Packing the right items is the key to a successful camping trip. Since outdoor endeavors are my favorite way to spend the summer, I made a list of a few main items to purchase before camping. When you’re in the woods or camping on a beach, some essentials would be a high quality and portable hammock, some comfortable clothes, a two-way radio, and a flashlight. As a certified elementary school teacher, I provided some tips for camping with kids. I also included a giveaway to help prepare you to head into the woods this summer. You can enter to win four Para’Kito mosquito repellent wristbands worth $78!

4 Items To Buy Before You Go Camping

ENO Double Deluxe Hammock

One item that has transformed outdoor space for me is the Eagle’s Nest Outfitter’s Double Deluxe Hammock. Using a simple suspension system, you can attach the hammock to just about any surface. The product is very portable since the whole hammock can be rolled back up and put in the pouch attached to it. When you put the Atlas Suspension System away, you roll the straps up and put them in a small bag too. Both bags would fit well in a backpack, so you wouldn’t have to sacrifice much space.

What You Need to Go Camping - Theresa's Reviews - - Photo from ENO Hammock

Because the hammock is so easy to put up, it can work well in your yard when you return home. My kids and I tried the item out in our backyard. On one end, I attached the suspension system to my porch. On the other end, I used a nearby tree. The hammock was very sturdy, and it had a lot of space to fit me and my daughters. We enjoyed pulling the hammock over our heads to create a pod where we could cool off on a hot day. After using the item, I started seeing beautiful places I could put it up in nature, and I can’t wait to use it more in the future.

Sierra Designs Pack Polo

Pack the right clothing. For guys, a breathable shirt is the Pack Polo by the company Sierra Designs. The shirt comes in a variety of colors. I received the flame color, which was a shade of orange. Since my husband is an Orioles fan, the color worked well for him.
What You Need to Go Camping - Theresa's Reviews - - Sierra Designs Shirt - Photo by Sierra Designs

As you can tell in the picture below, the shirt has a mellow, dark orange color. The material is soft and lightweight. On a long, hot day out camping, a well-ventilated shirt would make a big difference in keeping campers happy. When my husband wore the shirt, he liked the material, which he found very breathable and comfortable.What You Need to Go Camping - Theresa's Reviews -

Another advantage of the shirt is its laid back style. Even guys who don’t usually wear athletic clothes can appreciate the sophisticated, relaxed look that the shirt has. While hiking or relaxing by the fire, men will be much more comfortable wearing a shirt made for the outdoors.

Motorolla Talkabout T460

Communication is vital when you’re in the wilderness. With the Motorolla Talkabout T460 two-way radio, you can communicate anywhere with up to a 35 mile radius. Pack this item to keep you and the other campers safe in the outdoors.

What You Need to Go Camping - Theresa's Reviews - - Photo by Motorolla


Priced at $89.99, the two-way radios can also give you real-time weather conditions. If a weather alert goes out, you can be aware and take the necessary precautions. You can even press an emergency alert button to put out an alert siren, which would notify others that you are in danger. Plus, it works as a speakerphone so you can be hands-free when you are hiking.

Olympia Z500 LED Flashlight

Keep a reliable flashlight nearby at all times. With this miniature flashlight, you can easily toss it in a bag. Even though the item is small, it has plenty of power to make your campsite visible at night time. You can even zoom in on small details to spot things in the dark.
What You Need to Go Camping - Theresa's Reviews -

Concerned that you might not locate the flashlight in the dark? With a glow-in-the-dark button, you can easily spot it even on the darkest of nights. Plus, since the product comes with batteries, you will have one less thing to shop for before your trip.

Tips for Camping with Kids

  • Bring stainless steel water bottles for the kids, such as the Eco Vessel from Wild Mint Shop. Vacuum Insulation Technology can keep the water cold for a long time to keep your kids happy. Reusable water bottles are practical and good for the environment.
  • Buy the kids some Para’kito mosquito repellent wristbands. One bad mosquito bite can ruin the fun of a camping trip. Since the wristbands are DEET-free and made with essential oils, they are safe for kids over six months old as well as for pregnant women.
  • Rest as much as needed! Since I work with kids, I realize that rest is just as important to kids’ well being as exercise is. Avoid overworking your kids on long hikes. Give plenty of breaks for food and water when you can sit in the shade. Create a schedule that is age appropriate for your children.
  • Pack light. Bringing too many toys and games can become a hassle. For younger kids, allow one special toy or a lovey that they can’t sleep without, but skip the extra items. Encourage your children to leave technology at home so they won’t be tempted to check in with their friends while they’re in the woods.
  • Save money by renting tents, sleeping bags, and backpacks from GetOutfitted. Renting is a practical option for people who only go camping once every several years. Get a complete package with everything you will need, or rent individual items. You can even rent rain jackets to prepare for dreary weather without splurging.


Win four Para’kito mosquito repellent wristbands (ARV $78). The winner will be well prepared for a family hiking or camping trip!

