Basic Tools for First Time Campers

Camping is simple, affordable, and fun. It’s a great way to spend time with friends and family and enjoy nature. Of course, knowing how to camp if you’ve never been camping before can be a little bit tricky. You probably know you’re supposed to sleep outdoors, but what are you supposed to bring camping?

Don’t worry about it. Seriously, camping is simple. You don’t need to go out and spend a fortune getting the prefect camping setup. See if you can rent some camping equipment, or borrow some outdoor gear from a friend or a family member. The longer you camp, the more you’ll learn, and the fuller your gear closet will be.

There are tons of camping checklists online. They’ll list off all of the necessities – like a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, food, etc. – but they don’t always include the tools you need.

Here are some basic tools you need to go camping for the first time.


Hands free lighting for night time exploration and camp chores after dark.


Drive in those tent stakes in stubborn, rocky soil.


Bandanas work great as a hot mitt, dish towel, cleaning rag, neck warmer, and more.


Multitools are basically toolboxes that fit in your pocket. Make sure yours has at least a blade, pliers, and a saw attachment.

Duct tape

A roll of duct tape provides a short term fix for pretty much any of your camping repair needs.


Nothing’s more frustrating than when you’re cold, hungry, and struggling to get your fire going as the sun goes down behind the treeline. Make sure you have a good firestarter.


Also called 550 cord or parachute cord, paracord is super handy to have around the campsite. It’s light, compact, strong, and perfect for securing gear, hanging tarps, practicing knots, and more.


Tarps are good for ground covers, sunshades, rainflies, windscreens, and can be used to protect your gear.


In addition to camping equipment, and outdoor gear, you need to come equipped with a positive attitude. You might get cold, you might get wet, and you might get dirty. Fortunately, you have a lot of control over how that affects your mood. Your mentality is arguably your most important and most useful tool for camping, and best of all, it’s free.


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