When the summer months come around, campers start getting excited to carry on with their long-awaited hiking trips. 

Of course, every trip would be incomplete without a great selection of high-quality essential camping and hiking gear. Forget the cool gadgets for camping, these are the essentials, the must haves for camping and hiking.

Packing for a camping trip also depends on what kind of trip you have in mind. If you’re driving to another city or planning small day hikes from a populated town, you can carry a big stove. If you’re hiking more than 30 miles, you would prefer taking along a more portable stove that is both lightweight and easy to use.

The most suitable hiking and camping gear depends on weight and ease of packing. So make sure you do your homework when buying the right equipment for your perfect getaway trip. Whether you’re a beginner to hiking or a pro, we’ve got you covered.

Related post: Camping Survival Tips for Adults

Camping Gear: Must Have for Camping

Tents

Tents for overnight hiking or camping are available in a variety of sizes and prices. If you want to travel long distances and prefer carrying lightweight stuff, then you should look for a swag, bedroll or a portable, lightweight, waterproof bivy sack. Bedrolls and bivy sacks are robust, shapeless and waterproof bags that can readily convert into sleeping bags and are easy to set up almost anywhere. These bags help you keep off from the ground, and those with mosquitos nets are definitely a blessing.

We recommend this Coleman Dark Room Sundome Camping Tent. It comes in either a four or six-sleeper size. For families, it’s always better to get a bigger tent to allow for extra luggage and storage of other camping gear. What makes this tent great is that its dark room technology blocks 90% of sunlight (vs. a comparable Coleman tent) so you can sleep in past sunrise!

Coleman tent
Coleman tent

Clothing

Comfortable, weatherproof clothing is a must for your camping trip.  manufactured with breathable material makes climbing and trekking a lot easier. A rain jacket may also come handy in unpredictable weather. To dry yourself clean use a microfiber towel as it absorbs moisture and dries rapidly.

Merino wool clothes are perfect for both camping and hiking – read our full post to find out why Merino wool clothing is perfect for traveling.

Merino wool clothes for travel
Merino wool clothes for travel – Deposit Photos

Outdoor Clothing

I’ve tested the Baerskin Tactical Hoodie and it sets a high standard for outdoor enthusiasts looking for a reliable blend of comfort and functionality in cold weather.

With its robust windproof design, the hoodie is remarkably resistant to cold gusts of wind – a plus for avid campers and outdoor enthusiasts.

The generous heat retention is complemented by the robust, reinforced SAB zippers, which ensure that warmth and durability are not compromised. The number of 12 secure pockets may seem excessive, but it’s usually better to have one too many than too few. Even if finding your personal belongings could get a challenge. 😉

In extremely cold weather, you can use the wrist gaiters to keep the hoodie even warmer.

From my own experience, I can say that the Bærskin Tactical Hoodie is extremely comfortable to wear. The heavy, fleece-like material avoids the usual disadvantages of thin jackets and the fit is impeccable, which makes it even more attractive for longer stays in nature. I’d say it’s not just a garment, but a reliable companion for outdoor adventures where conditions are a bit unpredictable.

You can buy it here on their website.

Our review of the Baerskin Tactical Hoodie.
Our review of the Baerskin Tactical Hoodie.

Solar Chargers

With the help of a portable solar charger, you don’t have to miss any Facebook post or email notification anymore just because your phone battery is dead. Invest in a long-lasting and durable charger that can accompany you throughout your trip.

Portable solar charger
Hiluckey Solar Charger 27000mAh 22.5W Fast Charging Power Bank USB C PD Portable Phone Charger with 4 Solar Panels for iPhone Samsung Tablet
beenhere

Extra Equipment Tip

If you love camping, take a look EcoFlow’s portable solar panels, as they are remarkably adaptable, small in size and easy to carry, making them perfect for a variety of scenarios – even when venturing off the grid.

Unfolding and setting up the solar panels using the integrated stand only takes a few seconds. Quickly recharge your portable power station on camping trips or at home as part of your blackout preparations.

Backpacks

Backpacks help you differentiate between a camping trip and a hiking trip. If you’re camping, you don’t really need a backpack, but it is a must-have if you’re planning to go on small hikes.

Backpacks fall into various categories, including day backpacks (read our list of top functional and stylish daypacks), overnights, and long trips. Make sure to purchase a backpack that fits you perfectly. If it doesn’t, you might end up with blisters and backache during the journey.

Dry Bag

One of the best rated dry bags on Amazon is the 20 liter dry bag from Earth Pak. You can safely store all the things you need for a day on the water. The bag is made of a water-repellent material called 500D PVC that can even float.

I am very enthusiastic about this bag. It is of excellent quality and doesn’t take up much space, but you can store a lot in it and I have found that everything stays 100% dry. I tested it in the ocean and nothing got wet. I was able to fit sandals, a towel, a change of clothes, sunscreen, a brush, my wallet and a few other things. However, you might prefer two straps instead of one. The larger ones have those. The strap can be easily removed, which is very convenient.

The bag is easy to roll up and takes up very little space in my suitcase. I think the quality is very high and it is easy to wipe to keep it clean.

