From cozy sleeping pads to a handy camping table, this curated collection of top 10 accessories is sure to make your next adventure much more comfortable. And it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg!
A portable hammock makes it possible to relax in the great outdoors without having to leave your campsite. This lightweight travel hammock is comfy enough for two and packs easily into a shared duffel.
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm Sleeping Pad
This 4-season sleeping pad is the go-to choice for mountaineers and cold-weather adventurers. Featuring cutting-edge Triangular Core Matrix construction and ThermaCapture technology, the XTherm offers an amazing warmth-to-weight ratio in a tiny package.
This mummy-shaped pad is available in Regular size (25 inches wide x 77 inches long) and a Large option that fits most people up to 6 feet tall. It rolls up into a small package and comes with a stuff pouch that doubles as an inflation bag.
A new one-way WingLock valve is easier to use than the old style and helps prevent crinkly noises that can be annoying to campers. This sleeping pad is also quieter when inflated than the previous version of this model. This makes it a great option for backpackers who are often on the move and need to sleep in lean-tos or other remote camping sites.
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Sleeping Pad
This time-tested closed foam sleeping pad is a solid choice for backpackers in search of a lightweight and dependable camping option. It’s easy to carry (although it’s large compared to an inflatable), comes with a surprisingly high R-value for a foam mattress, and is inexpensive compared to other ultralight options.
Unlike most air pads, the Z Lite Sol has a reflective ThermaCapture surface that boosts warmth by 15% when used with the dimpled side up. Backpackers can also layer it under other mattresses or use it as a sitting pad, wind break for a campfire, or mosquito swatter.
Its biggest flaw is its size — it’s difficult to stuff into a pack and most backpackers end up lashing the pad somewhere outside their bag. However, it does provide one less chore to complete when setting up camp and is virtually impossible to puncture or tear. Consider checking for potential discounts using a Sport & Outdoor Promo for savings on camping equipment.
A decent headlamp can come in handy when you’re hiking, camping, or doing any other after-dark activity. For example, it can help you find your way back to the campsite if you get lost in the dark or it can illuminate trail signs or climb routes when you’re out on a night hike.
Thankfully, modern headlamps are super light and offer lots of settings for different situations. For example, this ACTIK CORE headlamp from Petzl offers a red light that uses less energy and doesn’t cause your pupils to dilate as much, so it’s perfect for camp chores or when you need to take a stealthy midnight pee without waking your tentmates. Plus, it’s compatible with the brand’s CORE rechargeable battery or three AAA batteries for a more versatile option.
Whether you’re sleeping under the stars in a tent, campervan, hammock, rented RV, or just your favorite spot in the forest, you need premium-quality camping gear to sleep comfortably and enjoy your time outdoors. From a comfortable sleeping pad to a lightweight camp stove, these camping essentials will make your next trip to the wilderness more relaxing and enjoyable.
Many core camping items see little innovation beyond getting lighter and smaller, but Nemo Equipment has made a name for itself by adding unique features to simple camping tools like tent stakes. The company’s Sweepstakes eliminates the problem of dirt sticking to a stake by incorporating an integrated biscuit that sweeps the stake clean—and glows in the dark for optimum convenience. This tent accessory is essential for campsites with loose or sandy soil. The durable polymer biscuit also has a 7000-series aluminum Y-shaped cross-section for strength and durability.
Light-Up Tent Line
A bright, well-lit campsite makes for a more comfortable camping experience. Whether you’re car camping with friends, backpacking solo, or just enjoying the tent or hammock in your backyard on the weekend, proper lighting can make all the difference.
Our experts have scoured the market for the best options to light up your campsite. They’ve tested them to see how easy they are to hang, how bright they are, and how long the batteries last.
Lights that are easily hung can be set up in minutes and help to mark out the boundaries of your campsite so you don’t accidentally step outside your tent. We also like lights that are stored in a soft bag or with ties, as they’re less likely to get tangled while you’re setting up camp. The BioLite SiteLights is a great option for this and even has small hooks on each end to clip them to tent poles or hammock suspensions.
Nemo’s Glow-in-the-Dark Tent Stake
The best tent stakes are easy to use, light, and secure. Most core camping items don’t see a lot of innovation beyond making them lighter, but Nemo Equipment is one brand that has shown a knack for adding smart features to make camp more comfortable.
The latest version of their Sweepstake stakes is a great example: It eliminates the problem of dirt sticking to your tent peg with a durable, tethered polymer biscuit that swipes your stake clean in one quick motion. The stakes also glow in the dark to help you avoid tripping on your guylines and cords after dark.
During testing, the Sweepstake was as easy to drive into the ground as my favorite tubular stake and had better-holding power than my top pick in the Y-beam category. It’s a good choice for backpackers with a specialized setup.
The Scrubba Bag is a modern take on the old-fashioned washboard, allowing travelers and campers to save water and pack lighter. It’s also twice as effective as hand washing*, a whole lot more hygienic than a dirty hotel sink, and takes up very little space in your RV’s fresh water holding tank. It also doubles as a dry bag, protecting electronics and documents from moisture. Weighing less than 6 oz, it’s the lightest “wash machine” in the world. Available in a variety of colors, including Coyote brown, it’s perfect for military personnel, outdoor adventurers, zombie preppers, and superheroes. The Scrubba Tactical also features a larger twist-style valve for easy opening and deflation.
