Camping – My Happy Place!
My husband and I love camping. We have even found a beautiful campground approximately 45-minutes from home that allows for the perfect weekend getaway.
Over the years, we have found that there are many must-haves that we bring on every camping trip, and there are many things that we just don’t need to pack. The best camping trips are those where the packing, set-up, and break-down are easiest. It is very helpful to have a camping checklist to ensure that you do not forget anything before leaving home.
Camping Accessories Video by Jill Pratt
We are tent campers. Therefore, most of what we have found is good for tent camping, but can still be used if you have a travel trailer or RV.
Through the years of camping, we have learned that it is vital to ensure that your camping gear does not take up a lot of space at home and that it is easily transported to the campsite. Therefore, when considering what gear to purchase, we consider how easy it will fit in a tote for storage and transportation. Also, consider items that may serve multiple purposes. For instance, my husband and I each use a small storage tote as a nightstand in the tent.
Camping is always more enjoyable when you have the right gear.
The most important thing that all campers need is a tent (unless you are using a travel trailer or RV, of course). As I said, we are tent campers, and there are many different styles and sizes available. We use the Coleman Evanston 8-person tent for the two of us. The 2 features that I love most about this tent are the hinged door and oversized rainfly that provides an overhang for the door. As an 8-person tent, it is plenty big for our queen-sized air mattress, a couple of small tables (used as nightstands), and all of our necessary gear.
The Coleman Evanston is available in 6-person and 8-person sizes, and it is now sold with a screen room on the front.
As there are too many tents available, we are not able to review them all. Also, we find sleeping bags very subjective, and there are too many variables that affect the choice of the proper sleeping bag. Therefore, our list of must-have luxury camping items will include everything else.
Before I get into our actual list, my first suggestion is that you purchase sturdy plastic totes to pack your supplies for easy transport. I like the weathertight totes for kitchen essentials and non-perishable food items, as they may get caught in the rain while camping. We also have found that field boxes are great for storing batteries and other small items. Most field boxes can fit inside a larger storage tote.
The Best Luxury Must-Haves that All Campers Need
200W Peak Power Station, Flashfish 45000mAh Backup Power Pack 110V 150W Lithium Battery Pack Camping Generator
This solar power station includes 3 USB power ports (2 quick charges), 2 110V AC ports, and 2 DC ports to charge and power all of your electronics. It has 45000mAh capacity, pure sine wave, 150W AC continuous power, and 200W AC peak power able to stably charge a number of devices many times. There are 3 options for you to recharge the large-capacity power bank: the wall outlet, solar panel (not included in the package), and 12V car socket. It also has a battery display to let you know how much power you have remaining for use.
Solar Charger 20000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank for Cell Phone Waterproof, Built-in Dual USB/Flashlight for All Phones, Tablets, and Electronic Devices
This compact solar charger works with all cell phones. It charges itself through the external solar panel, or you can plug it in via an outlet. It contains 2 charging ports to allow you to charge 2 phones at one time. It also has built-in security to protect your devices from excessive power, overheating, and overcharging. We have 2 of these for our cell phones.
This tent fan is designed to hang from the ceiling of your tent, and it is equipped with LED lights for nighttime visibility inside the tent. It can work continuously for 8-25 hours (depending on different speeds). The fan will fully charge in 6 to 8 hours using the type C and UPS conversion fast charging cable. The small table fan supports reverse charging and can charge your phone, GPS, iPod, etc. The portable fan has 3 adjustable wind speeds, with a maximum wind speed of up to 10 feet per second. In addition, this tent fan has 3 light brightnesses (30%, 70%, and 100%), for convenience and safety in outdoor camping and tents. One of the best features is that it includes a remote control so that you do not have to get up to change any of the settings.
Our camping friends purchased two of these Ryobi 18V fans for their tent, and they love them. With a rechargeable 18V battery, these fans put out a nice breeze. They place these on their small night tables next to their air mattress for comfortable sleeping. The fan can run off of the included 18V rechargeable battery or an extension cord.
We have even used them while sitting around the campsite during the day for some added comfort on warm days. Our friends do recommend purchasing an additional battery for each fan so that you are never without power.
We have 2 of the Treva 10-inch portable fans that we place on our night tables next to our air mattress inside our tent. These fans have low and high speeds, and they are very quiet. They also fold flat for easy storage. The fan runs on 6 D-cell batteries or you can plug it into an extension cord using the enclosed adapter. We can typically use our fans for a full weekend with one set of batteries. However, we always have extra batteries on hand.
My husband received this lantern as a birthday present, and he loves it. With 4 light settings, it puts out a lot of light, and it is very compact. Using the included USB cable, we are able to recharge it during the day when the charge runs out. However, we can usually get a good few days out of a single charge. The USB cable can also be used to charge his cell phone if he needs it. However, we have 2 solar chargers (see above) for our cell phones. The best part about this lantern is that we no longer need to worry about fuel tanks.
