10 Budget Friendly Camping Items for Students
Being a student, you spend a lot of time inside, sitting down, reading, writing, or typing on your computer. With all the academic obligations, you hardly have any time for yourself. While this may seem like the typical student scenario, it shouldn’t be the norm. Students need to find activities they can do in their leisure time that are great for their body and their mind. One such activity is camping.
Camping has it all – being outside, enjoying nature, being physically active, and mentally relaxed. Plus, if you do it with friends or family, you get your injection of socialization which is another must. But, to enjoy camping responsibly and stress-free, you need the right camping gear.
Below, you’ll find our ultimate list of the essential camping gear items for college students and more useful tips.
Why Invest in Camping Gear?
Maybe you think that camping is supposed to be spontaneous, adventurous, and done without overthinking. While you are supposed to take a mental break while camping, you still need to remain safe.
Investing in camping gear is thus not a question of choice but a necessity. Without proper equipment, your camping adventure can soon turn into a disastrous attempt at having fun. Here are the main concerns that student campers need to be aware of and the main reasons to invest in proper camping gear.
Safety comes first, and without the right camping gear, you can be in serious trouble. From mosquito bites to other animal visitors, injuries, unexpected weather conditions, and additional surprises, your safety can be brought into question. The right gear will keep you prepared and protected for such situations.
To be able to enjoy camping, you need to walk the extra mile and make yourself comfortable. Sleeping on hard terrain, being too cold or too hot, or not being able to cook a decent meal can turn any camping trip into a nightmare.
If you find it too hard or complicated to set up your camping spot, get settled, and start having fun, you’ll never be able to relax. Proper camping gear will make it easy for you to start having fun as soon as possible and not waste any time in the preparation stage.
Finally, reliable camping gear gives you the confidence to stay out camping longer or explore your surroundings without worries. Being well-equipped is the best way to allow yourself to be truly adventurous.
Essential Camping Gear Items Every College Student Should Have
Now that you understand the importance of owning and bringing proper camping gear to your camping trips, it’s time to see what the must-have items for every college student are. Let’s break it down.
We may be stating the obvious, but a solid tent is the first gear item you need to buy, and buy it carefully. If you dig a little deeper into buying a tent, you’ll find out there are hundreds of different models and types that you could buy.
So, how to choose the best fit?
We suggest you consider the following characteristics:
- number of people that will typically sleep in it
- seasons during which you’ll be using the tent
- activities you plan on doing inside the tent
This will help you choose the size, quality, and height of your tent. For students, a tent for two people usually does the work. Plus, if you’re not extremely adventurous, you probably won’t need a 4-season tent. But it’s all up to you.
Once you choose your tent, you can continue down our list.
Rain can catch you off-guard, no matter the season or the temperature during your camping days. It’s always best to buy a rainfly for your tent and keep it with you at all times.
A rainfly is a separate protective cover for your tent that will keep you dry and prevent the rain from entering inside. It’s also protection against dew and gives you some extra resistance if it becomes windy. And, if it’s a super sunny day, your rainfly can protect you from extensive UV light.
Plus, it’s much easier to clean than the entire tent, so some campers use it to protect the tent from bird poop, dirty leaves, tree sap, and more.
Another item that is an addition to your tent is the tent footprint. This is a protective fabric that fits under your tent floor and gives you extra protection from moist surfaces, wet weather conditions, or tent floor wearing out.
Not every college student needs one of these, but here’s when to buy it:
- if your original tent floor isn’t super durable
- if you camp a lot and often
- if you spend a substantial amount of time inside the tent
The best thing about a footprint is that it costs way less to replace once damaged than replacing the entire tent.
Speaking of essentials, a sleeping bag is a must regardless of where you camp or how high or low the temperatures get.
Luckily, you can find simple but comfortable sleeping bags at affordable prices, so it’s not something you’ll be spending a fortune on. Just make sure there’s enough space for moving around and sleeping comfortably.
If you’re big on comfort, you need a sleeping pad that will provide a soft and cozy surface for you to sleep on. This is especially the case for campers who don’t move around much, so carrying all the extra gear isn’t a problem.
There are manual and self-inflated ones, as well as those of different sizes, thicknesses, and shapes. Choose based on your sleeping habits and tent size.
First Aid Kit
You never know what can happen out there in nature, far away from your home or any sign of civilization. It’s best to be prepared for an emergency, so make sure you have a solid first aid kit on you.
Gauzes, bandages, a tourniquet, medical tape, povidone-iodine, alcohol wipes, and other similar items should be found in every first aid kit. This way, if you scratch, cut yourself, something bites you, or you get more seriously injured, you’ll be ready to give yourself the necessary first aid treatment.
Fire Starter Kit
Starting a fire can be tricky, especially for inexperienced campers. But there’s nothing like lighting that evening’s fire in your camping spot and hanging out with friends, good food, and the smell of nature.
So, unless you have scouting experience and know how to light a fire single-handedly, it’s best that you bring a fire starter kit.
These kits contain all the things you need to light a fire quickly and keep it going:
- tinder shreds
- fire lite fuel cubes
- lighting nuggets
But beware that human ignition causes 84% of all wildfires in the United States. So, make sure you create a solid fire pit and put down your fire when going to sleep.
Small Cooking Stove
If you plan on staying out in nature for a couple of days, you’ll need a small camping cooking stove. It will allow you to prepare your morning coffee or cup of tea to keep you warm.
It’ll also be great for cooking simple camping meals like scrambled eggs, frittata, soups, stew, or anything else you enjoy.
Choose the size and capacity of the stove based on your needs and what you plan on preparing during the camping trip.
Hiking is a great form of physical activity as well as a form of relaxing your mind, reducing stress, and energizing your body. It goes hand in hand with camping, and that’s why camping boots are the next essential item on our list.
If you’re not wearing proper shoes, your hiking outing can be both uncomfortable and dangerous. You could get injured or simply be extremely uncomfortable with what you’re wearing. Hiking boots will help you enjoy this form of a healthy lifestyle to the fullest. You should also find out what other ways of keeping your body and mind healthy there are.
Keep the little menaces away from your tent and your camp spot by bringing bug spray with you. Not bringing bug spray can turn your camping trip into a disaster since you never know what kind of insects can crawl into your tent when you’re not looking.
So, choose a bug spray that’s not filled with chemicals so that you don’t harm your body, and spray it on occasion, even when you’re moving, hiking, riding a bike, or just relaxing in your tent.
Finally, the last item on our list isn’t exactly camping gear but more of a camping leisure time necessity. If you’ve never tried reading in the silence of nature, this is your chance to give it a try.
We recommend you bring at least one book on your camping trip. You may have some literature for school to catch up on or write an essay about. GrabMyEssay can step in if you’re close to missing a deadline. You could also bring something of your own choice and treat yourself to a nice round of quiet reading every day.
Camping is fun and exciting, especially for college students who finally caught a break and are escaping their busy college routine. But, without proper preparation, there’s no way you’ll be able to enjoy your camping trip to the fullest.
Our list of essential camping gear items for college students will help you get well-prepared and set out for your next camping adventure confidently. Use it wisely!