Packing for your first camping trip can be stressful, especially if you still need to research and buy the necessary gear before you go. This Printable Camping Checklist will guide you as you are planning your next camping trip!
The camping gear can make or break the trip, so it could be worth spending a little more on some things while saving money in others. Here I am going to share with you all of the really necessary camping gear you need to bring on your next trip. I will also help you make sense of what is optional to take with you when you are camping.
Camping Checklist: Campsite Necessities
- Tent – Once you have one, it’s so much cheaper to travel. A spacious tent doesn’t have to be expensive, just check this one out!
- Sleeping bags
- Sleeping pads or cots
- Headlamps or flashlights (+extra batteries) – headlamps are super useful, and Black Diamond is our favorite brand – also makes a great Christmas gift for your dad!
- Camp chairs
- Navigation tool
Optional (You don’t have to have these, but depending on the situation, they might be nice to have):
- Camp table
- Hammock – Our favorite is ENO hammocks, they are durable and compact!
- Clothesline with clips
Packing Tip: You may not need everything on this camping checklist, feel free to add or take away anything that will serve your needs! Use this checklist as a foundation when you start your plan.
To find out more about hiking and camping you might want to have these post on-hand:
These will help you get ready for your camping trip! And now is time to start packing!
Camping Checklist: Personal Items
- Credit card and/or cash
- Campsite reservation confirmation
Camping Tools That You Will Absolutely Need:
- Duct tape
- Extra cord
- Tent-pole repair sleeve
- Pad/Mattress repair kit
- Mallet or hammer (for the tent stakes)
- Saw or axe (for the firewood)
- Knife (for so many things!)
Camping Kitchen Checklist
Camping Kitchen Tip: Many campgrounds have drinkable water. Moraine Park Campground where we stayed this summer did, but if not, bring your own or be prepared to treat water if there’s a water source.
- Stove and fuel
- Cook pots (+ pot holder)
- Grill rack
- Frying pan
- Eating utensils
- Cooking utensils
- Bottle opener, can opener, corkscrew
- Kitchen knife
- Cutting board
- Сoffee/tea maker
- Water bottles
- Camp sink or wash bins
- Biodegradable soap
- Pot scrubber/sponge(s)
- Trash/recycling bags
- Dish towel
- Camp grill and fuel
- Dutch oven – while this is optional, it’s necessary if you cook as much as we do!
- Marshmallow/hot dog roasting forks
- Small food-storage containers/bags/foil
- Plastic bins to store kitchen gear
Camping Snacks Ideas:
The best part of camping for us is always having plenty of food to be energized for the day of hiking! We love taking plenty of snacks with us camping and here are some ideas:
- Cliff Bars or other granola bars
- Cheese Crackers
- Fruit (Bananas or Apples)
- Fruit Leather
- For a special treat: Cheese, Baguette and Meat
- Trail Mix
- Chex Mix
Camping Clothing and Footwear
- Moisture-absorbing underwear – super nice to have!
- Quick-drying pants/shorts
- Long-sleeve shirt (for sun and bugs)
- Lightweight jacket – like the one I mentioned above
- Hiking Boots – good hiking boots are very important for you to be safe on your hike. Make sure your hiking boots have good ankle support and are water-resistant.
- Socks (synthetic or wool)
Don’t Forget Extra Clothes if It’s Cold or Rainy!
- Rain jacket – it can rain any moment on your trip, especially if you are in the mountains, a lightweight rain jacket is a must!
- Long Underwear – here is a good pair for a winter hike.
- Warm Jacket
Optional Camping Clothing and Footwear:
- Water sandals
- In-camp sandals
Camping Checklist Extras
Most of the following items are optional, though depending on how comfortable you want to be and how remote your campground is, you will want to have these items with you!
- Solar and portable power
- Field guides (flowers, insects)
- Notebook and pen/pencil
- Music player with headphones
- Board games – What else would you do with no cellphone service after a long hike?
- Dry bags or clear plastic bins to store items and protect them from rain
This is everything you will need to be ready for your camping trip! Please, use the printable packing checklist below to make things easier!
Let me know what is the item you always take when you go camping in the comments below!
January 3, 2019
My family wants to go camping for our next vacation, but we’re not really used to this kind of thing and could use some tips. Your article had some great advice for people like us, and I liked how you said to make sure we bring a rain jacket in case it starts raining and warm jacket winter wear if it get colds. Thanks; we’ll keep this in mind when going on our family camping trip.
December 4, 2019
I enjoy spending time outdoors during the summer. My friends and I would take our camping gear, drive up th the foot of the nearest hiking trail, set up our tents and sleep under the stars. It’s an amazing experience.