Nearly 1 million new campers start an exotic outdoor adventure each year. If you find yourself in that number or are looking to get back outside after a long pause, you need to know this summer’s must-have camping gear.

The best camping gear revolves around the basics of hazard avoidance. In general, avoiding the dangers of the outdoors is why we built the indoors to start with, right?

Understanding what you will need to get going shouldn’t take long and doesn’t have to break your wallet either.

Consider this quick guide your launching point to a great summer adventure or even a new family tradition!

Must-Have Camping Gear

A comprehensive list of summer camping supplies could fill a few books, so we’ll stick to the essentials.

For the Campsite

The most basic campsite only requires two must-have camping items: a tent and a lantern.

The best camping gadgets can often serve many purposes, but these two items should simply be built to do their job well.

A summer tent doesn’t have to be heavy or decked out in preparation for a snow storm. It simply needs to keep the elements out, including the creepy-crawlies.

A lantern is a must-have camping gadget for safely making your way from the fire to the tent or from the tent to the restroom. Most phones have a bright screen setting or even a flashlight, but what if your phone dies in the middle of the night when you need to see by something more than the light of the moon?

Are you surprised that we didn’t mention a sleeping bag? While a sleeping bag is very useful, a sleeping pad and a couple of blankets might do the trick in the warmer summer months. It’s always good to take one in case the night temperatures drop more than you expect though.

For the Meals

Water is absolutely essential for staying hydrated and avoiding summer problems like heatstroke and dehydration. It’s best to err on the generous side, so carry enough for about 1.5 of your intended stay.

A lot of great camping gadgets exist on the market that offer portable water purification or treatment. Consider these as good backups but try to plan for having a clean water source (whether carried in or conveniently pumped on-site) rather than going straight to emergency ideas.

When meal planning, think of food that is ready-to-eat or requires minimal work for at least 2 of your 3 meals. That way you can spend more time exploring and bonding with the family than scrubbing pots.

Be sure to bring lots of snacks that require no preparation at all too!

For the Fire

If you’re planning to sit around the fire telling funny stories and roasting marshmallows, then a reliable fire starter definitely makes the must-have camping list.

Remember to take into account the ultimate fire enemies: wind and damp wood. You’ll need a starter flame that is strong enough to stay lit while you pass it around the kindling, and you’ll need kindling that burns long enough and hot enough to catch the logs above it on fire.

In fact, bring two fire starting methods just in case one just doesn’t seem to take.

Go beyond the Basics

The more prepared you are with gear for adventure, the more your family will be able to enjoy your upcoming summer camping trip.

Now that you have a must-have camping list, you’re ready to build up from there! Check out the handy North Texas Jellystone Park™️ “Things to Bring” Checklist. Happy camping!