Top 10 Pieces of Camping Gear

I have lists for overall camping gear, one for our camp kitchen and others for seasonal gear.  But, out of all of these things, what are the pieces of gear that we use over and over and are the most practical?  When looking for new gear to start camping or to update your existing stash, sometimes the options are overwhelming.  Here are my top 10 pieces of camping gear.

My list is based on our pop up camper.  Most of these items would apply to anyone that is camping.  So, even if you own a travel trailer, keep reading.  I hope this list will inspire you and give you some ideas as we are in the thick of summer camping.

Dutch Oven

No matter what kind of camping you do, a Dutch Oven is one of the most practical pieces of cooking gear you can own.  You can bake, stew and braise in this large multi-purpose cooking vessel.  I also feel like this is a lifetime purchase.  Cast iron can outlast your camping years and can be passed on to your children.  This was one of my first pieces of gear, and I cannot recommend it enough!!

Drying Rack

We only recently added a Sunbeam Folding Collapsible Clothes Drying Rack.  I wish we had done this sooner.  You will need a place to dry towels, wet clothes and more.  Our rack actually fits directly under one of our bunk ends to be out of the way.  It is light and folds up flat to store.

As an added bonus, I use this at home for drying my delicates!

Collapsible Trash Can

Space is a premium in our camper.  Collapsible items seem to win every time.  We have a Coghlan's Pop-Up Camp Trash Can that has held up great over time.  I like that it not only folds flat to store, but it also zips closed to keep out creatures!

We have also added the Coghlan's Pop-Up Recycle Bin to our gear.  Now we can easily separate our recycling items to encourage us to recycle more while camping!

Collapsible Dish Drain

Our Collapsible Drying Dish Rack has also been a winner.  We have been using this piece of gear since our very first camping trip in Peggy Sue.  It has held up over time and saves space.  This year, I created a dishwashing station that allows for a more sanitary and effective way to wash dishes on the road.

When you are looking for gear, buying collapsible items will save huge amounts of space.  Opt for these items when they are available to make the most of valuable and limited space in your camper.

Luci Light

We have several sets of outdoor lights, but I love our MPOWERD Luci Lux - Inflatable Solar Light, Matte Finish most of all.  It charges and runs off of solar power.  There are three brightness settings.  And, it also inflates and then collapses for storage.  Yes.  I have a real obsession with the collapsible products.  But, once you go down this rabbit hole, I think you will understand and wish you had done it sooner!

First Aid Kit

If you are camping or doing anything outdoors, you need a Surviveware First Aid Kit.  This kit is compact, well made and organized.  It is the perfect size for taking on bike rides, hikes and more.

If you don't have a first aid kit, move this to the top of your list.  Everyone needs one.  You will always be prepared, and hopefully, you will never need it.

Zero Water Pitcher

We are breaking up with the bottled water habit this year at the campground.  Using a filtered water pitcher is an excellent way to always have fresh drinking water without so many disposable bottles.  
ZeroWater 12-Cup Ready Pour Pitcher


I go back and forth as to whether I like percolated coffee and french press coffee the best.  Regardless, perked coffee is a treat since I don't use this method at home.

Solar Bunk Ends

If you are in a pop-up camper like we are, you do need solar bunk ends.  We have a set of Pop Up Gizmos and love them.  They keep cool air in during the summer while running the AC.  During the winter, we keep the warm air in.  We sleep more comfortably year around.  I know that some campers make their own bunk end covers with a variety of products, I recommend just buying the Pop Up Gizmos.  They are well made and worth the money!  Just do it!

Tire Gauge

I'm not going to lie.  Tools are probably my least favorite purchase until I need them!  You should check your tire pressure before towing each time.  A TEKTON 5941 Digital Tire Gauge, 100 PSI is around $10 and a snap to use.  We keep this in our glove box and always have it handy!

I really had a hard time pairing my list down of essentials down to 10 things.  If you want to know more about the Camping Gear we use, check out the other items that we use regularly.  I've also got several camping checklists that you can download and use.  While you are at it, share some of your favorite pieces of camping gear!

Until next time...

This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.