The Best Camping Gear to Help You Tackle the Great Outdoors This Year

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The North Face, REI, YETI

Goin camping? No seriously, are you going camping? The summer season always brings about tons of outdoor escapades including fishing, hiking, and, of course, camping. Since a good percentage of camping trips are at least an overnight one (sometimes multiple days in a row), you are going to need more than just clothes and shoes to take with you on your trip. Depending on what you already have (and what you don't), a full roster of the best camping gear may require you to buy a tent, some sort of backpack, water bottles, sleeping bags, headlamps, and more. Hitting the trails (especially in this summer heat) is no joke, and you'll need to make sure you are properly prepared before heading on your trip. That includes taking a hard look at the supplies you already have to see if they are still able to adequately do the job.

No need to worry though! This isn't the 1950s anymore. Camping gear has gotten incredibly functional, technical, and dare we say... stylish over the past couple of decades. We've put together a roundup of the best camping gear to take with you this summer, and not to toot our own hornbut we think we did a pretty good job. You can check out our selections below.

RELATED: The 31 Best Hats for Men: Caps, Beanies, Buckets, and More

How We Chose the Best Camping Gear

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Dick's Sporting Goods

Our process of selecting products for this article included a combination of reading tons (and we do mean tons) of reviews from buyers along with our own editors' camping expertise. Several members of the ONE37pm team (including the editor) camp a lot, so we brought forth our most handy products as suggestions as well. There's nothing worse than a tent collapsing or the batteries on your headlamp dying while your camping, so it was important to only include products that were not only well-researched, but also personally vetted and tested.

The Best Camping Gear, at a Glance:

The Best Camping Tents:

A good camping tent is sturdy with a large amount of space, leak-proof and water-proof just in case it starts to rain during your trip, and has strong zippers, good ventilation, and an easy set up.

The North Face Wawona 6 Tent

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The North Face

The Best Camping Tent, Period

  • What We Like: Easy set up, tons of pockets, and lots of storage space
  • What We Don't: Can lose its waterproof bed fast
  • Key Features: Fly: 75D polyester, 1200 mm PU coating, Capacity: 6, Canopy: 75D polyester, 1200 mm PU coating, Total Weight: 20 lbs 15 oz (9.5 kg), Mesh: 40D polyester mesh, Trail Weight: 19 lbs 4 oz (8.7 kg), Floor: 150D polyester, 1500 mm PU coating, Floor Area: 86.11 ft² (8 m²), Vestibule Area: front - 44.7 ft² (4.2 m²) / rear - 21 ft² (2 m²), Stuffsack Size: 10'' x 27'' (25.4 cm x 68.6 cm)

This six-person Wawona 6 Tent from The North Face features single-to-double wall construction and re-engineered poles that help keep the tent strong while making the set up process easier. The Wawona 6 also has an array of other features built to make life comfortable and easy while camping such as massive interior height that allows you to sit/stand without bumping the top of your head, a large vestibule that can either be used to store gear for additional storage space, internal organization pockets for your smaller belongings, and plenty more. A great starter tent for those who are beginners in the camping space.


2. Sea to Summit Telos TR2 Tent

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  • What We Like: Lightweight and flexible, waterproof, lots of headroom
  • What We Don't: Small vestibule area
  • Key Features: Sleeping Capacity: 2-person, Floor Dimensions: 84.5 x 53/43 inches, Vestibule Area: 19.5 square feet, Peak Height: 43.5 inches, Number of Doors: 2, Number of Poles: 1

If it's just you and one other person camping (or your group is dividing tents), then REI's Sea to Summit is a very good option as it's roomy enough for too, with plenty of headroom so that you aren't uncomfortable. REI really went out of their way on the technical features for their Sea to Summit models which includes an inverted brow pole for extra ventilation and higher doors, adjustable vents that allow you to monitor the air flow, and a versatile rainfly amongst others. The reviews say this tent is super waterproof as well, which is always important because who wants to get drenched in the rain?