Marmot Camp Hauler Bag
The Camp Hauler Bag is a rugged duffel that’s built to haul gear from your car to the backcountry. It can handle a day-long camping trip’s worth of gear including footwear, a change of clothes, and your hammock. It has padded straps and haul handles for comfortable carry and external zippered stash pockets so you don’t have to fumble around putting your stuff away.
This Marmot duffel is plenty rugged for expeditions but also suitable for general travel and everyday use. It’s a bit lighter than other models in the fleet and balances durability with lots of storage and carrying options without breaking the bank.
Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Cookware Set
A good night’s sleep is essential for a good camping experience, and while some backpackers can get by without a sleeping pad, it’s an accessory that’s difficult to be without.
Backpacking pads come in three general categories: air, foam, and closed-cell. Air models pack down the smallest and lightest while delivering impressive warmth through bonded insulation or innovative baffling techniques like those employed by the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm NXT. The main downside of air pads is their higher puncture risk, which can derail a trip pretty quickly (bringing a repair kit is essential).
Closed-cell foam models like Nemo’s Tensor Insulated offer more durability than air designs, while still providing a cozy sleep. We particularly love its egg-crate design and intuitive Vortex pump sack. It’s the perfect companion for winter hikers, who can rely on a solid, hard-wearing pad that will never pop.
The 2 2 2 Rule
If you’re new to RVing, it’s important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. Driving long distances in an RV isn’t like driving a car, and it can be easy to get tired after 6 or 8 hours of travel. This is why the 2-2-2 rule is popular among RVers, as it provides a structure that helps them stay safe and alert.
This rule involves limiting your drive to 2 hours at a time, taking a 2-hour break from driving, and arriving at camp by 2 pm at the latest. This allows you to enjoy your destination before dark, and it also gives you enough time to set up camp and explore the area on your first day there. Plus, it will prevent you from arriving at the campground too late in the day and having to navigate the site in the dark if you’re on a first-come, first-serve basis.
This isn’t the only way to travel in an RV, and many people will vary their routine depending on their lifestyle, but it’s a good idea to try out this rule at least once on a trip to see if it suits you. If it does, you’ll find yourself traveling more safely and feeling less worn out after your travels. You may even find that you’re able to enjoy more of the sights along the way! Check for potential discounts using White Duck Outdoors Discount for savings on camping accessories.
Don’t Leave Food Out
Leaving food out can be dangerous for both humans and wildlife. It can attract unwelcome insects and animals into picnic areas and campgrounds, which can be harmful to people’s health and the environment. This is why it is important to keep food properly stored at all times when camping.
Besides the physical activities of hiking and swimming, camping also involves preparing meals and setting up camp, which is great for cardiovascular health. It also helps to keep your weight under control and improves your mental well-being. The fresh air from outdoors boosts your oxygen levels and increases the flow of serotonin in your body, which can help reduce stress.
As a form of recreation, camping is usually done with friends or family members. It is an ideal way to bond with loved ones and spend quality time away from the distractions of modern life. It is also a great way to get back to nature and experience the wonders of nature.
Camping also forces you to eat healthier since you can’t just go out and buy whatever you want. This allows you to try new recipes and experiment with different types of foods. Healthy eating also promotes gut health and reduces stress. It helps to stabilize your energy levels and provides you with essential vitamin D.
Be Prepared for the Weather
It’s important to remember that the weather is always changing when camping. It’s essential to prepare for the different conditions that may occur, even if your initial plan was to camp during sunny weather. Whether it’s high winds, low temperatures, or rain, these inclement weather scenarios can alter your experience.
Check the weather forecast regularly, especially during the days leading up to your trip. You can also take note of the surrounding area’s history when it comes to storms and other natural occurrences. For example, if the area is known for tornadoes, then it’s best to find some solid ground that can withstand high winds and other dangerous elements.
In addition, make sure to choose a campsite that’s away from water sources in case they’re likely to be flooded by heavy rains. It’s also smart to avoid campsites in areas that are vulnerable to avalanches or on slopes that are prone to sliding. Lastly, don’t set up camp close to a lone tree or other structure that could be easily damaged by lightning.
The Most Popular Camping Item
For many people, camping is a chance to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy some peace in nature. It can also be a fun activity for the entire family, or just you and your significant other. Whether you are camping in an RV, tent, or even a hammock, there is a lot of cool gear that can help you get the most out of your trip. From fire-starting tools to pocket knives, there are a lot of great options that can make your next camping trip that much more enjoyable.
If you’re camping with kids, it’s a good idea to bring some activities that will keep them entertained. This will save you from having to constantly watch over them, which can lead to a lot of stress and discomfort. For example, a portable hammock is perfect for kids to lay in while you cook or do other camp-related activities. It’s made of durable materials, and it can be easily set up between two trees and includes carabiners and straps for easy attachment to your bag.
It’s a good idea to bring a flashlight for the night, as it will be much easier to navigate your campsite in the dark. You can also use it for reading and cooking, especially if you don’t have a lot of space in your tent or camper. A popular option is the Signal Multi-Tool, which has 19 different tools and weighs less than a pound.
Having the right camping accessories can make all the difference in your outdoor adventure. From a reliable tent to a comfortable sleeping bag, numerous items can enhance your camping experience. Other must-have accessories include a camping stove, portable chairs, a cooler, a headlamp, and a first aid kit. Investing in these top 10 camping accessories will ensure that you have a safe, fun, and comfortable time in the great outdoors.