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96 “Must-Haves” From Camper Poll

The camper poll question was: What "must-haves" do you absolutely have to have when you camp? Here are the 96 "must-haves" from the poll. Some of the responses are a bit "tongue and cheek. Enjoy

1. Seriously, my Coleman tent, small weber charcoal BBQ, coolers our Washers toss game, and of course the family.

2. Honda EU 3000 Generator because we rough it. Ha, Ha!

3. A fan, no matter the temp. I sleep with a fan, and it drowns out noises. I must have my fan (good thing I have a rechargeable one)

4. Well, I came across a must-have for my dog, a pop-up crate made life so much easier. I also found really cool solar clamp lights for an umbrella, that I clamped onto my tent and they worked awesomely.

5. Camp chair for overweight folks. It makes hanging out by the campfire much more relaxing. I never go camping without my chair. Plus, it has a drink holder!

6. Probably a bit odd but I always make sure that I have my Shewee (ladies urinating device).

7. Should have quick-cooking foods and sun protection during the hot season.

8. Definitely need sunscreen, as hubby has vitiligo. Bug spray, especially this summer.

Music, a fan or two for the tent, and I won't go anywhere without at least one LED flashlight. They are so handy!

9. Camera to blackmail my kids after the camping trip.

10. My family or at least the ones I like.

11. I use a 20 x 30 tarp raised high so the tent fits under and also I raise the lantern high to shine on a larger area so it takes lots of rope and tarp.

12. Fishing pole, shovel, matches, and a tarp. Hatchet and a folding reclining chair. But depends on how long you are out. LOL And how far you have to pack it all.

13. My 357 pistol, my sleeping bag, and my wife to keep me warm at night.

14. I always take a fishing pole and a gun while camping.

15. The must-haves for me are the favorite camp chair and Folger's Coffee singles. Gotta have that good cup of evening coffee.

16. Make the kids pack in all the gear in case I have to outrun them from a bear.

17. MY dog is with me all of the time when I camp. I have 2 screw stakes in the ground stakes and slip her leash over them. One is by my chair and one by the tent door. I put rugs inside the tent and haven't had any problems with her causing damage to the tent when we are inside.

18. Solar tent lights.

19. My wife needs warm socks and a warm sleeping bag, but the most important thing is toilet paper.

20. Pistols because we backcountry camp.

21. We keep the Toilet Paper in a Ziplock bag. If it gets wet at all, it's worthless.

22. My wife camps with me in the backcountry where there are no showers. She can get clean, with a little bit of water and baby wipes, and soap.

23. A big, warm, breathable sleeping bag.

24. A weather alert radio program to sound an alert for NOAA warnings for my county. All I could think was what could've happened if I hadn't checked the weather, and/or if a tornado had come through while I was unaware.

25. Food, drinkable water, and a small shovel.

26. A waterproof poncho/blanket.

27. Water, rain gear, food, water, and a mallet for pounding tent stakes.

28. A campsite with electricity, water, and bathhouses.

29. Mountain tent, groundcover for under the tent.

30. Thermarest pad to put under my sleeping bag.

31. Small cooler for cold food and dry box for dry food.

32. Canteens or hydration backpack for water in case of hiking.

33. Some kind of Cooking stove, Firestarter, and firewood for two days (if no burn ban)**

34. Light sources - Lantern of some type, small flashlight, or headlamp.

35. Chair, unless I plan on sitting on cooler.

36. Skewers to cook over the campfire, cooking pans and gear if bringing camp stove.

37. Extra clothes and towels (can wrap clothes in it and make a pillow).

38. My hammock, Knife, Tarp, 550 cord (at least 50 feet) for hanging clothes and food up high away from animals.

39. Small backpack to keep my toilet paper dry for going potty.

40. 10 lbs of potatoes in a 5 lb bag. Ha, Ha!

41. Two-night max trip to a campground that usually stocks things like extra firewood, food, etc.

42. Pretty minimal food like jerky, a pack of hotdogs, some marshmallows, a bunch of granola bars jammed in various pockets, so I didn't need a dedicated dry box.

43. Powdered pre-mixed Koolade and drinking water.

44. The first thing I grab is my Coleman lantern. I grew up with them and when the sun goes down it is often quite dark out under those stars.

