11 outdoor experts reveal their 3 favourite camping items

This is my second round up. My first one was great, but this one will be epic. Just look at the people that got involved and judge for yourself the value of the insights offered here. camping items

The question that I’ve asked this time was related to what would be the favourite 3 camping items, because as you know there are a lot of things you need when you go camping.

And it is true that there are so many different situations and they all demand different type of tools, but most of the time you have your 3 or so gear items that you take everywhere, because you know you need them and you can count on them and you feel great just knowing they are close…..kind of like best friends ( wow, this states that I am such a gear addict ) …

You will find that there is a wide selection of favourite items and you can get some good inspiration here, a “know how” that will probably save your skin one day when facing nature.

So here we go:

What are your 3 favourite camping items?


Deer & Deer HuntingDaniel E. Schmidt from Deer And Deer Hunting

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I’ll admit I’m kind of a gadget guy when it comes to camping. I’ve down it both ways … rugged without many amenities … and luxury with gadgets.
Most of my camping now involves my two daughters, so I opt for the gadget route more often than not these days.
A few of my favorite items for camping:
  • Coleman 2-burner propane stove. Completely takes the hassle out of camp cooking. Not the same as grilling a venison steak over hot oak coals, but it sure makes for easier meal prep.
  • ThermaCell Outdoor Lantern. Love it. Bigger version of the ones we use for bowhunting. Keeps mosquitoes at bay for more than 10 hours.
  • Engel Cooler Pak. This is a non-toxic, non-hazardous, chemical freezer pack capable of maintaining a sub-zero temperature “charge” in a freezer or other insulated environment for an extended period of time.
Dave & Deb Travel Dave and Dev from The Planet D
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We are a travel couple who aim to inspire people to follow their dreams and push their boundaries living by the motto “Adventure is for Everyone”.

Our three favourite camping items are: 

  • Headlamp – When the sun goes down it’s great to have hands free light to do any camp tasks.
  • Collapsible Camp Sink – Quick and easy way to wash your dishes and it’s light weight.
  • Pegless Clothes Line – For hanging your towels, swimsuits and sarongs with ease.

First Light GearAdam Kujacznski from First Light Gear

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I have listed 3 items below that I refuse to go camping without.
  • Quality Tent. I am currently using a 3 season tent from mountain hardware
  • Camp Hatchet. I have fallen in love with my gerber camp hatchet and find new uses for it each time i take it camping. From chopping firewood to pounding in tent stakes it is very useful.
  • Water Filter. I like to camp in the backwoods so having access to clean water is key. Currently using a katydyn filter.

Some other top items for me are as follows. A good sleeping pad, reliable and light camp stove, compass, down sleeping bag, and paracord.

Janice Waugh from Solo Traveler Blog
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Thanks for the nudge. I’m not a gadget person. I like to keep things simple. In fact, I still camp with much of the same stuff I have for years.

So I’m not going to give you the latest food barrel… Simply, here are the items I appreciate most when camping:

  • a good fly for near the campfire makes all weather good weather.
  • a headlamp for night time walks, reading, and especially for setting up when arriving after dark.
  • self-inflating air mattresses for warmth, comfort and simplicity
Jim BraatenJim Braaten from Sports Man’s Blog
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Because most of my camping also involves hunting or fishing I don’t usually camp without quite a bit of gear.

But here are three of my favorite items to use when out and about:

  • Camp Chef Butane One-Burner Stove (at about $25 it’s a bargain)
  • Estwing Sportsman Axe (no camper should be without an axe)
  • ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent (a must for every season except winter)

I guess if I was to pick my three favorite items those would be it.

Tim SmithTim Smith from Jack Mountain Bushcraft School

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Tough to narrow it to three, but these are at the top of the list:

  • Axe
  • Metal Pot
  • Sleeping Bag
My axe travels with me on every trip in the woods.  It’s an antique John King axe made in the 1940’s in Oakland, Maine.  It provides me with firewood and, when necessary, shelter.  Because I don’t carry a stove or water filter, fire is necessary to purify water and cook food, as well as warm me up on cold days.  There are other tools that could provide me with wood (saw, knife), but the axe is (for me) the fastest and most efficient.

A metal pot allows me to cook over the fire and boil water to purify with minimal difficulty.  I go with stainless steel milk pails from feed stores because they come with a rugged bail handle that makes it easy to hang.

At the end of the day, having a sleeping bag to stay warm while I sleep allows me to get  up and do it all over again.  I’ve got several, from -20 degree bags for winter to 40 degree bags for summer, and bring the one that’s seasonally appropriate.  I get them from LL Bean, because they’re of good quality and because I get a deep discount through the Maine Professional Guides Association.  I’ve spent nights with no sleeping bag or blanket in front of a fire in sub-zero temperatures as a training exercise.  It’s way more work than crawling into a warm bag, and the sleep isn’t as restful.

Brody Leven Brody Leven from BrodyLeven.com

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My Jetboil has traveled around the world with me. Finding proper fuel canisters my first day in a city is always a way to explore a new country.

My iPhone has aided in more ways than I can count. I don’t go anywhere without it.

A good midlayer, such as the Terramar TXO 2.0 Ascent Hoodie, is the most-worn piece of gear I have. It replaces so many pieces of gear, and I typically don’t even need a beanie or balaclava when I have it.

Natalie DeRatt from Eagles Nest Outfitters Inc

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Ooo what fun! We would love to give you our top 3.

