Camping is one of the best ways to return to our roots and immerse ourselves in nature. It doesn’t matter if you’re only camping for one day or one hundred. There are a few camping must-haves that everybody should pack. While there are plenty of online resources, such as camping checklists, if you have read those and still think something is missing, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are seven unconventional and out-of-the-box camping essentials and must-have equipment to make your camping experience like no other.

1. Dirty Gear Bag

Let’s face it – camping is not always the cleanest activity in the world; the great outdoors is full of things to get dirty. Moreover, we can’t access modern luxuries like toilets, washing machines or even the internet for our unanswered camping questions.

Whilst we may not be able to do our washing while camping out in the middle of nowhere, a solution that will make sorting your dirty clothes from your clean ones easy once you get back to the comfort of your home is a dirty gear bag. And no, we’re not asking you to dirty up a perfectly good bag.

A dirty gear bag is like a portable washing basket and the perfect solution for keeping your dirty and clean clothes separate.

With its handy straps, you can hang it from the tire of your car, a nearby tree, or an awning so that it is out of the way from your more critical gear (and far away, so it doesn’t stink up your tent). They are super compact and lightweight, which is great for when you are trying to pack light.

2. Tesalate Sand-free Beach Towel

If you are an avid coastal camper and enjoy hitting the sandy beaches, a sand-free beach towel is an unconventional camping must-have. We all know the pain of tediously flicking out sand from the bottom of our tent and finding grains in our sleeping bags and every nook and cranny possible.

A sand-free beach towel is the perfect solution for keeping your tent sand-free, and there are many other benefits to packing one in your bag:

  • It dries in half the time of a regular beach towel
  • It can double as a bath towel (lighter packing!)
  • Won’t drip water into your tent due to the ultra absorption power
  • Built to be compact and lightweight


Sand-free beach towels will instantly become your best friend on any camping trip. We recommend this for all camping locations for its portability and absorption capabilities. So next time you go through your camping checklist, ensure you have added a sandless towel to keep your tent sand free and dry.

3. Hydro Flask Cooler Cup

Camping in the summer is a great time to invest in a Hydro Flask Cooler Cup. Who likes drinking warm beer? No one. Luckily, the Hydro Flask Cooler Cup is the perfect solution for keeping your drinks cool in style.

With various colours to choose from, it beats a traditional stubby holder any day of the week. It can hold a bottle or tinny (can) with a snug fit due to the silicone sleeve. But wait! There’s more – remove the silicone sleeve to transform it into a cup! Perfect for keeping your cocktails cool and your coffee warm.

Unconventional Must Haves For Camping

4. Powdered Milk

If you are heading out into the depths of nowhere or a non-powered site, you lose the luxury of storing food that belongs in the fridge. Milk is essential for coffee, hot chocolates, and cereal, all must-haves whether you’re waking up early for the sunrise in your tent or commuting to work.

Luckily, there’s a camping milk solution that offers the same delicious taste and even more nutrition than its fresh counterpart. And best of all, it needs no refrigeration.

Natureday Dairy A2+ Milk Powder is the best milk for camping and a liquid milk alternative to add to your coffee, hot chocolate or cereal. All you need to do is add water, stir, and have a cup of milk! It’s also an excellent choice for trekking people who need extra nutrients, energy, and protein due to its innovative formula – it’s the go-to camping milk. No refrigeration required.

5. Air Lounge

As a regular camper, you will know the importance of bringing furniture like foldable tables and chairs. We suggest adding an air lounge to take your camping ensemble to the next level. Air lounges are an underrated addition to any style of camping.

  • They are waterproof (perfect for bringing to the beach);
  • It quickly inflates in seconds;
  • Compact and light – folds into a small bag; and,
  • It can hold up to 180kg.


They are great to keep in the common area of a tent if you are camping with friends as they encourage your camping mates to gather in the same place when they want to sit down, instead of retreating to their beds. You can also take them to the beach for the perfect sunbathing solution.

6. Inflatable Head Pillow

On the topic of inflatable camping gear – you may not realise it until you try stuffing a sleeping pillow from your bed into your camping bag that cushions take up a lot of room. If you are packing light for a camping trip, we recommend adding an inflatable head pillow.

Again, as mentioned in all the inflatable gear we have discussed, the most significant benefit is that it is super compact and comfortable. Thousands of options offer different designs and sizes, so hunt around for the perfect pillow to suit your camping needs.

7. Aloe Vera Cream

So you have packed your sand-free towel, taken the inflatable lounge to the beach, and spent a lovely summer’s day in the sun. And of course, you remembered to bring sun cream as this is a conventional camping item. However, you have missed a massive spot on your back that is now red raw and peeling from the sun.

Luckily, your friend already knows a solution to sunburn, and it’s easily one of the best things to take camping: Aloe Vera cream.

Prevent your burn from getting any worse with Aloe Vera cream, especially if you expect to hit the beach. It’s also an excellent solution for other burns from hot water or fire, all common elements of any camping trip.

Got any other unconventional camping gear ideas? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.