Planning a Camping Trip: The Complete Guide SEE FULL GUIDE prev next Lanterns Camping Pillows Sleeping Pads Portable Showers Cookware Backpacking Tents Backpacking Gear Backpacks for Backpacking Backpacking Food Backpacking Sleeping Bags Tips for First-Time Campers Camping on a Budget Top Camping Destinations Best States to Camp Top National Parks Camping in the Fall Spring Camping Getaways How to Go Backpacking Complete Checklist Backpacking Destinations Setting Up Camp FAQs About Camping Tips for Non-Campers First Aid Packing List Tents Ultralight Tents Rooftop Tents Camping Furniture Hammocks Camping Accessories Planning a Camping Trip: The Complete Guide close Overview Outdoors Camping The 13 Best Camping Accessories of 2021 Don't go camping without these must-have essentials By Justine Harrington Justine Harrington Twitter University of Arkansas Justine Harrington is a TripSavvy writer based in Austin, Texas, where she covers topics spanning travel, food & drink, lifestyle, culture, social advocacy, and the outdoors. TripSavvy's editorial guidelines Updated on 07/14/21 Share Pin Email Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links. The Rundown Best Camp Chair: GCI Outdoor Kickback Rocker Chair at REI "This chair is maximally comfortable and solidly built." Best First Aid Kit: First Aid Only All-Purpose Kit at Amazon "This set includes all the must-have basics of a good first aid kit." Best Camp Stove: BioLite CampStove 2+ at Backcountry "Not only does it give you smokeless, gasless flames powered by sticks and twigs, but it can even charge all your gear." Best Cookware: Stanley Adventure Base Camp Cookset at Walmart "This 19-piece, dishwasher-safe cook set comes with pretty much everything you need to prepare all your meals." Best Thermos: Stanley Classic Vacuum Insulated Bottle at Amazon "This cult-fave thermos is made with superior-quality insulation that keeps all your liquids cool or hot for well up to 24 hours." Best Shelter: Eureka Northern Breeze Screen House at Amazon "Offers durable protection from sun, wind, rain, and bugs." Best Cooler: RovR Roller 60 at REI "Airtight and outfitted with all-terrain wheels, this cooler offers up to 10 days of ice retention." Best Blanket: ENO FieldDay Blanket at Amazon "Tough enough to withstand all your outdoor adventures, and it’s even machine-washable." Best Camp Pillow: Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow at Amazon "Provides a soft, supportive place to lay your head when you’re sleeping on hard ground." Best Headlamp: Black Diamond Spot 350 Headlamp at Backcountry "Ensures you’ll see clearly even in total darkness." Best Travel Ukulele: KALA Solid Spruce Ukulele at KALA "Great for taking on the road, thanks to its ultra-thin, lightweight body." Best Knife: Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool at Amazon "Delivers in any situation, with its large blade, small blade, can opener, 3-millimeter screwdriver, bottle opener, and more." Best Fairy Lights: REVEL GEAR Trail Hound Camping Light at REI "This 30-foot camping light provides long-lasting, bright, energy-efficient mood lighting for your basecamp." If you’re going car camping, there’s simply no point in roughing it for the sake of roughing it. You probably know the most basic and essential items to bring, but choosing the best of those basics can really enhance your outdoor getaway. Think a full set of cookware that packs down compactly for packing so you don't have to skimp on tasty meals; or a cooler that offers 10 days of ice retention so your food and drinks stay nice and frosty. Having not only the right gear, but also the best gear, can make all the difference. Here are the best camping accessories to upgrade your next adventure and make your tent site feel like home. Best Camp Chair: GCI Outdoor Kickback Rocker Chair Courtesy of GCI Buy on Dick's Buy on Campingworld.com Buy on REI Why settle for a rickety old camp chair when you could be relaxing in the supremely comfy GCI Outdoor Kickback Rocker Chair? Patented spring-action recline technology on this chair allows you to lean back securely and comfortably to kick your feet up after a long day. With a 250-pound weight capacity, this chair is maximally comfortable and solidly built. But its strong build doesn't pack on pounds; it's lightweight (about 10.5 pounds) and easy to transport. Plus, it has a side pocket to stash your phone and a cupholder to keep your beverage handy. Best First Aid Kit: First Aid Only All-Purpose Kit Buy on Amazon Buy on Walmart Unless you’re headed on a remote backpacking trip, you probably don’t need a first aid kit with a ton of bells and whistles—in which case, the First Aid Only All-Purpose Kit will do nicely. This set