How To: Camping Gear

Our recommended overnight essentials.

Our recommended overnight essentials.

Got your first camping trip coming up and don’t know what you need? Or maybe you’ve had a few... less than smooth...camping trips and want to know what you were missing! What if you’re just looking to dip your toe into all things nature, have you thought about renting your gear?

Essentials for camping:


A reliable backpack is essential for carrying all of your camping gear. There are three main types of camping backpacks: day packs, overnight packs and long-haul packs. As the name says, day packs are meant to hold your day hiking essentials. Overnight bags can hold your essentials and clothing and long-haul packs are best for multiple-day trips.


A good tent should be your number one priority when acquiring camping gear. There are two kinds of tent varieties: three-season and four-season. The three-season is your basic tent for most seasons. The four-season is made to handle snowdrifts in the winter. Tents come in many shapes and sizes - choose your size depending on how many people will occupy the tent. For backpacking trips, a lighter tent is best for traveling with. If your campsite is near your car, opt for a heavier, more luxurious tent that can make all the difference. 

Sleeping bags

Like tents, sleeping bags also come in different weights to be used in varying temperatures. A summer season bag is best for temperatures 30°F and higher. A three-season bag is best for temperatures between 15°F to 30°F and a winter bag is best for 15°F and lower. You should also consider the insulation of the sleeping bag. Synthetic insulation is affordable, continues to insulate when damp and dries fast. Down insulation is lightweight, performs well in cold weather, compresses easily for packing and is more durable.



With as much planning you can do for trips, you can’t always predict how good the cell service will be. It’s actually best to plan for no cell service. This is why paper maps will be your best friend. Utilize the maps before your trip, planning any hiking trails or routes to your campsite. You’ll be thankful to have this handy tool.  

First-Aid kits

You can’t predict how exactly your trip will turn out or what mother nature will throw at you. An open wound outdoors can get dirty and infected quickly. So it’s best to be prepared with a first-aid kit for any minor cuts, scrapes or more serious matters. 

Flashlight and lanterns

In case you didn't already know, it gets DARK in the woods. Like, you couldn’t even see your hand if you put it right in front of your face. The type of trip you’re on will determine what kind of lighting you need, but every trip requires your basic cheap reliable flashlight. If you’ll be staying a few nights at your campsite, lanterns are a good idea for keeping on your tables or guiding you to your choice of bathroom options.


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Renting vs. Buying

Haven’t heard of renting camping gear yet? It’s the new big thing circulating in the outdoors community! Renting can sometimes be a more affordable and convenient option.

We spoke with Chad Lawver, Co-Founder of CampCrate, to discuss why renting may be a more feasible option. He says,

“If two people are looking to go backpacking, they’ll spend a little over $1,100 after taxes. Renting the same equipment through CampCrate for 3 nights/4 days currently costs $348. This includes free shipping in both directions, all the equipment you’ll need, and even access to CampCrate’s support staff to help with any questions or preparation.”

In addition to cost, with the help from Chad, we’ve outlined a few additional key differences between renting and buying your camping gear:


  • If traveling by plane, you have to take your camping gear with you through the airport paying any   fees

  • Must purchase all items individually

  • A good option for frequent campers and backpackers who want to invest in gear future trips


  • The gear is delivered to near your travel destination, avoiding airplane luggage fees

  • You can rent individual items or camping packages based on your needs

  • A good option for those who don’t camp very often, don’t want to invest in camping gear or want to avoid airport fees

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