Camping gear is great for all kinds of outdoor activities, and it doesn’t need to break the bank. We scoured Amazon for the best outdoor supplies that clock in at $15 or less.
Summer is here, and that means one thing: it’s time to get outside. The season for hiking, camping, and backpacking is in full swing. And while we love investing in primary gear like a tent or sleeping bag, it’s also great to stock up on the little essentials.
Editors note: this article was originally published on 12/7/17 and updated on 7/14/19.
We found 15 great pieces of gear that cost just $15 or less. From a do-all knife to the best backcountry coffeemaker, these items will make getting outside that much more enjoyable. Gear up and get ready to spend all day outdoors and sleep all night under the stars.
The Stanley Camp 24-ounce Cook Set includes a stainless steel pot and two insulated cups. A vented lid lets you cook on a flame or grill. It all nests together to provide a packable kit for soup, stew, coffee, and other liquid sustenance made at camp.
Made in Sweden, Morakniv knives are must-have gear. The stout, 4-inch fixed blade on the Morakniv Companion model is made of high-carbon steel. The high-friction handle gives grip as you whittle and finish up camp chores.
Cradle your weary head with this inflatable option. The Rugged Camp Camping Pillow has an ergonomic shape to cradle the neck. It folds down to the size of a soda can for transport and even comes with a bonus survival multi-tool.
Grab the Overmont kettle for coffee or tea in the woods. It has an anodized aluminum body and a silicon handle for protection from the heat. It makes heating (and pouring) water as easy as it is at home.
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Secure anything with these mega-size twisty-ties. Nite Ize Original Gear Ties are reusable, rubber-coated, and almost unbreakable. We keep a bundle in the trunk of the car and also tote a couple of small Gear Ties into camp for cinching and securing on the go.
These small chemical tablets ignite with a match and burn for a few minutes. Use them to start a campfire with kindling, or place the lit tablets under a pot to heat water ad hoc. We have used these pop-out tabs for fire needs going on many years.
Mountain House Beef Stroganoff with Noodles is freeze-dried but highly eatable in the field. It’s an easy-to-make, packaged meal that carries easily into camp. We salivated over the just-add-water dish while hiking on a recent camping trip.
Reach deep into that pot (or pouch of rehydrated camp food) with this nearly 10-inch titanium spork. It works as a spoon, fork, or stir stick when prepping food. Bonus: While cooking, you won’t burn your hand while using this utensil to stir boiling food.
Like Ziploc bags on steroids, Opsak bags have proven watertight for maps and other goods you need to keep dry. We have used and trusted their seal against the elements for years. Any outdoors person can use a couple.
BSN Medical’s Leukotape is a lifesaver. The cloth-like, adhesive-backed tape sticks to skin for a protective layer that’s flexible and gentle on irritated “hot spots.” However, it’s also sticky enough to stay in place after hiking many miles. Add a few feet of this tape to a pack for a quick fix on the trail.
It may seem boring, but anyone who camps knows the endless utility of a strong cord. Tie up a bear bag, set up a tarp, or reinforce a tent against winds. This 1.8-mm cord has good strength for its weight and reflective stitching to make it visible at night.
Bike bottles work great for backpacking and hiking. The CamelBak Podium bottle holds 24 liquid ounces and is easy to drink when you’re on the move. We love the twist-to-lock valve, which shuts off water flow and makes this bottle stowable in a pocket or inside a pack.
GSI Outdoors is a brand we trust. The company’s Ultralight Java Drip Coffee Maker gives barista-quality joe anywhere you have hot water and some grounds. The unit’s legs clip to nearly any mug and give a stage for a quick brew.
A simple ply of textured closed-cell foam comprises this seat from Therm-a-Rest. It gives a buffer against the cold, hard, wet ground, letting you sit anywhere. The pad measures about 16 x 13 inches and folds up small, accordion-style, for toting on the trail.
Hone your survival skills (or simply light a stove) with the Kershaw Firestarter. This magnesium rod comes with a chrome-plated striker and shoots tiny sparks to ignite fine kindling and dry grass. The brand promises up to 3,000 strikes per stick.