Camping — whether in an RV in the desert or the open air on a beach — is an opportunity to commune with nature, check in with yourself, make memories with friends, or all of the above. But as any old hat will tell you, a large part of ensuring your experience goes smoothly is bringing the right gear. 

We’re outdoor enthusiasts here at Nice News, so the following roundup of camping essentials includes quite a few tried-and-true recommendations. Consider letting it serve as a supplement to your packing checklist; we’ll even throw in some wool socks and bug spray for good measure. 

Coleman Skydome Tent 

Courtesy of Coleman

First things first. The right tent can make or break your entire stay, and we have an expert, in-house tip: Always size up. If there are two of you, for example, opt for a four-person tent. Coleman’s Skydome line is a trustworthy choice for quality and comfort, and this model is weatherproof, can be set up in five minutes, and features Dark Room Technology, so you don’t have to wake up with the sun if you don’t want to. 

Rumpl National Park Blankets

Courtesy of Rumpl

Rumpl’s Original Puffy Blanket is like your favorite sleeping bag, but better. They’re lightweight, easily portable, and mindfully manufactured: Each blanket is made from recycled plastic bottles and has a 100% post-consumer recycled polyester shell. Plus, the company donates 1% of all proceeds to environmental causes. Its National Park Collection is the perfect way to show off your love of nature, beyond spending time in it, of course. 


Jetboil Flash Stove and Java Kit

Courtesy of Jetboil

If you’re a coffee drinker, you know that no amount of distance from civilization will curb your cravings. This portable stove comes complete with a French press, meaning it can not only boil water for food in under two minutes, but also deliver a fresh cuppa to keep you charged. It’s lightweight for easy carrying and there are a range of accessories and attachments you can purchase to extend its cooking capabilities. 

Backpacker’s Pantry Freeze-Dried Food

Courtesy of Backpacker’s Pantry

Ever eaten pad thai in the middle of a forest? With Backpacker’s Pantry, you can enjoy flavors and textures far beyond the typical camping repertoire — no offense to trail mix and hot dogs. The brand’s freeze-dried and dehydrated meals (just add boiling water) provide significant sustenance in small packages; the Three Cheese Mac & Cheese has 24 grams of protein, for example, and the Dark Chocolate Cheesecake has 13. 

Igloo Legacy 54-Quart Cooler

Courtesy of Igloo

Igloo has been in the cooler game for a minute now, and it’s got a Legacy line to prove it. The 54-quart cooler is available in an array of retro-inspired colors and includes nifty features like a built-in bottle opener. Its rust-resistant stainless steel exterior means it can stand up to wear and tear, and the brand’s Advanced Ultratherm® Insulation keeps contents cooler for longer.  


Magware Magnetic Utensils Set

Courtesy of Magware

Magware’s magnetic utensils are a reusable alternative to single-use plastic that have the added bonus of freeing up space in your backpack or car, so you don’t have to hassle with a bag full of clattering silverware. Available in either a three-piece or 15-piece set, they connect to each other magnetically to make one tidy, compact bundle.

Eureka! High Back Reclining Chair

Courtesy of Eureka!/Backcountry

Whether you’re strumming the guitar or telling ghost stories, a comfortable seat around the campfire will save your back and bottom from undue strain. We like this high back recliner because it allows for multiple seating positions and comes with armrests and a cup holder. If you’re looking for a more lounge-able option, go for this hammock, complete with tree straps, a bug net, and a waterproof rainfly. 

Coleman Trailhead II Camping Cot

Courtesy of Coleman

With a camping cot, you can bid farewell to sleeping on cold or uneven ground, and create extra space for storing your personal items in the tent at night. This one from Coleman can support up to 300 pounds and accommodate people who are up to 6 feet, 2 inches tall. It folds up to fit in most car trunks and comes with a one-year limited warranty. 

Hest Foamy Camping Mattress

Courtesy of Hest

Another option for added comfort is the Hest Foamy, a camping mattress that makes traditional pads pale in comparison. With two layers of temperature-resilient memory foam as well as pressure point relief, it helps ensure you sleep well so you’re rested and ready for adventures. It’s also lightweight and doesn’t require any air or extra setup steps — simply unroll and relax. 


LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Courtesy of Lifestraw

LifeStraw is a small but mighty tool that removes bacteria, parasites, and microplastics, so you can have peace of mind knowing you’re drinking safe water — whether it’s from a lake or creek. It’s the ultimate survival tool, particularly for backpackers, campers, and hikers. As an added bonus, with every LifeStraw purchased, a school child in need receives safe drinking water for an entire year. 

Be Smart Get Prepared Emergency First Aid Kit

Courtesy of Be Smart Get Prepared

From small scrapes to more serious situations, emergencies can occur when we’re roughing it, so it’s important to … well, be smart and get prepared. The aptly named brand’s first aid kit comes with nearly 400 pieces — from burn packs and antibiotic ointment to sterile gauze and wood splints — so you and your party feel confident trekking through the wilderness. 

Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth Speaker

Courtesy of Bose

Nature provides its own soundtrack, but sometimes it’s nice to add a little music to the mix. This bluetooth speaker from Bose is waterproof and designed to resist dust, debris, and UV light, making it the perfect choice for outdoor use. A single charge lasts for 12 hours, and you can even make and receive calls through it (if you’ve got cell service, that is). 

Luminaid Solar Lanterns

Courtesy of Luminaid

Who needs electricity when you can harness the greatest energy source there is? Luminaid’s inflatable solar lanterns are compact and lightweight enough to fit in your backpack or glove compartment, and can be charged either by the sun or with a USB cable. They’re waterproof and they float, so you can take one with you if you’re daring enough to try night swimming. If you’re looking to illuminate your campsite and elevate its aesthetic appeal, check out these pretty solar string lights


Ruffwear Highlands Dog Sleeping Bag

Courtesy of Ruffwear

We can’t forget about your trusty canine companion! This squishy sleeping bag from Ruffwear is made especially for pups, keeping them warm and comfortable in the elements. It comes in two sizes, medium and large, and has a water-resistant shell and a neck baffle that folds in to retain body heat. It’s also lightweight and compressible — get a doggie backpack and your furry friend may even be able to carry it themself. 

Anker Portable Power Bank

Courtesy of Anker

Another essential for emergencies, Anker’s portable power bank ensures you can access your devices if you need them. It has solar panels for sustainable charging, and holds a whopping 60,000mAh of energy. Beyond camping, it also serves as a great backup if your home power goes out.