The list author says: "My first go-to to find economical camping gear is Walmart (I really love many of their Ozark Trail items)or Sam's Club. I also like REI for more specialized gear. Amazon.com can outfit you nicely and completely... so here is a list of my favorite things found via Amazon. All of these items (or their equivalents) get used each and every time we go car camping."
"Room to stand up and walk around. A "bedroom" & "screen room" all in one. Bedroom fits 2 lg cots together w/walking space as well as doors allowing easy entry/exit. Keep weather out, let condensation out. BIG screen windows - added bonus 3 windows can stay OPEN in rainy conditions! Sturdy construction & quality materials. For the price this tent can't be beat!"
"This is the perfect "footprint" of my new cougar flat II tent. Always use a tarp or something to protect the bottom of your tent. Make sure that it is tucked all the way under your tent that way water will not drip onto it & pool between tarp and tent. Get another one for a rain shelter for over picnic table, over hammock, or as added protection over tent. Get different sizes for different jobs."
"I use canvas painter’s drop cloths as indoor "rugs" inside my tent. They feel nice underfoot and also protect tent bottom from foot traffic as well as all the equipment I use inside of my tent. I have 2 of them, one for bedroom and one for my porch area. They pack up small and they are easy to clean -simply shake them off & throw in clothes washing machine."
"Using a cot while car camping can greatly increase sleeping comfort. These are strong, sturdy, comfortable. Cots are close to regular bed height which makes getting in and out easy. Even if the ground underneath is less then smooth and level you won’t notice. Extra space under cot is REALLY nice for staying organized."
"Seriously comfortable! I use these while car camping as well as backpacking. Yes, they are heavy for backpacking, but I am willing to carry these in order sleep comfortably. When car camping these go on top of my cots and I sigh "ahhhh" when I get into bed. Other air mattresses are very COLD in cold weather and they act like a trampoline if you sleep with a partner who tosses or turns at night."
"Can't find my current car camping bags but this one looks kinda cool and is similar to what I've got (swiss gear brand). We prefer rectangular bags when car camping. This one has a storage pocket up top for iPod, phone, wallet, etc. I also like the detachable hoods... we would have used those hoods recently when outdoor temps dropped to low 30's while we were camping. Might have to upgrade soon."
"I own Ozark Trail fleece bags from Walmart, but these are very similar. Mine has double zipper - you can open from foot end and "wear" your bag and walk around camp at same time (I think coleman has 1 zipper?). I use them as blankets, summer sleeping bags, butt warmers for seating, and bag liners in the winter to beef up temperature rating of main bag. Mine cost about ½ as much as this one."
"This is exactly the right size for my needs (own 4-in-1 tables if I need extra work space). I like usable space underneath for my boxes w/gear. Other Coleman Kitchens have accordion style leg supports and you can't store stuff under them as easily. I like how compact it stores when not in use and it's easy to set up. I will rig up my own foot pump for water."
"3 different height settings, 2 tables that can attach together means you can configure them to fit your needs. They store together nicely as well for lugging around. I use these with my awesome camp chairs when I need to create my own seating/table area. I also use them next to camp kitchen when I need more counter top space. They are lightweight & sturdy."
"Non-stick pans that will last FOREVER with proper care... care which ironically means you don't have to "wash" them with hot soapy water (a simple dry paper towel will do). Lid is actually a 10" skillet. Can be used over a camp fire as well on camp stove or oven. Follow reviewers advice on how to further "season" them."
"These nest inside the biggest pot making them easy to transport. Use them for stove top or as mixing bowls for meal preparation. Would be nice if they came with plastic storage lids so we could use for food storage as well, but maybe someday they will add that feature. Too heavy for backpacking, but perfect for car camping."
"I use 6 of these to organize & store my camping gear. I like the single drawer style because I can configure it the way I like. Two of these go on each end of our cots to give hubby and myself a nice "night stand" to store and set stuff on top of. I also have a couple of these for my camp kitchen area as well."
"The wheels on this thing are NICE! You can roll over just about anything. They are detachable also. The plastic hinges on the cooler failed after a few years of use - replace them with brass hinges from hardware store. Ice saver tip: Don’t empty ice bags into cooler - just place them in as you bought them. After 4 days of use usually lots of un-melted ice still keeping everything cool."
"Amazon doesn't offer the camp chair that I use (I got mine from Sam's club) but this is the best equivalent. It has the same folding style, large comfortable seat, padded armrests, fold out weather proof table (mine also has a cup holder embedded in table), and fabric pockets on side. They are way more comfortable than other camp chairs."
"I use this to connect my coleman stove and lantern to a large propane tank because it's a lot more economical and easier to recycle than those smaller camping propane tanks. I bought mine from Walmart and I believe it was cheaper than this but I don't remember exactly how much"
"Mine is an older model and has a different base, but this is basically the same. I don't use small propane canisters anymore, I use my propane tree and mount this thing directly on top of the assembled tree. Just gotta make sure you have extra mantles because once they are used they tend to disintegrate into ash, though I have gotten multiple uses from some depending on how gentle I pack it."
