Basic to Bougie: Your Camping Checklist for Every Adventure

Basic to Bougie: Your Camping Checklist for Every Adventure

Love the Great Outdoors? You're not alone. Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of Americans camping out each year has increased significantly—especially since remote work has become more the norm than the exception. In 2021, nearly 94 million U.S. households considered themselves campers, with camping accounting for 40% of all vacations. Of course, that doesn't mean we all want to experience the outdoors in the same way…


How you pack for your next outdoor adventure depends on what kind of camper you are, so we asked our Gear Guide Amy for a few quick tips about what to bring and when.

Are you loading up the little ones and heading out for a family road trip? Yummy food and cozy comfort are a must. Planning a backpacking excursion to go off the grid for a few days? You'll probably want to pack light—but still leave room for a few creature comforts. Or maybe your ideal camping scenario is light on the rugged and heavy on the luxury, in which case go big or go home, right? Definitely check out Amy's recommendations below before you hit the trail or set out on the open road.

A woman and her child snuggle together into a TETON Sports Cascade Two-Person Sleeping Bag inside a tent.


Ah, car camping: the freedom of the open road, the excitement of waking up somewhere new every morning, and the convenience of having everything you need right at your fingertips (that is, without having to carry it on your back the whole day). Car camping is a perfect fit for families with little ones and a great introduction to the camping lifestyle. Just be sure to bring along these must-haves:

  • Portable, smokeless fire pit like the Bonfire 2.0: Not only is it a necessity for roasting s'mores with the family, says Amy, but you can also add cooking accessories like a cast iron skillet to rustle up a delicious camp breakfast before you hit the road again.
  • TETON Sports Mammoth Double Sleeping Bag: Perfect for snuggling once the sun goes down, the Mammoth Double Sleeping Bag is a warm and cozy way for families to enjoy the outdoors together.
  • TETON Sports Outfitter XXL Camp Cot: On those nights when sleeping under the stars is a must, the Outfitter XXL Camp Cot is easy to set up and as comfortable as your bed at home.

A lone backpacker ascends a small, rocky hill with mountains in the background.


At the other end of the trail (so to speak) are your hardcore backpackers. Those masters of minimalism pack light and prefer to get to their destination on foot, with everything they need tidily tucked away inside a comfort-forward internal frame pack. And speaking of packs, here's what Amy says are her top three essentials.

  • TETON Sports Explorer 65L Backpack: The ideal capacity for most backpackers, this popular full-frame pack is the perfect companion on multi-day trips. Plus, it's adjustable in the shoulders, torso, chest, and waist for ultimate on-trail comfort.
  • Helinox Chair Zero: This lightweight, easily packable chair is probably the most popular chair among backpackers, says Amy. Some may even consider it part of their necessary backpacking system rather than an extra luxury.
  • TETON Sports ComfortLite Self Inflating Cushion: This cushion is great for those who think a backpacking chair is too fussy but still want something to plant their butt on when they stop for breaks or to hang around camp.

A TETON Sports SIerra Canvas Tent is set-up with camping cots and sleeping pads and a rug in front that says


For all of you out there who love the outdoors but don't necessarily want to give up all the comforts of home, we've got you covered. These three luxury necessities turn any campsite into a glampsite.

  • TETON Sports Sierra Canvas Tent: If a little extra elbow room makes you a happy camper, the Sierra bell tent is for you. It's durable, breathable, and sturdy enough for all types of weather—with plenty of room to make yourself at home.
  • Exped MegaMat 10: "This thing is better than sleeping on my mattress at home," says Amy. The MegaMat 10 3D construction ensures an ultra-luxurious and ultra-comfortable sleeping experience.
  • Goal Zero Yeti Power Station: Talk about luxury—these babies will charge your phones, power your portable electronics, and even make sure the ice stays frosty in your electric camp cooler. Glamping, indeed.

Whether your camping itinerary includes pitching a tent in one of Utah's breathtaking state parks and recreation areas or hitting the road in search of new horizons, having the right gear makes all the difference. What are some of your can't-live-without items?