10 Best Camping Products for Solo Campers

March 5, 2024

It’s been seven years, but I still remember my first solo camping trip like it was yesterday. To say I was nervous would have been an understatement. In fact, I think I slept worse in my own bed the night before I left than I did in my tent out in the woods. Spoiler alert: I survived. And I had so much fun – even if some of it was Type II fun – that I started planning my next solo sojourn on the drive home. I also made a shopping list. Turns out that when it’s just you, yourself, and you, you don’t need to bring as much. Not only was the six-person tent I’d borrowed from my parents way too cumbersome and confusing for me to set up without getting a few premature gray hairs, it was also so big I almost got lost in it

After talking to more-seasoned solo campers,who had packing for one down to a science, I embraced my lightweight era. When you’re the only one packing it in, setting it up, tearing it down, and packing it out, every ounce counts. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a far cry from becoming the next Cheryl Strayed, and I have no plans to do the Appalachian Trail. But thanks to becoming a better packer, I now have many successful solo camping trips (including an overnight on the world’s second-largest ice cap) under my belt. So, whether your next lone outdoor adventure is a three-day weekend or a 30-day thru hike, below are then products I highly recommend packing.

Planning on Caming Solo? Here’s the Gear You Need for Camping on Your Own

A small, one-person backpacking tent that is lightweight and easy to travel with.

1. Nemo Hornet OSMO Ultralight Backpacking Tent, Nemo

This ultralight tent from Nemo weighs just over 2 lbs, or about as much as a liter of water. Obviously, the less you get, at least in poundage, the higher the price. For comparison, my Coleman Sundome tent, which cost me $80 at Walmart, weighs more than 10 lbs. Still, when I’m camping alone I prefer this little guy which is less bulky and better suited for extreme temperatures. “It sustained high winds, snow storms, and thunderstorms,” wrote one happy camper who spent 170 nights in their Hornet Osmo while hiking 2,000 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail.

An easy to setup tent.

2. Night Cat Pop-up Camping Tent, Amazon

If you don’t want to drop $400 on a tent, or you’re looking for something you can set up without having to use any four-letter words, consider this affordable pop-up which comes to life faster than you can grab a drink from the cooler. Designed for two people, it’s slightly heavier (6.6 lbs.) and features two doors. While reviews are mixed – some campers don’t think it’s as waterproof as advertised – it’s so popular that 800 were sold last month alone. “The tent is roomy enough for 3 people for sure,” wrote one shopper. “I had it to myself and it was cavernous. Good cross air ventilation. Oh, and did I mention that it really does pop up in about 3 seconds?”

A blue hammock for camping..

3. Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Hammock, Amazon

The best part about camping alone, in my humble opinion, is you don’t have to take turns in the hammock (or share one and end up getting dumped when your partner abruptly leaves). Lots of solo campers I know even sleep in hammocks because they’re lighter than packing a tent and sleeping pad. Boasting a very impressive 4.8-star average rating from nearly 50,000 ratings, you can’t go wrong with this single (get the medium) hammock that holds up to 400 lbs. It comes with a stuff sack, carabiners and everything you need, except the trees, to set it up. Despite its suspiciously low price, it’s durable. “The parachute material seems very tough, but is very soft,” wrote one shopper who loves how they feel so supported and cozy. “The seams are triple-stitched. I’m an average-sized adult and was quite comfy.”

A small, one cup coffee maker.

4. BLACK+DECKER CM618 Single Serve Coffee Maker, Amazon

Unless you run on coffee, you probably don’t need to make a full pot for your party of one. Instead, consider this best-selling single-serve coffee maker (it has nearly 9,000 five-star ratings) that makes just enough at the push of one button. It comes with an easy-to-clean removable filter basket, so you don’t need to waste money on paper filters. And if you don’t want to deal with beans or grounds, get the K-cup version. Both models feature automatic shut-off and come with a travel mug (which fits underneath the brewer). “I love it so much that I now use it everyday instead of my full-size coffee-maker,” confessed one shopper who bought theirs for camping and appreciates how it doesn’t take up much counter space.

A blue and red cooler with wheels for easy transport.

5. RTIC Wheeled Ultralight Cooler 52-Quart, RTIC

When you’re camping alone, a cooler with wheels is a total game-changer. You don’t have to awkwardly drag it across the ground or risk straining your back trying to carry it yourself. At just 30 lbs. (empty), this ultralight cooler is 30% lighter than similar rotomolded coolers with wheels. It can hold up to 76 cans or 53 lbs. of ice, and contents stay cold for up to a week. “It’s really easy for an old fat guy to use,” wrote one shopper who says using their previous cooler without wheels was “a chore to carry empty let alone loaded.” Currently,  it comes in three colors including a pretty Patriot which is perfect for the Fourth of July.

