You’ll either be way overpacked for your camping trip or miss some of the most obvious camping gear in your attempt to feign survivalist mode. In order not to have a nightmarish experience while in the great outdoors, here are top 10 Essentials when camping in America.

  1. Insect Repellent — You’ll temporarily be invading the space of insects and our crawling furry friends when you go camping. And most at times, they aren’t afraid to show you who’s boss. Small animals scare off easily, but bugs will make your camp experience hellish. So get a bug spray or a repellent cream, otherwise, those insects will make a meal or opera audience out of you.
  2. Sleeping Bag/Tent/Hammock — Sleeping on grass is fun only in theory, or at best for short periods. During the night, temperatures fall, so you don’t want to leave your body exposed to the elements. It is vital you take a sleeping bag, tent or hammock depending which you prefer. If you are new to camping and are not sure whether a hammock or a tent is better then there are loads of guides which can help you.
  3. Water Filter — It seems obvious to bring your own water-filled canteen, but it pays to also bring a water filter. The last thing you want is to end up stuck in the middle of nowhere without access to fresh water. Even if you’ll be at the camp with your car, so can easily travel back to civilisation, always take a filter or a water purification tablet with you.
  4. Fire Starter — All epic camping experiences involve fires – whether small campfires or bonfires – usually with everyone huddled in closely. You have several options here, a cigarette lighter, matchboxes (look for waterproof ones), or a flint and steel (if you’re feeling like a seasoned camper). Make sure you take a spare starter – just in case.
  5. Maps & Compass –This is essential if you plan on following a hiking trail. Even though you have a GPS device on your phone, nothing will suck more than getting lost, especially if you’ve been bragging about your camping prowess. Besides, you might get to a place where you’ll lose phone signal, so make sure you have an ancient map and compass ready.
  6. Solar charger/ Torchlight — A campfire will only let you see your immediate vicinity, so you’ll need something for when you need to move around. Solar power is incredibly portable these days, and can serve as your phone’s charger, torchlight and even SOS device.
  7. First Aid — If you’ve scouted your camping area well, it’s highly unlikely you’ll face a life-threatening illness or injury. However, it always pays to be prepared for emergencies. Moreover, if you’ll be hiking or rock climbing, you might end up with blisters, which you’ll want to treat ASAP.
  8. Pocket Knife — You can use it for cooking, trimming up a branch or rope, opening a package. It’s highly unlikely that you won’t find a use for a Swiss Army knife, so don’t forget to take one with you.
  9. Extra Food — Take extra food, at least for one more day than you plan to stay, cause you never know.
  10. TOILET PAPER!! — Leaves and tree barks will only take you so far. Plus they’re sort of gross, in terms of hygiene and comfort. If you’re conscious about the environmental impact of leaving paper trails behind, get biodegradables. But whatever you do, take one.


This clearly isn’t an exhaustive list, just the top 10 essentials when camping in America. If you have more storage space, feel free to throw in a few comfort items. Did we leave off your must have item? Share it with us in the comments below!