45. A smaller flashlight the better and if required, don't forget extra batteries.

46. When backpacking, I only bring LED flashlights.

47. For night-time lighting, I use all RED LED lighting, since that doesn't screw up my natural night vision.

48. LED lights with a low and high setting is good for inside the tent.

49. My MAGLITE is so heavy that it makes a great weapon if necessary.

50. Around the camping table, I use a propane lantern on the top of a pole that then attaches to the propane bottle, and this pretty much sits in place.

51. For walking around, I wear a hands-free headlamp that way my hand is free to pull out my pistol.

52. One of my greatest camping pleasures is the evenings around the campfire. A good cup of coffee and a comfortable chair make it more enjoyable.

53. to take walks and look at the wildlife before they all see me and run.

54. It's a must-have for me to always have to take my griddle. I often cook pancakes for breakfast, and we also use it for cooking bacon, eggs, etc...

55. Flashlights are very important, especially if you have kids that are a bit scared of the dark like I do. Also good for shadow puppets when they are scared. It scares off the boogyman.

56. A lighter, matches, and BBQ lighter fluid. once. I’m not good at rubbing two sticks together.

57. My BBQ lighter. I use that for numerous things, campfires, a water heater, lighting the oven lighting, etc...

58. Can opener. Man was I mad when I couldn't open a can of beans.

59. My Camp Chef Gas Grill. I can cook everything from breakfast to a turkey on my grill. Did I mention that it doubles as a fish fryer?

60. My bag chair rockers. On top of my list of must-haves.

61. My folding pocketknife is something I can’t leave at home. I can do about anything with it, cutting, opening a can, cooking, a lot of things.

62. All the things are useless without our tent. This is basic gear for our camping trips.

63. I always waterproof coats.

64. I absolutely must have the Porta-potty. I don't find it as much fun anymore getting up at night and walking to the facilities so I would be really disappointed if we left the toilet behind.

65. I have fallen in love with truck tent camping. Having the ability to not be limited or confined to campsites.

66. An air mattress or some type of removable platform in the bed of the truck.

67. Bear proof cooler and something that holds ice for 5-7 days.

68. Backup power source and truck battery jumper.

69. My must-haves are for cooking is an all-in-one cooking pan set, plastic forks, and knives and paper plates, cooler on wheels (82 qt.), and aluminum foil, make sure you have enough to use all weekend, and a gas propane stove. Oh, yeah, a coffee pot.

70. Power shower wipes to freshen up.

71. I always take my mosquito repellent lantern. Can’t live without it.

72. We usually have a friend of our kids go with us who needs a sleeping bag so for us an extra sleeping bag.

73. A foldable table and a pocketknife.

74. An outdoor charger for my phone (solar) and an extra blanket (I usually regret it when I forget it).

75. Inflatable pillow and quick-drying towel are a must for me.

76. With a little one, we take our 4-person tent so we can set up the pack-n-play. As well as extra clothes and blankets.

77. Dryer lint is my must-have. It makes a great fire starter.

78. My jar of peanut butter is my go-to when it rains, and I’m stuck in my tent.

79. Occasionally I get directionally challenged so I always take my compass.

80. Aluminum foil. I don’t need pots and pans if I have my aluminum foil.

81. A plastic tablecloth for those ratty wood pic-nick tables.

82. Pot grabber. It only took me once to learn that lesson.

83. I never forget paper towels. They have so many uses like starting fires, toilet paper replacement, removing silk from corn, drying meat before cooking, wiping hands and face.

84. Clothesline and clips. Something is always getting wet when the 5 of us go camping.

85. My duct tape can patch tent holes, strap lights to trees, and fix a broken tent rod. I never go camping without it.

86. I take 3-ply plastic bags, they keep so many things dry.

87. Pesky Racoons don’t like Irish Spring soap, so I take a bottle.

88. I use alcohol wipes to clean just about everything not to mention but bites.

89. I'm a lightweight when it comes to cooking at camp so my "must-have", is a hot plate.

90. We love our 2-way radios. It lets the kids have their own adventures and yet, stay-in-touch when the cell phone doesn't work.

91. Take a roll of paracord. There are so many uses for it.

92. Extra-long tongs are not just for cooking. I use them with gloves to stir the fire, soup, and picking up anything too hot, too cold, sticky, or wet and slimy.

93. My must-haves are two one-gallon jugs of frozen water. They keep things cool for hours and then you can drink the water.

94. “Sparky” our beagle always gets ticks, so I carry a tick remover.

95. We take lots of glow sticks. They are great when we just need a little light in our tent at night.

96. We give everyone a whistle just in case.

Thanks for reading,

Alex Anderson


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