urban exploration gear

Best Stealth Camping Gear – A Complete Checklist

Last Updated on January 17, 2023 by Urbex Underground

If you’re looking to do some stealth camping, but want to make sure you have the right gear, you’re in the right place. In this article I’ll review some of the best stealth camping gear and explain exactly why it’s the best for camping stealthily.

If you’d like to check out what’s in my stealth camping backpack, I’ll include a list below with links to all of the items.

Stealth Camping Gear Checklist

Below is exactly what I carry in my own pack. If you click on the name of the item it should take you to where I got it from. You’ll notice the entire pack only weighs 15 and a half pounds.

Now if you’re seriously trying to cut some weight you can remove a few things such as the additional water bottle, and folding trench shovel to easily get this pack down to 10 pounds or so.

Also keep in mind this pack includes two sleep systems, a bivy and hammock. In reality you only need one, but depending on how you’re traveling you may not be in an area where you can pitch a hammock. Modify this list to what makes sense for you.

Best Stealth Camping Gear: Backpacks

The best stealth backpacks not only have to be strong, but also inconspicuous. You should look like a Sherpa as you walk through town looking for you next stealth camping site.

In a hurry? Here’s a quick list of the best stealth camping backpacks:

GORUCK GR1 21LBest Option

The GR1 is the last backpack you’ll ever need, and I really mean it.

Unlike other “tactical” bags this backpack doesn’t look absolutely ridiculous with tons of MOLLE webbing or little zipper pouches everywhere. The GR1 is low-profile in it’s 21 liter form, and is made of some of the toughest materials designed to be abused in military situations which secures it’s place at the top of our best stealth camping gear list.

You can really beat the hell out of this thing.

The bag is mainly comprised of black 1000D Cordura. The D stands for Denier, which is used to measure the strength and density of fibers. For some perspective a rain jacket is normally 50 Denier while a piece of silk is 1.

The entire pack is heavily water resistant, and naturally repels water. The only reason it isn’t classified as waterproof is because in the eyes of GORUCK, waterproof means surviving at the bottom of the ocean of a week.

Since this backpack was designed to carry heavy weight over long distances (AKA rucking) you’ll be surprised just how comfortable this thing is, even when fully packed. For long distance hikes you can even attach a water bag to the inside for hands free hydration.

The overall construction is unmatched by any other bag on the market. The zippers are carefully designed for easy access and features a silent track that allows them to be opened or closed without making a loud zipping sound.

Inside, a handful of main and secondary compartments allow you to safely store your stealth camping gear. Some wish that there were more smaller compartments on the inside, I personally find the simplicity refreshing.

Upon getting the backpack you may notice it feels a bit ‘stiff’. This is by design, and is a side effect of using 1000D materials. These bags are meant to be broken in, and like I said, literally last a lifetime.

GORUCK backs up that lifetime guarantee as well and offers repairs and replacements for life. You break it, they fix it.

With that said, this backpack ain’t cheap. You’ll find the best pricing for the GR1 on their official site which I will link to below.

Dakine URBN Mission 23LBest Budget Option

budget camping backpack

The Dakine URBN Mission 23L comes in second place for best stealth camping backpacks. While this is 2 liters larger than the GR1 it maintains a sleek and thin form while over the shoulder allowing it stay low profile at a larger size.

It’s made from lightweight nylon and polyester that strikes a solid balance between durability and reduced weight. While I wouldn’t purposefully abuse this thing like I would the GR1, the URBN Mission is backed by a limited lifetime warranty if anything tears or breaks.

The bag is constructed with 600D polyester plain weave with water repellent finish, making it tougher than most ‘urban style’ backpacks on the market. This bag has additional compartments and hidey-holes for chargers or smaller tools, and allows you to stay comfortable with simple adjustable straps.

The best part of this bag is that it’s breathable and comfortable. You won’t suffer from the sticky back sweat that happens when you carry a pack for too long.

You can check out the Dakine URBN Mission below.

Arc’teryx Granville 20 PackWaterproof Option

For stealth campers who frequently find themselves in rivers or caught in the rain, the Granville 20 Pack offers 20 liters of waterproof storage in a sleek and low profile design. Unlike a lot of other waterproof backpacks, the Granville does not include reflective straps or backing material which is obviously important while keeping a low profile.

