A camping trip can quickly go from dreamy to dreary without the proper supplies. But with quality gear tailored for your specific needs, you’re set up for total comfort no matter how far off the grid your adventure takes you.
In this guide, we’ll share our recommendations for the top camping supplies across essential categories like tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, stoves and coolers. We’ll also provide tips on choosing gear based on your camping style, group size and environmental conditions.
Whether you’re a backcountry minimalist or car-camping family, we’ll help ensure you have the best camping supplies for a seamless outdoor getaway. Let’s hit the trail!
Top 5 Camping Supply Picks
1. Tents: Coleman Dome Tent
No camping supply roundup would be complete without the iconic Coleman Dome Tent. This four-person tent provides ample head room and floor space for small groups in a quick and easy setup. The snag-free insta-clip pole attachments make assembly a breeze while the WeatherTec system keeps you dry in the rain. And at under $100, it’s very budget-friendly!
- Spacious interior with 6 feet center height
- Fast 15-minute setup with easy pole attachments
- WeatherTec system keeps rain out
- Mesh roof vents for airflow
- Great value under $100
- Not intended for harsh winds or snow
- Pack weight of 9 pounds
- Capacity: 4 persons
- Footprint: 9 x 7 feet
- Packed Weight: 9 pounds
- Doors: 1
- Season Rating: 3-season
2. Sleeping Bags: TETON Sports Celsius Sleeping Bag
This mummy-style sleeping bag from TETON Sports delivers reliable warmth across a wide temperature range thanks to its double-layer construction. The outer canvas shell and inner fleece liner provide insulation from frigid conditions down to 0°F. The hood, zipper draft tube and shoulder cinch retain body heat through the night. And at under $75, it’s a great performance value.
- Warm down to 0°F
- Mummy-style hood with shoulder cinch
- Draft tube along zipper
- Lightweight and packable
- Budget-friendly under $75
- Tight mummy-style isn’t for everyone
- Loft compresses over time
- Temperature Rating: 0°F to 30°F
- Shape: Mummy
- Weight: 7.5 pounds
- Materials: Polyester liner and shell
- Packed Size: 15 x 9 inches
3. Backpacks: Osprey Atmos AG 65 Backpack
This top-rated backpack from Osprey provides excellent load balancing and ventilation via its anti-gravity suspension system. The mesh frame distributes weight comfortably while providing airflow along the back. Front and side pockets offer plenty of storage options and the trekking pole attachments are a bonus. Perfect for multi-day hiking excursions.
- Anti-gravity suspension evenly distributes load
- Mesh frame promotes ventilation
- Removable floating lid
- Front mesh pockets for quick-access items
- Integrated rain cover
- Expensive, but for good reason
- Not ideal for smaller frames
- Capacity: 65 liters
- Weight: 4 pounds
- Torso Fit: 18 – 22 inches
- Main Fabric: Nylon
- Load Range: 25 – 50 pounds
4. Camp Stoves: MSR PocketRocket Stove
This ultra-light canister stove from MSR offers the perfect blend of low weight, compact pack size, and performance. At just 2.6 ounces it tucks away in your pack taking up minimal space. But its 15,000 BTU burner boils a liter of water in as little as 3.5 minutes! Easy to operate and impressively efficient.
- Incredibly lightweight at 2.6 ounces
- Packs down smaller than a soda can
- 15,000 BTU burner boils water fast
- Windshield blocks gusts well
- Smaller cooking surface
- No flame adjustment
- Dimensions: 4 x 2 inches
- Weight: 2.6 ounces
- BTUs: 15,000
- Boil Time: 3.5 minutes (1 liter water)
- Fuel: Isobutane/propane canisters
5. Coolers: YETI Tundra 45 Cooler
When only the best will do for keeping your food and drinks cold, you reach for the YETI Tundra. This premium rotomolded cooler offers exceptional insulation to retain ice for days on end. The FatWall design provides unmatched thermal performance in a durable package ready for years of outdoor use and abuse. Worth the investment!
