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Hey campers and welcome to my post discussing my 6 must have camping items for outdoor comfort in 2021. As we know, camping is a fantastic and fun pastime with people getting out and about in tents all year round. The thing is, some like to travel light whilst others like to take everything they have, and them some.
So today I am going to try and meet you all in the middle as I outline the 6 things that I believe are a must have when heading out into the woods, wilderness, bush or countryside – regardless of whether you like to travel light or not – or spend a fortune or not. I will list a few others worth mentioning at the bottom of this post, but to me, these 6 are the items that allow me to be as comfortable as I can and spend as much time as possible doing what I am there to do.
Let’s have a look…
Ok, so we are probably starting here with the obvious but I guess the whole idea of camping is to sleep outside under some sort of shelter. Now of course – and this is something that you can take as a given for everything we list here and below – there are definite variations in size, quality, accessories and inclusions with everything that is used for camping. The thing here however, is that at the very least you need something that will protect you from the elements as you sleep. This can include:
- Tents – Of course – these come in all shapes and sizes from the massive family sized ‘mansions’ to lightweight options for hikers and kayakers.
- Swags – These are small tents that sleep only one or two – great for those who don’t want to take too much with them
- Tarps/Canvas – Some like to camp under a single canvas or tarpaulin
- Gazebos – Gazebos are framed covers that provide basic protection from the sun in the day and any light rain at night.
At the end of the day, as long as you have something to keep you protected and dry in both daylight and nighttime hours, then you should be ok.
For many, camping is a fairly active pastime with the campsite being a base from which to swim, canoe, hike or fish etc. This means that a good night’s sleep is paramount to the enjoyment of these activities. For others however, camping is a time to just do nothing, catch up on some sleep and/or read a book.
Regardless of your planned pursuits, some good bedding is always a good idea. Again, for those looking for supreme comfort this may include a good air mattress, linen bedding and pillow. Hikers however may just want a little camping mat and light sleeping bag. Regardless, besides some shelter, a good bed can often be the difference between a good and great camping trip.
I can talk to this one from experience as when we used to just ‘throw some stuff’ in the back of the 4×4 and head out for some beach camping and fishing, we would always forget the light. And trust me, firelight is generally not enough to get you by.
When it gets dark, a good light will help you with everything you are doing from meal prep to getting changed and everything else you may want to do around the campsite. This doesn’t have to be a big deal as a simple battery powered lantern will definitely do the trick although I must say I do love my LCD light strip that runs off my 12V battery a real lot!
Fishing headlamps are really good here too…
This is another area where I can definitely speak from experience. If you are heading out to your favourite camping spot in winter then this one is a no brainer. It is however the other times of year when you would need to take this into account – even in summer where storms and rain can pop up out of nowhere – and especially if at the beach or up in the mountains.
So, even if the weather is hot as you leave home, I highly recommend ensuring you have at least one set of warmer clothing such as a jumper/sweater, socks and long pants just in case. There is nothing more uncomfortable than sitting around a campsite freezing because you forgot to bring a jacket.
At the very least, take a raincoat…
5. Basic tools and accessories
Now, this section could go on forever as there really are so many campsite tools and accessories to choose from that I really don’t know where to start. So as we are talking about must have camping items we will leave the 12V fridge freezers and banana lounges for another day however when it comes to the basics for camping I would be trying to find a space for the following:
- Shovel – If you bring nothing else, bring a shovel! Shovels do so much on a campsite such as digging fire pits, draining channels when it rains, latrines if you are away from public amenities or even to bang in a tent peg if needed. You can even get small options for the hiker-campers.
- Hammer – For tent pegs etc.
- Axe/tomahawk – For cutting firewood
- Cooker – Unless you are planning to eat cold food for the entire trip, then some sort of cooker is a necessity as well. This can range from a small butane cooker for heating water to a larger portable BBQ/grill.
- Cooler – Coolers are the key to keeping food (and beer) cold. If space is an issue, get a backpack with a cooler section included.
- Chair – After all, where are you going to sit. Camping chairs definitely come in all manner of sizes but again, regardless of the size you will really notice not having one.
It probably goes without saying but when it comes to camping, there are some obvious dangers to be accounted for. After all we are dealing with tent pegs, axes, hammer, cooking appliances and fire – just to name a few. Not to mention the fact that you are generally outdoors amongst all the flying ‘biteys’ as well.
So, to that end, I highly recommend adding a small first aid kit to your list. Obviously you don’t want to be carrying a hospital ward around with you however as a minimum, I would add:
- Small bandages
- Waterproof medical tape
- Insect repellent
- Insect bite spray
And while we are on the safety train, make sure you have some sunscreen and clean drinking water with you as well!
Others worth a mention
As we discussed at the top of this post, the items listed above are what I believe to be ‘must haves’ when it comes to camping. However, there are some other options here that you may prefer, or feel should be added to this list. These include:
- Table – These often get left behind as they tend to be bulky. However, a good camping table is well worth the effort for cooking and eating.
- Clothes line – To be honest, in my household these are one of the first things packed. Even if it is just a piece of rope to tie between two trees they are well worth the effort.
- Pantry – Usually when you are out in the wilderness at your favourite campsite humans are not the only animals you are sharing the space with. The local inhabitants generally love nothing more than foraging through your campsite for some tasty treats. A canvas or nylon cupboard that zips at the front is a perfect option for keeping your food away from critters and creepy crawlies alike.
- Wardrobe – And while you are at it – get another pantry to keep your clothes in inside the tent – it is just neater and a lot nicer than scrounging through your bag for a clean pair of undies!
- Camp kitchen – Camp kitchens are usually a hybrid setup that folds out to include a table, washing up sink (usually with a bucket inserted) and a small cupboard space – much like our pantry above. As with tables they tend to be a bit bulky but well worth the effort I think.
- Buckets – For water, washing up and bathing the kids.
- Broom – If you are camping anywhere on or near sand, you will need a broom for the tent – trust me.
- Food and water – Because of course!
And there they are – my 6 must have camping items for outdoor comfort in 2021. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please let me know of your experiences or any other tips you may have.
Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.
Until next time