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Essential gear for novice campers

Essential gear for novice campers

Author Alex Kafure

Quality Tent

The most basic, and important thing is the tent. Choose the most convenient size and form for your type of trip. Generally, a two person tent can fit two people in it, but if you want to be able to move a bit go for one person size more than you actually are. So for two people go for 3, 3 for 4 etc. Dome tents are quick and easy to assemble and can be easily moved from one place to another.They also give you headroom to stand, or nearly stand, a big advantage when dressing. Make sure your tent has a separate waterproof flysheet, one with a little porch area in front of the entrance is really convenient. Always do a trial set up in your backyard before each trip and check that you have tent pegs and guy ropes. A thick plastic trash bag beneath the tent can protect the waterproof bottom from damage and possible leaks.


A warm and comfortable night’s sleep is essential for an enjoyable camping trip. Purchase the best quality sleeping bag you can afford and a rating which covers most normal camping conditions. Down bags pack up really small and will keep you snug, as long as they don’t get wet. Sleeping pads give you a soft sleeping surface and also isolate you from the ground so keeping you warmer, and for extra comfort go for an inflatable mattress.

Camping Stove

Buy a portable stove and an ice chest of a size to suit your needs and camping destinations. If you are going to be backpacking choose small and light, if the car’s going to be close-by, choose something with sufficient space. A folding table and chairs are also really handy if you have room for them. Don’t rely on being able to cook over the campfire, and always have a backup option.

Cooking Gear

Pack essential cooking pans, at least a frying pan and a couple of pots and consider buying a special camping set with all stack neatly inside each other and are pretty cheap. Take sufficient mugs and large flattish dishes of a non breakable material which can serve as both dishes and plates. Remember spatulas,and cutlery. A big plastic bowl is really useful for doing the washing up, and for keeping all the cooking utensils together.

Durable Cooler

Purchase a sturdy cooler that can stand up to use in the great outdoors ad with sufficient capacity for blocks of ice, made at home. These last much longer than small store-bought cubes.


LED headlamps are essential, it can be surprisingly dark at night even in popular campsites. A larger LED lamp is also a good idea to provide generally lighting especially if hung from a tree branch or inside your tent.

First Aid Kit

Be sure to pack a comprehensive first aid kit. You can buy a professional box from the Red Cross, or build your own. Remember to include bug spray and sunscreen and any prescription medicines you may use.

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