We had recently covered some great camping tips and now we are back with an awesome list of camping equipment for all you camp lovers out there. Before we start, our first advice to all backpackers, hikers and outdoorsies is to invest in very high quality camping equipment. You can go cheap and all tight-budget while doing the deed but your foundation must be solid in form of the equipment you are carrying. Otherwise a flooded tent, rumbling stomach and worst, a bruised ego (Ha ha!!) might be your companions on that hike you had been planning for months together! In this article, we cover your essential equipment and things to look for while buying them. It is an all encompassing crisp guide for which you may thank us later in comments!!
Backpacks = Expensive pre-nups!
Backpacks are like wives with expensive pre-nups whom you just can’t afford to leave! On a more serious note, they are the protection for your gear, essentials and luggage. This is why it is really important that your backpack is strong, sturdy, made of high quality fabric and is comfortable for you to carry around. Significant features to look while buying a backpack are:
- Go for a light backpack with sturdy fabric (combination of Nylon and polyester sits best);
- Insist on waterproof ones;
- Back home, they should not prove to be a dinosaur using up all your storage space;
- Comfort shoulder straps are a must otherwise it is not a backpack! Also look for a decent shoulder drop according to your height. Shoulder drop should allow leverage until your mid back.
- Water bottle pack and organiser are essential in a backpack especially when you are backpacking for long durations or to international destinations;
- If you are an avid camper, opt for bags that have abrasion resistant bottom panel;
- A brownie point if your backpack comes with an easy access pocket for laptop or other knick knacks.
Here are some suggestions for great buys from us. If you want to explore more options, do visit our Travel Store:
Tents: Most Confusing of all
We recently published 10 Important things you did not know about buying a tent a couple of months back. This is one article you need to dig in detail. If going short and sweet is more like your thing then ride along here. Of all the camping equipment, tents come with a heftier price tag and you don’t buy them every second month. So the rule to remember is get it right the first time. Also, it is the only thing between the natural elements and you on a camping. Keep following points in mind when you are going for tent shopping, and you should be fine!
- Pull your tent at the seams and if you can see stitches clearly then it means inferior stitching;
- For the tent size, follow two-men extra rule. So if you need to home two people, then buy a four men tent;
- Go for an all-weather tent unless you are sure of the places and seasons you are going to camp in;
- Insist on a tent with rainfly;
- High Denier fabric, roof vent and fine mesh are some aspect you don’t want to ignore;
- If in doubt about holdings, go for Aluminium ones;
- Additional loops on the tent exterior means it will stand taut which is a good thing if your camping region tends to get lot of winds or strong breeze;
- Research well on different types of tents
- Buy a tarp if your tent does not come with one.
Here are our top picks on the tents:
Sleeping Bags : Because good sleep keeps you happy!
Make sure your beauty sleep is something you do not have to forego on your camping trip by indulging in some sleeping bag shopping. They are cosy, comfortable and snug. They are compact and thus can be used inside a tent. In this section we will discuss various features to look for while buying a sleeping bag:
Sleeping bags come according to their suitability to temperature called temperature rating. These ratings clearly define the range of temperature in which the “bag-dweller” would be comfortable sleeping in it;
There is also an option of buying a single or double sleeper for you;
According to your camping season, you can take your pick of summer, winter or three-season sleeping bags.
- There are three types of bag shapes- mummy, rectangular and semi-rectangular. Mummy bags are most narrow and confining amongst the three providing maximum insulation with rectangular being on the opposite side of the scale. Semi-rectangular gives better insulation than the rectangular one and has more breathing space as compared to “mummy” shape.
- Always use a removable inner lining in your sleeping bag which will keep it from getting dirty.
- While buying, do not hesitate to try out the sleeping bags by slipping into them.
- When it comes to insulation, you need to choose between synthetic or down. Synthetic is cheaper, repels water better but is heavier whereas down is super compact, light with great insulation but with a bigger price tag.
These were our valuable tips for buying a sleeping bag. Here are some of our picks we would love to share with you.
Camping Furniture : For Comfort and Convenience
If you camp rather frequently then camping furniture is an absolute necessity. Camping chairs, tables, hammocks, cots and stools are common camping furniture. They add a lot of comfort to your standard camping trip. Being close to nature and all is a great thing and so is sitting on a nice comfy chair in a complete wilderness! Now let us talk about some straight points to keep in mind when you are looking for camping furniture:
- Look for furniture that folds or can be dismantled so that it is easy to carry and store. We are partial towards the foldable type of course!