The N400r-AC2 ripstop nylon fabric offers protection from rips and tears while looking good at the same time. Under the hood you’ll find  integrated stretch-mesh zippered pockets and a handful of other compartments to separate and organize smaller gear without going overboard. The internals are protected from water through a series of zipper seals and laminated padded back panel.

You’ll find that most waterproof packs are huge, ranging from 50 to 120 liters. This is great if you’re hiking through Oregon, but not so great if you’re trying to stealth camp outside of city limits. The 20 liter size helps you blend in, and the waterproof design isn’t as glaringly obvious as it is on some other larger brand.

Best Stealth Camping Gear: Tents

When stealth camping, tents will need to be durable, lightweight, and offer low visibility. Below we’ll touch on some of the best bivy style and tadeonal tents you can use for stealth camping. We’ll cover hammocks in their own section later on.

Here’s our shortlist of the best stealth camping tents:

Nemo Escape Pod 1 Person BivyBest Bivy Option

The Nemo Escape Pod offers a snug and lightweight sleep system for single stealth campers in spring, fall, and summer climates. The bivy style ensures that you’re using the least amount of space as possible, while the neutral gray color helps you blend in around urban environments and in the woods at night. The Nemo is secures its places at number one of our best stealth camping gear list for best bivy style tent.

The entire tent only weighs 11oz, due mostly to it’s inflatable support section. While inflatable things usually make me nervous in camping environments, the build quality of the tube is surprisingly tough. and well worth the weight trade-off. While I’ve never had an issue I still pack a few emergency patches incase I do encounter an air leak.

While this bivy can easily handle 3 seasons, it really shines during the spring and summer months when you get wide temperature swings, keeping you cool in the morning heat, and warm during chilly nights.

The whole thing can be up in just a few minutes and the mosquito netting works reliably without any fuss from the zippers. You can check out the Nemo Escape Pod at the link below.

REI Co-op Flash Air 1 TentBest Single Person Option

The Flash Air 1 is an excellent single person stealth camping tent that offers more space than a bivy without taking up a ton more space. The design weights just over a pound, and only uses two poles to keep up, putting it well into the Ultralight category. The tan color helps it blend in around most wooded areas and matches desert environments even better.

When packed the Flash Air only takes up 16 inches of space, allowing this thing to go virtually anywhere and easily fit into a 20 liter minimalist stealth camp backpack. The nylon construction is durable, but designed to be more lightweight and breathable. As long as you don’t punish this tent too much, you should be fine.

REI Co-op Flash Air 2 TentBest Two Person Option

The Flash Air 2 is the big brother to the Flash Air 1, allowing you room for two while stealth camping. Alternatively if you just enjoy extra room for yourself the Flash Air 2 is also a great option. When with the added space the Air 2 only weighs two pounds, and takes up about 16 inches in diameter when packed.

The build quality, color, and features are all the same as the Flash Air 1, with the added benefit of additional space. Even when double the space, you’ll only need two poles to keep this thing upright. Both sides have their own zipper door access as well. Most two person tents are unnecessarily large and complicated, which is why the Flash Air 2 secures it’s spot on this list.

Black Diamond Bipod BivyBest Winter Option

The Black Diamond Bipod Bivy is rated for 4 season camping and made with high quality materials designed to withstand extreme winds and challenging temperatures. The interior is tight but cozy, giving you roughly 30 inches of shoulder room. The bivy style helps keep in heat generated from your body, and pairs nicely with an insulating winter sleeping bag.

Packed this tent only weighs a little over a pound and takes up a 16×8 footprint in your backpack. The only challenge I have with this tent is it’s yellow color, which admittedly isn’t super stealthy. However, a small lean to shelter can be made from appropriately colored tarp to help conceal your camp.

A single lightweight aluminum pole helps keep everything up, and the Todd-Tex single-wall fabric works to seal seams creating a waterproof, windproof, and breathable sleep system.

Best Stealth Camping Gear: Hammocks

Hammocks for stealth camping are my personal favorite choice for sleeping stealthily. When modified correctly they can be great for sleeping in different places all year round.

