Looking for the best camping gear in 2018?
Bill and I love going on camping trips, so we decided to ask 18 expert campers what their must-have camping accessories are!
We wanted to skip the research and just find the best camping essentials right from the people who use them all the time.
From water bottles and water filters to camp chairs and blow up sofas, we've got something for everyone!
(There's even a spork!)
Looking for something in particular? Below is an overview for easy navigation.
Or just scroll through at your leisure till something catches your eye!
Note: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This doesn't cost you any more than normal. Read our disclaimer for more info.
Best Camping Gear 2018
Here's the best hiking & camping gear of 2018, as told by the experts:
1. Joey from Cool of the Wild
Joey and her partner are mad about gear and camping. They’re always willing to try new things, go new places, and generally have endless enthusiasm for any excuse to get out there and enjoy the outdoor world (sounds like they’re living the life!).
Joey recommends the following camping equipment:
A Cafetiere camping mug
Camp kitchens aren't complete without coffee!
This mug allows you to brew coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and is made with double walls to keep your drink hotter for longer.
Buff Lightweight Merino Wool Multi-functional Head-wear
Don't go anywhere without the right hiking clothing!
This headscarf is soft, warm, wind-resistant, and lightweight made with 100 percent Merino wool. You’re able to wear it 10 different ways and it's incredibly versatile!
Swiss Army Knife
Joey said that she never goes anywhere without her swiss army knife, and we don’t blame her! Attached with a fish scaler, corkscrew, Phillips screwdriver and more, it’s no wonder so many campers consider this a must-have!
It's always good to have some survival gear - you know, just in case a zombie apocalypse breaks out. 🙂
2. Ewan from Wild About Scotland
Ewan may be passionate about camping, but as the name of his website suggests, he’s wild for Scotland. Trespass Blog Awards voted his website “Best UK Camping Blog” in both 2014 and 2016.
His recommends bringing this camping gear:
Sporks are the ultimate in camping essentials!
Their 3-in-1 design can be used as a full size spoon or fork and comes with a serrated edge to cut your food with ease.
Icebreaker 200 merino wool long-sleeved top
Most people don’t just go camping to sit around the fire - they set up their tent and explore! On warm days, there’s nothing more uncomfortable than a sweaty shirt sticking to your skin.
This Merino wool sweater absorbs sweat and releases it into the air (a process that’s normally referred to as “wicking”. This process keeps you dry and comfortable throughout the day and night.
Inflatable, foldable solar powered camping lantern
When this accordion-shaped camping lantern is expanded, it can be used as a regular lantern to illuminate the inside of your tent. When it’s compressed, you’re able to use it as a flashlight to illuminate your path! This is one of those “must have” items (especially if you’re a frequent camper!
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3. Kim from Camping for Foodies
Kim is a camping, hiking, and cooking fanatic! She’s a frequent contributor to AZ Outdoor Magazine and even has her own cooking segment on the Great Food Good Neighbors TV show.
She recently shared her top three must-have camping accessories to bring along with you during your trip. Such as:
Flexible Camping Mats
You may be thinking “Why in the world would I need (or want) flexible table mats when camping? I’m outdoors - let me make a mess for once!”
These flexible camping mats aren’t just for eating though - they’re great to use as a cutting board too! If you’re not interested in them, they sure do make a nice gift 😉
Camping Cocktail Shaker
There’s nothing like sipping on your favorite drink in the middle of the woods. With this 5-in-1 cocktail shaker, you’ll be able to live a life of luxury no matter where you are!
This makes a wonderful camping gift, too!
Hammock with Attachments
Laying in between two trees in the middle of the woods is one of the most satisfying feelings. However, some hammocks don’t come with pouches (which is a damn shame). This hammock comes with an attached accessory bag and has multiple pockets. In other words, this is a good investment.
4. Shanti from Hike it Baby
Back in 2013, Shanti started casually hiking with some family friends. When more people wanted to join in, Shanti decided to turn Hike it Baby into a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families around the US.
She also just wrote a book about hiking with babies and toddlers called "Hike It Baby: 100 Awesome Outdoor Adventures with Babies and Toddlers"!
Shanti's favorite camping gear is:
Toddlers and young children absolutely love the outdoors! They can be a bit rambunctious when exploring, however, and not want to stay still to eat.
This flexible highchair will come in handy during these times. It's easy to store, comfortable for children, and looks downright adorable. An excellent piece of camping furniture!
