Camping Checklist

 

Camping Checklist

 

Camping is guaranteed to bring lasting memories, evoke lots of laughs with family and friends, and provide plenty of outdoor time for kids. The most obvious question that you need to answer before heading out is whether you plan to camp at a campground or do primitive camping. Your camping checklist will vary according to the type of camping and activities you have planned, the area you are going to, the time of year, and the length of your trip.

Why do I need a Camping Checklist?

There is no worse feeling than getting to your campsite, unpacking everything, and realizing you forgot a crucial item. Having the necessary supplies and equipment can make a difference in your overall enjoyment and experience, and checklists are a great tool to help with your organization. To help you relax under the stars, we have put together a fairly extensive Camping Checklist. Add or remove items to suit your individual needs.

What are the different types of Camping?

If you are looking for a list that outlines the various types of camping, then feel free to follow the link below and check out the list we have put together. Some of them you may or may not have heard of, and others you may just know by a different name. While our list is certainly not definitive, we feel it is a good guide and starting place to help campers (and future campers) understand the full breadth of camping scenes and settings that are available to them.

Types of Camping

Could I possibly need anything other than what is listed here?

That is certainly a possibility. Especially, if you are planning to do other activities while you are Camping. If you are planning to do any Hiking, Kayaking, Canoeing, etc., then feel free to check out any of our other checklists along the right-hand side of this page. They could potentially list some items that will not be included within this Camping Checklist. Another important note is that we separate Backpacking from Camping. While Camping is certainly a part of Backpacking, we consider Backpacking its own entity.

Table of Contents

This list outlines the various categories of items that you may or may not need when preparing for a Camping trip. You obviously do not need everything on this list. Every trip will have its own challenges and require its own items. However, hopefully, this list contains everything that you could potentially need. If you do end up needing something that is not on this list feel free to Contact us and let us know so that we can update this list for others in the future.


Camping Checklist Categories:


Campsite, Furniture, & Fire

Campsite Furniture

When you are camping near your vehicle you can obviously carry much more than if you have to travel by foot to your campsite. So, the level of luxury of your campsite is dependent upon the situation you are planning to be in.

  • Camp chairs
  • Camp table
  • Lantern (and mantles and fuel/batteries if needed)
  • Firewood
  • Matches/Lighter/Firestarter
  • Trash/Recycling bags

Nice to haves:

  • Sunshade, tarp, or screen house
  • Camp rug
  • Tablecloth and clips (or tape)
  • Clothesline and clips

Shelter & Sleeping/Bedding

Every camping party has its own unique threshold for discomfort. Some groups thrive on the idea of seeing how well they can thrive on as little as possible. Whereas other groups will not even consider going Camping (technically Glamping) if they cannot sleep in a proper bed. Every camping trip is unique, which is what makes them so memorable. What items are “necessary” will always be at the discretion of your camping party.

  • Tent (ground or rooftop)
  • Footprint and stakes for tent (if applicable)
  • Rain fly for tent (for dew and rain)
  • Sleeping bag (synthetic or down)
  • Sleeping pads
  • Mosquito nets (if no tent)

Nice to haves:

  • RV (if available)
  • Mat for tent entrance
  • Camping pillow (or regular pillow)
  • Hammock(s)
  • Cot(s)
  • Sleeping bag liner(s)
  • Blanket(s)/Sheets
  • Air mattress (and pump)

Emergency & First Aid

Anytime you step out into the wilderness you want to do your best to make sure you are prepared for any situation. Depending on what you plan to be doing will determine your level of preparedness. Additionally, all the items that are recommended/needed for your first-aid kit are beyond this list and depend on the duration of your trip. Feel free to follow the link below to make sure your first-aid kit is comprehensive enough to meet your needs in regards to conditions and duration.

Complete First-Aid Supplies Checklist

  • First-aid kit or first-aid supplies
  • Park map/Guidebooks/Trail maps
  • Compass/GPS (or navigation tools)
  • Spare batteries
  • Extra nylon rope and/or paracord
  • Scissors

Nice to haves:

  • Whistle and/or mirror
  • Extra stakes
  • Road flares
  • Fire extinguisher

Tools & Repair Items

Everything in life is a calculated risk. Your needed level of preparedness is fully dependent upon the situation you plan on putting yourself in. However, you can never be over-prepared, and you are better safe than sorry. Although at the same time, there is a fine line between being covered and over-encumbered.

  • Multi-tool
  • Duct tape/Electrical tape/Tenacious tape
  • Paracord/Twine
  • Saw, axe, or hatchet

Nice to haves:

  • Tent-pole repair sleeve
  • Pad/Mattress repair kit
  • Clothing repair kit
  • Tent repair kit
  • Mallet or hammer (for hammering stakes)
  • Small broom and dustpan
  • Work gloves

Kitchen, Food, & Cooking

Campfire Cooking

Where ever you plan to camp you need to do some research to find out if drinkable water will be available. If none will be available, then you either need to make sure you bring enough, not only to drink but also for cooking, cleaning, brushing your teeth, etc. If there is water at the location but it is not immediately drinkable, then you can bring some form of water treatment (purifier or filter).

The list provided here is just a subset of the full Campsite Cooking Checklist that we provide. If you would like to see a more extensive list of all the possible things that you could bring follow the link below or use the link in the right-hand column of this page.

Complete Campsite Cooking Checklist

  • Camping stove with fuel
  • Long-Handed Lighter/Matches/Firestarter
  • Cooking pots (and pot holder)
  • Eating utensils (spoons, knives, forks, chopsticks)
  • Sharp knife
  • Plates/Bowls
  • Mugs/Cups
  • Thermos/Canteen
  • Water bottles or alternate water source
  • Water purifier or filtration system
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Coffee pot, tea kettle, or coffee/tea press
  • Small food storage containers/bags
  • Bear bag hanging system or bear canister (if in bear country)

Nice to haves:

  • Buddy burner
  • Camp grill and charcoal/fuel
  • Grill rack
  • Griddle
  • Dutch oven
  • Hot pads
  • Frying pan
  • Cooking utensils (kitchen knife, spatula, tongs, etc.)
  • Cutting board
  • Mixing bowl(s)
  • Measuring cups
  • Seasonings/Sugar/Condiments
  • Smores supplies and/or popcorn
  • Bottle opener, can opener, corkscrew
  • Paper towels/Napkins
  • Coolers
  • Ice or ice substitutes
  • Camp sink (collapsible) or wash bins
  • Pot scrubber/sponges/brillo pad
  • Dishtowel
  • Marshmallow/Hotdog roasting forks
  • Rolling ice cream maker
  • Pie irons
  • Potato peeler
  • Aluminum foil
  • Large water jugs (5 gallons)
  • Large, clear plastic bins to store kitchen gear

Clothing & Footwear

What someone considers the proper clothing for a camping trip can be a very fickle thing. Everyone has different tolerances for temperatures and weather and varying tolerances for being clean. The definition of comfortable is generally a moving target depending upon whom you are speaking to. So, listen to your own intuition and not your friend’s. You know what it takes to make sure you are comfortable. Always pack in accordance with the weather and conditions, but also listen to yourself and make sure you pack for yourself. Just because your friend(s) may be comfortable that is not going to help you.

The temperature can change pretty significantly over the course of a full day. When the sun goes down it can get chilly. In my opinion, one of the tips that is not covered often enough is that you should not go straight for bundling up. Instead, you should aim to layer your clothing and keep adding layers until you are warm. This way you can always peel back thinner layers if needed. You definitely do not want to be in a situation where you either have to be freezing or burning up hot.

