Our Favorite Essential Camping Gear in 2023
Every successful camping trip starts with the right gear, and packing the right camping gadgets and accessories will help you make your adventures even more enjoyable. While part of the joy of camping is needing very little gear to exist outdoors, it’s also nice to have a comfortable and convenient camping trip more than anything.
Before we begin, we must remind you that even if you’re going for a short hike, you need to be comfortably outfitted with the proper sports attire and a good pair of hiking boots. By being more prepared with the right gear for any situation; be it the weather or terrain, you will find that your trip will be so much easier.
When your long-awaited camping trip finally rolls around, we’ve listed down a few essential hiking gear that will help you brave the elements. From backpacks to cooking gear, we’ve compiled a well-rounded list of our favourite camping gear and accessories that will ensure an amazing camping trip.
Here are some of our favourite camping gear for 2023.
To fully enjoy your camping trip, you’ll have to make sure that you are able to stay sheltered from the elements. With so many hiking tents to choose from, it can get a little overwhelming to choose the best option like waterproof tents or ultralight tents. We’ve written a helpful post here to help you choose the right hiking tents to fit your needs. As a start, you can check out our pick for the best ultralight hiking tent, the freestanding Illumina X 1.55kg Ultralight Hiking Tent, which is the perfect choice for the 4-season hiking trips for up to 2 people.
Check out our selection of tents here: Hiking Tents
Whether you’re planning on taking a picturesque hike through the woods, or just want to have a quick weekend camping trip away from the hustle and bustle, your trusty hiking backpack will be your one constant companion. Your backpack will be one of the heaviest pieces of hiking gear you carry on any trip so it’s important to keep the weight as low as possible for your needs. The volume of your hiking backpack will determine how much gear you can carry on a trip. Generally, experienced hikers can easily fit most of their gear in a 40-50L backpack. However, if you’re a new hiker, you may want to choose a pack with a larger volume, like the Hiking Backpack Lightweight 55L and slowly work your way down.
A lightweight backpack, like the Hiking Backpack Lightweight 45L will make your adventure way more comfortable and enjoyable. We recommend finding a good balance between weight, comfort, and durability. If you’re going somewhere with a stream or a river nearby, we recommend the Waterproof Dry Bag – 20L Green, which will keep your belongings nice and dry as you romp through the wet wilderness.
Check out our selection of backpacks here: Hiking Backpacks
Sleeping Mats / Sleeping Bags
There is no better feeling in the world than snuggling into your sleeping bag or sleeping mat at the end of a long day on the hiking trail. In fact, a good night’s rest is paramount to prepare yourself for the next day’s adventure. Our sleeping equipment offers exceptional warmth for the weight, while performing in a variety of weather conditions. Your sleeping mat or sleeping bag is one of the heaviest pieces of hiking gear you will be carrying, so you should also be considering something light.
For the most comfortable sleep that is easy on the weight, you can consider picking up the Lightweight Ultralight Sleeping Bag 0.72kg, which offers plenty of room to move comfortably, while keeping you warm on chilly nights.
You can also opt for the ultralight inflatable Sleeping Mat 0.95kg Large, which provides lightweight comfort and takes up minimal storage space, giving you a peace of mind at while hiking, or sleeping. Complete your sleeping ensemble with the Lightweight Aeros Inflatable Travel Pillow for even sweeter dreams.
One of the greatest enjoyments on a hike is to kick back and cook up some delicious food. There is just something about setting up camp after a long day’s hike that makes your dinner taste so much better. The camping cook set is considered to be one of the most essential pieces of camping gear to own, and the investment you make in camping cookware will be well worth it. However, cooking outdoors is only fun and relaxing if you have the right gear. While you can still bring along all your pots and pans from your home, most traditional kitchen cooking tools are still too heavy and bulky to carry on the hiking trail.
A must-have is definitely the Mini Folding Camping Stove, which is lightweight enough to carry around, but essential if you’re planning to fire up some meals while camping. We recommend the 4-pcs Camping Cooking Set Pots, which comprises 4 ultralight camping pots and pans designed to bring out the Masterchef in you. If you’re traveling alone, the Camping Pot for Lightweight Hiking is a fantastic choice for making a quick meal after a long day. The New Folding Camping Stove may also be a more enticing option for those of you traveling in groups, and who really plan to whip up a storm.
The best thing about camping cooking sets is that there aren’t too many details that you’ll have to sweat over, making the purchase all the more simpler.
Of course, you shouldn’t forget to bring some food to cook as well. We’ve listed some popular camping meals you can cook in the FAQs below.
Check out our selection of camping cookware here: Camping Cooking Sets
Camping Water Buckets
There are few things handier than a bucket when you’re on your camping trip. There are innumerable ways to use buckets; from hauling water for cooking or bathing, washing the dishes and making sure that you reduce pollution in the great outdoors. The 10 litre Camping Collapsible Water Bucket makes for an amazing, handy and lightweight gear for cleaning, washing or cooking while camping.
Lights and Lamps
A good camping light is essential on any camping trip. A good flashlight will help you find your way back in the dark, or even work as a signal in case you need help. Our pick is the Multifunctional Camping Lantern + Flashlight, which is a great lightweight camping light choice in terms of size, weight and performance. Whether you’re going for a quick hike, or a weekend camping trip, it’s always good to have a flashlight around as a light unto your path.
