I’m a Camping Beginner — Here’s the Gear an Avid Camper Recommended From Target’s Big Sale

Tents, coolers, and cook sets are up to 69 percent off.

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Target Outdoor Camping Sale Tout

Travel + Leisure / Tyler Roeland

As a kid and into adulthood, I attended sleepaway camp for 10 years, but if I’m being honest, I’m more of a glamping person. I’ve never had to “rough it” outdoors, and slept in a tent just a small handful of times in my life. Recently, a group of friends of mine got together, and the outcome was the decision to take a three-family camping trip this summer. While two of the families (not mine) are avid campers with years of experience finding the best campsites and products under their belt, my family has none of the above. So, I turned to my camping expert friends for advice on which items we’d need for the trip. And fortunately, Target is having a sale on just the outdoor camping gear I need right now to get me started.

Target’s outdoor camping sale was the ideal spot to find must-haves for my family’s first outdoor camping trip. The retailer has nearly 1,000 deals on camping gear, whether you’re going solo or with your family in-tow, as I am. Since the most important item to bring is a protective and reliable tent, I was happy to find that Target marked down nearly 200 options right now that hold two, six, eight, or more people. It also has folding chairs for sitting around the campfire, along with plenty of coolers on sale, including collapsible and stainless steel options — all up to 69 percent off. With the help of my friends, here are the top picks I’m shopping from Target’s outdoor camping sale.

Tent Deals at Target

Coleman Flatwoods II 6-Person Dome Tent


My first stop is to Target’s tent section, which currently has a slew of shapes and sizes available — and on sale. With a family of five, the Coleman Flatwoods six-person tent is a suitable option. This Target-exclusive tent measures 10 feet by 10 feet and is spacious enough to fit two queen-size air mattresses. It’s equipped with Coleman’s Weathertec design so you’ll stay dry in the event of less-than-favorable conditions, along with mesh windows, and it sets up in just 10 minutes. For a smaller crew, grab Coleman’s 3-person Sundome tent which offers UPF protection, a zip back window, and an easy 5-minute setup. 

Sleeping Bag Deals at Target

KingCamp Adult Cold Weather Sleeping Bag


I also highly value sleep, so a comfortable and warm sleeping bag is key for me — and any camper. This large KingCamp sleeping bag offers a roomy 81 by 33 inches of space, and is super cozy for camping any time of year — it protects and keeps you warm in 15-degree Fahrenheit weather. It’s also designed with a wind- and water-blocking hood, and a transport-friendly compression case. For those who prefer the idea of snuggling under the stars, KingCamp also has a two-person weatherproof sleeping bag with built-in pillows. If you get hot while camping in the summer, simply unzip the bottom for more breathability and ventilation.

Air Mattress and Sleeping Pad Deals at Target

Sealy Tritech Inflatable Air Mattress Bed


Continuing with the sleep theme, I’m staying comfortable by bringing padding for me and my family — the ground itself won’t cut it. For an ultra-comfy sleep, grab the Sealy Twin Airbed for 42 percent off. The air mattress comes with a built-in pump to self inflate in just minutes (no extra pump needed). Also built in? A light pillow, so you have one less thing to pack. The airbed has a special coating that prevents bacteria, mold, and mildew from growing on the mattress. For another cushioned surface, opt for a sleeping pad like this self-inflating one. It offers three inches of comfort off the ground, and inflates in just 25 seconds.

Lantern Deals at Target

Dorcy 40-Lumen Active Series Mini LED Lantern


I plan to give myself some much-needed light — other than campfire glow — with an LED lantern. These lightweight mini lanterns come in a variety of colors and offer up to 70 hours of light on four AA batteries. The weather-resistant lanterns come with a built-in hang hook on the handle for convenience.

2-Burner Stove Deals at Target

Hike Crew Dual Propane Burner Gas Grill Camping Stove


Traveling with kids, I know someone’s always bound to be hungry. My camping friends suggested a two-burner propane stove for cooking meals, like this Hike Crew burner. Its collapsible design — and 9-pound weight — makes it ultra portable, and it’s ready for use after attaching the propane hose to a tank. Another portable grill option is this Costway style that can be used well beyond camping. The stainless steel grill has foldable legs for easy transport, and both options offer 20,000 BTUs.

Cook Set Deals at Target

Bruntmor 2-in-1 Black Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven & Skillet Set


Now that I’ve got the burner taken care of, the next go-to is a cooking set, which should include a cast iron pan. The Bruntmor two-in-one dutch oven and skillet set, which is 31 percent off, comes pre-seasoned and is ideal for campfire cooking. Bruntmore also makes this larger, seven-piece cast iron set that includes a grill pan, Dutch oven, multi-cooker, beer opener, and storage box. You can fry, sauté, grill, stew, and more on your camping trip and beyond.

Chair and Hammock Deals at Target

Costway Folding Camping Chair Loveseat


For seating options around the fire or while we’re relaxing during the day, I’m grabbing two of these foldable loveseats, currently 69 percent off in blue and gray. It can hold up to 500 pounds (my three kids can share) and is filled with foam so we can stay comfortable outdoors. The chair has two mesh pockets for holding drinks or a phone, and is designed with foot pads that won’t sink into the ground, even in damp weather. Target also has single-person camping chairs, or for lounging, this portable folding hammock with a waterproof, sturdy design. 

Cooler Deals at Target

Igloo Flip and Tow 90qt Roller Cooler


I’ve decided that while we have some small coolers already, this camping trip is an ideal time to upgrade to a bigger, camping-specific cooler. Specifically, one conveniently built on wheels. The huge Igloo 90-quart cooler can hold up to 137 cans, which provides more than enough space to hold all of the drinks we need for the trip, plus other food and drink essentials. On the outside, the cooler’s wheels are designed to glide on any type of ground, while on the inside it keeps ice solid for up to five days. For a small, packable option, this soft-sided collapsible cooler holds up to 30 cans, is leak-proof and insulated, and folds up flat for easy transport.

Insulated Mug and Water Bottle Deals at Target

GROSCHE Everest Double Wall Insulated Travel Mug


Keeping hydrated, and alert, while you’re camping is crucial. While grabbing the sleeping gear mentioned above should help provide me with a comfortable sleep, on the off-chance I encounter a sleepless night, this travel mug will be a must for early morning caffeine. It’s made of double-walled stainless steel to keep drinks hot for 12 hours — or cold for 24. I’m also eyeing this more standard-shaped bottle that boasts the same hot and cold qualities, plus a convenient pour spout if I want to share.

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