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Add These Items to Your Must-Have Camping Gear List

Photo by kate_sept2004via iStock

This article was last updated on May 16, 2024.

Camping should be fun, and investing in quality gear is the best way to ensure you have a great time.

It can be tempting to go for the cheaper products out there; however, you will soon realize that they do not last very long and do not work as well as the more expensive options. Go figure!

This article provides a camping gear list full of must-have items that will transform your experience in the wilderness. 

Table of Contents

Invest in a Better Tent

smrt sky loft 4runner

First on the camping gear list is a good quality tent. Arguably the most important aspect of camping you need to dial in is sleeping. If you can’t manage to sleep well in the woods, your camping trips will soon become a chore. 

Our product of choice is the SMRT Sky Loft rooftop tent. This is a hard-shell tent that can sleep two people, weighs 147 pounds, and folds down with your sleeping gear, making setting up and packing down a breeze. 

The upper and lower hard-shell covers are impact-resistant, injection-molded ABS plastic, and the lower shell has an aluminum frame for rigidity and support. The structure of the Sky Loft ensures it can take the sun, cold, and potential impacts when off-roading or parked in the elements.

Camp in Comfort in the Sky Loft


As you would expect from a quality tent, every aspect of comfort and durability has been thought through. The proof is in the list of features below:

  • Upgraded mounting tracks are made with strengthened aluminum for durability and longevity.
  • The three built-in ladder mounts are braced to the boxed aluminum frame, offering multiple entry points to use with the aluminum telescopic ladder.
  • The included 8.53 ft. telescopic ladder can be adjusted to many heights to accommodate different mounting situations.
  • 280 g ripstop polyester/cotton canvas tent material with a 1,900 mm PU coating and UPF 40 rating resists weather, mold, and mildew; it’s also breathable and quick-drying.
  • Quilted polyester fabric on the top and bottom removes the need for an anti-condensation mat and aids in four-season camping.
  • All openings come with both canvas panels and mesh windows for ventilation. Likewise, each opening has toggle and loop fasteners that hold the canvas and mesh panels out of the way.

Additionally, the Sky Loft has an elastic cord that pulls the tent fabric in so you can quickly and easily pack up the tent and hit the road.

Interior Features

Sky Loft SMRT Tent

There’s more goodies inside the tent, too:

  •  Sleep comfortably on the high-density, 2.5-inch EPS open-cell foam mattress that provides comfort and water resistance; it is firm to the touch yet adaptive to your body.
  • The removable mattress cover is made from cotton for durability, moisture control, and ease of cleaning.
  • Two internal pockets let you stow your flashlights, cell phones, and other camping accessories.
  • A large internal mesh storage pocket on the tent ceiling holds your clothing layers, hanging lights, etc.


In addition to all that, this tent is extremely lightweight, making it a viable option for most vehicles. When closed, its aerodynamic shape helps minimize fuel consumption no matter the vehicle you’re driving. Also, remember that because this is a hard-shell tent, the lower profile leads to less wind noise as you drive along.

In other words, this is a great product and one that deserves a spot on our camping gear list. 

Keep Warm, Even in the Winter

Diesel Heater next to an SUV in the snow

With winter just around the corner, it may be wise to invest in a good heating device that will have you out enjoying nature regardless of the weather. The unit of choice for our camping gear list is the Planar Portable Diesel air heater

This is a 4kw self-contained heater that comes in a crushproof rain-resistant case that makes carrying it around a breeze. It can run on diesel or kerosene and 12V DC. To ensure quiet operation, it comes with a silencer and an air filter to protect the engine. A remote controller is also available.

planar diesel heater review

Fuel usage is roughly 3-4 liters per 8 hours, and it can operate at altitudes of up to 8200 ft. It is the perfect unit to heat campers, vans, tents, motor homes, boats, or even ice fishing huts. Since it is a portable product, you can take it with you regardless of the type of adventure. Nice!

The biggest benefit of such a device is the fact that you run much less risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Unlike propane heaters or wood stoves, the warmth of a diesel heater does not come from a burning fire. It comes from pumping air around the warm diesel engine through an enclosed passageway; therefore, the air you breathe never comes in contact with dangerous gasses. It works just like the heater in your car.

diesel heaters for overlanding

Also, as long as you have diesel, the Planar 2D will keep warming you up – no need to chop wet wood for the stove or campfire! 

This is a quality product that will transform the way you sleep in cold temperatures. Combined with excellent build quality and performance, it makes sense to give it a spot on this camping gear list.

