent.

#2 A sleeping bag should help keep you warm at night when the temperatures start to dip. Sleeping bags are nice because they protect you from all sides and don’t take up much room after you roll them up. Some sleeping bags can be zipped open and be combined with the same to create one large bag for two people. Click here for detailed sleeping bag information.

#3 Of all things for camping the sleeping pad (or mattress) can be one of the more expensive things to buy. The whole idea is to protect yourself from the cold hard ground while you sleep. Click here for more information before buying a sleeping pad.

#4 A flashlight is one of those must have things for camping. Buy a good one! Check out his link for more information about flashlights for camping

#5 The Camping Storage Box: I keep all my camping gear in this 24 gallon size produced by Rubbermaid. I’ve had these boxes for 20 years, since my 3 month camping trip to Alaska.

Back then storage box options were limited. I chose this type of box because the lid seals well in the rain and the lids lock down. This helps keep the hungry critters out at night.

These storage boxes haven’t leaked water for me but I’m sure this box would leak if it were outside on the roof of a vehicle or in the back of an open pick-up while driving in the rain.

These days there are many types and sizes available to choose from. Even an old milk crate would work!

Actionpacker storage boxes by Rubbermaid

One thing you may want to strive for is an assortment of items such as cooking utensils that you keep separate from all you household items. We have a complete set of eating utensils, towels, dish & washing soaps just for camping.

Keeping all these items in a separate container will reduce the chance of forgetting something when going on a camping trip.

Coleman Gas Powered Stove

#6 My Coleman Gas Stove is an absolute relic! It’s must be almost 50 years old.

I remember my mom firing it up on cold mornings to make breakfast while camping in Yellowstone National Park when I was a little kid.

The quality of these old stoves is unbeatable! Not so sure about the newer ones. It might be a good idea to find an old one and fix it up!

What I like about that stove is the fact that it burns (Coleman) fuel and not propane.

These camp stoves have changed little over the years and getting parts for the old ones is not a problem. 

Gas Stoves burn hotter than propane since you can regulate the pressure and you can crank up the flame a lot higher.

I prefer not having to deal with empty propane bottles either. When the gas tank is getting low on fuel, which is easy to check, just fill it before you start dinner.

With propane, you’re never sure if it will run out before dinner is fully cooked. However, one plus to having a propane stove has is the ease of use and less maintenance.

Some of these listed things for camping, will make a world of difference when you're on a trip!

#7 My Coleman Peak 1 Lantern has a similar story….runs on Coleman fuel, lightweight and compact. It must be 28 years old or more!

I prefer the gas type lanterns to ones with large batteries. Batteries end up in landfills and can eventually damage the environment.

Same goes for the empty propane bottles often used for lanterns.

Some of the new energy saving LED lanterns are excellent! At least you can take the LED type into your tent and read. Can't do that with a gas lantern! 

I'll be checking out the new energy saving LED type lanterns soon and writing up some information on those. 

Coleman Peak 1 Lantern

#8 I have 2 different sized “Teflon” Frying Pans, primarily since the stove is too narrow for 2 large frying pans, and the large one has a lid. Why Teflon? Teflon pans are easy to clean, I just wipe them out with a paper towel. Once you’ve gone camping, you realize washing up is a worse chore than it is in your home kitchen.

Many campers have the idea that the heavy cast iron skillet is the way to go but…..those are very heavy, difficult to clean and require some maintenance otherwise they rust. Not to mention they can be very expensive!

Cast iron skillets are great when camping over an open fire. But, that’s another feat in itself!

*Note: It’s always a good idea to have lids for your pots and pans. When you’re outside or at high altitude the food gets cold quickly once you take it off the stove and it has no lid.

The items listed here in the "things for camping" section are here to point you in the right direction. It's up to you to choose what works best for you.

#9 The Stainless Steel Pots from Sigg are fantastic! I prefer stainless to aluminum, although a little heavier.

These are easy to clean and all the pieces fit together wonderfully. I’ve used mine for many years and they still look like new!

The set consists of (2) pots, (1) tea kettle and a lid which fits both pots can also be used as a small frying pan.

Sigg Cookware Set


Having the right things for camping can reduce waste and help the environment.


#10 A general note about plates, bowls, cups and camping utensils: I never use throw-away paper plates or plastic utensils! The only thing that’s easy about it is…..no dishes. But, where are you going to put your trash if there’s no dumpster around? There’s nothing worse than seeing campsite trash cans overflowing with garbage and it being strewn around by all the animals. It’s ugly and smelly!

Unfortunately most of those plastic items never get recycled and end up in landfills.

The plates, bowls, cups and utensils I use have all been collected over time from various places. The plates are by corell, the bowls plastic. The ceramic stuff chips too easily especially when stuff gets tossed around in the car. Porcelain doesn’t last long either!

These things for camping can be very beneficial to the environment!

#11 Keep a sharp set of knives in you camping set. The only thing a dull knife will cut is your finger and chances are you’ll be far away from any medical center to get stitches. Take note of some of these very important things for camping.

#12 Cutting boards are useful. I have a wooden one. However a mid-sized plastic one with a groove around the outside would be better. If you cut tomatoes for example the juice will not run all over the place and make a mess.

#13 Use a good Tupperware container to store lighters, matches and spices separately. There’s generally a lot of moisture everywhere when camping. It’s much better if you have a dry set of matches and can keep your salt and sugar from becoming one big lump.

These are just some of the items I prefer to use. You may find other things that work better for you.

Click here to go from the things for camping page to the camping checklist page or back to the homepage.


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You may also be interested in reading more about......

How to choose the right camping tent for you.

What to look for when purchasing a sleeping bag.

Some basics to consider before buying a sleeping pad.

Some things to consider before you purchase a flashlight for camping.