Because it takes place in the great outdoors — where Mother Nature can be terribly unforgiving — there’s an added pressure of packing when going on a camping trip. What you bring or forget to bring really determines whether or not you ever want to sleep under the stars again.
With that in mind, Shop TODAY has rounded up some great camping gear that you’ll definitely want by your side when you rough it. From a cooler that floats (and keeps your favorite beverages cold for 24 hours) to a pre-assembled two-second tent and a kid-friendly collapsible lantern, here’s what to pack if you’re going camping this summer.
Camping gear must-haves
Bug Bite Thing suction tool
With an average 4-star rating from more than 46,000 reviews, this TODAY approved “Venom Vacuum” is a #1 Amazon Best Seller. It sucks out toxin and other irritants that cause reactions like itching, redness, and swelling, depending on the brand be able. It can even be used to remove splinters. It is designed to be painless and easy to use.
Sawyer Permethrin Pump Spray
Sometimes the best defense is a strong attack. So before you let yourself become a buffet for bloodthirsty mosquitoes, this popular clothing repellent can put things right. Spray directly onto your clothes (outdoors) before putting them on. It protects you from mosquitoes, mites, chiggers and disease-carrying ticks for up to six washes or six weeks, depending on the brand.
Evolvetogether mosquito repellent patches
If you’re prone to mosquito bites but aren’t a big fan of bug spray, these repellent patches are definitely worth trying. They contain essential oils that can repel mosquitoes up to three feet for six to eight hours and are safe for everyone to use, according to the brand.
Stanley Adventure Camp cook set
Camp cooking is easy with this stainless steel stove that comes with two insulated 10-ounce nesting cups. It has an impressive average rating of 4.8 stars from nearly 20,000 reviews and is currently #1 on Amazon’s best selling camping pots, pans and griddles list. Use it to make hot chocolate, soups, chili, dehydrated meals and more. Air vents on the top make it easy to sift through liquids that give off steam. It’s lightweight — weighing less than a pound — and dishwasher safe, according to the brand.
LifeStraw Go water filter bottle
Access to fresh and clean water is arguably the most important thing on any camping trip. The LifeStraw Filter Water Bottle is designed to protect against small plastic particles, chlorine, sand, dirt and more. In addition, according to the brand, it also improves the taste of the water.
If you can’t live without baking – even when camping – the Omnia oven comes in handy. You can use it to bake everything from cakes to potatoes to quiche. It’s designed to bake on any type of burner and, depending on the brand, can even be used over a grill. Thanks to its unique Swedish design, the oven bakes with heat coming from both the top and bottom of the oven.
RTIC soft cooler
This leak-free, sweat-free cooler with an iconic following is to camping what the mini-fridge is to hotel rooms. It’s guaranteed to keep food and drinks cold for up to 24 hours (some reviewers report it keeps ice frozen for 48 hours). It’s available in 11 colors and a range of sizes, from a $90 12-can cooler to a $150 40-can cooler. It even floats so you can take it with you on the river or in the lake.
LuminAID inflatable solar lantern
As seen in Shark Tank, the LuminAID Solar Inflatable Lantern is a lightweight, collapsible solar lantern that can emit light for up to 24 hours when fully charged. It’s also waterproof and shatterproof, so you don’t have to worry about keeping it around children. Multiple settings let you choose your brightness level based on activity or time of day. You also have the choice to charge the battery via solar or USB.
Sleepingo camping mat
Rough it without really roughing it by tumbling on this camping pad. Two inches of support doesn’t seem like much, but if you’re sleeping on the floor it makes a world of difference. This pad weighs less than a pound and packs down to take up about the space of a water bottle. You don’t have to worry about leaks either, as it’s made of a tear-resistant, waterproof nylon fabric.
Coleman camping chair
No camp experience is complete without sitting around the campfire. This chair is the perfect place to sit thanks to its comfortable padding, backrest and armrests – one of which has an insulated pocket that will keep up to four cans of your favorite beverages cold for hours. The other armrest has an integrated drink holder and a handy side pocket for storing your phone, snacks and reading material. The Coleman camping chair is available in four colors and has an average rating of 4.7 stars from more than 46,000 reviews.
Coleman Sundome camping tent
If you prefer a more traditional tent design and need more space, invest in this TODAY approved tent. In terms of weather, the bestseller comes with a waterproof flysheet and is designed for spring, summer and autumn camping. The frame is built to withstand wind speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. Inside there are storage pockets and a handy hook for hanging a lantern or flashlight. It is available in three colors and four sizes: 2 person, 3 person, 4 person and 6 person.
Rumpl Original puff blanket
This bestselling machine washable blanket is made for the outdoors. Thanks to its durable water-repellent coating, the fabric is water-repellent and stain-resistant, according to the brand. Simply put, spilled liquids cannot penetrate. Amazon users love that it has a clip so it can be worn like a cape to keep your hands free. It’s available in 90 different colors and styles, including National Park and NFL themes. Packed in a stuff sack, it easily fits into a tote bag.
Quechua Waterproof Pop Up Camping Tent
If you want to set up camp as quickly as possible so you can fully relax or explore, this is the perfect tent for you. It comes pre-assembled and sets up in seconds. In other words, there is no need to untangle and unfold a stack of poles. All you have to do is anchor it to the ground and add the waterproof flysheet. Wind resistant, the brand says it can withstand wind speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. But perhaps the coolest feature is the blackout fabric, which allows you to nap in total darkness during the day. It weighs just over nine pounds and comes with a three-year warranty.
Atomic Bear Paracord Bracelet
This bracelet contains five essentials so you can travel light without sacrificing your emergency supplies. It includes a compass, fire starter, emergency whistle, ferro-rod striker, and 12 feet of military-grade paracord, the brand says, and comes in a set of two. It also has an adjustable fit so you don’t have to worry about ordering the perfect size.
Yivandi Rechargeable Foldable Fan
Depending on which setting you use, this rechargeable fan can last anywhere from six to 24 hours. The adjustable height reaches just over a meter and can be fully folded when you’re done for easy storage. The front frame can also be detached for easy cleaning, the brand says, which is especially important if you’re taking it on a long camping trip.
Abco Tech Pop Up Privacy Tent
When camping, it can be helpful to have a dedicated area for showering or changing. Rated “very handy” by reviewers, this Abco Tech tent is extremely lightweight and requires no installation, and measures 75 inches tall.
Ivation portable outdoor shower
Transform a sink or bucket of water into your very own outdoor shower. Depending on the brand, this shower head sticks to any flat surface and can be used continuously for up to an hour. It’s also conveniently charged via your laptop, car adapter, or anywhere with a USB port.
Suokeni quick-dry slip-on water shoes
If you’re an avid hiker, these no-slip sneakers are a must-have. They have over 4,000 five star reviews and many people comment on how comfortable they are. The strong traction should also help in poor weather conditions.
Outdoor Voices Rectrek Zip-Off Pants
When camping, the day can go from hot to cold pretty quickly – especially when you’re cooling off from a hike. From the popular Outdoor Voices brand, these one-of-a-kind pants are not only functional and durable, they also zip off, allowing you to customize how much protection and warmth you need at the time. They’re also water-resistant and machine-washable, according to the brand.
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