Top 25 Personal Outdoor Gear Ideas

Top 25 Personal Outdoor Gear Ideas

Top 25 personal Outdoor Gear Ideas!

What gear is best suited to ensure safe and fun-filled camping or backpacking experience? In this article, we have put together a list of the top 25 personal gear items for backpackers and those who are going on camping trips. These are some crucial accessories that will be immensely helpful when you go on the next trip.

The top 25 personal gear items for backpackers and campers:

Let’s understand the benefits of each of the Top 25 Gear for Backpackers and Campers better.

For  your convenience and reference, you can click on each item to check and  further, explore options and for a good price-comparison!


●     Backpacking Seat Rest Pad

●     Bear Spray

●     Book digital

●     Bug Repellant

●     Camera

●     Camp Towel

●     Compass

●     First Aid Kit

●     GPS Phone Tracking Apps

●     Headlamp

●     Ice Axe

●     Multi-tool

●     Hammock

●     Portable Camp Chair

●     Power Bank

●     Repair Tape

●     Satellite Phone

●     Sleeping Pad

●     Smartwatch / Sportwatch

●     Stuff Dry Sacks

●     Water Treatment kit

●     Sun glasses

●     Tent Stakes

●     Trekking Poles

●     Tripod



 1. Backpacking Seat Rest Pad

Some of you may be thinking – “What is a seat rest pad for? I can sit anywhere”. There is nothing wrong with sitting on the ground but we forget that usually, the ground may be dusty, muddy, or wet. During winter it will anyway be too cold to sit on the ground. While providing steady and comfortable seating the seat rest pad also keeps your pants clean.

It provides you and a soft surface to sit, kneel or lay your head upon. The uses are so many that you should never go without a seat rest pad.  Some good recommended examples you can find here. This is our Recommendation!

2. Bear Spray

You want to be kind to animals but you also do not want to be hurt by one. Close calls with bears are a common occurrence while camping and backpacking. The bear spray is an excellent nonlethal deterrent that you can use on bears. It has a low concentration of oleoresin capsicum and has a spray range of 30 ft. This is effective in allowing you to deter any bear before it comes too close.

This way you can confidently camp out knowing that you have the necessary deterrent for any nosy bear. Some good recommended examples you can find here

3. Digital Books

Yes, you may want to read on your trips. Reading a good book whilst surrounded by nature is a fantasy many of us have. But carrying books is definitely to be avoided as it adds to the weight of all the gear you have to carry. Check out Kindle too !

This is where a digital book comes in handy as it is lightweight and can be used to read unlimited books. If you are subscribed to a service like Amazon Prime you can download books prior to your trip and then read them even if you have no internet connectivity.

You never know when you will get the longing for a good book to curl up with, in your tent, under the stars. At those times you will be grateful for the digital book. Our Recommended Hiking Books!

4. Bug Repellant

Bugs and insects can be a nuisance while camping and hiking outdoors. Sometimes insect bites can also lead to infections and bug bites can make sleeping outside very difficult. So that makes bug/insect repellents an important part of any camper’s gear. When selecting a bug repellent, you have to ensure that you have a chemical-based repellent that is moisture-proof and sweatproof.

While lotions are good, they do not work well on clothing. For those people who are uncomfortable using synthetic products, there are numerous natural insect and bug repellants that usually use essential oils like citronella, geranium lemongrass, etc.

5. Camera – Point and Shoot Hiking Camera’s

Camping and backpacking can lead to new and fun-filled experiences that need to be captured for your memories.

One of the things to remember while buying cameras for outdoor uses is that there are times when you may have the camera squished into your backpack, situations where it is exposed to dampness, muddy water maybe extreme heat as well.

Still, it is worth it as it will help capture the beautiful moments that will make great memories later on. You can also, show off to others using these pictures when you return :-). We have been very happy with our camera! There are many excellent cameras for hiking and outdoor activities you can have a look here.

Still, it is worth it as it will help capture the beautiful moments that will make great memories later on. You can also, show off to others using these pictures when you return :-). We have been very happy with our camera! There are many excellent cameras for hiking and outdoor activities you can have a look here.


Camera Bag

When carrying a camera do ensure that you get a camera bag with you as well. This will help you keep your camera safe and dry. Also, if you leave your camera lying around it will be kicked around, stamped on and things may drop on it.

Invest in a good quality camera bag and you will protect your investment and be able to fulfill your photography dreams for longer.

6. Camp Towel

A towel is a necessary item for any trip. The problem with towels is that it starts getting dirty and smelly with increased use. If you fold it while wet the stink can really be horrible. Another problem with towels is also that if you fold most towels, they tend to become bulky.

When buying camp towels try to opt for one that dries faster and can repel dirt (yes there are materials that do that). If you can buy a tear-resistant material, all the better! Have a further look here!