Infant Pop 'N Play Enclosure
Bring your toddlers along with you shouldn't be a hassle - in fact, it should be fun for everyone! With this Pop 'N Play enclosure, you'll be able to keep your youngsters in your view without having to hold them (or constantly chase after them).
Plus, this enclosure comes with a canopy top - which is perfect for those super sunny days!
Outdoor Children's Mat
Ticks, ants, and other creepy bugs will have a much harder time reaching your children with this outdoor children's mat!
This mat is water-resistant, easily cleanable, folds into a carrying pouch with ease. It's definitely a good buy for campers with kids!
5. Shell from Camping with Style
Meet Shell! A full time marketing consultant and the editor of Camping with Style. Starting her blog helped her stay on track after breaking her back due to a snowboarding accident in 2014 while promoting a healthier lifestyle.
Shell recommends the following camping equipment:
Looking for a way to keep your phone charged while camping? Maybe you'd like to stay up and read after the sun goes down. With this USB solar charger, you're able to do both (and more)!
This is a bit pricey, but it's well-worth the price if you find yourself wishing you had a bit more power at your campground.
Robens Crevasse II Sleeping Bag
Camp bedding is super important. Thanks to the Robens Crevasse II Sleeping Bag, you'll be able to sleep in comfort (and style)!
This sleeping bag is ultra soft, waterproof, and is designed to keep you warm in frigid temperatures (down 20 degrees Fahrenheit). It's a good buy if you're an avid camper! You can never have too many sleeping accessories on chilly nights.
Collapsible 2-in-1 Water Carrier & Bucket
Have you ever run out of water when camping (or hiking)? Us too... it's awful! With this 2-in-1 collapsible water container, the chances of you running out will drop drastically.
Not only is this water container stylish, it's UV resistant, frost-proof, and was made using food grade recyclable plastic.
6. Kate from Adventures of Kate
Kate is an award winning outdoor and adventure blogger and absolutely loves being near the mountains and the sea. She also shares her bucket list on her blog, which is insanely awesome (she's done quite a lot)!
Kate recommends bringing these camping accessories:
Jetboil Sumo Stove
Known as a "must-have" accessory for anyone serious about camping and backpacking, this Jetboil stove will not let you down (unless you're out of propane, of course).
Hunka Bivvy Bag
This Hunka Bivvy Bag is lightweight, breathable, and waterproof. It's one of the best sleeping mats for experienced campers and is highly rated (not to mention, has won multiple awards).
After hydration packs, water bottles are the next best thing.
These water-to-go bottles are BPA-free and were created based on technology developed for NASA. The filtration system stops even the smallest contaminates from passing through.
This water bottle comes in handy whether you're camping for a few days, a week, or a month! The fact that you'll be able to drink water fresh from the stream without the fears of getting sick makes this bottle that much more attractive.
Kate has also provided a code for all of us to get 15% off of your order! Simply use the code "Kate15" at checkout and enjoy!
7. Michael from Fresh Off the Grid
Michael and his partner Megan first started Fresh Off the Grid back in 2015 as a resource for outdoor enthusiasts. They came to realize that their home cooked meals were a bit too complicated to make outdoors and that most camping meals are "unhealthy".
With a bit of determination, they were able to turn their website into a kick ass recipe blog.
Michael recommends bringing this camping gear:
Polar Dutch Oven
With how much time you'll be spending cooking at your "camp kitchens", it's a good idea to invest in a good dutch oven. This Polar Dutch Oven was recommended by Michael and it's a top notch dutch oven.
However, it's a bit pricey. If your'e unable to swing this one, we're a fan of the Lodge L8DOL3 Cast Iron Dutch Oven, too!
Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Beer Growler
No camping trip is complete without a little beer!
This awesome vacuum insulated growler keeps hot drinks warm for 12+ hours and cold drinks cool for 24+ hours. It's BPA-free, leak-proof, and comes with a lifetime warranty, too!
This list of camping gear wouldn't be complete without camping furniture!
Kermit chairs were first designed in 1984 by a BMW motorcyclist named Kermit. He wanted a chair that was both lightweight and easily portable (to carry on his motorcycle, of course)!
Kermit chairs are now one of the most popular camping chairs around - and for good reason. They're pretty comfortable and you definitely get the most bang for your buck.
8. Thomas from The Armchair Mountaineer
Thomas is an Entrepreneur, Blogger, Mountain Enthusiast and Bibliophile. Back in 2016, he realized he was burnt out from the constant rat race and completely redesigned his life.
He now blogs about all things outdoors (and even has some awesome gear reviews to check out!).