3. Coleman Skydome 6P

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  • What We Like: Easy set up, spacious headroom, wide door, lots of pockets
  • What We Don't: No fan built in
  • Key Features: Center Height: 6 ft, Number of Doors: 1, Tent Floor Area: 10 ft x 8 ft 6 in x 6 ft, Tent Capacity: 6 person

While a good camping tent requires an investment, you don't always have to shell out hundreds (or thousands) of dollars as evidenced by this Skydome 6-Person Tent from Coleman which is under $200. In addition to fitting six people, there's also enough room for two queen-size airbags and a lot more headroom (20% more to be exact) than other tents from the brand. Additionally, the Skydome blocks wind and rain with its WeatherTec™ system, and has a quick setup that isn't too hard to get going in motion.


The Best Rooftop Tents:

Now a rooftop tent is something that you will have to make an investment in, but it's completely worth it and can actually end up saving you money as they are tents built to last for years, and can go with you everywhere. A good rooftop tent has a hardshell design as opposed to a soft shell, which offers better durability and protection.

4. Roofnest Falcon 2

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The Best Rooftop Tent

  • What We Like: The memory foam mattress, the LED lights, the detachable pockets
  • What We Don't: Only fits two people
  • Key Features: Sleeps: 2, Interior: 86″L x 48″W, Exterior: 88″L x 50″W, Height: 6.5″ when closed, Max Headroom: 60″ when open, Width Left-Right Between Roofnest Mounting Rails: 31.5″, Minimum Distance Front-Back Between Rack Crossbars: 30"

The Roofnest Falcon 2 is a great choice for a rooftop tent as it's one of the best built you'll find on the market. The comfort is there as it comes with two memory foam mattresses, then there's other stand out details that makes this worth the purchase such as the LED lights, the insulated honeycomb aluminum shell, the large pockets, and storage space. The reviews say that this tent holds up well in extreme weather and wind, and that it does a good job of blending into your vehicle, which is a neat little feature.


5. Smittybilt GEN2 Overlander Tent XL

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  • What We Like: Very spacious, the mosquito screens, the heavy duty water-resistant features
  • What We Don't: Pretty loud when driving
  • Key Features: Open Size:  122"" W x 76"" L x 51"" H, Sleeps: 3-4, Bed Size: King, 92.5"" x 74.8"", Max Load Rating: 770lbs/350kg

Another highly-rated "prestigious" roof top tent is the Smittybilt GEN2 Overlander Tent XL, which is heavy duty, and slightly more spacious than other rooftop tents on the market. The waterproof capabilities are there with the 420d oxford rainfly, the comfort is also there as far as space, then there's the very easy set up for your convenience. Now, this is a rooftop tent meant for serious adventurers (which if you're investing in a rooftop in the first place we assume you are), so there's just the right amount of everything as far as storage space, durability, and comfort with this one.


6. Thule Tepui Explorer Tent

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Bass Pro Shops
  • What We Like: Easy set up and take down, weather resistant, lightweight, has four large pockets
  • What We Don't: Not as much space as others
  • Key Features: Dimensions: 84"L x 48"W x 39"H, Weight: 105, Pockets: 4, Bed Size: High density foam mattress

Bass Pro Shops has you covered with as well with the Thule Tepui Explorer Tent, which gives you everything you need to set atop your vehicle. The tent is built for year-round weather, allows for solid airflow with its mesh panel, has a comfy and durable foam mattress, along with water-resistant coating made with thick 260- gram fabric that helps to keep the tough wind and storms out of your way. All the reviews say that the Thule Tepui is a great purchase with no pressing issues that'll have you returning or regretting your purchase, so we say go for it!


The Best Sleeping Bags:

If sleeping bags are your preferred way to sleep when camping, you're going to need a good one. What makes for a good sleeping bag you might ask? In our opinion, a good sleeping bag is one that keeps you insulated, dries fast, and is comfortable.

7. Sea to Summit Ascent

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The Best Sleeping Bag

  • What We Like: The versatility, the space, the warmth, the security pocket
  • What We Don't: Too narrow according to some user reviews
  • Key Features: Tested Comfort: 15 degrees (F) - EN, Temperature Rating (C): -10 degrees (C), Zipper Location: Left, Fill: 750-fill-power UltraDry Down, Fits Up To (in.): Regular: 72 inches, Long: 76 inches

Versatile, lightweight, warm, and toasty. That's about all you can ask for when it comes to a sleeping bag, and the Sea to Summit gives you all that and a bag of chips as it has plenty of space and the ability to adjust certain features to your individual comfort level. Anything called "the mummy bag" is bound to get you a good nights rest, and the reviews certainly indicate that the Sea to Summit does indeed get you a good nights sleep.


8. Nemo Disco 15

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  • What We Like: Comfortable, spacious, lightweight
  • What We Don't: Doesn't work for super cold temperatures
  • Key Features: Tested Lower Limit: 14 degrees, Tested Comfort: 25 degrees, Weight: Regular - Left Zip: 2 lbs. 11 oz., Long - Left Zip: 2 lbs. 13 oz, Shell: 30-denier ripstop nylon, Zipper Location: Left, Stuff Sack Size: 9 x 12 inches, Stuff Sack Volume: 12.5 liters

NEMO is renowned for their camping equipment, and obviously that includes their sleeping bags. The Disco 15 is built with the classic spoon shape, and is cut at the elbows and knees for those of you who are side sleepers and like to shift positions through the night. The sleeping bag also comes with Thermo Gills™ which helps your body regulate temperature and has an integrated pillow pocket for extra elevated support.

SHOP NOW AT REI, $223.89

9. Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Sleeping Bag

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  • What We Like: The sculpted footbox, the internal chest pocket, the warm hood
  • What We Don't: Doesn't work for super cold temperatures
  • Key Features: Recycled, solution-dyed fabrics, advanced global traceable down, sculpted footbox, warm hood, chest pocket, 30 degree limit

It's no secret that Patagonia is one of the leaders in outdoor apparel and equipment, so it also makes perfect sense that they would have one of the best sleeping bags for camping on the market. The Fitz Roy Down Sleeping Bag is spacious, has cool technical features such as a 3D engineered hood and a sculpted footbox, and is comfortable beyond belief.


The Best Sleeping Pads:

When searching for a sleeping pad, the two most important factors to keep in mind are insulation and cushioning as you don't want to freeze (literally), and you don't want to feel like you are sleeping on the ground. Here are some of our favorite sleeping pads.

10. Klymit Static V2

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The Best Sleeping Pad

  • What We Like: Super warm, easy to inflate and deflate, comfortable
  • What We Don't: Not suitable for side sleepers
  • Key Features: Size: One size, Special Feature: Inflatable, Dimensions: 72"L x 23"W x 2"Th, Capacity: 1 Pound

The Klymit Static V2 comes with a durable outdoor camping mat that's designed to stand up anywhere you place it, a compact camping bed that is lightweight and easily to compress, and a comfortable design supported by body-mapping technology. You know a product is good when it has won multiple awards, as is the case with Klymit Static V2. A great buy that's also under the $100 price range.


11. NEMO Tensor Ultralight Insulated Sleeping Pad

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  • What We Like: Easy to inflate, quiet, warm, doesn't take up a lot of room
  • What We Don't: Too narrow for active sleepers
  • Key Features: Packed Size: Regular: 3 x 8 inches, Regular Wide: 3 x 9.5 inches, Long Wide: 3.5 x 9.5 inches, Sleeping Capacity: One person, Pad Thickness (in.): 3 inches, Dimensions: Regular: 72 x 20 x 3 inches, Regular Wide: 72 x 25 x 3 inches, Long Wide: 76 x 24 x 3 inches, Weight: Regular: 15 oz, Regular Wide: 1 lb. 3 oz, Long Wide: 1 lb. 5 oz

Or you could roll with the NEMO Tensor Ultralight Insulated Sleeping Pad which does well in the insulation department, and is lightweight and easy to carry. If you are an active sleeper, then this pad might not be the best choice for you as some have complained about not having enough space, otherwise, this is a really good pad that will keep you warm and cozy through the evening.

SHOP NOW AT REI, $119.89

12. Therm-A-Rest BaseCamp Sleeping Pad

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  • What We Like: Easy to inflate, quiet, warm, doesn't take up a lot of room
  • What We Don't: Too narrow for active sleepers
  • Key Features: Material: Open-cell foam, Style: Self-inflating, Shape: Rectangular, Thickness: 2 in, R-Value: 5.8

Another good yet affordable sleeping pad is the Therm-A-Rest BaseCamp Sleeping Pad, as it combines lighter fabrics with an expanded foam core to assist in getting you a good night's rest. The pad has in R-value of 5.8 which means the basecamp is suitable for four-season use, and there's also a stuff sack for extra storage space. That sounds like a good deal doesn't it?


Must-Have Camping Furniture:

These are just some additional furniture suggestions we feel would be good to take with you on your camping trips.

13. REI Co-op Kingdom Cot

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Must-Have Camping Furniture

  • What We Like: The thermarest, foam padding, and easy setup
  • What We Don't: A bit too big if you're packing/carrying other items
  • Key Features: Unfolded Dimensions: 82 x 31.5 x 14 inches, Folded Dimensions: 33 x 32 x 8.5 inches, Weight Capacity: 300 lbs, Cot Material: Polyester, Frame Construction: Aluminum/steel, Sleeping Capacity: One person, Weight: 20 lbs

If sleeping bags or tents aren't your thing or you're looking for something you can relax on during your breaks, consider trying out the REI Co-op Kingdom Cot 3 which has loads of plush support and stretching room. You'll have to become an REI member (if you aren't already) to purchase, but since REI is one of the premier places to get camping gear, it might be a good idea to go ahead and get a membership so you can save money and get access to exclusive deals.

SHOP NOW AT REI, $139.29

14. Nemo Equipment Fillo Pillow

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  • What We Like: The support and comfort
  • What We Don't: Has a strong chemical smell according to some
  • Key Features: Pillow Type: Traditional pillow, Pillow Fill: Synthetic, Fill: Luxury Foam, Material: Polyester microsuede, Dimensions: 17 x 11 x 4 inches, Weight: 9 oz

Most tents and sleeping bags don't come with a pillow, so you'll need to make sure you have one otherwise you'll turn a comfortable set up...uncomfortable. The NEMO Fillo Pillow is an easily inflatable pillow that can be packed along with the rest of your belongings, and includes thick luxury foam for extra comfort, that can also be used for lumbar support during the traveling portion of your road trips.


15. NEMO Moonlite Reclining Camp Chair

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  • What We Like: The design, durability, and comfort
  • What We Don't: Seat of the chair is too short according to some user reviews
  • Key Features: Camp Chair Style: Scoop, Unfolded Dimensions: 26 x 20 x 20 inches, Folded Dimensions: 4 x 14 inches, Seat Height: 10.5 in, Weight Capacity: 300 lbs, Seat Material: Polyester, Frame Construction: Aluminum, Weight: 1 lb. 14 oz., Sustainability: Contains recycled materials

Plan on stargazing? How about doing so in NEMO's Moonlite Reclining Chair? It's easy to set up, easy to pack, and has a multiposition reclining system that allows you to lean forward and backward to your liking. Perfect for those upcoming camping trips you have planned in the mountains.

SHOP NOW AT REI, $159.95

Best Camp Lighting:

It is our recommendation that you bring an actual camp light with you as opposed to just using the flashlight on your phones. We're not saying you can't use your phone flashlights, we're just saying it's not going to get the job done the a way a camp light will. Here's a couple of suggestions.

16. BioLite AlpenGlow 500 Lantern

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  • What We Like: Small, versatile, and relaxing
  • What We Don't: Uses up the battery fast
  • Key Features: Lantern Type: Electric, Bulb Type: LED, Bulb Detail: White, red, blue, green LED, Max Light Output: 500 lumens, Average Run Time: High: 5 hours; low: 200 hours, Batteries: 6,400 mAh lithium ion, Dimensions: 3.8 x 5.4 inches, Weight: 13.8 ounces

The BioLite AlpenGlow 500 Lantern gives you everything you need in one go. It's small, which means it's easily packable, and the lighting is high quality. While the lantern does seem to use up battery fast, it's worth it because it has the ability to light your entire camp area.


17. Black Diamond Equipment Moji R+ Lantern

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  • What We Like: Small design, versatile, durable
  • What We Don't: Uses up the battery fast
  • Key Features: Material: Plastic, Item Dimensions: ‎2.64 x 2.64 x 2.44 inches, Included Components: ‎Batteries Included, Sport Type: Camping and Hiking

You can also try out this Black Diamond Equipment Moji R+ Lantern through Amazon which also offers great lighting for your evening trail walks and dinners. The pricing is on the affordable side too, making this another good lantern choice to potentially add to your shopping list.


