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Camping 101: Best Camping Gear for Beginners

Camping 101: Best Camping Gear for Beginners

Camping is one of the best ways to get out and explore. At Four Wheel Campers, we encourage everyone to enjoy the outdoors, no matter their experience. After all, we all started somewhere! No one starts out knowing all the tips and tricks of the best camping gear. So whether you’re car camping at a state park or aiming to hear into the backcountry, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite camping gear every beginner should add to their list. 

Best Camping Gear for Beginners

  1. Camping Stove 

Hot dogs over a fire are always a good idea when camping, but a camp stove is one of the easiest and most affordable pieces of equipment to add to your camping list. The Jetboil is one of the most popular camping stoves, costing about $100. If look for something more budget-friendly to get you started, the FireMaple is a perfect off-brand version that runs around $60. Both stoves require propane gas, which can be bought at any major department or sporting goods store. 

  1. Lightweight Sleeping Bag

We always recommend investing in a lightweight, down sleeping bag. A quality sleeping bag will last for years, from the start of your camping journey until you’re an expert camper. Lightweight down sleeping bags takes up minimal space while maximizing warmth and comfort, even when temperatures dip close to freezing. If you are interested in backpacking, a lightweight sleeping bag will be essential to minimize weight and maximize packing space. Many people who eventually upgrade to our slide-in campers or truck toppers never get rid of their lightweight sleeping bags. 

  1. Rechargeable Headlamp 

A rechargeable headlamp is one of the easiest and most helpful camping accessories for beginners. We love these that can easily be bought on Amazon for under $20. When camping, it can be crucial to save phone battery, so we always recommend using headlamps instead of phone flashlights at night. Headlamps also make it easy for late-night camp setups that allow you to work with two hands instead of fiddling with a flashlight in one while attempting to set up a tent with another. 

  4x4 campers

  1. Waterproof Hiking Boots 

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been camping for one week or ten years; a practical pair of waterproof hiking boots is always considered essential. There are plenty of great boot brands to choose from – Merrell, Timberland, Columbia, LL Bean, and REI, to name a few. The most important thing to note about hiking boots is they need to be broken in, especially if you plan to hike during your adventure. Hiking long distances in new boots can cause blisters, quickly turning an excellent camping trip into a miserable one. 


  1. Pots, Pans, and Cutlery

Camping pots, pans, and cutlery are easy to pick up before a camping trip but are also easily forgotten. There are plenty of camping mess kits available online or that can be found at your local sporting goods store. Always pack more than enough cutlery, as it can easy to go through quicker than anticipated. 


  1. Camping Chairs 

When car camping or overlanding, camping chairs are one of the luxuries that make a world of difference. Nothing beats a comfortable camp chair when it’s late at night, and you’re looking to relax by the fire. Like other items on this list, there are hundreds of styles and builds for camping chairs. This small collapsible chair is always a winner if you search for something that takes up little space. If sturdiness is more important than size, these classic camp chairs are an easy choice. 

  1. Toolkit & Camp Knife 

It’s always important to be prepared while camping, which is why we always recommend having a toolkit in your car or camper. This can easily be stored under a seat in your car but can come in handy for numerous reasons. If you plan to camp in harder-to-reach places, we recommend carrying additional items, such as a tire pump, traction mats, and an emergency GPS beacon

  1. External Charger 

If camping without a reliable power source, an external charger is recommended. Although we live in 2023 and phone technology has grown substantially in the past decade, phone batteries only last so long. A weekend trip will likely mean a dead phone battery by the second night. And while disconnecting and living away from screens is one of the best ways to camp, it’s always good to have a charged battery in emergencies. The external charger can also help ensure headlamps, lanterns, and GPS tracking devices stay charged throughout the camping trip. 

  1. Inflatable Pillow 

If you’re uncomfortable while sleeping, chances are camping will go from fun to frustrating quickly. Investing in a camping or inflatable pillow should be done the moment you know you’re headed on a camping trip. Even those who have been road-tripping in the 4wd campers with us for years have trusted camping pillows in their rigs year-round. 

Four wheel ligthweight camper | Project M

  1. Quickdry Towel 

Quickdry camping towels have many uses, from drying your off after a dip in the river to cleaning up unexpected spills. Quickdry towels are often lighter, smaller, and more efficient than regular towels.Jacket

Even during the summer months, always pack a jacket for camping excursions. It’s easy to forget how cold nights can be, even in warmer climates, when we aren’t sleeping outside all the time. A light jacket can often be the difference between an early night snuggled in the sleeping bag or a night spent searching for meteors in the Milkyway. Some great lightweight jackets we recommend include the Decathlon down jacket or the L.L. Bean men’s pullover.

Get Camping with Pop Up Campers by Four Wheel Campers

Here at FWC, we know a thing or two about camping. After all, our brand is built on getting out, exploring, and sleeping beneath the stars. Regarding the best camping gear for beginners, it’s not a bad idea to look at truck campers or pop up campers as an investment. Tent camping is affordable, but it’s not always convenient. And for campers who are looking to enjoy some small comforts of home away from home, a truck camper might just be the perfect solution. 

Shop our truck camper shell here.

Shop our slide in campers here.

Shop our flatbed campers here.

Thank you for your interest in our campers!


Holiday Hours: Our Northern & Southern California showrooms will be closed Memorial Day Weekend (May 25 – 27, 2024).


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Order turn times range from 15 – 20 weeks, depending upon location.

We hope to be part of your 2024 adventures!

Team Four Wheel Campers – Since 1972

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