Camping & Survival

6 Items You Can’t Afford to Forget on Your Next Camping Trip

Camping Trip Items

You’ve packed the essentials — sleeping bags, tents and cookware — but what about those other odds and ends? Whether you plan to camp solo or with a group, there are some camping trip items you can’t afford to forget.

Take a look at this list of must-have camping trip items and enjoy your next trip to the fullest.

1. An Insulated Water Bottle

Hydration is critical out in the wilderness. You’ll likely head out on hikes and other activities, so an insulated water bottle is necessary.

You want your water bottle to be perfect for all types of weather and excursions — and since you may lack a space to wash it in the forest, why not pick up several in various sizes?

Many models have interchangeable lids, and if you pair your purchase with a reusable straw, you can pat yourself on the back for sustainability. These types of water bottles also keep liquids cold or hot for an extended period.

You never want to sip lukewarm water after an exhausting climb — and what’s better than waking up to a warm cup of coffee?

Water in a stream
Water is a necessity and is incredibly important to have while camping.

2. A Matchbox

To get the perfect fire started, you’ll need a few matches. Yet what happens when they get wet? To avoid that situation, pick up a matchbox, a small plastic container with a screw-top lid.

This product should be sturdy plastic that’s secured with a rubber gasket.

Look for models that offer a striking flint in case all other surfaces prove damp. Look for one that’s waterproof, too, so if you drop it in a pond, you won’t have to worry about sleeping without a fire.

Pick it up for less than a dollar, so you can always have dry matches handy.

The ability to create fire is invaluable while camping.

3. Essential Toiletries

Don’t forget about those much-needed toiletries. You won’t have access to showers or changing rooms, so it’s crucial to bring along the right products.

Pick up a lightweight case and fill it with a toothbrush, toothpaste, wet wipes and hand sanitizer. Everyone is different, so you may need additional camping trip items.

Skip the mirrors and razors. You can go without them for a few days. Consult a packing list for more ideas and a few examples of specific brands that are terrific for the environment.

For example, if you wash up in a stream, you risk harming the native fauna and flora with typical soap — look for an eco-friendly version.

Tru-Spec Biodegradable Toilet Tissue
Tru-Spec Biodegradable Toilet Tissue

4. A Waterproof Pouch

These days, phones are useful for more than entertainment purposes. In the wilderness, you can use them to navigate wooded areas and call for help if needed.

You’ll want to protect your gadgets from the elements, so a waterproof container is key.

After all, you can hardly share your engaging footage of woodpeckers mating if you fry your iPhone in the rain. Plus, even if you have insurance through your mobile carrier, those devices are pricey to replace.

Look for a version with a heavy-duty material that’s stronger than vinyl, especially if you plan on carrying weightier devices like laptops.

Models with cam lock clips seal out dirt, water and sand, so your valuables remain unharmed. Some models even let you use your device while it’s in the bag, as they feature built-in headphone jacks.

Green Waterproof Bag
Voodoo Tactical Waterproof Gun Bag

5. LED Lanterns

Campsites can get dark fast. Unfortunately, trees don’t have outlets, so you’ll want to pick up a few battery-powered lanterns beforehand.

Look for a model such as that’s compact enough to fit in any space, but still provides around 100 lumens of power.

Does the color of your lantern matter? It depends on the area you frequent.

If your favorite spot in the woods sees frequent hunter traffic, bright orange gear sends the signal that the two-legged animals known as humans may lurk nearby.

Prioritize your safety by making your campsite as visible as possible.

Streamlight Yellow LED Lanturn
Streamlight Super Siege International White/Red LED 1100/2.7 Lumens Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery

6. A Water Filtration System

Emergencies happen when we least expect them. For example, maybe your water source runs out two days before you’re supposed to go home.

It’s always wise to bring a water filtration system with you so that you can drink from any creek or pond in the area. Dehydration can kill — and it can do so even more quickly if you get diarrhea from drinking contaminated liquids.

Simply fill a container with water, place the filter into the water and drink. Look for one that weighs less than an ounce, so you can slip it into your back pocket or carry it on your pack.

Capacity matters, too. If you plan on staying at your campsite while you await rescue, a version that can filter multiple gallons at once comes in handy.

Water Filtration Pump
Aquamira WaterBasics Emergency Water Pump And Filter Kit


Outdoor enthusiasts everywhere should take note of these useful camping trip items. Your preferred toiletries help you remain comfortable and clean when you’re out in the woods.

The right lantern ensures you have a light source at any time, even when you can’t build a fire. Plus, a water filtration system will keep your thirst at a minimum.

All of these tools are compact, helpful and perfect for your next camping trip.

What are some things that you always take on your camping trips? Let us know in the comments section below.

About the Author:

Dylan Bartlett

Dylan Bartlett, aka, “The Regular Guide,” writes about the outdoors, survivalism and similar topics on his blog. He's an avid hiker and enjoys roughing it in unfamiliar territory. Check out Just a Regular Guide to read more of his work, or follow him on Twitter @theregularguide for updates.
The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (10)

  1. I would add disinfection tablets to the water filtration item. The water may be filtered so the dirty stuff has been taken out, at least most of it, but a little chlorine goes a long way. Go to the local pool supply place and get some HTH granules or tablets. Make sure it doesn’t have any additives just get the straight stuff.

  2. Sir all these things are important and essential but when your out hiking and spending the night somewhere or just day out for a day there are crazy people out there who want your stuff or may get a thrill out of killing you ,so I think a high capacity 45 cal. would make you more comfortable but just might save your life against man or bear or mountain lion . Roy

  3. I beleave a hatchet or a small ax and defenatly a well stocked multi problem first aid kit is a must. And it never hurts to have a good bundle of strong rope or para cord on your person at all times along with some compact emergancy rations, energy bars.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.