What You Need to Go Camping - Theresa's Reviews - - Photo from Para'Kito
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I received a free item to help inform my writing.

About The Author

Owner And Editor

Theresa has been writing since 2010 in magazines and online. Her lifestyle and parenting expertise has been featured in publications, including ShopSmart and Scholastic. She earned an M.Ed in Elementary Education from Vanderbilt as well as a BA in History from Flagler College, and she is a certified teacher.

34 Responses

  1. Reginia Cordell

    As a Girl Scout, I had a great time camping with my troop and the other troops from the area. I haven’t been out hiking or camping since then. I have a slight desire to but the preparation is something that I’d need help with. Thanks for sharing these tips, I may eventually go again.

  2. Melody

    I’ve never gone camping. It always seems like fun, but I know I would rather be indoors. No Glamping is another story lol. If I did ever go camping I would definitely want to call first dibbs on the hammock. It looks so comfy!

  3. Tammileetips

    I love to be able to go camping during the summer. This is a great list of supplies to take camping. I have never heard of these mosquito bands, those sound like they would be amazing. I hate when I get mosquito bites when we are hiking and camping.

  4. Chantal

    Wow how cool is that hammock?!?! I am going to take a look at it now. It would be a great addition to any camping trip! Thanks so much for sharing this post, perfect timing!

  5. Mykidsguide

    This is a great list of supplies. I love that hammock. It’s big and it looks sturdy enough to accommodate two or three people. We’re not camping this summer, but I could bring this to the beach.

  6. Nikki

    I haven’t been camping in ages. I’m not very good at it, but my son wants to go so bad. So I will become nature girl, at least for a weekend. Thank you for your list, I think the hammock is awesome, and the flashlight is a definitely must!

  7. Brea

    Great tips! We love camping, but don’t have a hammock-I’ll need to check that out! I’ve been eyeing those mosquito bands (they’re horrible down here in Texas!), and am so thankful for the chance to win!

  8. Melissa

    Thanks for this list of what you need to go camping. I never thought about the walkie talkies but that is a great addition. The giveaway looks awesome! My son always gets eaten up when we camp so this is perfect!

  9. Jaime Nicole

    We love to take our girls camping whenever the weather and schedules come together to let us do so. I love the wristband bug repellant for sure. With our kids we like to give them each a headlamp so they can wear them and not lay them down somewhere and lose them in the dark.

  10. kath g

    1) bug spray, sunblock, and a first aid kit (that includes calamine lotion)
    2) toilet paper (and everything on the list)
    3) lots of flashlights (with extra batteries)

  11. Carrie Chance

    I’ve wondered if the bracelets work. We could really use something like that even for our backyard. We were out by the fire roasting marshmallows last night and came in covered in bites.

  12. Tina Truex

    Love camping we usually go in a tent. We take everything in totes to keep them dry. Something we can’t go without is toothpaste!

  13. Christine - The Choosy Mommy

    We always took baby wipes regardless if we had a baby or not. You get messy and it is so much easier to wipe off with one of those than walking to the bathroom! Bug spray is also a must on my list. If there are bugs then I am annoyed and moving to where they aren’t (most likely to bed!!) <3 Christine, The Choosy Mommy,

  14. Sandy Klocinski

    My best tip for camping is arrive early. Give yourself plenty of time to set up camp before dark. I couldn’t live without my tent on a camping trip! When taking kids camping for the first time start small. Book a one-night trip at a campground within a short driving distance of your house

  15. sandra

    I couldn’t live without bug spray because I am a mosquito magnet

  16. Ali Celestino

    Bring baby wipes to use to clean hands and feet these can be used for kids and adults , always bring bug spray.

  17. Laura Grace Andry

    1.) My best tip for camping is to pack well. It is better to have and not need than to need and not have. 2.) I cannot live without insect repellent. 3.) For parents bringing their kids, plan activities for the kiddos to do -make a game out of gathering firewood and such.

  18. Jaclyn Anne

    Great list of camping must haves! I have never been “real” camping, only in the backyard, so I REALLY can use this list! Thanks!

  19. Sharon Kaminski

    My best tip is have lots of sunscreen and mosquito and tick repellent. If bringing kids for the first time have plenty of activities for them so they do not get bored.

  20. Fiona N

    I always bring the mosquito repellents for camping trips!
    Thank You for the chance

  21. Heidi Ingalls

    I love this idea! These would even be great in my backyard, where the mosquitoes are terrible! First aid kits are also a must when going camping and plenty of sunscreen.

  22. Lisa

    My tip is to make sure you bring a hoodie in case it gets cold. The item I always need is a hoodie! And with kids make sure to bring snacks for them in between meals.

  23. Richard Hicks

    My tip for camping is also have bear repellent in case you cross paths with one.

  24. Laurie Emerson

    My best tip for camping is to plan your trip well in advance. Know where you can go if there is a weather emergency. Also be sure to pack a emergency first aid kit and plenty of mosquito spray.


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