Here’s our list of the best stealth camping hammocks:

Kammok Roo Single HammockBest Year Round Hammock

best stealth camping gear hammock

The Kammock Roo Single hammock balances functionality, durability, and portability in all the right ways to make it the best year round stealth camping hammock. Featured above is the black version, but this model comes in other colors as well including off white, which is great for stealth camping during winter weather.

The Roo Single uses Gravitas Ripstop nylon fabric to support up to 400 pounds, which is one of the highest weight supports I’ve seen for single hammock. Clocking in at just 10oz this thing in extremely light, allowing you to go far off the beaten path or carry an additional sleep system if you’re so inclined.

While a lot of hammock tents feel like you’re sleeping on a tarp, I can say the Kammock brand is truly comfortable. The fabric is stretchy and soft, but not stretchy to the point where your ass feels like it’s in a hole.

The whole pack comes with their Mini Kanga Claw carabiners that are insanely strong, a set of racer slings, and eight gear loops for fast setup and tear down. There are additional connection points on the hammock as well for gear slings, covers, and more.

XT Mosquito Net HammockBest Summer Hammock

best stealth camping hammock for summer

For hot and humid summer nights the XT Mosquito hammock checks all the boxes for stealth camping enthusiasts.

This model comes in forest green, and navy blue, two of the best colors to pick when covertly camping. The entire hammock only weighs 34oz and can hold up to 400 pounds.

One of my favorite parts of this hammock is it’s knotless hanging system, which makes this thing simple and fast to put up. Tear down is easy too as this model includes a stuff sack when it’s time to pack up camp. There’s even a handy outside compartment for easy access to your gear, or a 4Loco.

If you love feeling the warm summer breeze while you sleep, but hate the bugs the warmth brings, this hammock is for you. This design does a great job a keeping bug out while not feeling claustrophobic.

Having this level of protection from mosquitos helps open your options to stealth camping locations that would otherwise be unbearable, like near lakes or swamps.

The top section of netting also has a storage compartment which is great for storing valuables you don’t want to leave outside.

Grand Trunk Kryptek Hammock – Stealthiest Hammock

stealthiest hammock for camping

If your only concern is to be invisible as possible, the Kryptek Hammock has you covered. Literally.

Most of the time camo patterns are poorly executed on camping gear, this is not one of those times. Inspired by the pattern used by special forces, Grand Tree applied two forms of woodland camouflage to their single hammock tent allowing you to truly blend into your surroundings.

The Typhoon pattern is better suited for lush dark green environments, while the Highlander features more yellows making it better for grasslands and the fall season. The entire setup is just 19oz and uses super durable Micro-Diamond Ripstop to blend comfort and protection perfectly.

You don’t find any fancy features with Kryptek hammock, just a damn good stealth camping hammock backed by a life-time warranty.

Best Stealth Camping Gear: Tarps

Traditional camping tarps are allowed to be as loud and flamboyant as RuPaul’s Drag Race, but this won’t fly when stealth camping.

Great stealth camping tarps need to be extremely lightweight and blend into the environment seamlessly. Tarps can help keep your camp dry, protect your sleeping area, conceal fires, and hide your camp from prying eyes.

Here’s the best tarps for stealth camping:

Dyneema Fiber Hex Tarp – Best Option

best stealth camping gear tarp

The Dyneema Fiber Hex tarp is the strongest tarp available on the market. Dyneema is 15x stronger than steel when comparing by weight, so if you’re going to trust anything to protect you from the elements, Dyneema material is what you want to go with.

The Hex Tarp weighs in at only 5.14oz and comes in ridgeline lengths of 11, 10, and 12 feet. Each tarp ordered through Hammock Gear is made to order, meaning you get to customize the tarp anyway you like.

Both their light green and camo are great options, however I found the camo to provide a bit more opaqueness and was able to conceal light better.

This tarp is light enough to carry with you and deploy directly over your bivy or hammock setup to offer additional cover from the sun, rain, or people. A simple stuff bag lets you dismount this tent quickly and leave camp if necessary.

These tarps are only made from the best possible materials, so expect Dyneema products to be on the higher price range.