- Excellent ice retention (5+ days)
- Durable rotomolded construction
- FatWall insulation up to 3 inches thick
- Resists cracks and damage
- Expensive, but gets what you pay for
- Heavy before adding any contents
- Capacity: 39 cans w/ recommended 2:1 ice ratio
- Empty Weight: 23 pounds
- Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 17 inches
- Certified Bear-Resistant
- Rotomolded Construction
Now that you’re acquainted with our top camping supply recommendations across essential categories, let’s discuss how to evaluate your needs and choose the right gear options for the type of trips you take.
How to Choose Camping Supplies
Your chosen camping supplies should fit the specific type of adventure you have in mind. A solo backpacking trip calls for lightweight packability, while a camping music festival demands more space and durability. Keep these key factors in mind:
- Camping style – Car camping allows for more capacity and amenities. Backpacking demands compact, portable gear.
- Group size – Will you need to outfit just yourself or a whole family?
- Climate and conditions – Choose equipment rated and designed for the expected environmental conditions.
- Weight and portability – Important if covering distance to your campsite by foot. Assess total pack weight.
- Durability – Camping gear should withstand considerable wear and tear over years. Check materials and construction quality.
- Ease of setup/use – Fussing with complex assembly can quickly zap your enjoyment. Prioritize quick, intuitive gear.
- Special features – Do you need certain extras like rain flies, vestibules, insulation, or blackout tent fabric?
- Capacity – Make sure there is enough space and storage for your group and all your gear.
- Budget – Set a comfortable spending cap based on your experience level and frequency of future camping trips.
- Brand reputation – Read reviews and prioritize reputable, highly-rated manufacturers known for quality and reliability.
Frequently Asked Camping Gear Questions
How should you clean and store camping gear between trips?
Allow tents and other items to completely air dry before packing away to prevent mold growth. Store gear in a cool, dry place safe from UV light exposure. Stuff tents and sleeping bags loosely to prevent compression damage.
What are some must-have camping supplies for beginners?
Start with basics like a tent, sleeping bags, flashlights, first-aid kit, multitool, cooler, camp stove, water filtration, insect repellant, sun protection, and basic cooking/eating utensils.
Is it worth spending more on premium outdoor brands?
Generally, yes. Brands like Big Agnes, Osprey and YETI command higher prices because their gear outperforms competitors in important metrics like durability, weight, weather protection, and longevity.
How can you prevent tent ceiling condensation from dripping on you?
Try to site tents under tree cover to block morning dew. Crack windows and vestibules for ventilation. Some tents offer gear lofts to suspend items above sleeping area. You can also apply waterproof sprays to the tent interior.
Any tips for getting better sleep comfort in a sleeping bag?
Try a sleeping pad for padding and warmth underneath. Use a pillow to elevate your head. Wear a beanie to prevent heat loss. Cinch the hood around your head and pull the draft tube cord tight around your neck. Layer clothes for warmth and change into clean dry sleep layers nightly.
How do you determine the right tent capacity and size?
Choose tents with about 15-25 square feet of floor space per person. For car camping, size up a person or two to allow space for gear. For backpacking, add 10-15% more capacity than your group size to allow some wiggle room.
What first aid supplies are handy to have on a camping trip?
Adhesive bandages, gauze, wraps, antibiotic ointment, antihistamine, pain/fever relievers, tweezers, trauma shears, thermometer, cleansing wipes, medical tape, blister care, emergency blanket.
How can you prevent critters from getting into food and supplies?
Use sealable plastic bins and bags, even for items inside your tent. Never keep food or scented items in your tent. Hang food bags from tree limbs using rope and carabiners. Keep all belongings secured inside hard-sided coolers.
How do you determine the right cooler size and type for camping?
For car camping, figure one 20-quart cooler per person. For extended trips, size up 20-50% more capacity. Hard-sided bear-resistant coolers preserve ice the longest. Soft coolers work well for short car trips. Choose wheeled coolers for convenience moving heavy loads.
Gear Up and Get Out There!
We hope this rundown of top-rated camping supplies across essential categories has helped you determine the right gear for your next adventure. Just be sure to evaluate your specific trip plans and needs, and don’t skimp on quality for critical items like tents and cold storage that can make or break your experience.
With the proper equipment selected, you’re ready to set up camp, soak in those epic views, and cook over a crackling fire under starry night skies. The comfort of your own bed will still be there when you get back. But for now, the great outdoors awaits!