Need to see your way at night, but don’t want to carry a flashlight or lantern? These ultra-light and bright LED headlights are the perfect answer. No more tripping over guy wires or roots as you walk through the campsite at night. The LED lights put out 1,100 lumens of light to light your path. You can activate the lights using the power buttons or by waving your hand in front of the motion sensor. The headlight is waterproof, and it has 8 lighting modes to meet your various needs.
As another option for lighting your way at night, or if you just need to find something in your tent and don’t want to mess with a headlamp, this rechargeable super bright flashlight comes with everything you need in a convenient carrying case. For nighttime bike riders, it even comes with a bike clip. It is compact, and the LED bulbs put out 5,000 lumens of light. It is zoomable, waterproof, and shockproof. The rechargeable battery is brighter than standard AAA batteries, and it provides plenty of battery life to get through a camping trip.
My mother-in-law gave my husband this stove for Christmas, and it works great. It is very easy to set up, and it is self-igniting (s0 no hunting for matches or a lighter). It puts out a whopping 22,000 BTUs of heat using a 1-pound propane cylinder. The aluminum cooktop is rust-free, and the chrome finish makes for easy cleanup. My husband truly appreciated this gift.
This large tabletop cooking table was one of our greatest finds. It is extremely versatile. No more battling with Dutch ovens on the ground or using a griddle or cast-iron skillet on the fire pit. This colling table is large enough to fit two 14-inch Dutch ovens with charcoal briquettes.
The legs are adjustable for keeping the cooking surface level. I do suggest packing a small level in your camping gear to ensure the table is level. Or, you can try an APP on your phone. We all know that not all campsites provide level cooking areas.
Our friends, who have a propane-fueled griddle, use this table to put the griddle on for cooking. My husband uses it for his Coleman stove.
Another great find! Our friends brought this out on our last camping trip and used it on the cooking table (above). My husband got to break it in for breakfast our first morning. He made his camping breakfast staple – Taylor Ham pork roll, egg, and cheese (salt, pepper, ketchup) on everything bagels. With 3 burners, he was able to prepare everything on one surface. As usual, breakfast was delicious!
Our friends also made a delicious chicken fried rice dinner on it, taking full advantage of the 3 heating zones.
The griddle has a 316-square-inch cooking surface, and it is so easy to clean. Just pour some hot water on it while the surface is hot and wipe down the surface. There is also a drain hole in the front, right corner with a catch pan for excess liquid. Just be sure to properly season the cooking surface before using.
We especially like this unit as it does have the 3 burners for 3 separate heating zones, and it has a push-button ignitor. It is equipped with a hose and regulator for a 20-pound propane cylinder.
I bought this mess kit for my husband for Christmas, and he loves that it is so compact for easy storage. It does not take up much space in our kitchen tote.
What I liked about this kit is that everything fits inside each other and it comes with a carrying case. The pots and pans are made of safe, non-toxic aluminum with a non-stick coating for easy cleaning.
It is available on Amazon with a different number of pieces (4, 8, 11, 13, and 24-piece sets) depending on your needs. The 24 pieces family camping cooking set includes 1 hanging pot, 1 boiling pot, 1 frying pan, 1 kettle, 6 bowls, 4 small plates, 3 big plates, 1 foldable soup spoon, 1 rice ladle, and 1 cleaning sponge. You can enjoy delicious food with your family anywhere. Best money ever spent!
Wow! Everything I could possibly need for preparing meals and eating in one convenient, compact carrying case. This kit even includes a wine opener and cutting board. What a great deal!!!
The ultimate outdoor BBQ grill and utensil kit will satisfy all your needs for cooking. It is perfect for travel, picnics, RVs, camping, hiking, backyard BBQ-ing, parties, concerts, sporting events, boat rides, mountaineering, and more. The carrying case is only 14.5” long, 9” wide, and 2” thick. The kit includes 1 storage bag, 1 cutting board, 1 barbecue fork, 1 slotted tongs, 1 paring knife, 1 chef’s knife, 1 wine opener, 1 can opener, 1 ladle, 1 scissors, 1 scraper, 1 slotted turner, 2 barbecue skewers, 2 extendable BBQ forks, 4 flatware cutlery set (3pcs). Plus, the bag has additional space so you can personalize your kit.
This outdoor cooking kit features cutlery 100% made with high-end Stainless Steel for enhanced durability and reliability. The utensils are also dishwasher-safe and are made to withstand years of constant use.
This is a very compact mess kit for 4 people. If you are like my husband, you want everything to be easily packed and stored in a tote. This mess kit meets with his approval in that area. The high-quality durable 28-piece steel tableware set includes 4 place settings – knives, forks, spoons, small and large plates, and bowls. It also includes 2 chopsticks, a cleaning rag, and a storage bag.