A blue long sleeve shirt with a hood.

6. Outerknown Hooded Sun Shirt, Outerknown

One downside of camping sans companions is you don’t have anyone to rub sunblock on the hard-to-reach spots on your back or to tell you when you’re starting to look like a lobster. That’s why, I’m starting to rely on clothing with built-in UPF like this hooded sun shirt from Outerknown. Yes, it’s expensive. But when you compare it to how much a trip to the dermatologist costs, it’s a bargain. It’s made of 100% recycled polyester, is moisture-wicking and features anti-odor properties. After all, even when you’re alone, you don’t want to smell bad. Most importantly, it blocks 98% of the sun’s harmful UV rays.

A puffy blanket with a blue gradient mountain design.

7. Rumpl The Original Puffy Camping Blanket, Amazon

It’s easy to get cold when you don’t have a cuddle buddy. That’s where this cozy, incredibly lightweight insulated blanket comes in handy. And because it has a clip that allows you to wear it like a cape, it’s a hands-free way to stay warm. While it’s far pricier than its fleece counterparts, that’s because it’s made from 100% recycled materials, and it’s designed to withstand the elements. It features a DWR coating, which wicks away moisture and stains, and things like pet hair and sand don’t stick to it either. “After being caught in several rainstorms I can testify to its water resistance,” wrote one shopper who was initially leery about the price but ended up loving it so much they bought two more. “I think it must be infused with a little magic, too because I’ve washed this much less often then I probably should but dirt just seems to disappear!” Still on the fence? Just know it has an impressive 4.8-star average rating from nearly 1,000 ratings.

A small, foldable camp table.

8. iClimb Ultralight Aluminum Compact Folding Table, Amazon

As much as I like embracing my inner MacGyver and using the top of my cooler as a table, it is annoying having to clear it off when I need to grab something out of it. That’s why I’ve started camping with this compact folding table that also doubles as a footrest and nightstand. It’s made of aerospace-grade waterproof aluminum alloy, so it won’t rust if I accidentally leave it out overnight, and it’s heat-resistant, so I can set my JetBoil on it. Despite weighing a mere 2.2 lbs., it can hold a whopping 66 lbs. I also love how easy it is to set up and the fact it comes with a convenient carrying case. “Got this for a camping trip for myself,” wrote one shopper whose friends later fell in love with it and bought their own. “Got home, it was covered in ash and grease, hosed off, good as new!” (That’s just one of this table’s more than 1,680 five-star ratings.)

A small Bluetooth speaker.

9. Kunodi Outdoor Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker, Amazon

Silence is golden, but sometimes I like to have music, podcasts, or audiobooks playing in the background to feel less lonely. AirPods are great, but when I’m in the woods, I prefer to use this waterproof USB-powered bluetooth speaker that allows me to hear what’s going on around me. While it doesn’t have the world’s best sound quality, more than 70% of its 14,000 ratings are perfect five-star ratings, and it packs a powerful punch for its small size and reasonable price tag. It also comes with an aluminum carabiner which I can clip to my tent poles. If I had an RV, I’d use the suction cup (also included), to attach it to the shower. “I’ve used it for about an hour each day and I’ve had it for about a week and I still haven’t had to charge it,” wrote one happy camper who appreciates the speaker’s eight hours of playtime. “Very cute and comes with a travel clip, so it’s good for hiking which is also a must!”

A flatlay of items included in a red first aid kit.

10. General Medi Mini First Aid Kit, Amazon

We all have that one friend, or family member, we “borrow” Band-Aids from. Because my mom always had a wide selection of bandages in her purse, I didn’t carry my own for years. But the older I get the more I realize how irresponsible it is to camp without Band-aids, and more importantly, a well-stocked first-aid kit. This 110-piece mini kit is perfect for solo campers because it’s lightweight (just 5.6 ounces), and it has just enough supplies for 1-2 people. It’s so popular that more than 7,000 were sold in the last month alone, and it has nearly 6,000 five-star ratings, including one left by a nurse and firefighter. If it’s good enough for first responders, it’s good enough for me.

KOA Author Katie JacksonKatie Jackson is a writer and media specialist based in Montana’s Big Sky Country. Living and working everywhere from New York to Nicaragua, Katie is no stranger to adventure. When she’s not traveling the world (or writing about it!) she’s busy chasing after a Leonberger named Zeus. Follow Katie’s travels on Instagram @katietalkstravel.

Kampgrounds of America, Inc is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and affiliate advertising program. Some links may be affiliate links and Kampgrounds of America, Inc may get paid if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of these links.

Prices are accurate at time of publishing. Note that they are subject to change at the discretion of Amazon or their marketplace sellers.


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