18. Black Diamond Astro 300 Headlamp

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  • What We Like: Durable, technical, has stormproof protection
  • What We Don't: Hard to open according to some user reviews
  • Key Features: Bulb Type: LED, Beam Type: Flood, Light Output: High: 300; medium: 150; low: 6 lumens, Beam Distance: High: 55; medium: 35; low 8 meters, Average Run Time: High: 4; medium: 8; low: 140 hours, Dimensions: 4 x 3 x 2 inches, Water-Resistance Rating: IPX4

And if you don't want to carry a lamp at all, we present to you the Black Diamond Astro 300 Headlamp. There's multiple lighting options available for you to choose from (even a wide beam), IPX4 stormproof protection that's rated to withstand rain and sleet from any angle, a digital lockout feature that prevents accidental use and more. The settings include full strength, dimming and strobe.


Our Favorite Camping Kitchen Gear:

You need to eat on your trips right? Camping kitchen gear is a necessity for your maintaining strength and energy. Here are a few selections to get your started.

19. VEVOR Aluminum Portable Camping Kitchen

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Our Favorite Camping Kitchen Gear

  • What We Like: Storage space, lightweight, has multiple compartments
  • What We Don't: Difficult to put together, not super well suited for backpacking
  • Key Features: Dimensions: 49"D x 34"W x 21"H, Color: Black, Material: Aluminum + MDF +Oxford, Item Weight: 26.5 lbs / 12 kg, Package Content: 1 x Camping Kitchen Table, 1 x Storage Handbag

Depending on how long you're camping for, it might be worth it to just invest in a portable camping kitchen, as it's the best way to make sure you can have a variety of meals. The VEVOR Aluminum Portable Camping Kitchen has a roll-up aluminum tabletop and a windshield, the ability to hold your smaller grills, a variety of condiments, cooking tools, and a detachable storage organizer amongst other supplies and utensils. Considering the kitchen is under $100, this is an excellent bargain in our opinion.


20. Coleman RoadTrip Swaptop Steel Stove Grate

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  • What We Like: Has three separate burner elements, easy to clean, has a large surface area
  • What We Don't: Difficult to store
  • Key Features: Dimensions: 15.25"L x 15"W x 2.33"H, Weight: 2lbs, Style: Stove Grate Size: One size

This camp stove from Coleman supports a 12-inch pan that can allow you to cook smaller items such as eggs, bacon, sandwiches, etc. This is a cool option to carry if you don't plan on being gone for a long time.


21. LifeStraw Survival Water Filter

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  • What We Like: Gives fresh water, great for emergencies, removes bacteria
  • What We Don't: Can have a short shelf-life according to some user reviews
  • Key Features: Filter Size: 12.59 in, Hose Length: 39.36 in, Weight: 1.17 lbs, Product Length: 60.24 in, Max Flow Rate: 3.1 gal/hr

If the instance you don't want to carry water bottles, you can instead bring a portable water filter to ensure your water is safe. The LifeStraw Survival Water Filter removes viruses, bacteria, parasites, microplastics, dirt, sand, and cloudiness, and is durable, independently lab tested, and BPA free.


The Best Coolers for Camping:

Who wants to drink warm/hot drinks in the heat? Nobody! Here are some cooler suggestions to ensure your drinks and perishable foods remain cold.

22. YETI Tundra 65

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ACE Hardware

The Best Cooler

  • What We Like: The sturdiness, convenience, and durability
  • What We Don't: Can scratch easily
  • Key Features: Depth: 17.3 inch, Height: 16 inch, Material: Polyethylene, Width: 30.8 inch, Can Capacity: 77 cans, Can Capacity Range: Over 45 cans, Total Capacity: 48 quart

We can assure the hype behind YETI is real. With the Tundra 65, your cold drink and food items will literally stay ice cold with its rotomolded construction and coldlock gasket.