Sil-Poly Quest Tarp – Best Budget Option

budget stealth camping tarp

The Sil-Poly Quest Tarp is a solid alternative to Dyneema material and offers similar flexibility and protection from the elements. Rated at 20D material strength this tarp is reliably keeps out wind and rain without issue.

The material is stretch resistant, meaning you don’t have to re-adjust your tarp or deal with flapping hanging bits. The Quest weight 12.38oz making it light, but not quite as lightweight as it’s Dyneema predecessor.

The tarp comes with an stuff sack for easy storage, and contains a repair kit if you get a rip or tear.

Dyneema Fiber Palace Tarp – Best Large Option

large tarp for stealth camping

The Dyneema Fiber Palace tarp is the big daddy version of the Dyneema Fiber Hex. The Palace allows you to spread out your stealth camp a bit more, while still remaining protected and concealed.

The Palace features two doors flaps for easy access in and out, and help keep heat in especially in cold winter conditions. The tarp also features 10 perimeter tie outs for your D-rings or carabiner clips, meaning you can easily get the Palace setup quickly without any knots.

If you’re stealth camping with a friend, having the additional coverage will assist in protecting you both from the elements, and reduce the amount of visible space your camp takes up.

Best Stealth Camping Gear: Roof Top Tents

If you’re on the move you might not have a completely tricked out stealth camping van, but still want to camp out of your car or SUV. Roof top tents help you bridge the gap by experiencing the outdoors right on top of your car.

Here’s our top list of the best stealth camping roof top tents:

Thule Tepui Foothill TentBest Single-Person Option

best stealth camping gear tents

For those looking to stealth camp in their car (or maybe on their car) the Thule Tepui Foothill Tent can provide just that. For smaller vehicles and compacts like the Subaru Impreza this sized roof top tens allows you to either camp up your roof solo, or with a friend.

If you have just enough room in your car for a single bed, you could potentially sleep three people with this system comfortably.

The entire tent is designed to fit all standard roof racks and is constructed from durable 600 denier material. A single entrance opens up the top of your roof and transforms it into a 27.4 square foot camping area. My favorite part of this design is its flexibility, allowing anyone to turn their vehicle into a stealth camping rig.

A large panoramic tent window allows you to see behind you, as well as above you for stargazing at night. When packed up, the rooftop tent is inconspicuous and takes up a footprint of 83 x 24 x 9.5 inches.

While this design technically sleeps two, we find that it’s more comfortable to have one person in the tent above, and one person in the vehicle below for sleeping if possible.

The Tepui Foothill is our number one pick for best stealth camping gear for roof top tents.

Thule Tepui Explorer Kukenam 3 Tent Best Multi-Person Option

best stealth camping tent

The Kukenam 3 is a great option for stealth camper vans aren’t current utilizing their roof space, or regular vehicles that are looking to do a bit of stealth camping.

The entire system sleeps three comfortably, or two large adults who really want to sprawl out across the 96 x 56 inch floor space. Like other Thule brand rooftop tents the Kukenam is made from incredible durable 600D ripstop fabric, and was designed for 4-season camping.

Unlike it’s two-person cousin design, this rooftop tent offers more vertical space inside maxing out at 52 inches. A compact high density mattress is also included making the entire system comfortable without needing a ton of add-ons.

Four large internal pockets allow for additional inside storage, making it comfortable for multiple nights on the road.

Thule Tepui Ruggedized Kukenam 3 Tent – Best Pickup Truck Option

best stealth camping gear for pickup trucks

If you own a truck you can utilize your truck bed and transform it into a portable tent that’s with you wherever your truck is. The Ruggedized Kukenam 3 allows space for three to sleep comfortable on any sized pickup truck bed.

The ruggedized version has similar specs to the regular Kekenam design, but offers additional compatibility for multiple sizes of truck bed. When the tent is packed it the entire system sits elevated over the rear end of the truck, allowing you to still utilize it for storage.

The ruggedized Kukenam is rated for three seasons, and offers a floor area of just over 37 square feet. The setup is great if you want to bring friends stealth camping who don’t have their own gear, or want to embark on a last minute trip.

