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Outdoor Camping Equipment
Expert Advice on choosing the best outdoor camping gear for your needs.

Choose the best Outdoor Camping Equipment for you.

Having traveled thousands of miles by canoe and done hundreds of days camping, I can tell you that having the wrong camping gear can make a difference.

Don’t you hate camping stores trying to sell the most expensive outdoor camping gear, when you only need someting for a weekend?

I have NEVER worked in a camping store. I have applied many times, but instead found a job where I got paid to actually camp. Often, the people that work in the stores are gear obsessed, talking about their latest, newest, most expensive gadget….

…I’ll tell you…

…. They’re not all necessary! I know, I have camped! Starting as a child, car camping, to eventually interior trips with hundreds of days covering thousands of miles. I know what outdoor camping gear you’ll need.

Find out how to choose the right outdoor camping gear for your needs (and wallet).

Listed below is a camping list of outdoor camping equipment that you will use.

I will cover each piece of outdoor camping equipment individually to help you pick the right one for your needs (not for what you might possibly do in 10 years if you ‘go pro’). I will answer any questions you have, and questions you never thought to ask.

Shelter and sleeping

(your new home away from home) 

Tent: Can a ‘four man tent’ sleep 4 people? Should I get a fly? What about windows? Dome or A-frame? 
Sleeping Bag: Should you chose Down, Synthetic, Mummy? or Square? 
Camping Bed / Sleeping Pad: The ground is awefully hard. Should you get a blow up mattress? a cot? Blue foam pad? or something else? 

Now that we’ve got your new home sorted out, what about…

Camping cooking outdoor camping gear

Stove: Can’t decide on single burner? 2 burner? Detachable fuel source? Propane canisters? Camphor fuel? So many choices! •

            • Backpacking stove: perhaps you prefer a lightweight, useful for everything stove?  Find out what I use!

Pots and pans: Do you really need those high tech, nested pots? Can’t you just bring something from home?

            • Backpacking Pots and Pans: Why I recommend these particular pots when carrying them on your back for days on end.

Backpacking Dishes: I'll share what camping dishes that you can bring to save on weight when going into the woods.

Camping utensilsWhat’s a spork? Do I need one? What about the absolutely necessary utensils versus the ‘extras’? 
Firestarters: Matches, lighter etcEasily forgotten, but highly important. A mistake, I’ve learned the hard way (so you don’t have to). Plus info about magnesium fire starters.
Campfire grillif you plan to cook on the fire this is an essential outdoor camping gear item.

 Small leak proof bottles: these are important to hold food, and other important things that you don't want to leak, or get wet.  

The tent is up, the food is cooked, now it’s dark, now what? 

(besides star gazing of course) 

Lights and outdoor camping gear for the dark

Camping lantern: Is it necessary? When would you not want one? 

Flashlights: How many should you bring? What kind? There are so many choices! LED lights? head lamps? battery free? solar charged? hand charged? 

Camping lights - which ones do I recommend?  From headlamps to lanterns to flashlights. 

And what if it starts to rain? 
Are you supposed to just sit in the tent? 

Keeping dry

Camping Tarp: What size do you need? Can I use the ‘normal blue tarp’, or do you need the lightweight super waterproof one? How do you put one up? 

Camping Rope: Multi use for clothes-lines, making swings, putting up tarps… 
Camping Rain gear: Do you need the $300 FULL body rain suit? Can’t you just throw on a garbage bag or poncho? What about an umbrella? 

The stores have so many fancy clothes, do I need to buy them too? 


Clothing: What are ‘must have’ clothing when camping? What about jeans? Information on what you should and shouldn’t bring. What you do and don’t need to buy. 

Quick Dry pants: Are they worth the money? 
Shoes: What shoes are necessary? Are the super expensive hiking boots necessary? 

What sort of things do I need in a first aid kit? And how do I keep clean when I’m sleeping on the ground? 

Keeping safe and clean

Camping first aid kit: What should go in the kit? Pre-packed? Or Make your own? 