Here's what Thomas told us was the best camping gear:
Anker Solar Charging Power Port
With this solar charging power port you're able to charge nearly any device you have quickly (and efficiently). It comes equipped with hoops that allow you to attach it to your backpack (allowing you to power up literally anywhere).
Thomas also recommended a Water-to-go purification bottle, which was talked about earlier!
9. Sarah from Inspired Camping
Sarah wears a lot of hats - she's a Performance Coach, consultant, trainer, freelance writer, glamping business coach, inspirational speaker and Book Producer (holy smokes!).
Through her blog, you'll find inspired camping ideas as well as a "Glamping" business course to get your glamp on yourself!
She recommends bringing the following camping supplies:
Sometimes, you just have to indulge in the "good stuff"... such as an inflatable couch! Nothing screams comfort like one of these bad boys! This is easy to inflate (and deflate) and doesn't take up much room when compacted!
Children, teenagers, adults, and elders will find themselves lounging around the campfire for hours on one of these. It's definitely a good buy!
If you guys don't already have a waterproof bluetooth speaker... it's time to get one. Imagine all the music and podcasts you miss out on while taking a walk (not everyone wants to wear headphones and drain their phone battery).
We can't control the weather and, as Bill and I found out one year in Maine, when you're taking your tent down and there are dark clouds in the sky, it's not a good idea to leave "regular" speakers out in the open. This is an excellent buy - no matter the price!
Campfire Frying Pan
There's nothing like breakfast cooked over the fire... with this camp-inspired frying pan, you'll be able to make all your favorite breakfasts within minutes!
There are two sizes to choose from (21 and 25cm) and the price is more than reasonable! Happy cooking 🙂
10. Luna from Hiker Track
Luna graduated from college with a degree in business and became an office worker the moment after she graduated. After realizing she wanted to see more than four walls, she and her best friends decided to travel to new destinations while sharing what they've learned (in hopes of helping others).
Luna recommends bringing these camping supplies:
Coleman 4-Person Instant Cabin
This Coleman 4-Person Instant Cabin sets up in less than one minute. You read that right - just one minute!
The poles come pre-attached (which is awesome if you love camping but truly despise setting up camp). Did we mention this cabin is waterproof? Count us in!
TETON Sports Celsius Sleeping Bag
With this TETON sleeping bag, chilly nights will be a thing of the past! No matter how warm it can be during the day, all campers know how cold it feels at night.
Thanks to TETON, we can now sleep in frigid temperatures (we're talking zero-degrees, here!). That said, I don't recommend sleeping out in the snow unless you know what you're doing. Bring the right sleeping gear!
High Performance Backpack
Every camper (and, of course, hiker) should have a durable backpack. This TETON Sports Explorer backpack is highly recommend by Luna (and for good reason).
This backpack is one of the top selling backpacks on Amazon and comes equipped with multiple torso-adjustments to fit your body right. Like any good hiking backpack, it even comes with a slot for hydration packs!
You won't find a better backpack (but if you do, feel free to send it our way!).
11. Gav from Get Out With the Kids
Gav is a father of three and loves getting out and about (whether it's hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing, etc.).
He co-founded Get Out With the Kids in hopes of helping other parents enjoy the great outdoors with their families!
Gav recommends bringing:
Robens Field Station
Gav's current favorite tent is the Robens Field Station - which is a tent that fits up to six people!
This tent is fire retardant (meaning it won't catch on fire, but will melt if in direct contact with flames). It's also equipped with a mesh net for ventilation (perfect for when you want some fresh air without those pesky mosquitoes).
The Bighorn is a 3 legged pan made from durable cast iron for optimal heat transfer.
You're able to use it on open fires and it comes pre-seasoned for immediate use! The legs are removable too, which means finding storage won't be a hassle!
The Outwell Dreamboat self-inflating mat features the latest technology of double flat valves (which provides a close-to-home mattress design and comfort).
This adjustable mattress provides the right amount of firmness to support all your sleeping needs. Considering the dimensions, the weight is slow and pack size small.
12. Jen from Outdoor Families Magazine
Jen is the writer/editor at Outdoor Family Magazine (she also oversees the overall design, aesthetic and content direction of the magazine).
She also writes about her families travels and multi-cultural living.
Jen recommends bringing:
I don't know about you, but Scrabble is one of my all-time favorite games to play. Maybe I've been living under a rock, but I had no idea there was a travel version available!
Whether you're playing in the tent or around the fire, Scrabble-to-go is the way to go!