  • DoubleNest Hammock – sorry, I know this is our product but you can’t beat it for its versatility and extreme comfort! Plus, the only thing better than sleeping under the stars, is sleeping under the stars in suspended relaxation!
  • Our Chacos – you can hike in them, you can swim in them, you can wear socks underneath them – they’re really isn’t much you can’t do with a good pair of chacos! And they last forever, so you’ll be able to hit multiple camping trips with them.
  • The LifeStraw – This nifty item is a full water filtration device, that fits in your pocket. Not only does it allow you to drink safe water, and thus carry less bottled water on your camping trip, but for every LifeStraw sold, one school child in the developing world receives clean water for an entire school year


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Thanks for thinking of us. With thousands of products, it’s a challenging to have to narrow it down to three favorites. Our recommendations would really depend on a variety of elements including who you’re camping with, where you’re camping, how cold it will be, whether you’re car camping, comfort backpacking or lightweight backpacking. Our experts like to help customize your experience to ensure we’re giving the best advice for the conditions you’re in. Instead of three “favorites,” we really recommend people carry 10 essential supplies to ensure they’re prepared for a variety of situations:http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ten-essentials.html.

All Peak Sherpa Bill from All Peak

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My pleasure. Thanks for reaching out. It’s a tough question to narrow down all your gear to the top 3. Comfort, familiarity and importance (survival, warmth, etc.) all come to mind for me.
So, I’ll make it easy and focus on the 3 things that I feel a particular attachment to. Let’s call it my top 3 comfort items:
  • Sleeping bag: First on my list is the sleeping bag. I’ve only had 4 sleeping bags in my lifetime. Besides hiking on the trail, it’s the place I spend the most time. The dirtier and smellier mine gets, the more I seem to enjoy it. Why? I haven’t the foggiest idea. Maybe it’s the memories that are associated with it.  There were sleepless nights I lay shivering listening to monster rain storms, footfalls of unknown creatures or the rumble of rocks cracking off the mountains – thinking the next one was surely going to flatten me in my tent. Then of course there are the good memories, the mornings I woke up refreshed, warm and snug – refusing to leave the confines of the bag for the cold exterior. My preference: The REI 0 degree Kilo Plus, a goose down fill mummy bag – an upgrade from past bags.  I had to upgrade after spending a shivering night atop a bear infested peak during a solo hike of the Saguaro National Park, just outside Tucson, Arizona.
  • Sleeping pad: What goes better with comfort and a sleeping bag, than the sleeping pad. I’m a little old school compared to some of the newer offerings. I like my self-inflating ThermaRest GuideLite. It covers my 5’10” frame and gives me adjustable support by blowing more or less air into it. It’s not too heavy and it is durable – a trait I appreciate, because I have multiple purposes for it. When I first make camp, I like to drag it out onto the rocky camp ground, lay down and watch the sun set. It kept me dry when I was with my then wife in Ouchita Mountains, Arkansas hiking the Womble Trail. It was on my pad I told her I loved her. We woke in the middle of the night, still dry as a sea of water flowed through our tent from the spring storms that hit us.
  • Head lamp: My third favorite item is my head lamp (I use a Petzl LED lamp). It is lightweight and so useful. Night hiking, going to the bathroom, late cooking, playing cards in the tent or reading, my headlamp is always there. It requires no extra hand to hold it and fits over any hat I use. My fondest memory is the hike up to Lake Como in the Sangre de Cristo Range, SE Colorado on my way to summit Blanca Peak. We drove all day and through much of the night to get there. Our 4×4 made it about half way up the 10+ mile trail and at 2am in the morning we were huffing it with our headlamps to shine the way forward.

Bushwalking Blog Neil Fahey from Bushwalking blog

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Obviously a lot of my camping requires carrying everything on my back, but I do quite a bit of car camping with my family and friends as well, so I won’t just focus on items for overnight hiking.


  • Jackeroo Air Pump

I have two air mattresses for car camping, a single and a queen. I picked up a Jackeroo air pump from K-Mart for about $20 which makes life about a million times easier when it’s time to set up camp. The idea of using a foot pump, especially when using the queen mattress (and even more so when it’s over 35°C), is a bit of a nightmare. The pump plugs straight into my car’s lighter socket and fills a mattress in a few minutes with minimal fuss.


  • Salewa Denali II hiking tent

This is the tent I take with me when I’m doing an overnight hike, whether alone or with a friend, and also when I’m car camping solo. It only weighs 2.8kg so it doesn’t add too much weight to my hiking pack. When car camping solo, it’s a lot easier to pack and set up than my usual 4-person dome tent. For a tent of this size, it has great ventilation and decent headroom. It also features two doors and two vestibules for gear storage.


  • Fill2Pure water filter bottle

I recently acquired this bottle to review for Bushwalking Blog and it immediately became one of my favourite bits of gear for hiking, camping, and travel. It’s the best way to obtain drinkable water from almost any source. Even if you’re car camping and bringing drinking water with you, it can be good to have for emergencies, and you can still use it as a container to bring tap water from home – just remove the lid (and attached filter) when you want to drink so that you’re not unnecessarily using the filter.


Ok. So now let us know “what are your 3 favorite camping items?” in the comments below. Do not forget to share and leave me an email if you have any questions or feedback.

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James Menta

Camping Gear Reviewer at BestAirMattressGuide.com
Three things you need to know about James - he holds a degree in Materials Technology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, he is a zealot for the great outdoors and he can never find his glasses.       In brief intermissions between looking for his glasses, he is the Editor-in-chief of BestAirMattressGuide.com.

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