includes all the must-have basics of a good first aid kit, including lots of bandage choices, antibiotic ointments, gauze, burn cream packets, and more. Crucially, it’s small enough to fit in your daypack, so you can easily patch up scrapes and cuts on the trail. The 10 Best First Aid Kits of 2021 Best Camp Stove: BioLite CampStove 2+ The orange battery unit is protected from the fire burning in the adjacent canister. Buy on Backcountry.com Buy on Moosejaw.com Buy on REI Perfect for cooking all your meals at camp, the BioLite CampStove 2+ is one mighty impressive stove. Not only does it give you smokeless, gasless flames powered by sticks and twigs, but it can even charge all your gear (phones, lights, and more with 3 watts of power). This stove is also outfitted with a Bonus Flexlight with ChromaReal LED technology to help light up your surroundings. Leave the gas canisters at home and bring this powerful, highly packable stove, instead—conveniently, it packs down to the size of a 32-ounce water bottle. Best Cookware: Stanley Adventure Base Camp Cookset Courtesy of REI Buy on Walmart Buy on REI Thanks to the Stanley Adventure Base Camp Cookset, your campsite can basically function like a stripped-down kitchen. This 19-piece, dishwasher-safe cook set comes with pretty much everything you need to prepare all your meals, like a 3.7-quart pot with a vented lid, a frying pan made with 18/8 stainless steel, plates, bowls, a cutting board, and utensils. And the entire cookset nests in the pot and is secured with a locking bungee, so it’s easy to take with you on the go. The 10 Best Backpacking Cookware Sets of 2021 Best Thermos: Stanley Classic Vacuum Insulated Bottle Buy on Amazon Buy on Walmart Buy on Dick's Keep all your fireside beverages piping-hot or ice-cold with the Stanley Classic Vacuum Insulated Bottle. This popular thermos is made with superior-quality insulation that keeps all your liquids cool or hot for well up to 24 hours. Tough, durable, and made with BPA-free materials, this thermos also boasts rust-proof 18/8 stainless steel construction, so it’s great for taking virtually anywhere. The leak-resistant lid is a nice touch, too—you’ll never have to worry about spilling hot coffee in your backpack. The 8 Best Travel Water Bottles of 2021 Best Shelter: Eureka Northern Breeze 12 Screen House Courtesy of Eureka Northern Buy on Amazon Buy on REI Need to stay protected from the elements? Invest in the Northern Breeze Screen House, which offers durable protection from sun, wind, rain, and bugs, making your camping experience that much more pleasant. MarkReiser, owner of Alaska Outdoors, relies on this product for tours. "We have been using the Northern Breeze shelters by Eureka for nearly 20 years to keep our guests protected from the Alaska elements," he says. "We have camped with these shelters for thousands of nights throughout Alaska in some very challenging weather conditions. These shelters last for years and are an integral piece of equipment for us.” Best Cooler: RovR Roller 60 Courtesy Rovr Products Buy on REI Buy on Rovrproducts.com Heavy-duty doesn’t even begin to cover it. The RovR Roller 60 is a 60-quart carrying beast of a cooler with a patented cooling and organizational design that sets it apart from the crowd. Airtight and outfitted with all-terrain wheels, this cooler offers up to 10 days of ice retention (depending on use), along with a super-spacious capacity that will hold up to 60 cans and 20 pounds of ice. There’s even a Deep Freeze removable Dry Bin with two compartments. The 10 Best Backpack Coolers of 2021 Best Blanket: ENO FieldDay Blanket Buy on Amazon Buy on REI You’ll love cozying up at your campsite with the ENO FieldDay Blanket. Available in three adorable, vibrant pattern options, this stylish blanket inspires pure relaxation. The 100-percent recycled polar fleece lining is soft to the touch, and the durable nylon exterior features a water-repellent finish to resist moisture and spills. This blanket’s quilted construction is tough enough to withstand all your outdoor adventures, and it’s even machine-washable for easy care when you get home. Best Camp Pillow: Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow Buy on Amazon Buy on Moosejaw.com Ramp up the comfort factor inside your tent with the Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow, which provides a soft, supportive place to lay your head when you’re sleeping on hard ground (a must). This camp pillow is made from earth-smart filling that’s made up of leftover pieces of the high-quality foam used to construct the brand’s sleeping pads, and it packs down to one-fifth its normal 18 x 14-inch size, making it an ideal and portable companion in the great