23. Igloo Trailmate Journey 70 Qt Cooler

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  • What We Like: The insulation, wheels, and sturdiness
  • What We Don't: Takes up a large amount of space
  • Key Features: Capacity: 70 quarts, Weight: 34.7 lbs, Exterior Dimensions: 34.59" x 19.7" x 23.61", Interior Dimensions: 23" x 14" x 11.5"

Carrying a cooler around can be a bit tough, that's where a rolling cooler comes in handy. Igloo has a handy one with 10-inch wheels, THERMECOOL™ foam which helps to retain ice, Cool Riser Technology® which improves cooling performance by elevating cooler body away from hot surfaces, tie-down hooks and more. The technical features on this cooler are elite.


24. YETI Tundra 45

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  • What We Like: The color, versatility, and durability
  • What We Don't: Takes up a large amount of space
  • Key Features: Fits 54 cans or 7 lbs of ice

No not all YETI coolers are the same. The Tundra 45 is meant specifically for overnight cooling as it holds overnight camp provisions for four people or for drinks for a day on the water. The 45 is built to last, and will keep your drinks extremely cold even in the hottest of conditions.


Other Great-to-Have Accessories:

Here are a couple of great-to-have accessories as additional options.

25. Solar Generator Portable Power Station

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  • What We Like: Lights are bright, good for emergencies
  • What We Don't: Uses battery very fast
  • Key Features: Wattage: 10 watts, Voltage: 3 Volts, Dimensions: ‎5.91"L x 4.06"W x 8.86"H, Engine Type: 4 stroke, Frequency: 60 Hz

No need to light candles with the Solar Generator Portable Power Station (unless you want to of course). This portable power station has three LED flashlights and three LED lamps, so when we say it gets gets bright. There's also a USB charger built in for device chargers because we know that's super important as well. All of this for under $60. Thank us later.


26. Peak Refuel Chicken Alfredo Pasta

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  • What We Like: Easy to make and tasty
  • What We Don't: Small portions
  • Key Features: Real meat, premium freeze-dried ingredients, lightweight, easy prep‎

You're camping not entering chef competition. Sometimes you just need to keep it simple, and the Peak Refuel Chicken Alfredo is there to do just that as it can be made in ten minutes. If Chicken Alfredo isn't your thing, then check out some of the other Peak Refuel packs as they have Chicken Pesto, Beef Stroganoff, and plenty more selections.


27. Vans Slip-On Trk Shoe

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  • What We Like: Affordable, nice design, durable
  • What We Don't: Wears out fast according to some users
  • Key Features: Slip-on, breathable, durable, and rinseable

And some comfortable shoes for the journey.


What to consider when shopping for camping gear:

When making purchasing decisions, you'll want to consider a few major factors.

Camping style: If you're backpacking, weight is a huge factor, so you should opt for some of the lighter sleeping bags, tents and accessories on this list. If you're car camping, you have a lot more flexibility.

Remoteness: Depending on how remote you'll go, that will impact how much you need to pack, what emergency supplies you need and the right capacities for any coolers or other storage.

Weather: This is a big one. It's important to get an accurate forecast of the weather before you embark so you can have the best tent, sleeping pad, tarps and any other gear you need to stay warm and dry.

Endurance: You have to be realistic about how far you'll be traveling and how much you can carry. Odds are you can't take some of the larger pieces of gear with you on a long backpacking haul, so make sure you take your packing seriously.

FAQs About Camping Gear:

What should I not bring camping?

Try not to bring glass or single-use plastics; glass can break easily and leaving single use plastics out in nature is a big no-no. Don't bring excessive electronics—use camping as an opportunity to unplug.

You should be wary of bringing scents or perfumes that could attract wildlife. It's also important to make sure you know how to properly store your food depending on the wildlife where you're setting up. Here's a helpful guide from the National Park Service on how to store food if you're in bear country.

What are the most important things to bring camping?

The most important things to bring camping are shelter (tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad), food and water. You should also bring lighting, and consider chairs and other accessories to help create a more comfortable experience.

Where to find cheap camping gear?

REI and lots of outdoor retailers host sales of used gear, and marketplaces like GearTrade can also be a great way to get your hands on some gear for a more approachable price.

How to stay warm when camping?

Staying warm while camping is primarily about making sure you bring a tent and sleeping bag properly rated for the environment you're heading into. Read an accurate weather report, and double check that all of your gear is rated appropriately.

RELATED: The 17 Best Cowboy Boots for Men For Your Next Western Adventure

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