Must-Have Tent Accessories

The tent accessories are as important as your tent - don't ignore them
The tent accessories are as important as your tent – don’t ignore them

Are you planning a camping trip soon? Getting out in nature is super refreshing, and spending time away from screens and schedules is good for the soul.

If you want your camping experience to go smoothly, be sure to pack the right camping tent accessories. With the right gear, your tent will surely protect you from unwanted elements and help you sleep soundly.

Let’s look at some useful accessories that make camping in a tent more comfortable and convenient.

What Are The Different Tent Accessories?

Tents are available in all shapes and sizes for different trips but no matter what tent you use, accessories help you make camping easier and more enjoyable. Never forget to take them with you.

Here are some different handy accessories for your tents you should bring on your next adventure.

Tent Poles

Tent poles are essential to provide support and structure to your tent
Tent poles are essential to provide support and structure to your tent

A tent pole is a long, lightweight rod that provides structure and support for a tent.

Tent poles are made from materials like aluminum, fiberglass, or shock-corded steel that can flex without breaking and are designed to bend and snap together to form the frames and arching supports that give tents their characteristic shapes.

Needless to say, if you forget your tent poles, you’re sleeping outside.

Tent Stakes

Always bring extra stakes
Always bring extra stakes

Stakes are essential for securing your tent so it doesn’t blow away in the wind. Make sure that you choose sturdy stakes made of metal or hard plastic and bring a mallet to drive the stakes into the ground (otherwise good luck using your hands to do it).

Having extra stakes is also a good idea in case the ground is too hard or rocky to fully insert them (or you just lose some).

Tent Tarp/Ground Cloth

It’s important to put a protective layer under your tent.

A tarp or ground cloth prevents moisture from seeping up into the tent floor and blocks rocks and sticks from poking you through the floor – don’t skip it.

There are several different kinds of tarp, but we recommend you choose the ones made of waterproof materials and slightly larger than your tent size (we’ve written why in that article).

Tent Ropes and Guy Lines

When setting up a tent for camping, the ropes and guy lines help secure and reinforce the tent’s structure:

  • Tent ropes connect the poles, which gives stability so that the tent holds its shape; while

  • The guy lines are the outer tensioning ropes tied from the upper anchors on the tent down to stakes in the ground

    • Guy lines brace the tent against winds and rain so that it doesn’t collapse or blow away in bad weather

    • Having plenty of guy lines evenly spaced around all sides of the tent is important for keeping it firmly staked for safety and security

Also: don’t compromise your safety by bringing tent ropes and guy lines of poor quality. It’s not worth it.

Tent Vestibules

Tent vestibules are great if you're looking to add extra space
Tent vestibules are great if you’re looking to add extra space

If you’ve been camping in a tent, you’ve noticed for sure that many tents have an attached extra bit of covered space.

This is called a vestibule and it’s like a little front porch for tents.

Vestibules are quite useful because they give you an extra protected space outside the main sleeping area where you can store gear to keep it out of the way but easily accessible.

Some vestibules have built-in floors while others are just a roof that extends out from the tent – either way, having a tent vestibule makes your tent feel a lot roomier!

Tent Rainfly

A tent rainfly is made from a waterproof, durable material like nylon or polyester and has grommets around the edges that allow it to be strapped down to the tent frame. This creates an extra air buffer between the inner tent body and the external rainfly layer.

When it rains, a rainfly prevents water from seeping through the tent ceiling and walls and also stops humidity and condensation from building up inside your tent.

Look for a large rainfly that provides good coverage on all sides of the tent. Keep the rainfly in good condition and learn how to attach it correctly before your camping trip.

Tent Repair Kits

Be sure to pack a tent repair kit, just in case! Small tears or broken poles can happen, but a repair kit lets you quickly fix issues on the trail.

Keep in mind that no one will be around to fix your gear if it breaks or rips.

Tent repair kits contain supplies like:

  • Fabric patches and tape

  • Replacement poles

  • Pole splints

  • Guy line cord

  • Stakes

  • Seam sealer

  • Multi-tool or knife

Knowing how to do simple tent repairs gives you confidence to go on solo trips.

Other Camping Tent Accessories You Need

Here are a few more handy items that will make your camping life more convenient.

Sleeping Pad

No one wants to sleep right on the hard ground, right? Then bring a sleeping pad with you.

Pillow

You don't need a pillow this fancy
You don’t need a pillow this fancy

Don’t forget to bring a pillow for comfort and support. Like a sleeping pad, there are available inflatable pillows that allow you to adjust the firmness.

If you don’t want to bring one, stuff some extra clothes into a soft bag to create a DIY pillow.

Lighting

It gets dark at night in the wilderness! Bring battery-powered lanterns and a flashlight so you can see inside the tent.

You can also use headlamps to have light while keeping your hands free for other tasks.

Welcome Mat and Storage Bins

Mats trap excess dirt and moisture from shoes, keeping things cleaner inside. Place a second mat just inside to stand on while removing your shoes.

Stay organized by packing items like clothes, food, and toiletries into plastic bins. Collapsible bins will save you space.

Clothesline

Let wet clothing and towels dry overnight by stringing up a clothesline inside your tent.

Just make sure not to place it too close to a lantern, where it could pose a fire hazard.

Camping Chair and Portable Table

Look for camping chairs that fold up neatly into included carrying cases.

Cooler

Hard-sided coolers keep ice longer than soft ones. If you have limited space, use a soft-sided cooler just big enough for the perishable items you’ll need during your stay.

Fire Pit/Grill

Enjoy campfire meals and smores by bringing a portable fire pit or grill.

Just be extremely careful with fire safety: always fully extinguish fires before leaving them or going to sleep.

Key Things to Look for When Choosing Tent Accessories

Here are some factors to consider when buying tent accessories:

  • Durability: pick products that are sturdy and won’t break right away. Aluminum, steel, hard plastics, and strong fabrics last longer

  • Lightweight: favor lightweight designs so they’re easy to carry. But make sure they aren’t too flimsy and weak

  • Ease of use: find self-explanatory, uncomplicated items you can quickly and intuitively use even when tired or in the dark

  • Weather resistance: if camping in the rain, get waterproof accessories that won’t rust or corrode

  • Size: before buying, find products that will fit and work in your specific tent

  • Price: don’t just get the cheapest one. A few more dollars will get you something that truly lasts and works well

  • Reviews: take time to read buyer feedback and reviews, which will help you decide before making a purchase

Take into account convenient accessories that won’t clutter up your tent or backpack.

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