Their View: BBB offers tips for purchasing camping gear

By John North
Guest columnist

June is National Camping Month and celebrates getting outdoors and sleeping under the stars. According to The Dyrt, an estimated 84.8 million Americans went camping in 2023 and 5.5 million of those were first-time campers. With outdoor activities becoming more and more popular, more people are in the market for camping gear.

Purchasing quality, long-lasting camping gear can be a challenge. But, the Better Business Bureau offers these tips to help…

• Research the climate and location you’ll be traveling to.

• Determine the type of camping you’ll be doing. Will you be tent camping or staying in a camper? If you’ll be tent camping, you’ll need to take into account the size, weight and seasonality. Even though a tent says it can sleep a certain number, it doesn’t mean it will be comfortable. If you’ll be backpacking with the tent, take weight into account.

• Look at customer ratings and reviews before making a purchase. There are many camping blogs and online reviews you can use to see the gear in action and make an informed decision.

• Compare prices and quality. Purchasing camping gear can be an investment, but it’s worth the splurge to get durable gear that will last season after season.

• Consider renting items if you’re just starting out. Renting allows you to test different gear before investing.

• Get a comfortable sleeping bag. It’s important to take into account temperature ratings, size, shape and materials of your sleeping bag. If you purchase a bag in-person, give it a try to make sure it’s the correct size and shape.

• Plan how you’ll cook and store your food. You’ll need to bring a large cooler to store perishable items. You may also need a small camp stove to cook your meals. Make sure you know how to use the items before heading out on your trip and you have plenty of backup fuel.

• When purchasing clothing for camping, keep functionality, comfort and climate top of mind. Purchase materials that are durable and dry quickly. It’s always a good idea to pack rain gear and UPF clothing in case.

• Practice using your gear before going on your trip.

To keep yourself organized, make a list of the items you’ll need and determine what you already have and what you’ll need to purchase. Keep these BBB tips in mind when shopping for your next camping trip. Visit for a list of Accredited Businesses in the industry and Business Profiles for ones you’re interested in.

The writer is the president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Dayton and the Miami Valley.