- Make sure camping furniture does not weigh a ton but at the same time has a lot of sturdiness.
- Camping is an outdoor thing which means everything tends to get dirty so check the cleaning difficulty of your furniture before buying;
- Go for furniture whose hinges and joints are not prone to rusting and corrosion;
- Some camping furniture comes with additional storage like extra pockets, stow away space and place for resting your drinks, bottles etc. This is the variety you want to pick
- If sitting on a chair is your favourite part of camping then we highly recommend buying a chair that has taut backrest versus the one that slouches.
- If you camp with your young kids, go for stable furniture particularly the chairs.
- For backpacking, a range of special chairs is available. These chairs do not have legs but great backrest. They are super light and compact.
- If pure comfort is high on your mind and you do not have a lot of walking and hiking to do, inflatable couches is a good option. Again, only if the camping is all about getting out of car and on your asses!
Now that we are done with camp furniture guide, let us help you with some buying suggestions. You can of course visit our Travel Store for more options.
Bad lighting is a Bad idea!
Importance of lighting can hardly be exaggerated on a camping trip and you must pick one that is reliable and efficient. Remember those Hollywood flicks where the lights go out at the wrong time and every time they go out something bad happens? Well, we don’t mean to spook you but we are surely making a point here! There are some absolutely essential aspects you must check before picking a lantern or any type of lighting equipment and we have put it all together below:
- There are mainly three types of lights- flashlights, lantern and headlamps. If night time walking is on your itinerary then invest in headlamps but remember one suffices for one person only;
- For illuminating entire camp site, lanterns are the best pick;
- Check the battery usage of the light you are buying beforehand. This one is critical because you would not have access to power in the middle of wilderness;
- Gas-powered lanterns are a good choice when you don’t intend to move a lot. They are the best when it comes to intensity of light but they generate a lot of heat in closed spaces like tent and are bulky;
- If you have an electric lighting systems then go for the one with power indicator. This will help you assessing conservation needs;
- No matter what the label says, always check the light by using it at home before you go on the trip;
- Go for high intensity, small size and lightweight lighting if you plan to backpack or walk for long distances.
- Lanterns and lights that use alternative source of power like different types batteries, USB chargers etc are a better pick;
- Check for a regulator to control the output so that you have options of making it go all bright and dim as well.
- One big one- go for a light system that has certain degree of water proofing. You do not want water or moisture seeping into the lamp and before you know it ….poooff!
Now we return to our picks of camp lighting needs for you. We are introducing different types of lights here and we have many more in our Travel Store!
Utensils and cookware
There is something absolutely wonderful, romantic and rustic about cooking while camping. But to enjoy the experience of cooking outdoors it is important that your equipment, stoves, grills and other utensils are apt, ideal and convenient. So what to look for in Utensils and cookware for camping?
- Well safety comes first so check the handles and stability of the equipment;
- Lightweight and compactness should be amongst the first things to consider if you are more of a backpacking person who is okay eating dehydrated meals;
- Your cookware should be easy to clean after you have had a king size meal in it;
- There are some super light camping cookware but they usually do not have stability and are not suited for making different types of meals. If full fledged cooking is part of camping trip then steer clear of these super light weight cookware which might be good only for boiling water;
- Titanium cookware is an expensive affair but if durability and weight are important to you then invest in it;
- Though camp cookware sets come with a great value, buying individual pieces actually gives you more freedom to select according to your choice and requirement;
- Always carry pot grippers with you even if your cookware comes with heat-proof coating on handles;
- If you are going to cook on a big flame, steer clear of silicon handles and non-stick tumblers. Both of them are prone to chipping and melting on high and direct heat;
- Plan your meals in detail so that you carry exactly what you need and the size you need.
Again some shopping and exploring time for you all where we give our picks and suggestions on buying to you. If you are still unsure, visit our Travel Store for more options.
Camping is a great way to experience our beautiful world and right equipment can help make this experience even better! Hope we were able to help you identify your camping needs and decide on the best possible picks accordingly.Now that you know your essential camping equipment, start shopping already! While you are at it, don't forget to comment and give us some love.