outdoors. The 9 Best Camping Pillows of 2021 Best Headlamp: Black Diamond Spot 350 Headlamp Courtesy of REI Buy on Backcountry.com Buy on Blackdiamondequipment.com Buy on REI Whether you’re cooking underneath the stars or scouting out the best place to go when nature calls, the Black Diamond Spot 350 Headlamp ensures you’ll see clearly even in total darkness. This top-notch headlamp is compact and sleek, with an updated user interface and multifaceted optical lens design that helps save battery. It emits up to 350 lumens on the highest power setting and is waterproof-tested to operate at least 1.1 m underwater for 30 minutes. You probably won't need that feature, but even so, you know it’s the real deal. The 11 Best Camping Lanterns of 2021 Best Travel Ukulele: KALA Solid Spruce Ukulele Courtesy of KALA Buy on Kalabrand.com What’s a campout without singing songs with your best pals around a crackling fire? Make fun memories with the KALA Solid Spruce Travel Concert Ukulele, which is great for taking on the road, thanks to its ultra-thin, lightweight body that packs up into the included carrying case. Despite being small and portable, this uke delivers the sonic goods—its arched back is designed to help it give off a truly full-bodied sound. Best Knife: Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool Courtesy of Amazon Buy on Amazon You’ve gotta have a good multi-tool on hand when you escape into nature. Enter the Victorinox Swiss Army Multi-Tool, which delivers in any situation, with its large blade, small blade, can opener, 3-millimeter screwdriver, bottle opener, and more. This tool is compact and very well crafted with tempered, Swiss-made stainless steel that’s extremely resistant to the elements. Once you go Swiss Army knife, you’ll never go back. Best Fairy Lights: REVEL GEAR Trail Hound Camping Light Courtesy of REI Buy on Moosejaw.com Buy on REI Take your campsite to the next level with the REVEL GEAR Trail Hound Camping Light. This 30-foot camping light provides long-lasting, bright, energy-efficient mood lighting for your basecamp—talk about a festive atmosphere. Conveniently, it plugs into any USB outlet or battery, giving off 350 lumens of adjustable light with eight brightness settings and six different modes ranging from solid light to a fire-crackle setting. What to Look For in Camping Accessories Size If you’re just going car camping, size of your gear isn’t as much of a factor as it is if you’re backpacking. Feel free to get as plush and cozy as you want as long as you can fit it all in the car and can see out the windows while you're driving around. Materials Some of the most hardy, waterproof materials are polyester, nylon, and polyethylene; all make for great tent materials. Also check the water-resistance capabilities of any other items you're bringing, such as lanterns and flashlights, camping chairs (quick drying is preferable in case it rains!), or a shelter. Price If you go camping often, it’s always best to splurge on a higher-quality items than not (like a nice sleeping pad or stove versus something cheaper, for instance). Buying items that are durable and long-lasting will save you money in the long run and make your camping experience more enjoyable. FAQs What’s the best kind of cookware to bring camping? Whether you’re backpacking or car camping, there are all kinds of cookware sets to choose from. If, however, you want to get fancy (and you don’t have to lug anything up a mountain), we’re partial to bringing a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet when we car camp. You can set both directly over the fire, and the food always turns out tastier. Should I get an inflatable sleeping pad, an air mattress, or a closed-cell foam pad? There are some key differences to keep in mind here. Inflatable pads and air mattresses are incredibly comfy and feature insulation to increase warmth, but they also puncture fairly easily and you’ll probably have to do some patchwork at some point. Foam pads are best for backpacking since they’re lightweight and can be rolled up easily (though they’re less comfy than inflatable pads). What kind of coffee maker is best for car camping? We’re big fans of the French press if we’re car camping; if you’re backpacking, we recommend getting a compact, portable espresso maker or another ultralight drip model that doesn’t require filters. Why Trust TripSavvy TripSavvy authors spend hours researching their topics, interviewing experts, and reading reviews and comments to compile their best-of lists. The 8 Best Camping Furniture Pieces Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit Continue to 5 of 13 below. Continue to 9 of 13 below. 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