Just a note: If you’re going to be using your flashlight constantly, we recommend you bring along some AAA batteries as well, because you wouldn’t want to be left in the dark once your batteries have died out.
We cannot emphasise enough how great hiking poles are. While hiking poles aren’t always considered essential hiking gear, many backpackers, including us swear by it. It’s easy to see why. Hiking poles like the Lightweight Trail Trekking Pole add a lot of stability on difficult terrain or when you’re wading through streams, making your hike as comfortable as possible. Hiking poles also help to improve your overall balance on hikes, and drastically decrease the chances of accidental strains.
Ultimately, your camping trip is all about forming the best memories of your outdoor adventure, and with the right gear, you’re well on your way to achieving that. We hope this guide helps you find the perfect gear for your hiking and camping needs. If you have more questions or a suggestion, we’d love to hear from you!
1. What is the difference between sleeping mats and sleeping bags?
We do see this question pop up quite often with new beginner campers. It is recommended that you have both of these! Our opinion is that a sleeping bag is at least a minimal must. However, there are campers who only uses a sleeping mat – and bring their own down / duvet / comforter or other ways to keep warm indeed! If you have the budget, get both sleeping bag and sleeping mats!
Sleeping bags are very versatile and can be easily carried around and used in all locations. However, due to the unpredictable climate in Australia, it may be difficult to find the best sleeping bag that suits you and meets all your needs. You will need to consider a few points when choosing a sleeping bag, notably the temperature range, shape, material, and size. A sleeping bag will typically provide more insulation and warmth, depending on its material, which is good for trips during winter. For example, the sleeping bag may be perfect for winter due to its amazing insulation, but for warmer camping trips, you might want to consider the Naturehike Compact Ultralight Sleeping Bag instead.
On the other hand, a sleeping mat is more comfortable because it is inflated and you don’t have to feel the ground under you, which means you won’t have to feel rocks or lumps when you are sleeping. However, because it is inflatable, it is less sturdy and very prone to leaks and puncture, depending on the material used, which means that you will have to take better care of it. It also provides less insulation compared to the sleeping bag, and is more suitable when brought for warmer camping trips.
Having the 2 of these brings out the luxury in camping!
2. What size hiking backpack should I get?
Whether you’re going out for a day hike, an overnight trip or a weekend romp, knowing the ideal size for your backpack to bring along all your gear is very important. We’ve come up with a simple guide below for you to select the correct volume and size of your backpack.
i. 10-20 litres
Good for: Quick and simple day hikes
Our choice: Waterproof Dry Bag - 10L
ii. 20-30 litres
Good for: The essential day hike
Our choice: Waterproof Dry Bag – 20L Green
iii. 30-45 litres
Good for: Overnight trips and light weekend trips
Our choice: Hiking Backpack Lightweight 45L
Packs of this size are a must if you’re planning for an overnight trip or a very lightly packed weekend trip as you will be able to fit in your sleeping materials and tents (provided you are getting a one-person ultralight tent). You can fit in everything you can fit into a smaller pack, and include items like a sleeping bag, an ultralight tent and a change of clothes.
iv. 45-55 litres
Good for: Multi-day trips
Our choice: Hiking Backpack Lightweight 55L
If you’re planning on multi-day trips, a pack this size will help keep your load lightweight enough, while also giving you enough space to pack all your essentials and more. This pack will give you more volume to hold heavier items, like a synthetic sleeping bag, conventional tent and self-inflating sleeping pad, all of which take up more space.
3. Can I trek without the hiking poles?
Hiking poles aren’t considered essential gear, but many experienced hikers swear by them. You don’t really need to use them when hiking, but here are some reasons why you should pack some hiking poles for your next trip.
Hiking poles are almost always used in pairs, because it helps to keep you stable when you have a heavy backpack on. This is especially true when you are on a steep incline or decline, where you can use your hiking poles as anchor points to pull yourself up on the steeper inclines or to balance yourself from falling on the downhill slopes. Hiking poles are also great when your hike takes you across streams, because you’ll be able to anchor your way across the slippery rocks. Plus, you can use your hiking poles to test the depth of a stream, just to see if it’s safe for crossing.
So while hiking poles aren’t exactly necessary gear to bring along, we definitely recommend you bring along a pair in your backpack just in case.
4. What are some popular camping meals?
Camping may not be the ideal place for you to become a Masterchef, but you can still prepare these simple camping meals for yourself, or for a group. Most of these can be done with our camping cooking sets which make your cooking all the more easier.
- Cereals (muesli, cornflakes and variety packs if you have children) with long life milk and a bit of hot water for colder mornings.
- Bacon & eggs
- Lightly toasted bread with butter or margarine.
- Coffee, tea or hot chocolate made with the Lightweight Camping Kettle
- Sandwiches with salad, meat or cheese slices or spreads (peanut butter, butter, vegemite)
- Biscuits with filling (tuna, salmon or sardines in a can)
- Fritters (chopped vegetables fried in batter).
- Grilled sausages
- Fried rice with fried bacon or eggs and onions
- Grilled steaks and chops (if available)
- Potatoes wrapped in foil
- Canned peas/carrots/beans/corn
- Spaghetti Bolognaise (pasta with canned pasta sauce, with tuna or bacon bits)
- S’mores (toasted marshmallows) and hot chocolate