TETON Sports Pillow
This lightweight TETON sports pillow is perfect for backpacking, hiking, or camping trips.
It's made with the same material TETON sleeping bags are made with and compresses easily (which means it's easy to carry and store).
There's nothing like lighting up a few glow sticks around the fire!
These are a hit with children and adults alike and provide some extra light (and fun) for everyone!
Jamie from Hiking Girl with Dog
Jamie is the creator, writer, and photographer of Hiking Girl with Dog and absolutely loves the outdoors.
More than that, though, she loves hiking with her pup, Xena (who is one of the cutest hiking dogs we've ever seen).
Jamie recommends bringing:
Collapsible Pet Bowl
Bonus: Best Hiking Gear 2018
Because camping and hiking are so similar (and usually go hand-in-hand) we decided to reach out to some awesome hiking experts to get their input, too!
13. Adam from Hiking the Trail
Adam is an avid hiker (and backpacker) who find himself on the trail when he’s not working. He first started his blog as a journal to prepare his hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail back in 2013.
Now, he shares his outdoor life through trip reports, travel, gear reviews, and more.
Adam recommends bringing:
Knowing where you are at all times while hiking is an absolute must (unless you want to end up like Trisha from The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon - a psychological thriller about a young girl getting lost in the woods by none other than Stephen King).
This compass is filled with liquid which helps keep the North arrow steady and comes with a two-year warranty (which is awesome)!
BPA-Free Water Bottle
This BPA-free water bottle is able to hold both warm and cold beverages (-40 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit) and owners of this bottle say it never leaks.
You can never have too many water bottles, why not go for one that's good for the environment?
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14. Derek from The Ultimate Hang
Derek is a lightweight backpacker, former Scoutmaster, and refers to himself as a “hammock enthusiast”.
He loves all things related to hammocks and was kind enough to share his top two recommendations:
A Jungle Hammock
There's nothing like finding two perfect trees to hang your hammock from. However... those pesky bugs that fly in your face while you're trying to read a book (or sleep) are enough to make you want to cry.
With this Jungle Hammock, mosquitoes and other pesky bugs will be a thing of the past!
Python Hammock Tree Straps
Sometimes, the straps attached to the hammock you buy aren't sturdy enough. Purchasing your own hammock straps are a must and Derek recommends getting Python straps.
He says that the Python straps are the easiest, quickest, and most protective straps to have (while still being light and packs down small).
15. Brad from Bike Hike Safari
Brad is an Australian biker, hiker, photographer, and all-around nature lover. He aims to live by his dreams and takes each day as it comes.
Brad recommends bringing:
Darn Tough Socks
What's more important than hiking boots? Hiking socks.
If you're looking for socks that give the utmost comfort, performance, and style, these Darn Tough Hiker Crew socks are for you!
Nemo Hornet Ultralight Backpacking Tent
These Nemo Hornet camping tents are more or less for one person - however, you could squeeze two people into it if need be. There are so many awesome features this tent has to offer, but a few favorites are:
- The waterproof floor
- Light pockets at the roof of the tent (awesome for nighttime reading)
- Dual doors for accessibility
This tent would be an awesome buy for solo hikers!
Vasque Breeze hiking shoes
It's really no surprise that Brad recommended these Vasque hiking shoes - they're friggin amazing!
These hiking shoes have GORE-TEX waterproof lining that keeps your feet from getting wet, while also providing a cool, dry environment for your feet.
16. Carol from Hiking Lady
Hiking Lady is an online publication dedicated to helping women embrace the outdoors. They provide answers to questions you should know the answer to, but probably don't (such as how to properly prevent blisters and how many calories you burn while hiking).
We were lucky to get Carol to give us her top two recommendations, which are:
Walking sticks are nice and all but (in my not so humble opinion), trekking poles are better.
These trekking poles are lightweight, pack down small, and have adjustable straps. They're super durable and by looking at the reviews on Amazon, they're gender neutral and not one person has slipped while using these. I'd say that makes these a good buy.
Compression Stuff Sack
Are you planning on going for a long hike? I don't mean a hike that lasts a few hours, I mean a hike that lasts a few days (or more)!
If so, do you know where you're going to store all of your belongings? Is there going to be enough room? You shouldn't have to sacrifice what you need (or want) to bring along with you!
This compression backpack allows you to carry up to 30% more materials, is incredibly comfortable, and is water-resistant! All hikers should invest in one of these babies.
17. Lucy from Two Blondes Walking
Lucy and her partner Fi (also known as blonde one and blonde two) love to walk all over. However, they say there's nothing better than throwing their rucksacks on, getting their map and compass out, and setting out across the moor.
