This year, Adam and I decided to take up camping. As adventurers at heart, we were itching for a new experience since our travel plans are most likely going to be put on hold until 2021. We figured that camping would allow us to get out of the house and explore while staying socially distant.
While we’re still beginners and learning what gear is the most essential, these nine items have helped making camping easy and comfortable. They’re all available on Amazon, and helped us start our beginner’s camping gear collection right.
Click on the picture to find the item on Amazon. Keep scrolling for more details.
1. Core 9 Person Extended Dome Tent ($154.99)
The tent you choose will vary by preference. Even as a couple, we chose a 9-person tent for a few reasons. My husband is really tall and needs the room, and anything smaller than a 6-person tent is too cramped. We also like to fit an air mattress inside for better sleep. This is the perfect size for us and lets us spread out, bring bins of supplies inside and stand upright without any issues. It comes with a detachable rain fly, which we like to leave off if weather permits so we can see the stars through the mesh ceiling underneath.
2. Coleman Camping Chair ($37)
Whether you’re at a campground or camping among pure nature, bring a seat to kick up your heels. This camping chair is not only sturdy, but it has a 4-can cooler so you don’t even have to get up to grab your next cold drink! On the opposite arm, a cup holder and storage pouch means you have a place for everything.
3. Coleman QuickBed Elite – Queen Size ($57.22)
As I mentioned, an air mattress is a must for us. It elevates our experience so much by giving us a comfortable place to rest our heads. We recently down-sized to this one from Coleman, since the size of our previous one was more suited for home-use. I really like that it has a built-in pump that runs on batteries, so you don’t have to worry about manually pumping or plugging in. It has coil construction that gives you extra support, and the Queen can support up to 600 pounds! It’s the perfect size to not overwhelm our tent, and is also available in a twin.
4. LED Ceiling Fan and Light ($24.99)
If you’re one of those people who needs a fan on at night, you gotta grab this. It’s a 2-in-1 fan and LED light that you can hang from the top of your tent to illuminate the space and circulate the air. The motor is actually pretty strong for such a small fan, and runs on two D batteries. It can be set up at different angles and it can also be adjusted for table-top use.
5. 3 Season Camping Sleeping Bag ($25.99)
We’ve made the mistake of going camping without sleeping bags before, never again. You’ll be prepared for most weather with a good sleeping bag— this one is designed for 35-50 degrees. When it’s hot out, we use the sleeping bag as extra padding on top of our mattress and just bring a flat sheet to cover us. It packs up really small for convenience and is available in two sizes.
6. 8″ Cast Iron Skillet ($24.52)
For camp cooking, a cast iron skillet is the way to go. The one con being its weight, but the versatility, even heat distribution and sturdiness outweigh the drawback. Plus, you don’t need to wash it with soap between meals! This 8 inch size is good for two people, and it comes with a silicone handle holder which makes it easier to use.
7. Coleman Classic Camping Stove ($43.88)
While you may want to “rough it” and cook with your skillet over a campfire, there are many areas under fire restrictions where that would be against the law or just very dangerous. A propane camp stove was high on our camping gear shopping list and it’s already one of our favorite items to use. This one was relatively affordable, and while it’s no-frills, it gets the job done well! I really like the wind guard features to keep the flame going in a breeze, and the compatible propane tanks are pretty inexpensive and sold at most grocery, hardware or sporting goods stores.
8. 4-Pack LED Camping Lanters ($27.99)
We wanted extra lanterns because, again, we were going to be camping predominately in an area nearby with fire restrictions. These lanterns exceeded our expectations! Running on two AA batteries each (included!), they shine bright and the collapsible design makes the lighting somewhat dimmable.
9. Coleman 62-Quart Xtreme Cooler ($43.76)
You should choose a cooler based on how many meals you plan on having, and how many days you’ll need your food kept cold. Regardless of those factors, I would definitely recommend a cooler with wheels! This 62-quart holds enough to fit 2-3ish meals, several cans and about 3 bags of ice. It claims to retain ice for five days at temperatures up to 90 degree, and the drain is incredibly convenient for getting water out without having to tip it.