7. Compass

Yes, a compass is absolutely a necessity. In fact, it can be a lifesaver especially if you are a new camper or hiker. There would be times when you lose your way or become confused about the routes.

A compass is invaluable at times like these. Sometimes you may not find anyone to ask for direction and it can be pretty scary for a rookie camper or backpacker. So, get a compass and learn to use them before the trip. Don’t go for the expensive ones, have a look here at what’s available.  Also, remember to get the maps of the area without which compasses have hardly any use.

8. First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is necessary for any camping trip you never know when you need it. You may encounter many situations where first aid can be needed be a small bruise, possibly bleeding, or pain in the legs.  Having a first aid kit on hand allows you to be prepared to handle small emergencies such as cuts, bruises, sprains which can lead to setbacks if not handled well.

While we don’t want to imagine the worst before going on camping trips it is good to be cautious and prepare well before in advance.

If you have to put together a first aid kit make sure it has the following:

●     adhesive bandages

●     gauze pads

●     sterile pads

●     hand sanitizers

●     medicines for headaches diarrhea

●     antibiotic ointments

●     pain relief sprays

●     antiseptic creams and ointments

●     prescription medicines

●     sunblock

●     scissors

●     safety pins

●     small knife

While the above list is basic items also need to think about carrying an emergency blanket, aspirin, Tylenol glue, duct tape, etc. Please stock according to your needs.  If you already have a first aid kit, before going on the trip check to ensure that you have enough quantities of everything so that you do not run out of anything while on the trip. As a rule, keep your first aid kit well-stocked at all times. There are some lightweights first aid packs available, don’t go on a trip without one!

9. GPS Phone Tracking Apps

One thing to remember is that you will not always be connected to the internet while you are backpacking and camping. While technology is great, we have now forgotten how to live without it. Some basic things such as being connected to loved ones, sending out an important message may be needed when on your trip. There is no denying that the smartphone really has revolutionized how we live and interact with others.

In fact, smartphones can be a great help to you for your camping or hiking trips even if there is no internet connection. When you are hiking, camping or backpacking you definitely need help with navigation.  Maybe you need to make a call as it is easy to get lost and then end up in a tough spot. Did you know that your phone can be used as a GPS device and can accomplish some of these things?

There are a few apps that can be used to make your GPS enabled phone connect to satellites and show your location.

Location tracking can be very useful in a situation where you are confused or stuck. This is possible even when you have no cellular service on your phone as you can access GPS.  As GPS relies on satellites you do not need your cell connection. For this to work, you need to download apps on your phone and download GPS navigation apps such as Gaia GPS. This also gives you access to maps and you are able to track your trails/routes beforehand.

Another app called Topo maps+ is also an excellent tool for backpackers and campers. Using topo maps you can create routes to find distances and also obtain access to data on various trails. Have a look here for FREE APPS.

10. Headlamp

Holding a flashlight can be quite tedious especially when you are trying to carry your backpack and simultaneously trying to hold on to support while climbing and walking. A headlamp is a convenient option that will allow your hands to be free and light the way at the same time. While choosing a headlamp some of the key things to look for are performance, battery life and special features you may want.

Now you don’t want heavy and bulky headlamps. What you need for camping and backpacking trips is a bright and long-lasting headlamp which has a very comfortable strap. Should you get chargeable or a non-rechargeable headlamp? Chargeable headlines can be slightly expensive and last for a short time period after which you need to charge them. Non-rechargeable headlamps last longer but have to be discarded once battery life is over. You also have to check the illumination if it is bright enough and can be used both long-distance as well as close up.

There are headlamps in the market which are waterproof as well. Let us share some terminologies that you may need to understand when looking for a headlamp:

●     Beam – The beam can be two types. One is a narrow long-distance type beam which is a spot beam and another is a wider beam but travels a shorter distance which is called a flood beam.

●     Brightness – Brightness is usually given in lumens. This measures the intensity of light and higher lumens usually mean brighter light which is always good.

●     Focus – In some headlamps, the focus can be adjusted to shift from spot beam to a flood beam and vice versa.

●     Battery type – is primarily single-use or rechargeable. Depending on your needs you can choose either one.

While there are a lot of cheap models of headlamps in the market please ensure you make choices less based on money and more based on convenience and usability like the ones here.

11. Ice Ax – Axe

If you are planning on doing any hiking or climbing you may need to have an ice ax in your gear. In case your route involves snow or ice, you definitely need to pack this. An ice ax can be used in many ways you can hold the head in the center and use it as a walking stick when you are going uphill. Another way to use an ice ax is as an anchor burying the ax head and tying a rope around the shaft. This serves as an anchor on which the rope can be tied to help someone up or secure any object.

The ice ax can be used as a weapon to ward off wild animals. It can also be used to cut footsteps into a vertical slope to aid climbing. It can be used to stop oneself from slipping downhill. Ice axes usually come with accessories such as snow basket, spike guard, leash stop and a leash.