Rightline Standard-Bed Truck Tent Best Budget Pickup Truck Option

budget stealth camping tent for trucks

The Rightline Truck Tent can transform your truck bed into a camp without the need for any mounting brackets or heavy packs. The Rightline brand has multiple variations of the this tent fitting extended cabs, standard, and compact model trucks. The entire pack can be broken down and easily stored in one of the passenger cabs.

The material is lightweight but offers adequate protection most camping situations. The design is floorless, meaning you’ll need to provide your own sleeping bags or air mattress, and can sleep two full-size adults across a standard 6.5ft bed.

Inside includes two pockets sewn into the walls for convenient storage, glow in the dark zippers, and a lantern hook for overhead lighting. The top panels can open up which allow for better airflow and stargazing.

Best Stealth Camping Gear: Refrigerators

For extended stealth camping trips you’ll want to keep food cold, without taking up a ton of valuable space or power. Below we’ll take a look at three of the best stealth camping refrigerators we found.

Here’s our pick of the best stealth camping refrigerators:

Setpower AJ50 53 QuartsBest Tall Option

best stealth camping gear for refrigerators

The Setpower AJ50 helps keep food cool with a tall and slim design that allows for 53 quarts of storage space that can be placed either in the back of a stealth camping van, or between the driver and passenger seats. It’s portability, efficiency, and sound suppression make it on the the best stealth camping gear options for keeping food cold.

At just 55 watts and 37.7 pounds the Setpower efficiently uses both space and power to maximize the efficiency of your stealth camping setup. Adjustable temperature allows you to use this as either a fridge or freezer and toggle between 0-50F degrees.

While some fridges can be noisy when running on max, the Setpower operates around 45db, which means you won’t be woken up in the middle of the night by this thing.

If your stealth van goes off road often, you’ll be happy to know that this model includes anti-shake technology that allows it to still keep food cool when titled at angles or on slopes for periods of time. The system comes with three stage battery protection and multi-channel power connections for AC, DC, solar, or powerbank connections.

Ausranvik 37 QuartBest Wide Option

best stealth camping fridge for van

While the Ausranvik 37 Quart fridge might be a mouthful to say, it’s one of the the best wide freezer/fridge options for stealth camping vans. It’s dimensions are 27.8 x 14.4 x 15.2 inches, making it easy to store beneath countertop storage or behind passenger the seat.

At just 38 pounds this fridge can be moved and operated outside if needed, and offers battery protection plus multiple channel connections. If you’re looking to freeze meat to maybe to some BBQ over the next few weeks no problem. The temperature can be adjusted between -4℉ to 50℉, and can maintain temperatures inside 10 hours after being powered off.

A few additional features like the anti-pinching lid and built in LED light are nice additions as well. Lastly, the fridge is quiet, which is helpful when sleeping in your stealth camper.

Dometic CFX-35US – Toughest Option

toughest fridge for van camping

If you’re looking to beat the hell out of your fridge (which we don’t recommended) consider the Dometic CFX-35US. In all seriousness, this model is great if you find yourself needing a fridge for your stealth camper van, but also want to bring it out in nature with you for a picnic.

The design is solid and tough with no switches or buttons that can get broken off if banged around. The inside can store up to 34.3 liters of whatever you want, and temperature can be adjusted between 0°F and 50°F.

While this fridge is on the pricier end, we think it’s worth it for stealth van setups that are on the road for long periods or time, or do a lot of off-road adventuring. If you’re a weekend warrior consider using one of the budget alternatives.

Best Stealth Camping Gear: Generators

Stealth camping generators have a tough job. Not only to they need to power everything in your stealth van, but they need to do it quietly and efficiently. Since most stealth camp vans can power their insides with a power bank connected to solar panels, we’ll include those in this list as well.

Below is our list of the best stealth camping generators:

EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station DELTABest Option

best stealth camping gear for generators

The EF ECOFLOW 3300W Portable Power Station is the perfect power station for full time stealth campers as well as weekend warriors who just need an escape.

At 3300 watts you can reliably power any laptops, screens, while charging drones and digital cameras at the same time. It’s narrow and tall design make it a great fit if you want to position it in the center console of behind one of the passenger seats.

The power bank supports 10-65 volt solar panel arrays, meaning you can charge this up during the day, and reliably have power all through the night. Fast charging of the lithium batteries inside can be done in as little as two hours.