There are different sizes to choose from: either with a capacity of 5L, 10L, 20L or even up to 40 liters in volume! The versatile accessories of this lightweight dry bag also include a waterproof mobile phone case for smartphones that can be a maximum of 16,5 cm long / wide (measured diagonally). Very useful is also the zippered front pocket for quick access to essential items without having to open the top main compartment. Like that you have easy access to keys, knives, and other personal items you want to keep close at hand while on the go!

The different dry bag sizes from earth pak.
The different dry bag sizes from earth pak.

A First Aid Kit

Carrying a first aid kit along with you on your trip shouldn’t come off as a surprise – it’s one of the essential camping and hiking gear. Stack your box with the usual aspirin, bandages, gauze, and painkillers. It’s better to do some research too before heading out. Include some camping essentials like bug sprays, Aloe Vera and moleskin for blisters and burns.

This ready-made first aid kit is ideal for camping and hiking as it is compact, organised, water-resistant, lightweight and includes over 100 items.

Looking for an epic hiking destination? Check out our hike from Bologna to Florence on the Path on Gods in Italy:

Hiking Gear: Must Have For Hikers

Hiking is comparatively riskier than camping. To have a good time you can ask a friend to accompany you on your trip.

Sightseeing Binoculars

If you have a little extra cash on your hand to spend, make sure to invest in a good pair of binoculars. You could even purchase digital binoculars that will automatically record everything you see. Sony recently launched DEV Digital Recording binoculars that work in high resolution even under water. So the next time you go back home from your hiking trip, you can boastfully tell tales of you spotting deadly crocodiles under water.

Sony digital binoculars
Sony digital binoculars

Sunglasses

A good pair of sunglasses is essential for hiking. Check out our list of the best sunglasses for hiking for more guidance.

GPS

One of the major problems that could hinder your hiking is mediocre phone connectivity. This is a considerable risk, especially if you are heavily relying on internet and GPS connection. For long-haul hiking trips purchase software rather than your phone’s inbuilt GPS. Most smartphones have miserable battery life and are not compatible with hiking trips. A durable, long-lasting GPS unit has comprehensive geographic maps that also serve as compasses.

Garmin has a range of great handheld GPS’s that are great for hiking, compare their options .

Garmin GPS
Garmin GPS

Hiking Boots

What shoes you carry along, depends on the type of trip you’re planning to go for. Regular sneakers are just fine, but if your trip is long and requires a lot of climbing and trekking then you might want to packthat provide support, protection, balance your movements, and rigidity while running and climbing.

Boots inevitably make a lot of noise, but they are definitely sturdier than sneakers. They are perfect for people who like getting their shoes dirty in the mud. While planning a hiking trip you specifically want to invest in trail runners, hiking boots and approach shoes. Trail runners are lightweight and provide very little ankle stability. They are perfect for jumping and climbing.

Approach shoes are a combination of hiking boots and trail runners. They are suitable for climbing and have greater a life expectancy. Most people prefer approach shoes, but overall hiking boots do the job perfectly well too.

Salomon hiking shoes
Salomon hiking shoes

Child carrier – Kids Backpack

Having a child is great, but it also means that hiking changes towards strolling with a trolley on even surfaces… unless you find a comfortable way to carry your child over longer distances on your back. And that freedom comes with a child carrier, like the Poco from Osprey. It fits like a good backpack and you carry the weight with the hips thanks to a good belt. You can change the size very quickly and it won’t even take a minute, so that it fits all sizes. The child seat itself can also be quickly changed in its size, so that you can carry it for 1-3 years. The child sits safe and got a good view. Our daughter fell regularly asleep, as it was so comfortble. And she wanted to get into the seat every time she saw it.

The Poco got all it needs, from rain and sun cover, but also easy to reach pockets, where you can store food, drinks and the diapers of course. The price is fair for what you get and it keeps its value if you should consider to sell it afterwards again. 

camping and hiking gear - Osprey Poco - Child carrier - Kids Backpack
Osprey Poco – Child carrier – Kids Backpack

Hydration Material

Whether you’re hiking short distances or long, there is no such thing as enough water. Carry as much water as possible, so you stay hydrated the whole time. But if you’re backpacking, you’ll have a hard time carrying water, and you’ll require a filtration system. Holding bottles in hands while climbing is definitely risky, we suggest you purchase Iodine tablets or a hydration pack that attaches to your backpack (like this one), allowing you free movement.

Auto Star Hydration pack
Auto Star Hydration pack

Trekking Poles

Trekking poles, hiking sticks or walking sticks, you name it. Some hikers swear by these useful tools to help them pass through the steep landscape and provide support on rocky terrain.

However, these sticks could be painful to pack, and we recommend you keep them home unless you suffer from a bad leg or knee and require support throughout your trip. There are also telescopic sticks. These can be made quite small so that they will fit in your carry-on luggage.

Paper Maps

Remember you’re out there in the wild, chances are you’ll have zero connectivity. It is reliable to carry paper maps along with you in case your phone GPS gives up on you. You can easily print a map online or purchase it at a minimum cost from the local camping station.

These were some of the essential camping and hiking gear to consider taking along with you on your trip. They not only come handy but are also lifesaving. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy! 

Going camping in the US? Check out these posts:

Where to go Camping in Virginia

Best Camping Places in the USA

Author

  • Melvin

    Melvin is the founder and CEO of Travel Dudes, co-founder of the Social Travel Summit and the former COO of iambassador.

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