Bring Reliable Power With You


Having power at camp is something that campers have been trying to solve for decades. Over the years, many products have come to market that help us stay connected and run gadgets and devices off-grid. However, our favorite unit, and the one we’d like to feature on our camping gear list, is the ALP1000-watt propane generator

This generator only weighs 30 lbs and is 18-1/4”L x 10-1/4”W x 14”H, which makes it easy to maneuver around camp. Likewise, it’s EPA and CARB-approved, can run for 60 hrs on a 20lb tank at 25% load, and can utilize any size of a propane tank. That’s the kind of flexibility and performance you want out of a generator! This makes it a portable and easy-to-use device that will give you power as long as you give it propane.

Other Important Features


Some further important and useful features include:

  • You can double the power output when running parallel ports.
  • The ultra-bright emergency LED light helps illuminate camp.
  • Pure sine-wave technology protects your gadgets.
  • A low oil auto shut off protects the motor.
  • Includes a one-year limited warranty.

For our readers who like to get a bit geekier with specifications, here is the technical information you need to know about the ALP 1000

  • AC Rated Wattage: 850W (Max Wattage: 1000W)
  • AC Rated Frequency: 60 Hz
  • AC Amperage: 7.1 A
  • Engine: 53.2cc OHV 4-Stroke
  • Cooling System: Air Cooling
  • Compression Ratio: 7.6:1
  • Starting: Recoil
  • Outlets: Two 120V AC
  • Charger: 12V DC / 13.8V Regulated
  • USB Ports: (2) 2.0A
  • Noise Level: <52dBA


We have extensive experience with the ALP 1000-watt propane generator and can assure you that it’s a fantastic option for your needs. Its low noise rating and power will make running it at camp a breeze. Also, if you need to move it around often, you can easily do so thanks to the low weight and ergonomics. This product classifies as a must-have item on our camping gear list! 

Upgrade Your Batteries

Ultimatron 2

If you’re like me and have a trailer for overlanding, one of the best things you can do is swap out the old AGM batteries for longer-lasting and more capable lithium batteries.

Unlike AGMs, lithium iron phosphate batteries like the ones from Ultimatron don’t have a memory effect. This means that you can run these batteries down to nothing, then charge them up to full capacity in a matter of hours. Not only that, but you get a choice of varying battery capacities from 100Ah (shown above) up to 200Ah (shown below) to meet your specific needs.

ultimatron 200ah 2

Regardless of the capacity you get, Ultimatron batteries offer long service life, safe and modern technology, and high stability under extreme loads – just what you want in a reliable battery for your overlanding rig.

What’s more, Ultimatron incorporates a battery management system to help manage the battery’s power. This helps protect from overvoltages, overheating, and overcharging. These batteries are also Bluetooth-capable and come with a heater, too! Your old AGMs can’t do that!

I know that getting new batteries isn’t the sexiest thing you can do for your camping setup, but from the standpoint of reliability, service, and safety, there’s not much better upgrade to make!

A Capable Grill is the Icing on the Cake

Camp Chef Pro60x Stove

Let’s be honest here, nothing compares to a well-cooked camp meal enjoyed in the deep wilderness. However, cooking outside can be difficult due to the wind and cold, as most stoves do not have the power and protection to keep an efficient flame going. Here is where the last item on our camping gear list fills the gap.

The Camp Chef PRO60X two-burner stove has a total output of 60000 BTU, matchless ignition, and a 14-inch by 32-inch cooking grate. You get a three-sided windscreen to protect the strong flames from the wind, and the PRO60X offers two folding side shelves and a steel handle for additional prep space and portability. The weight of the whole product is 48.5 lbs. 


One of our favorite parts about this stove is the fact that it can be paired with all camp chef branded 30” and 60” inch accessories. This enables you to use things like pizza ovens in the wilderness!

Since this is a quality and well-thought-out product, it comes with easy-to-use appliance-like temperature controls and adjustable leg levers for uneven ground. It is little details like these that make all the difference when camping. 

As you would expect, this product runs on propane, so you can share bottles between the stove and the ALP 1000-watt generator. The quality and performance of this stove are market-leading, and if great food is a priority, the PRO60X should be on your shopping list!

Final Thoughts 

Couple resting in car trunk during winter

Photo by SimonSkafar via iStock

The above camping gear list offers some great product recommendations that make camping far easier and more enjoyable. No one said camping had to be difficult! 

And that’s what it’s all about, right? The easier it is to camp and the more fun you have, the more likely you are to go – and go often!

If you have any further camping-related questions or for anything else overland or off-road-related, visit the forum section of our page.

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