Camping is a great way to unplug from the internet and get out in nature. It can be one of the most rewarding and unique experiences, teaching you how to interact with the wild and pushing you out of your comfort zone.

In 2020, more people went camping than in previous years, with the pandemic pushing people to get outside and escape somewhere safe.

If you’re a first-time camper and aren’t exactly sure where to start, keep reading for your camping tools checklist. 


Of course, we have to start with your tent. When you think of essential camping gear, you may be intimidated by having to make a big tent purchase. 

Luckily, tents don’t have to be that expensive. Depending on who you’re sharing your tent with, it can be smaller than you think. All you really need is a tent that can fit an air mattress and your luggage. 

Look for one that is guaranteed leak-proof and one that has screens that you can open to let air and light in.  

Sleeping Bags

Among the most important camping gear is a sleeping bag. Whatever season you’re camping in, a sleeping bag will keep you comfortable.

You can zip yourself in to stay warm on a cool night or sleep on top to keep cool during the summer. If you’re someplace that has a lot of bugs, zipping yourself in can also prevent bugs from biting you in your sleep. 

Air Mattress

While an air mattress may not be considered essential, this camping checklist will include it. Air mattresses are relatively cheap and make the difference from a rough night’s sleep to a more comfortable one. 

Consider also getting a portable battery-operated air pump so you can keep it full throughout your trip. 


When you’re camping, once it gets dark, it gets really dark. So, you’ll want to prepare by having multiple flashlights, headlights, and lanterns that you can place around the site. 

Investing in citronella candles is also a smart idea, as they can provide light while repelling mosquitoes. 


While some campsites have electricity, most of them don’t. Therefore, a solar powered generator is one of the most essential camping tools, as it provides you power that is sustainable.

If you are ever in an emergency, you can rely on your generator to get you the energy you need. It is also very convenient for charging your various devices and allowing you some of the comforts of civilized life. 

Screen House

A screen house is a cheap tent-like structure you can purchase to put around your camping or picnic table. It generally has two zippers on each side, and it provides a net to keep any bugs away.

This is perfect for creating a bug-free area, which is essential when eating meals. 

Time to Gather Your Camping Tools 

This camping tools checklist is only the beginning, but knowing a little bit about what you should bring can get you started on your journey.

Before camping, make sure to check out a complete guide, which will include additional tools such as batteries, bug spray, and firewood.

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