●     The leash is basically a loop that secures the hands to the handle. Often there is a ring on the shaft known as a leash stop that prevents the leash from slipping off the ice ax.

●     Snow baskets resemble baskets on ski poles which are temporarily mounted on the shaft to keep it from sinking into the soft snow

●     Spike guard is a protective cover that covers the sharp spike and prevents harm. It is usually kept on when the ax is not in use.  Overview of various types available Ice Axe’s on the market.

12. Multi-tool

As the name suggests a multi-tool allows you to have multiple tools at hand and your camping for backpacking. This is a versatile tool that has a combination of frequently required tools such as scissors, hammer, screwdriver, pliers and various other tools based on the type and model you get. All these tools are made with high-quality steel and easily carried on in the pocket or on a belt.

Various kinds of tools and combinations that can be found with various brands look at constant requirements that you have and choose the multi-tool most suitable. Instead of carrying separate screwdrivers, knives, scissors you can carry a single tool that will suffice for the work.  This of our favorite Multi-tool!

Single & Double Camping Hammock with Mosquito Bug Net, 10ft Hammock Tree Straps and Carabiners, Easy Assembly, Portable Parachute Nylon Hammock

13. Packing Hammock

Hammocks are wonderful and surprisingly comfortable that can be used outdoors. Have you ever fantasized sleeping on a hammock beside a brook or near a grassy plain? Fulfilling these idyllic fantasies is what brings out the fun on a camping trip. Hammocks are definitely useful as it can provide a comfortable sleeping option apart from sleeping bags during non-wintery seasons.

If you have decided to get a hammock, look for a lightweight and durable one that is specifically designed for the outdoors. The special hammocks that are created for campers and backpackers have the ability to be folded to a small size that can be easily carried. In spite of its lightweight usually, it has a high weight carrying capacity.

Along with the hammock you also need support straps or suspension systems. Usually, these are built-in and you get it along with the hammocks but in some cases, you may need to get it separately.  Once you have gotten the necessary accessories only need to find two sturdy trees that can support your weight. Then attach the straps to the trees and then the straps to the hammock. And viola. Your most comfortable sleep machine is ready for its test run.

14. Portable Camp Chair

Oh, the joys of a good chair! You will only know how it is when you do not have access to one. While camping and backpacking outdoors you will be constantly sitting and sleeping on hard surfaces. The more you do this the more it will make you crave a good chair. A camp chair can provide you with the much-needed relief and comfort which you know you are missing only when you are outdoors.

When you are selecting a camp chair you need to specifically buy ones that are lighter in weight and of the right size and height. If your backpacking you need to seriously consider the weight. In the case of camping, you definitely can use a camp chair that is comfortable and big as you may be using a vehicle to get to the campsite. A big and comfortable chair allows you to take in the views of nature from a comfy position -which is a most pleasurable experience.

Please check the multiple chairs before buying to ensure that it can take your weight. You may also want to add extra features such as cupholders head and lumbar pads et cetera which can provide better comfort.


#15 Power Bank

Given the number of gadgets that you will be carrying with you, there should also be a power bank as all devices need to be charged and where you go you may not have access to electrical outlets.  When purchasing a power bank, the most important thing is definitely the number of gadgets that can recharge as well as the time and battery capacity. Other features such as waterproof as well as having increased durability can be quite helpful. Consider carrying a larger power bank while camping.

Now there are newer power banks that can generate a lot of power as well as last longer. While backpacking you need to consider the weight of a power bank as well as the charging capacity. A clever solution is the Power Banks including a solar panel!


#16 Repair Tape

Repair tapes are another essential item in your gear. It is necessary for emergency quick fixes for tents, jackets, packages or clothes that are torn and much more. In fact, with a little bit of creativity, there is a lot that can be done with repair tape.

Campers have used it for fixing tears in tents, creating fly traps, supporting sprained ankles and even to mark trails. So, repair tapes are no doubt an essential part of your camping gear. You will always have a need for it.


#17 Satellite Phone

Do you need a satellite phone for camping? Yes, if you intend to camp or backpack regularly a satellite phone would be great equipment to have. While camping or backpacking you tend to spend time in areas where there is no reliable cell coverage and you never know when you need to communicate with others. Since satellites do not depend on cell towers it becomes easier to use then in areas such as these and it is reliable. In most cases, it is possible to transform your existing smartphone into a satellite phone but it is always better to buy a satellite phone so that you can and have guaranteed cell phone coverage anywhere in the world.

In fact, it can also help you send emails messages and browse. Yes, it is going to cost a bit high for the calls and data but when you really need help you will be grateful you bought it. Newer satellite phone also has GPS tracking which can help you with tracking your location if you are lost. You can also send SOS messages in case you need any help. So, go ahead, invest in a good satellite phone and you will not regret it.  We have been very happy with the Garmin inReach SE+, Handheld Satellite Communicator with GPS Navigation.


