Top 10 Camping Essentials

Top 10 Camping Essentials for Everyone

My family loves to go camping!  Now that the kids are older, it’s even more fun (and less work for us)!  Everyone can pitch in and help out.  It makes it much  more enjoyable.  We all have our assigned roles for the trips.  My daughter immediately gathers small twigs, pine cones, pine needles and other items to start a fire.  My son and I unload the van and hubby sets up the tents.  Everyone having assigned roles is so helpful in avoiding stress.  There are some essentials that you need for every camping trip. So I decided to compile a list of top 10 camping essentials to share and hopefully help you be prepared for you next (or first) camping trip. These are in no particular order.

vacation maybe top 10 camping essentials

Top 10 Camping Essentials

  1. Insect Repellant – This is a MUST  HAVE no matter where you are camping.  You want to avoid mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, gnats, etc.  There are many options that are safe for kids, great for sensitive skin and many that are all-natural.  I prefer to use essential oils since they are totally natural and rarely ever have any undesirable side effects.  My favorites are lemongrass and lavender.  So, essential oils are one of my top 10 camping essentials.
  2. Sun protection – Sunscreen! No matter what time of year it is, this is important.  Protecting your skin, no matter your age, is always a priority.  Again, there are many options out there for whatever your needs are.  I recommend at least an spf of 30 for everyone.  Apply often to ensure the best level of protection, especially if you will be sweating or swimming. This isn’t just one of my top 10 camping essentials, this is an outdoor essential.
  3. Fire Starters/Lighter – These are something that we almost always forget and always regret forgetting them!  Our last trip was riddled with storms and all of the firewood, leaves, pine cones and other means of starting a fire were soaked and wouldn’t light.  Thankfully the campground store had firestarters so we were saved.  Even if  you’re a pro at creating campfires, they’re good to have in case of an emergency.  You’ll need a lighter to start them!  You can also use matches  but make sure to add a waterproof match case to your top 10 camping essentials.
  4. First Aid Kit – I think it’s safe to say that everyone understands why this is one of the top 10 camping essentials.  Bumps, bruises, scrapes, bug bites, sunburn, etc.  Some of these are inevitable.  Making sure you have bandages, antibiotic ointment, anti-itch cream, aloe vera gel or lotion and pain relievers are the basics you need in your camping first aid kit.  I also like to use essential oils in my first aid kit.  Lavender oil is a great one for many purposes.  From insect repellant to soothing cuts and scrapes, it’s a great addition to your top 10 camping essentials.
  5. Hand sanitizer –  You aren’t always near water so soap may be useless.  Having hand sanitizer on hand is a great idea for any outing.  I keep some in my purse and in my car.  It’s just a handy thing to keep around.  You can even make your own, without alcohol, using essential oils.  For me it’s not just one of my top 10 camping essentials but an everyday life essential.
  6. Multi Tool–  I started out with pocket knife but changed my mind after talking over this list with my husband.  He mentioned that a multi-tool will have a knife blade but also other tools that may prove useful for camping.  A multi-tool will have a screwdriver, scissors, can opener, corkscrew, small saw blade, pliers and more.
  7. Manual Can Opener – I added this to the top 10 camping essentials list because it is something that we ALWAYS seem to forget.
  8. Cookware – This seems like a no-brainer but when you break it down into a more detailed list like cast iron skillet, serving spoons, spatulas, and other more specific items you will be able to really think about what is required for your specific trip.
  9. Trash Bags – This is another absolute necessity.  Not only will they serve their intended purpose and keep your campsite clean but they also have other uses.  You can cut them open along the bottom and one side and have a disposable table cloth or waterproof cover for anything.  You can also cut a hole in the bottom and in each side and have a makeshift poncho.  Trash bags are needed for holding wet clothing items so that dry items stay dry.
  10. Extra Extra – The last item on my top 10 camping essentials list is extra of everything.  You will run out, lose things, get things we, drop things in the fire and/or let other nearby campers use/borrow things.  Extra clothes, first aid items, insect repellent, etc will all come in handy or can be set aside for your next trip to save some money.

This list of top 10 camping essentials is my personal opinion.  I didn’t want to include things like a tent, sleeping bag, etc.  I wanted the items on this list to be useful and things that you may not always thing to bring or things that are easily forgotten.  Your list of top 10 camping essentials may be different and we would love to know what your top 10 camping essentials are!

Check out these Great Recipes for Camping and On The Go!

What are your top 10 camping essentials – comment below and share.