Mountain Equipment Coop tents used at the Learn-to Camp event at the Rideau Canal

Camping: Equipment

With an overwhelming amount of recreational camping equipment available to today’s consumer, it can be an intimidating task to equip yourself and your family. The wide selection of camping gear is required to accommodate the many different types of camping.

The kind of camping gear will differ based on the kind of camping you will be practicing. Backcountry camping gear tends to be a smaller, lighter and usually more expensive. With this type of equipment, comfort is sometimes sacrificed in order to achieve a lighter weight. Frontcountry camping gear can be a little heavier and bigger as it does not need to be carried in a backpack or a canoe. It's also more comfortable and affordable.

If you don't have the necessary equipment

If you do not own the necessary equipment but would like to try camping here are some options for you:

  • Many new campers borrow equipment from family and friends
  • Most camping equipment is available for rental from local outdoor outfitting stores

Parks Canada also offers roofed and other accommodations for people who do not own equipment, are just starting out or simply do not wish to camp in a tent. Visit the section on Roofed and alternative accommodations to learn more.

They key point to remember is to get equipment that is right for you. If you plan on trying car camping, then choose equipment suited for that type of camping. If you are going to venture out into the backcountry, then choosing the appropriate, lightweight gear will be important.

Here are some basics that will help you understand camping equipment and make you more comfortable using it. Since most new campers start in the frontcountry, the information here is primarily tailored for that kind of camping.