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18 Camping Items To Bring On Your Next Trip That Reviewers Say Are Absolute Lifesavers

A portable campfire, waterproof tarp, and a thermal sleeping bag — just a few items to put at the top of your packing list.

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10. And a compact water filtration system for instant access to clean drinking water. Just fill up the pouch with water, screw on the filter, and squeeze the bag to release the filtered water. Enjoy outdoor water sources without ingesting harmful bacteria, protozoa, cysts, sediment, and micro-plastics.

If you’re immunocompromised, be sure to read all the package instructions to make sure it’s safe for you.

Promising review: "I live in a place where we only have cisterns and collect rain water. No access at home for city water. This filter has been a lifesaver. Run my water through it one time and perfect drinking water, no bubble guts. Sawyer filters have been keeping me hydrated for years at this point. Great company and even better products. My first experience with one was living in a bar in Mexico for two weeks — filtered water straight out of the bathroom sink, sat by the toilet the entire day prepared to dance the dirty dance, never happened." —Combustion Works

Continue reading the complete list of useful camping products, written by Natalie Brown here.


June 15, 2023

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A 20% DEET Premium Controlled-Release Lotion will work well against mosquitoes, but Dr. Zimring says he prefers the 20% Picaridin lotion since it also protects against ticks, gnats, chiggers, and flies. (In both instances, he recommends Sawyer brand.)

Rachel Schultz
Editorial Director


Part of spending time outside means battling ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting insects. For this, Nelson swears by permethrin.



And out of the products we tested, Dr. Zeichner highly recommends Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent.

Samson McDougall