#18 Sleeping Pad

Sleeping pads are essential for backpackers and campers as it creates a soft but firm buffer against the dampness or roughness of the ground. Even if you have a good sleeping bag you still need a sleeping pad as the sleeping bag gets damaged easily if used without a sleeping pad. Also, in the night when the temperature drops it helps to keep you warm. When selecting a sleeping pad look for lightweight and warm sleeping pads. We have written a special post on all you need to know and how you can best select your Sleeping pad.


#19 Smartwatch/Sportwatch

Currently, in the market, there are cool outdoor watches which are sleek and powerful devices and extremely efficient. It is up to you to decide what uses you want from your smartwatch.

GPS is definitely one important aspect that will allow you to navigate outdoors.

Some of the watches are solar-powered and quite rugged which can withstand heavy use and possible damage from heavy impact, water, etc. What you really want to be looking for is utility along with battery life so that you can use it for extended time periods. We have been extremely happy with the Garmin Instinct Rugged Outdoor Watch with GPS and Fitness & Wellness Software Suite and is acquired by many hikers and backpackers.


#20 Stuff Dry Sacks

Stuff sacks are great to have as they can be used for keeping important items clean safe and dry.

People usually use these to keep their sleeping bags, cameras important electric gadgets and books or documents safe and dry.

They hardly take up any space, are easy to carry and incredibly useful for any backpacking and camping trip.

Bulky sleeping bags can be made compact and easy to carry. It is usually made of durable nylon for rugged use. They are waterproof and can be carried in rain and damp condition, although most cannot be submerged underwater. Many sizes available and this is our favorite pick.


#21 Water Treatment

You can go without food for a considerable time but not without water. While backpacking you will notice that there is only so much drinking water you can carry.

Once it gets over you will have to refill. Some places where you go, you may not find inhabited towns or cities and drinking water can be difficult to obtain.

A water treatment allows you to drink water that is usually unfit for consumption especially from streams, ponds, etc. which may be filled with bacteria and pathogens into drinkable water in a jiffy. You can use special tablets that are purifying the water and can be used when no short-by water is available.


#22 Sunglasses

Extreme heat and cold can take a toll on your vision and eyesight. Sunglasses are easy to carry and protect us from the too-bright sunlight, dusty winds, and frosty snow.

On long trips, it keeps you from tiring out your vision. Good sunglasses will reduce the strain on the eyes and help prevent issues like blurred vision light sensitivity etc. We use Oakley Sunglasses for years and years and for us by far the best choice for outdoor experiences.


#23 Tent Stakes

Tent stakes allow you to secure your tent into hard or soft grounds. Usually made of steel or aluminum they come in various sizes from small to medium to large.

You can tie the rope around the top of the stake and prevent your tent from flying off when the winds are rough. Usually, there are pre-drilled holes in the shaft that allow you to run the guide rope through them. many different shapes and sizes being available, make sure you have enough types with you, an overview here.


#24 Trekking Poles

Trekking poles are a great help for any hiker or trekker as it helps to maintain balance when going over slippery slopes, rocky mountains or snowy pathways. Usually, there is 2 per set.

There are other uses you can find for it such as warding off animals, for propping up your tent, etc.

Don’t waste your money on cheap poles, they will be binned quickly as durability is key. We have experienced that in the beginning and are very happy with Black Diamond Poles.


#25 Tripod – Multipurpose

While it is not always necessary for all, if you are into serious photography or videography then tripod helps to get steady and professional pictures and videos.

So, if you are into capturing photos and videos you may need to invest in a good tripod.

The key thing to remember is that if you are going to take it on camping and backpacking trips it should not be too heavy and slow you down.

There are a lot of options and lightweight materials for tripods which we can look at. New versions are extremely portable using new innovative designs and materials


We have some other great articles written about Tents, Sleeping Bags, Sleeping Pads, and much more. Have a look at the following links!

About us

We are Arthur and Eileen and passionate about hiking and camping. Over the past years, we have had many great trips, together with our dog Stippy . We have learned a lot about the practical “need to know’s” and investigated many different camping topics to better understand.

All we have learned and know will be posted on this website. We will continue to update the website on a regular basis with new interesting Outdoor Topics!

We hope this information will help you with an even better Outdoor Sleeping Experience.

Comfortable on your Outdoor Trips!

Thule Pulse Rooftop Cargo Box, Medium

Outdoor Safety!

Next to having a great Outdoor Experience we have to ensure our trips and adventures will be done Safely.

A great overview with advice and tips are available on the site of US FOREST SERVICE. Tips for trail trips, camping trips, how to deal with lightning and much more helpful guidance. 

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