You’ll receive multiple cables including an AC plug, car charging cable, as well as a 1*MC4 to XT60 Solar Panel plug for existing solar setups. Fast charging USB ports are also positioned up front making it easy to charge phones and other smaller pieces of gear.

Yamaha EF1000iSBest Gas Fueled Option

quietest camp generator

For stealth campers looking to use gasoline power that’s quite and convenient, check out the Yamaha EF1000iS. Running at 12 volts and providing 900 continuous watts, this generator secures its place on our list of best stealth camping gear for being lightweight, covert, while still packing a punch.

The small four stroke gas powered engine weights just under 28 pounds, making it significantly lighter than it’s competitors that range from 39 to 46 pounds. The generator utilizes the latest in inverter technology to produce energy in pure sine wave form. In non-nerd talk that means more efficient and cleaner energy usage from your gasoline.

The entire system is built around portability and noise reduction. You can see that in it’s unique sound blocking design shape which absorbs the engine noise through its glass wool internal lining.

EF ECOFLOW 1260Wh with 3 110W Solar Panel – Best Generator Panel Combo Option

best stealth camping gear solar panels

For stealth long-term stealth campers that are looking to remain energy independent during long trips may want to consider a complete solar power package. The EF ECOFLOW Panel Pack includes everything you’ll need to keep multiple devices powered, like drones, cameras, laptops, blenders, and other devices all simultaneously.

The three 110w solar panels are waterproof and can endure inclement weather without any problems. No matter where your van goes, these things will survive.

You can even waterboard them and submerge them in water for up to 30 minutes with no issue. The power station is the same Delta 1300 model we reviewed earlier, so expect all the same great specs for that included in this package.

For most stealth camper vans three panels are plenty, the chainable feature on the EF ECOFLOW systems allows for up to 4 panels giving you a max of 440 watts with the MC4 cable. Having a single system that’s ready to go is important since not all power stations and panels are compatible or as efficient when you mix brands.

Yeti 1500X Portable Power Station Most Powerful

most powerful camping generator

If power stations could have bodies, this one would have a nice thick dadbod. Packing a whopping 2000 watts this inverter generator is an excellent choice is you utilize a lot of electricity in your stealth camper van, and is great if you have more than one person who needs to charge devices or maybe work on the road as well.

In edition to its raw electrical output, the design on this power station is unmatched, and is designed to work in extreme environments from the arctic to the desert. The station provides 1500 watt hours, which is equivalent to running a full sized fridge in your van for 28 hours straight.

All this power comes with a 2 year warranty and built in protection features like under and over voltage protection, temperature alerts, and a battery management system that allows you to monitor each individual cell’s health.

PROGENY 350W Portable Power StationBest Budget Option

portable stealth camping generator

For stealth campers that are looking for moderate power on a budget, the PROGENY 350W Portable Power Station won’t let you down. The generator produces 350 watts that can handle all of your basic charging needs that you might encounter on a weekend trip in the van, or in the woods.

Weighting only 7.8 pounds this generator can easily be moved back and fourth from campsite to van with no problem at all. The handle makes transportation even easier. The system is designed for 288Wh with a capacity of 78000mAh, which at this price point is a great deal.

The PROGENY is a great choice for weekend warriors, but hardcore campers might want to opt for something with more power. At 350 watts you won’t be able to use blenders, drills, induction cookers, or coffee makers. If you are utilizing a lot of appliances or just want to futureproof your gear, consider the EF ECOFLOW DELTA.

Marbero 24000mAh Camping Generator Best Tent Camping Option

mini camping generator

The Marbero Camping Generator is the smallest camping generator on our list, and is a great fit for those stealth campers looking to charge smaller accessories like phone, laptop, cameras, or flashlights. The generator is only 6.5 x 4.1 x 3.1 inches and weighs just a hair over 2 pounds.

At 88Wh capacity with 24000mAH this pack is excellent for those who want a bit or backup power when camping in remote sites, or need to keep things charged while moving on foot through urban enviroments.

Impressively this tiny pack comes with both temperature and voltage safety features that will automatically protect you and the device from heat or overvoltage.

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