"I used to worry that I would look silly wearing one of these, but now I don't care. Hands free flashlight! Useful for keeping hands warm, carrying other things, cooking, setting up camp, going to bathroom, etc. You can adjust the direction from little hinge, and the head strap is adjustable for comfort too."
"I bought my wagon from Sam's Club but they no longer carry it. SUPER NICE if you need to cart anything to/from a campsite (water, gear, cooler, etc). Folds compactly when not in use. Use for beach gear, concert events, kid carrier, etc. I don't abuse it too bad because I want it to last. Nice & sturdy so far."
"OMG – I LOVE my toilet! No smell at all when not in use. Use Liquid Gold deodorant and you won't have bad smells when in use. Perfect for late night bladder needs. This stays in the "porch" section of my tent or in my Ozark Trail portable shower room (from Walmart). Also I can also fit & use my awesome camp chair over this to conserve space in my “porch” when needed on rainy days."
"I have these (and also REI "rolla-roasters"). So much better than the old days of trying to find a straight stick to roast your marshmallows from. Use wheel at thumb for fine-tune turning of your marshmallows or hot dogs. I think the REI ones are a bit longer, nice to have for bigger fires."
"I bought mine from REI, but it's cheaper from Amazon. I love the outdoors, but I REALLY HATE BUGS! I can't help but laugh as I hang in here and bugs TRY to get at me... but they can't so they give up eventually. Seriously, this is one of my favorite camp items. This is a 1 person hammock. Slept like a baby in it. Much less expensive than ENO system. Packs smaller/lighter too."
"These make awesome camp/backpacking towels and are lots cheaper than pack towels sold at REI even though it's basically the same fabric. I got a multi-color pack (from Walmart of course) and some I use as body towels and the others as kitchen towels. They are sturdy and clean up well in washing machine."
"I bring this along because they really are multi-use at the camp site. You can use them for extra seating, use them as little tables or shelves, you can of course use them to hang things from trees. Nice to bring along if you got the room."
"I use these of course for laundry, but also have a few extra for garbage cans (tall garbage bags fit it perfectly, use clothes pins to clip in place) and recycle bins. So nice for camping since they fold down so small when not in use. Has handles for carrying. Tie them up/down in high wind conditions - they will blow away. Empty garbage/recycle before bed or you will get “visitors”."
"This was a very inexpensive light bought from Wal-Mart. I think it's great. I take the batteries out when I need to store it because I'm afraid the push button on/off switch might come on while being stored. I store it in a zip lock plastic bag and keep it on top of stuff so it won't get crushed but it has held up well to a few years worth of use. Great light output in tent. I would buy again."
"I have not had good luck with collapsible water containers because of leaks, so I upgraded to this. Strong, sturdy, no leaking, and now I see if my spigot breaks I can also get a replacement for it no problem. Water tastes good from it too (I use reverse osmosis filtered water in it, tastes better than store bought bottled water). Easy to refill. Been in use a few years now and no problems."
"I don't own a Coleman hatchet exactly, I'm not sure what brand mine is in fact, but you gotta have one for dealing with firewood and making tinder. You can split smaller things with the hatchet but the real axe is still best with larger stuff. Also makes a good hammer for pounding in tent stakes. This one is cheap and Coleman brand stuff is decent, so I'm recommending it."
"Use your saw for cutting tree trunks to proper size, but use the axe for splitting logs into firewood. This is apparently the best wood splitting axe out there with a nice long 36" handle and stay sharp designed blade."
"I always replace any whimpy tent stakes that come with my tent with either these (for car camping because they are heavy) or MSR Groundhogs (for backpacking because they are light). I also have some other no name off brand - buy whichever ones are cheaper because they are so similar. These are strong and sturdy, but the plastic can break so take care when removing them from ground."
"I bought 200' of this stuff, cut them into 25' lengths, lightly burned ends to seal them from fraying and then tied small loops on each end. They are much easier to deal with at that length. I can always attach loops together again if I want a rope to be 100' (or 200' for that matter). Good for hanging hammocks, clotheslines, tarps, guyline replacements, tie/strap things together, etc."
"This is a great little grill and helps you cook over your campfire. I like how you can adjust the height of the grill as needed with the chain so you can get as close or as far away from heat as you want. The whole thing stores flat in the box it came in."
"Awesome coffee maker, way better tasting coffee than from your electric drip maker at home. This one features 2 types of handles: the type you hold to pour from (use pot holder if pot is really hot) and also one that swings over the top so you can hang it over a campfire using your tripod grill hook."
"This is the solar shower of all solar showers. It is DURABLE and will last through many uses, unlike the cheapo $15 versions I have already replaced multiple times. Great for using over kitchen sink for warm water for dishes or hand-washing. Doubles as a dry bag when not in use."