Is It Time to Upgrade Your Camping Equipment?

Well made outdoor gear and camping equipment lasts a long time. However, sometimes gear gets outdated even though it’s holding up nicely. If you’re still using the camping equipment you inherited from your parents, or the stuff you bought when you were a student, it’s time to upgrade. Here are the 5 pieces of equipment you should upgrade first.

Flashlight, lantern, or headlamp

If you’re using an old kerosene lantern or one of those big, bulky flashlights from the 90s, it’s definitely time for an upgrade. Even if you bought a headlamp 5+ years ago, it could be time for a new light. Lights, are smaller, brighter, more efficient, and cheaper than ever before. There’s been a lot of progress in headlamp tech in the past few years, and you can get a big bump up in lumens without spending a fortune.


A well maintained tent can last a really long time, but there are a few new tent features that make it worth upgrading. Investing in a new tent can certainly be expensive, but if your old tent doesn’t have a footprint or a gear loft, if it only has one entrance, and if the poles attach through loops rather than clips, you should consider biting the bullet and buying a modern tent.

Sleeping bag

Technology with sleeping bags has changed a little bit over the years – we’ve got mummy bags and hydrophobic, water-repellent down insulation now – but it’s nothing that would make a 10 or 15 year old sleeping bag obsolete. Sleeping bags wear out faster than other types of camping equipment, however.

The zipper may still be on its track, and maybe there aren’t any holes, but insulation gets dirty, worn down, and compressed. Loft power fades, and insulation loses its ability to insulate. That bag could be anywhere from 10-15 degrees off its original temperature rating depending on how you’ve cared for your bag, how long you’ve had it, and how many times it’s been washed.

Sleeping pad

A good sleeping pad can make or break a good night’s rest. Ditch the bedroll and get a comfortable inflatable camping sleeping pad instead. Make sure that you choose a sleeping pad that’s right for you.


If there’s a “trick” to getting your camping stove started, it’s time to retire it. Any time a piece of camping equipment becomes a fire hazard you should upgrade. Plus, there are many more stove options available today than a decade ago. You can get a two-burner camping stove for gourmet cooking at your campsite, or small, lightweight stoves for backpacking.


Is it time for a camping equipment upgrade? Stop by Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters if you’re looking for camping equipment in Northwest Arkansas. We carry everything you need to stay comfortable at the campground or on the trail!

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