Essential Camping Gear Checklist: A Beginner’s Guide


With nature in short supply in inner-city life, it is no surprise that camping trips in the great outdoors are becoming an increasingly popular weekend break for city-dwellers and their families.

Campng Begur with family tent, Costa Brava, Catalonia

For the inexperienced camper, however, knowing what equipment and supplies to take can leave you scratching your head.

The following is a list of essentials that any prospective camper worth their salt should take with them to ensure that their trip goes off without a hitch.

1. Tent

To state the obvious… the most important piece of equipment for any camping trip is your tent. It is worth investing in at least a mid-range tent, as many of the basic ones are not properly waterproof and are prone to rips and tears.

Make sure that you have practised putting it up before you leave though! Head on over to www.campsmart.net.au for an excellent selection of high-quality tents for all budgets.

2. Suitable Sleeping Arrangements

The second most important item that you’ll need is a good sleeping bag. Make sure to get one that’s suitable for the climate in which you are camping. A cold-weather sleeping bag in the early morning sun of the outback or a warm-weather sleeping bag that is too thin to insulate against cold weather is certain to spoil your night’s sleep.

If comfort is important to you, invest in an inflatable mattress to protect yourself when sleeping on rough ground.

3. Gas Stove

If you plan to do your own cooking while camping then bringing a reliable stove with a full tank of gas with you is a must.

In areas where there is no firewood, wet weather or a high risk of starting a bushfire, a stove will prevent you from having to stomach a cold dinner.

4. First Aid Kit

Experts will tell you never to set off into the wilderness without a first aid kit, and with good reason. The risk of suffering complications to any injury increases exponentially the further away from civilisation you get. A kit equipped with antiseptic, a needle and thread and bandages can literally be a life-saver should the worst happen.

5. Water Bottle

Together with a store of water sufficient to last you for the duration of the trip, a hermetically sealed water bottle is essential. If you plan on an extended excursion far from the beaten track, consider buying a bottle with an integrated carbon filter which will allow you to drink from lakes, rivers and streams safely.

6. Knife

You never know what you will need a knife for when you are camping. Any experienced bushman will be able to recount an instance on which their knife has saved them from a sticky fate.

7. Flashlight

Nights out in the great outdoors can be much darker than the average city-dweller is used to. A quality flashlight, preferably waterproof, will help you find your way when nature calls in the small hours.


Depending on where you decide to go camping, the equipment that you take can mean the difference between the camping trip of a lifetime or a miserable sojourn into the outback from which you can’t wait to get back.

Be sure to do your research and carefully consider exactly what you’ll need at every stage; but most of all, make sure you know how to use it!

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