5 Must Have Camping Supplies

Summer camping season is here and that means loading up the car and heading to the woods for lots of families. We’ve already been twice this season and plan to camp off and on all summer long. 

Camping, while fun, can also be hard to plan for if you have never been. It might feel overwhelming to think of the items you’ll need for the duration of your trip. 

5 Must Have Camping Supplies


Make sure that you have these 5 must have camping supplies in your car before you go. They’ll make your camping life and your trip much easier.

  1. When tenting it, get a tent – Sure, you could go to Walmart and pick up a $20 tent and call it good, but if you do that? You run the risk of waking up wet from rain or shivering in the cold if the temperature drops, tent poles breaking, easy rips and more. The family tent should be something that you’re willing to invest a little bit of money in. After all, you will be using it each time that you camp so it needs to hold up to use.
  2. A quality propane lantern – Know something? The woods are dark. Seriously. Dark. Like pitch blank, can’t see the shadow in front of your face, dark. Most of the time a flashlight won’t cut it, though it’s a good idea to bring one of those as well. Pick up a quality propane lantern to use for light. This is especially important if you have small kids. Be sure that you get one that runs off of the little propane canisters. You will spend less money on those than you will batteries for a battery operated lantern.
  3. Cast Iron Cookware – If you don’t have a camp stove, picking up a few good pieces of cast iron is the way to go. You can catch them at thrift stores for under $12.00 each which is a killer price for cast iron, which are generally pricey. You might have to clean them up a bit, but once you do, cast iron will last for years. For camping, you will need them to cook on an open fire. Make sure that you have a good sized dutch oven and a cast iron skillet at the very least. As a side note, don’t forget food, drinks and snacks as well!
  4. Camp chairs – Sitting on the ground or an old stump can get quite uncomfortable if you do it long enough. Instead, pick up enough camp chairs to go around. Don’t buy the cheapest ones you can find either. They will likely rip easier making it a total waste of your money. We got some great ones at Costco that have attached folding side tables, and since we’ve tried so many different chairs in our many years of camping, we can definitely say these have been the best. 
  5. Good (and warm!) sleeping bags – Not all sleeping bags are made equal and all it takes is one night of cold to understand that. Be sure that your sleeping bag is rated for temperatures wherever you will be camping. Even in the summer months the temperature can hover above zero some nights. It will cost you more money, but you’ll be getting much better quality and you’ll stay nice and toasty when temps drop.

Do you camp?



  1. my husband and i love to camp, but since i family grew to 5 in 4 years, we haven’t been in awhile. time to upgrade our two person tent to something larger!

  2. I’m not a camper. I’ve never been outdoorsy. When I take the kids on an adventure, it’s a musical.

  3. We haven’t been camping in a while. We need to stock up on camping supplies before our next trip.

  4. I have not been camping in a long time but I would love to go with a group of friends. I like the tip to look for some of the cooking supplies at second hand stores!

  5. We have a cabin but love camping in the mountains. There is nothing better than a fresh perked cup of coffee around the campfire first thing in the morning and then smores to end out the evening.

  6. I think a cook stove is a must! When the kids get hungry, it’s much faster than building a fire, and sometimes we’ve had rain recently and it’s hard to get a good fire going. A camp stove means you’ll always have a reliable way to cook meals, just don’t forget the propane or butane or what have you! We also find camp pads to be necessary, in fact more crucial than chairs. We just can’t sleep on the hard tent floor alone. Once we invested in some sleeping pads, we all slept much better!

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