My husband came across this great item at an Army, Navy Surplus store. We use it on camping trips as a wash station, and it worked out great. We hung it from the lantern post and placed a wash basin under it to catch the water. Having been a Boy Scout leader, my husband learned a lot of camping hacks, so we always have a bar of soap hanging in a length of pantyhose with the wash station for washing our hands.
The camp shower is so easy to use, and the bag uses the heat from the sun to warm the water. It is made of environmentally friendly materials which are safe for human health. This deluxe version with multiple layers can further enhance the leakproof feature and make it even more durable!
The camping shower bag heats water up to 105°F (40°C) in just 3 hours with direct sunlight. There is even a temperature indicator (°C/°F) attached to the bag. Be able to quickly know the temperature of the water. No need for gas or electricity to enjoy a warm shower outdoors!
My husband just loves to lounge out in his hammock and read a good book, if he can only get our daughter out of it first.
This extremely durable camping hammock stores within itself for easy storage. It is also extremely easy to hang between two trees with the included tree straps and carabiners. The hammock is available in 15 different colors, and it is available in 2 sizes (medium for one person and large for two people). The single hammock holds up to 400 lbs, while the double hammock holds up to 500 lbs.
Wise Owl also offers a mosquito net and rainfly that fit perfectly with the hammock.
This is a great waste container. It is collapsible, and it holds a lot of, well, garbage – 30-gallon bags. It is made of very durable material, and it has a zippered lid to close it when not in use. It comes as a regular, deluxe, and mini version. The mini version holds 13 gallons of waste. The deluxe version has grommets for stakes to keep it from blowing away in high winds. However, our standard version has served us fine so far. There are even clips inside the unit to hold the garbage bags in place, and it has velcro straps for storage after collapsing.
This rechargeable quick-fill air pump is an absolute must-have for all campers! It is the perfect little pump for inflating and deflating any inflatable item, from air mattresses to pool floats to inflatable kayaks or boats. It inflates our queen-size air mattress in mere minutes, and it holds a charge through the weekend to keep our mattress nice and firm for sleeping each night. We are able to charge 4 air mattresses and all of our pool floats for the lake with plenty of power to spare.
Glamping Needs For the Ladies!
My husband won’t admit it, but he loves when I decorate the tent with some throw pillows and a nice quilt instead of just the ugly sleeping bags. Okay, maybe he does think that I might go a little overboard, but he goes with it because he loves me and wants me to continue to go camping with him. I have found that there are certain items that this lady camper needs on every camping trip, and I don’t know what I would do without them.
First, I always have my comfortable camping chair to sit by the fire and read a book, drink a little wine, and talk with everyone. I have found that there are so many different chairs available that there are too many for me to rate. However, my husband found me a camping chair with a footrest that fits me perfectly.
My second must-have is a comfortable and firm air mattress. I like an air mattress that is at least 18-inches deep so that I don’t feel like I am sleeping on the ground. Isn’t that one of the benefits of an air mattress, anyway? Also, I don’t find it necessary to have a mattress with an internal pump because we do not have electricity available at most campgrounds, and we have a rechargeable electronic air pump (see above).
Considering I have an air mattress to sleep on, I always have pretty camping sheets and a quilt or comforter instead of a sleeping bag. I have comfy, bamboo sheets that keep me cool for summer camping and warmer, flannel sheets for winter or cold weather camping. Of course, to go with my quilt, I need my decorative throw pillows, too. I have even found comfy and compact camping pillows (and you know that my husband is all about compact glamping gear!).
Here are some other glamping must-haves that I have found to spruce up our camping experience.
- Solar string lights that we use to line the outside of the tent canopy.
- Pop-up Privacy Tent for taking showers or using the potty instead of trekking to the bathhouse in the middle of the night.
- Portable camping toilet seat – of course, with a portable commode, you need something to solidify and deodorize your waste, as well as dispose of it. I also have a commode bucket that I place under the toilet seat and place my waste bags and gel/litter in.
- Welcome mats for outside the tent
- Area rugs or runners for inside the tent, depending on the floor space of the tent. There are so many different choices, you can choose the right one for your tent.
- Foldable nightstand
- Foldable camping table for by the campfire
- And, for the kids, we always bring several pouches of “magical flame” that makes the campfire change colors. Trust me, the kids love it.
There are just so many amazing camping accessories available online today. Too many to list and review. We definitely hope that you found something new in our post. We certainly enjoyed providing these ideas for you. If you think of or find something that we did not list here, please let us know. We are always on the hunt for new camping accessories.
Also, if you have any camping hacks that have worked for you, please pass them along, too.