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The Ultimate Camping Gear Guide




Including expert-tested essentials, plus some extras to make your trip more enjoyable.

A successful camping trip starts with packing the right gear to help you brave the elements. But if your equipment list is spartan and you’re only focused on what will help you make it through the weekend, you’re doing it wrong. A few creature comforts will make your time outdoors that much more enjoyable, and many are available at a reasonable price. This list includes gear and apparel we’ve tested ourselves and use on our own trips, as well as items from brands we trust that we’ve researched and evaluated from afar. Throw them in your trunk, and your trip will already be off to a good start.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s especially important to check the local regulations at your destination before you leave. Most public and private campgrounds are open but continue to operate on protocols to mitigate spreading the virus. Face masks are required in the majority of places—including at all federally managed parks and lands—access to buildings and facilities is limited in some areas, and programs or services might not be available. While you’re there, consider saving trips to popular trails or other attractions for future visits to avoid crowds.

Summer weather is rolling in. Explore the complete camping guide written by Adrienne Donica here.

LAST UPDATED

May 4, 2022

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Popular Mechanics

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Since 1902, Popular Mechanics has been the authority on how your world works. We bring our audience the latest news on innovations and inventions across the automotive, DIY, science, technology, and outdoor spaces. We also serve our readers with the knowledge they need to get the most out of life, whether that's how to change a tire, how to build a farmhouse table, how to find your lost phone, or how to hike the Appalachian Trail. Popular Mechanics is about wonder, about being curious about the world around you, and it's about getting your hands dirty, too.

When it was founded, our magazine used the tagline "Written so you can understand it," and today, we still follow that ethos. Whether we're explaining the last technology news or demonstrating how to install a light switch, Popular Mechanics explains the world in an easy-to-understand, jargon-free way while also offering readers the depth of information they need to succeed.

MEDIA MENTIONS

My only complaint is that eventually, backflushing won’t be enough. These can clog up after some time and no amount of back flushing will fix its low flow. I went through 2 on the AT. However, it will attach to Smart Water Bottles and most bladders!

Anna Hamrick

MEDIA MENTIONS

Built for backcountry reliability and portability, the Sawyer Squeeze filter is our pick for the best portable water purifier.

Pete Ortiz
Writer

MEDIA MENTIONS

The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere