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Camping is an excellent way to experience the outdoors and travel! There’s nothing quite like sleeping under the stars! But forgetting what you need can put a damper on an otherwise excellent camping trip. There are certain things you have to take along to have a more fun and relaxing experience. Enter the camping checklist.
Maybe you like remote campsites and carry in the most basic equipment. Or perhaps you prefer to have a more homey, comfortable camp near modern amenities. (Or maybe you’re somewhere in the middle.)
No matter your preferred setup, you don’t want to overpack, yet you can’t take everything along.
And whether it’s your first time camping or your hundredth, a camping checklist will help you know what to pack. And you aren’t as likely to forget something important. The great thing is you can personalize the list to fit your camping needs.
Tent camping supplies
Optional tent camping supplies
___ Air mattress & pump (& repair kit)
___ Cot or hammock
___ Tarp(s) for shade or under the tent
___ Tarp stakes, poles, rope
___ Locally sourced firewood
___ Camp rug
___ Camp table
___ Clothesline & clothespins
___ Extra blankets, sleeping bag liner, or bivy sack
Cooking Equipment & Supplies
___ Camp stove & fuel (or grill & charcoal)
___ Matches or lighter
___ Cooking utensils, pots, & bowl(s)
___ Dinnerware & eating utensils (or mess kit)
___ Dutch oven
___ Roasting forks
___ Can opener
___ Cutting board
___ Cooler (& ice)
___ Water jugs and bottles
___ Tablecloth (& clips)
___ Camp coffeepot or teapot
___ Seasoning & oil for cooking
___ Dishpan or wash bin
___ Dish soap
___ Trash & recycling bags
___ Quick-dry kitchen towel(s)
___ Bin for cookware storage
___ Moisture-wicking base layers
___ Short and long sleeves
___ Pants or shorts (with pockets)
___ Quick-dry socks (synthetic or wool)
___ Waterproof shoes or boots (+ spare)
Weather appropriate clothing
___ Weatherproof jacket shell
___ An insulating layer (like fleece)
___ Long underwear
___ Fleece-lined pants
___ Extra socks
___ Gloves, mittens, warm hat
Other hygiene items
___ Sanitation trowel
___ Baby wipes
___ Extra contacts/eyeglasses
___ Camp shower
___ Sunscreen & bug spray
___ Feminine hygiene products
___ Latex gloves
___ Poison ivy, bee sting, & snakebite treatment
___ Nail clippers
Other optional camping items
___ Portable power (battery or solar)
___ Reading material
___ Paper & pen
___ Dog camping gear
___ Dry bags or bins
___ Bungie cords
___ Water filter/purifying supplies
___ Maps (road, park, & trail)
___ Fishing gear
___ Flashlight(s) or headlamp(s) & batteries
___ Sewing kit
___ Two-way radio
___ Emergency flares
___ Bear canister and/or bear spray (if you go camping in bear country)
___ Cell phone and charger (also a power bank portable charger)
___ Cash & credit card
___ Driver’s license or other ID
___ Camping reservations & maps/directions
___ Emergency contact information (park ranger, local ER, vet, etc.)
Printable Camping Checklist
Here’s a free PDF version of our camping checklist just for you. Feel free to print it out and share. And if you share online, please link directly to this article.
Try it before you buy it.
For your very first camping trip, it’s better to try it out before you buy camping gear. Camping doesn’t have to be expensive, but it’s better to find out if you enjoy it before spending money on equipment. So, if you’re a first-timer, consider borrowing most of your gear from a friend or renting it from an outfitter, like REI or JAX Outdoor Gear.
Do a trial run.
If it’s your first camping trip or the first of the season, you’re bound to forget something. We solve this by taking a quick one or two-day camping trip close to home. Then we can figure out what we forgot before we head out on a more extended adventure.
Let people know where you’re going.
If you’re camping in a remote area, especially camping alone, it’s best to give your trip details to loved ones. For example, include your license plate number, make/model of your vehicle, itinerary, cell phone numbers, etc.
Use earth-friendly supplies.
One of the main reasons to enjoy camping is the connection with nature. So, of course, you want to do what you can to protect it. It’s important to pack out all trash and supplies, bury human waste, put out fires, and use biodegradable supplies. You can pack biodegradable soap, paper products (instead of plastic), DIY snacks, and reusable bottles and containers.
If you’re group camping, split up supplies.
There’s no sense in doubling up on some supplies when camping with a group. For instance, one of you can bring an ax or a dutch oven. Another could get S’mores ingredients or coffee. So, consider creating a group camping checklist to prevent duplicate supplies (and food). Splitting things up saves space and money.
Use your camping checklist every time you go!
Once you’ve been camping a few times, you aren’t as likely to forget the things you need. You’ll probably have a couple of camping bins with your gear, so you’re ready to go anytime you want. But the camping checklist is still handy to double-check that you have everything you need! Print it out and put it with your camping gear to review before heading out on your next camping adventure!
photo credit: pixabay