The first thing on our camping checklist is a tent with a rain fly. Unless you're going to a camping spot with pre-installed cabins or tents, you'll need a tent or outdoor shelter. A tent protects you from the natural elements and ensures that you have a safe space to sleep once night comes. There's nothing worse than being caught in a storm while camping without adequate rain protection.
But if you bring a quality windproof travel umbrella like the one shown in the picture, you'll make sure you're prepared no matter what the conditions are. This one weighs less than a pound, is super compact, measures just 12 inches when folded, and comes with a lifetime replacement warranty. This depends entirely on the type of camp you have chosen. I've camped in places that were a two-hour walk from my car, places where I could park my car 10 feet away, and everything else.
Whatever your situation, be sure to know the route to and from your campsite, and to bring a map or GPS just in case. Even the simplest routes can look very different if the weather changes, and you don't want to be stuck without a path back to civilization. This website is hosted on Google Cloud, which is a 100% carbon-neutral platform that works with renewable energy. You should also always plan to bring a filtered water bottle in case you get stuck somewhere without drinking water.
There should be no unnatural trace of your room, so bring one or two garbage bags to pick up any waste you may have and take them all to the trash when you're finished. As a child accompanying my brother's Boy Scout camps, I learned that you should always, always, bring an extra set of clothes and shoes. Regardless of where you camp, it's good to have mosquito repellents when you're thinking about what to bring to the campsite. If you're bringing a gas stove (or if there's a fire pit on site), bring sausages, hamburgers, or anything else you want to grill for dinner.
Yes, tents are necessary when you're considering what to bring to the campsite, however, you don't need a new tent every time, as long as the tent you have is made for the weather conditions you'll face. However, if you bring the wrong things or simply too many things, this will significantly hinder your night outdoors and you may find yourself without the needs you should have planned.