Lucy recommends bringing:
Meindl Hiking boots
Meindl Boots are known to be one of the highest quality boots to wear while hiking (or walking in general). They're specifically made for outdoor activities and are said to last years.
Lucy recommended the Hunka Bivvy Bag along with Kate! If this isn't a sign that you should buy it - well, I'm not sure what is.
Bivvy Emergency Survival Sleeping Bag
Anything can happen while you're out hiking, especially when you're hiking for a long period of time. You could lose your compass, feel ill and need to take a break, or fall and hurt yourself.
While this emergency sleeping bag won't mend your wounds, it'll come in handy when you're stuck in one area awaiting help. Sleeping gear is always good to have!
18. Jason from Feed the Habit
Feed the Habit is known as the original back-country blog (mainly because it was around before blogs were even invented!). We were lucky to get Jason to give us his top three accessories for hiking trips.
Here's Jason's best hiking gear:
Outdoor Research Jacket
These insulated jackets will quickly become your new go-to coat during all seasons.
It's lightweight enough to be a summer jacket, can be layered underneath a coat, and has active insulation to regulate your body's temperature no matter what you're doing! You can never have enough hiking clothing.
Lightweight Hiking Travel Backpack
This lightweight hiking backpack has multiple compartments and allows you to adjust it to your body for optimal comfort and support.
Cotopaxi backpacks are known to last for more than 60 years, too. In my opinion, that's well worth the price!
Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Sleeping Pad
There's no shame in admitting that you're not a fan of sleeping in a sleeping bag against the hard ground. Who wants to wake up with a stiff back, anyways? No one!
With this Therm-A-Rest sleeping pad, you'll sleep comfortably and wake up feeling more refreshed. It's a great investment, if you ask me!
19. Tom from Two-Heel Drive
Tom is a seasoned hiker, B2B Content Marketer, and also runs a technology marketing blog! With how busy he may be, he was more than welcome to share his top three accessories to bring along on a hiking trip.
Garmin Vivoactive HR
This GPS sports watch is perfect for hikers of all ages. It comes with a built-in sports app, is touchscreen, and the battery usually lasts up to 8 days!
Some people go as far to say that this is the best sports watch in the market right now.
Guys have it pretty hard when it comes to proper active wear (sometimes). For the most part, they're either wearing pants... or shorts. Girls can get away with wearing capris, but most men don't wear those.
These Zip-N-Go pants basically solve all issues men may face. If you're warm, you're able to unzip the pants at the knees and shazam! You're wearing shorts. These are awesome and I think I'll end up getting Bill at least two pairs - he'd love them!
Camelbak Podium Ice water bottles
Are you a fan of super cold water? These Podium Ice water bottles are able to retain the cold temperatures four times longer than standard bike bottles and are BPA-free.
This is one of those accessories that you'll either love or not care about. Some people like lukewarm water - which is perfectly fine!
20. Kayla and Bill from The Wandering RV
Bill and I also have three hiking gear recommendations for you!
Whether we're camping or hiking, we always bring:
A High-Quality Camera
Bill bought me my Canon EOS Rebel T5 back in the Spring of 2015 and it's been my go-to ever since. Nearly every picture taken for The Wandering RV I take with this beauty.
If you want to photograph your journey, I definitely recommend picking up a high-quality camera and some kick ass lenses!
Deet-Free Bug Spray
Insect repellent is a MUST for hiking. This Deet-free bug spray has honestly been a huge lifesaver. Bill is literally an insect magnet (which means no matter how hard I try to stay away, bugs find me too).
We bought this on a whim about two years ago and haven't used anything else since. The scent isn't as harsh as most other bug sprays and works instantly.
Side note: I accidentally got this stuff in my mouth once - it was awful.
We absolutely LOVE kayaking! Whether we're on a camping trip, a hiking trip, or lounging around, we always look for places to blow up our two-person kayak and chill on the water.
It's a great buy, but if you've never kayaked before, I don't recommend starting out with an inflatable one. They're a bit more flimsy than a regular kayak!
We're so thankful for everyone who participated in this massive guide to the best camping gear - we couldn't have written it without you! Now we want all the Amazon gift cards so we can binge shop!
Over to you: If you have an accessory you bring along with you while camping and hiking and want to be featured in this post, feel free to send us your top three recommendations! Leave them in the comments below.
Know someone that would love this post? Feel free to share it!
And as always, thanks for reading! Happy Hiking 🙂