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If you’re new to camping and think the never-ending list of gear you need is overwhelming—and expensive!—fret not. There’s a ton of quality stuff you can score from Amazon that’ll last years and properly prepare you for a weekend in the wilderness.
Sure, REI, Backcountry, and all the others have great gear from all the top brands, but a lot of it is pricey. If you’re just starting out, my advice is to get the essentials first and accumulate more items over time. Always keep an eye out for end-of-season sales (sign up for my newsletter, and I’ll keep you posted as they happen, but Memorial Day weekend and Black Friday are the biggest sales of the year). You can also look into renting gear from a nearby outdoor store, if possible. That’s a more affordable option if you don’t think you’ll use it often or want to save some money in the short term.
For now, let’s look at the best deals on outdoor gear from our beloved Amazon. These items are the best price with the best reviews, so look no further. Check out the full list on Amazon here. I also have lists of camping toiletries and the ultimate camp set-up with some fun extras.
Depending on the size, this tent starts at $69. Coleman is a longtime leader in outdoor gear and this will last you at a fraction of the cost.
For just $23.99, this three-season sleeping bag has 4.5 stars and over 3,000 reviews.
Inflates in seconds, waterproof, and insulated, this sleeping pad is 2″ thick and will keep you comfortably off the ground.
Camp gear extras – just in case
So that covers all the bare necessities, but there are still a lot more items that you’ll need to prepare meals, a fire, sleep well, etc. Some of these can be grabbed from your kitchen, bathroom, and garage.
Check out this complete camping checklist, which breaks down even more things in the toiletry department, plus camp gear, kitchen essentials, etc. Download and print the PDF to make sure you’re ready for your next big camping adventure!
If you’re going to be camping often, I suggest having these items in your go-to “camp kit” so everything’s ready and stocked for whenever you want to hit the road.
General camp items
- First aid kit
- Tarp (ya never know)
- Daypack (small backpack to take on hikes, etc.)
- Hammock (it’s an essential for me, just sayin)
- Mallet to hammer in the tent stakes for $5
Kitchen camp items
- Dish towel
- Small cutting board
- Trash bags (1/day or get a reusable one)
- Small and large ziplock bags
- A sponge (in a ziplock)
- Biodegradable dish soap
- Clorox wipes
- Nonstick tin foil
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Paper towels
- Wine/bottle opener
- Can opener (!)
- Marshmallow roasting sticks
- Tablecloth + clips
- Salt, pepper and seasoned salt
- Matches/lighter and fuel
- Fuel for the cooking stoves
- Dry shampoo
- Chapstick with SPF
- Bug spray
- Face, hand, and booty wipes (and good, ol’ fashioned TP JIC)
- Hand sanitizer (I LOVE this lavender scent)
- Ear plugs
- Personal toiletries like toothbrush/paste, deodorant, contact solution, etc.
Pro tip: ladies, do yourself a favor and paint your nails before you go camping. Not only does it strengthen your nails and hopefully keep them from breaking as easily, but it also—brilliantly—hides the dirt. You’ll be a much happier camper if you aren’t worried about dirt under your nails, trust me! Ignorance is bliss.
- Socks (1 pair per day – I like to bring 1-2 extras in case they get wet or who knows what, clean socks is important to me)
- Undies (see above – this brand makes GREAT hiking underwear)
- Hat and sunglasses
- Bandana (these always come in handy) and/or a BUFF
- Rain gear (I can’t stress this enough – you do not went to get stuck in the rain and have all your regular clothes get wet)