Because it takes place in the great outdoors – where Mother Nature can be awfully unforgiving – there’s an added pressure of packing on a camping trip. What you bring, or forget to bring, really determines whether or not you want to sleep under the stars again.
For that reason, Shop TODAY has rounded up some great camping gear that you’re sure to want by your side while you do it. From a cooler that floats (and keeps your favorite drinks cool for 24 hours), to a two-second tent that comes pre-assembled and a kid-friendly collapsible lantern, here’s what you should consider packing if you plan to camp this summer.
The essentials of camping equipment
Bug Bite Thing Suction Tool
This TODAY approved “venom vacuum” with an average rating of 4 stars from over 46,000 reviews is an Amazon #1 bestseller. It works by sucking up venom and other irritants that can cause reactions such as only itching, redness and swelling, depending on the brand. It can even be used to remove splinters. It is designed to be painless and easy to use.
Sawyer permethrin pump spray
Sometimes the best defense is a powerful attack. So before you let yourself become a buffet for bloodthirsty mosquitoes, this popular repellent designed for clothing can help. Spray it directly on your clothes (outside) before putting them on. It protects you from mosquitoes, mites, chiggers and disease-carrying ticks for up to six washes or six weeks, depending on the brand.
Evolvetogether mosquito repellent patches
If you’re prone to mosquito bites but aren’t a big fan of insect repellents, these repellent patches are definitely worth a try. They contain essential oils that can repel mosquitoes up to three feet for six to eight hours and are safe for everyone, depending on the brand.
Stanley Adventure Camp Kitchen Set
Camp cooking is easy with this stainless steel cooker that comes with two 10-ounce insulated nesting tumblers. It has an impressive average rating of 4.8 stars from nearly 20,000 reviews and is currently ranked #1 on Amazon’s Best Sellers list for camping pots, pans, and griddles. Use it to prepare hot chocolate, soups, chili, dehydrated meals and more. Vents on the top make it easy to strain liquids and let out steam. It’s lightweight – weighing less than a pound – and dishwasher safe, according to the brand.
LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle
Access to fresh, clean water is arguably the most important thing to have on any camping trip. LifeStraw’s filter water bottle is designed to protect against small plastic particles, chlorine, sand, dirt, etc. On top of all that, it also improves the taste of water, according to the brand.
If you can’t live without cooking, even when camping, the Omnia oven comes in handy. You can use it to bake everything from cakes to potatoes to quiche. It’s designed to cook on any type of burner and can even be used on a grill, depending on the brand. Thanks to its unique Swedish design, the oven cooks with heat from both the top and bottom of the oven.
RTIC Flexible Cooler
This leak-free, sweat-free cooler with a cult following is to camping what the mini-fridge is to hotel rooms. It’s guaranteed to keep food and drink cold for up to 24 hours (with some reviewers reporting that it keeps ice cream frozen for up to 48 hours). It comes in 11 colors and a range of sizes from a 12-can cooler for $90 to a 40-can cooler for $150. It even floats so you can take it with you on the river or in the lake.
LuminAID Inflatable Solar Lantern
As seen on “Shark Tank,” the LuminAID Inflatable Solar Lantern is a lightweight, collapsible solar lantern that can emit light for up to 24 hours when the battery is fully charged. It’s also waterproof and designed to be shatterproof, so you don’t have to worry about having it around the kids. With multiple settings, you can choose your brightness level based on activity or time of day. You also have the choice of recharging the battery via solar or USB.
Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad
Rough without really the rough when crashing down on this camping mat. Two inches of support might not seem like a lot, but when you’re sleeping on the floor, it makes a huge difference. This tampon weighs less than a pound and folds up so it takes up about as much space as a water bottle. You also don’t have to worry about leaks because it’s made of a waterproof and tear-resistant nylon fabric.
Coleman Camping Chair
No camp experience is complete without sitting around the campfire. This chair is the perfect seat thanks to its comfortable padding, back support and armrests, one of which has an insulated pouch that keeps up to four cans of your favorite beverages cool for hours. The other armrest has a built-in cup holder and a handy side pocket to store your phone, snacks and reading material. The Coleman Camping Chair is available in four colors and has an average rating of 4.7 stars from over 46,000 reviews.
Coleman Sundome Camping Tent
If you prefer a more traditional tent design and need more space, invest in this TODAY approved tent. When it comes to weather conditions, the bestseller comes with a waterproof flysheet and is designed for spring, summer and fall camping. The frame is built to survive winds of up to 35 miles per hour. Inside there are storage pockets and a handy hook to hang a lantern or flashlight. It comes in three colors and four sizes: 2 person, 3 person, 4 person and 6 person.
Original Rumpl Puff Blanket
This bestselling machine washable blanket is designed for the outdoors. Thanks to its durable water-repellent coating, the fabric is water and stain resistant, says the brand. Simply put, spills can’t seep through. Amazon users love that it has a clip so it can be worn as a cape for hands-free warmth. It’s available in 90 different colors and styles, including National Park and NFL designs. When stored in its stuff sack, it fits easily into a tote bag.
Quechua waterproof camping tent
If your goal is to set up camp as early as possible so you can fully relax or head out exploring, this is the perfect tent for you. It comes pre-assembled and opens in seconds. In other words, there is no need to untangle and unfold a stack of sticks. All you have to do is stake it in the ground and add the waterproof flysheet. Wind resistant, it is able to withstand winds of up to 30 miles per hour, depending on the brand. But perhaps the coolest feature is the blackout fabric that lets you nap during the day in complete darkness. It weighs just over nine pounds and comes with a three-year warranty.
Atomic Bear Paracord Bracelet
This bracelet contains five survival essentials so you can travel light without sacrificing any of your emergency supplies. It includes a compass, fire starter, emergency whistle, ferro rod striker, and 12 feet of military-grade paracord, depending on the brand, and comes in a set of two. It also has an adjustable fit so you don’t have to worry about ordering the perfect size.
Yivandi Rechargeable Foldable Fan
Depending on the setting you use, this rechargeable fan can last anywhere from six to 24 hours. The adjustable height reaches just over three feet and can be folded down completely when you’re done for easy storage. The front frame can also be detached for easy cleaning, the brand says, which is especially important if you’re taking it on a long camping trip.
Abco Tech Pop Up Privacy Tent
It can be useful when camping to have a dedicated private area for showering or changing clothes. This tent from Abco Tech, which reviewers called “very practical”, is designed to be extremely light and requires no installation, and measures 75 inches in height.
Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower
Turn a sink or bucket of water into your own personal outdoor shower. This showerhead sticks to any flat surface, depending on the brand, and can be used continuously for up to an hour. It also charges easily via your laptop, car adapter or anywhere with a USB port.
Suokeni Quick Dry Slip On Water Shoes
If you are an avid hiker, these non-slip sneakers are a must. They have over 4,000 five-star reviews, and many people say how comfortable they are. The strong traction is also designed to help in bad weather conditions.
Outdoor Voices Rectrek Zip Pants
When camping, the day can go from hot to cold quite quickly, especially if you’re cooling off after a hike. These one-of-a-kind pants from popular brand Outdoor Voices are not only functional and durable, but they pop off, allowing you to customize the coverage and warmth you need at the time. They are also water resistant and machine washable, depending on the brand.
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