  • Moisture-wicking underwear (synthetic or merino)
  • Moisture-wicking t-shirts (synthetic or merino)
  • Quick-drying pants (hiking or convertible) or shorts
  • Belt
  • Long-sleeve shirts (synthetic or merino)
  • Lightweight fleece or jackets
  • Hiking boots or trail shoes (suited for the terrain)
  • Socks (synthetic or wool)
  • Sleepwear (socks and pajamas)
  • Sports bras or casual bras
  • Rainwear (jacket, pants, and/or gaiters) or poncho
  • Long underwear
  • Warm insulated jacket/vest (down or synthetic)
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Warm hat or boggin (beanie)
  • In-camp shoes (sandals, flip flops, or boots)
  • Bandana or neck gaiters

Nice to haves:

  • Hoodie sweatshirt or sweater
  • Fleece pants
  • Swimsuits/Towels
  • Water sandals
  • Windshirt/Windbreaker
  • Laundry bag
  • Emergency/Backup poncho

Health & Hygiene

Just because you go out into the great outdoors that does not mean you become a barbarian. Make sure you pack the things you need to take care of yourself and keep yourself smelling… as nice as possible. However, in the same breath, you are in the great outdoors. There is no reason to fix yourself up as though you are going to a fancy dinner. Do your best to find the proper balance.

  • Toilet paper and/or baby wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Toiletry kit
  • Quick-dry towel and face towel
  • Feminine products
  • Prescription medications
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun hat/Ballcap
  • Lip balm
  • Lotion and/or Aloe vera
  • Insect repellent
  • Urinary products
  • Alcohol or antiseptic wipes
  • Spare eyeglasses/contact lens supplies

Nice to haves:

  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Razor and shaving cream
  • Sunglasses (with sunglasses straps or case)
  • Insect repellent candles
  • Sanitation trowel (if no toilets)
  • Mirror
  • Brush/Comb
  • Cosmetics
  • Eyeshades
  • Earplugs
  • Portable camp shower (or sun shower)/shower pump

Personal Items

Although you are likely headed out to the woods to forget about life for a little while, that does not actually mean you stop existing during that time and that people can no longer see you. Make sure you have proper information and identification with you at all times. We recommend that you have a little cash on you for life’s unexpected surprises. Past those things though just make sure you have any needed paperwork for the area you plan to camp.

  • Headlamps and/or flashlights (and extra batteries)
  • Credit cards and/or cash
  • Wallet/Identification
  • Keys (if leaving your car)
  • Cellphone and charger
  • Campsite reservation confirmation (if necessary)
  • Day pack (if Hiking)

Nice to haves:

  • Notebook and pen/pencil
  • Water bladder for day pack

Optional Extras

  • Trekking poles or walking staff
  • Dry bags, stuff sacks, or clear plastic bins to store items

Nice to haves:

  • Binoculars or monocular
  • Field guides (plants, animals, insects)
  • Star chart or night sky identifier
  • Book/Reading material
  • Dog gear

Electronics

If you can help it, we would recommend leaving electronics behind. While you do still need a phone and a way to charge your phone for emergencies the whole point of getting out into the middle of nowhere is to forget about the day-to-day hustle for a little while. Put your phone on airplane mode, disconnect, and enjoy life’s simple pleasures for as long as you can.

  • Cellphone and charger
  • Portable battery pack
  • Headlamp(s)
  • Flashlight(s)

Nice to haves:

  • Solar power charger
  • Alarm clock
  • Travel radio and/or MP3 player (and headphones)
  • Speaker
  • Video camera or regular camera (with spare memory card)
  • Tent lights/Campsite lights

Activities

The section obviously is not a necessity. However, if the duration of your trip allows for extra activities, then this is a shortlist of activities that we recommend looking into around the area that you plan to camp. You may also take these activities into consideration when choosing your camping location. If you have other ideas to add to this list, please Contact us so that we can be sure to share them with others.

  • Board games and toys
  • Deck of cards
  • Frisbee or disc golf
  • Mountain bike and mountain bike gear (helmet, pads, etc.)
  • Climbing gear and slackline setup
  • Fly fishing and/or reel fishing gear
  • Kayak and/or canoe
  • Stand-up paddleboard or surfboard
  • Musical instruments (guitar, harmonica, etc.)

Conclusion

Hopefully this Camping Checklist has helped you get ready for your upcoming trip. We tried to organize everything in a way that was logical but still allows you to check all your boxes and make sure you have everything you need. As mentioned previously, if you have an item that you normally pack that you feel needs to be added to this list, then do not hesitate to Contact us and share this with us.