Bug repellent: Learn more about Deet insect repellent? or perhaps learn something about natural insect repellent such as Citronella? Do they work?
Bug Jacket: Are these necessary?
Camping soap: What kind of soap? How to wash in the woods?


Water Filtration: What camping water filter is best? Paper? Charocoal? Ceramic? Do they last?

Best Backpacking water filter - which water filter do I use and recommend?

Water Tablets:What about iodine or chlorine? Is chemical treatment better than a filter?
Best Water Bottle What makes a good water bottle? Nalgene? Stainless steel? Why not just use a bottled water bottle?
Water Bladder What is a platypus bag? What about a camel back? What are the benefits of these?

Some other outdoor camping gear that you may or may not need (depending on your type of camping)

Types of Backpacks and bags
Choosing a backpack for day hiking, multi-day backpacking, Interior canoeing. They’re all different, so it does make a difference.
Water proof bags and containers: how to keep your important stuff dry.

Make sure you know to get where you’re going, and come out again!

Maps and Navigation
Maps: What kind is best? Is the waterproof kind worth the extra money? Why not just use a GPS?
GPS: Are they worth the money? What brand to get?
Compass: What should you look for in a compass?

Outdoor camping gear for when you’re on the water. If you’re spending any time on the water, these decisions are worth the time.

On the water
Life jackets: Choose between Self inflating? Standard? Kayak or other kinds? This is an important decision, cause you’ll be wearing this a lot for safety!
Paddles: Kayak or Canoe? Bent shaft? Feathered? Blade shape? Handle shape? Length?
Choosing a Canoe: Many kinds are available from Kevlar, Aluminum, Plastic, Fibreglass, Wood… Then there is the length, keeled or not and more options.
Canoe gear: What should you put in a canoe emergency kit? What other Canoe specific gear do you need for a canoe trip?
Choosing a Kayak: Choose from materials such as fiberglass, plastic? Two person or one person? Sea kayak, or recreational kayak?
Kayak gear: Pump, paddle float and other important kayak gear is listed here.

What about emergency communication if you’re deep in the woods?

Satellite phone: When do you need to use one of these? What are the alternatives?
Camping Radio: For music? Or for communication?
Cell phone: Do these work where you’ll be camping?
Spot: Online program to keep track of where you are. Is it worth the money?

If interior camping, these may be necessary to clear a path. Or, to split purchased wood at a campground. (remember: don’t chop trees down, you’re camping to enjoy them!)

Camping saw: Clear away fallen trees on portages.
Camping axe: split large wood pieces into smaller pieces.
Camping shovels: Shovels are quite handy, typically used on interior trips for back country toilet experiences.

Camping toilet: Advice on 'How to Shit in the Woods'

How do you prevent coming across wildlife that you really don’t want to see (bears).

Bear proofing Outdoor camping equipment
Bear Barrel: Keep your food safe in a bear barrel. Pro’s, cons and alternatives!
Bear Banger, Bear Spray or Bear Bells: Do these work? What other options exist?

Outdoor Camping Gear for special campers such as Children, Babies and Dogs.

Special Campers
Baby Outdoor Camping equipment: What outdoor camping equipment is important when bringing along your young’un.
Dog Outdoor Camping equipment: What outdoor camping gear should you bring for your dog when taking it camping?

Light weight outdoor camping gear: When should you start investing in lightweight outdoor camping equipment?

What about the ‘extra’ Outdoor Camping equipment to make your camping trip more exciting !

Fun extras
Camera: keep it safe, dry and taking pictures of your amazing time!
Pelican Case:a hard case to keep valuables dry and in one piece. Read more!
Binoculars: Look at wildlife up close from a distance.
Camping Hammocks: Definitely worth the bit of space. Which kind would I recommend?
Inflatable boats: Create your own adventure for the day. Tips on inflatable boats.

More accessories to make your trip more comfortable.

Camping accessories Some outdoor camping equipment accessories that you might want to bring include: Camping Chairs, Picnic table covers, Egg savers, coffee machines, sporks etc.

Some other pages that you might be interested in reading include:

Outdoor camping gear checklist : Comprehensive lists of everything you’d want to take camping.

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