Camping Packing List: What to Bring

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Making a camping packing list or a checklist is one of the best ways to be sure you don’t forget to bring the things you need and want to bring on a camping trip. It is something we always have in handy. Over time you can add or remove items from the list based on need.

One useful tip I’ve been using is to print the list and then cross off the items when you have them prepared and packed with your equipment. This makes it easier to keep track of which items you’ve already have ready in the pack or still need to get.

Our camping packing list covers more than what you will need. But we intentionally did so that you can pick out the items you will be needing. Every group will need different things and not all the things listed is needed. Also if you have certain specific needs, like medication or items you can’t do without feel free to add them to the checklist.


Read Up and be Prepared

Before you set out, make sure you read up so you’ll be prepared. Reading guides written by experienced campers helped me get the hang of things quicker.

There’s definitely no replacement for experiencing it and making mistakes yourself, but reading up on things made me more prepared and helped me avoid big blunders the first few times I went out.

These are some of the books I’ve found to be useful:

  1. Basic Essentials Survival
  2. Camping For Dummies
  3. Basic Essentials Camping

You can also look through the current best selling books on camping and hiking.


The Camping Checklist

I’ve segregated our camping checklist below to make it easier to group the items. I’ve found that bunching together items that are related to one another makes it simpler to get things done.


Campsite Equipment



  • Shirts
  • Shorts
  • Pants
  • Socks
  • Cap or Hat
  • Boots and Shoes
  • Jacket/Windbreaker
  • Underwear
  • Sleeping Gear
  • Swimming Gear
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Gloves

Also remember to bring extra clothing that will be enough for the number of days you will be spending on your trip. I like to bring a bit extra just in case we get stuck or set back a day or two.


Cooking and Kitchen Equipment

  • Food
  • Coffee
  • Coolers and Ice
  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Lighter or Matches
  • Charcoal, Firewood, and Firestarter
  • Grill
  • Dutch oven
  • Frying Pan
  • Cooking Pot
  • Portable Coffee Maker
  • Water Bottles
  • Table Cloths
  • Plates, Bowls and Utensils
  • Cups and Mugs
  • Soap
  • Paper Towels
  • Cutting Board and Knife
  • Storage/Ziplock bags
  • Plastic Food Containers
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Cooking Oil
  • Can Opener and Bottle Opener
  • Folding Table
  • Chairs
  • Trash Bags

If you’re not sure what to cook for your trip, here are some of my favorite camping cookbooks:

  1. 100 Easy Camping Recipes
  2. Easy Campfire Cooking
  3. Scout’s Dutch Oven Cookbook
  4. Fix It In Foil


Personal Items

  • Toilet Paper
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Towels
  • Wash Cloths
  • Sandals/Flip Flops
  • Shampoo
  • Camping Shower
  • First Aid Kit
  • Cell phone
  • Watch
  • Cosmetics
  • Insect Repellent

Before going camping do learn how to use the different items in the first aid kit. Bringing the kit is more effective if members of the group know how to use it in case any unforeseen event happens.


Other Things to Bring

  • Lantern
  • Backpack
  • Hammock
  • Camping Cot
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Cell phone charger
  • Pen and Notepad
  • Duct Tape
  • Rope
  • Saw
  • Axe
  • Pocket Knife or Multi-Tool
  • Flashlight
  • Binoculars
  • Map/GPS/Compass
  • Books
  • Radio
  • Batteries
  • Umbrella


Recreational Items

Don’t forget to bring the things and equipment you will need for the recreational activities you want to do once you’ve gotten settled into your campsite. Some of the things you can bring include bikes, kayaks, kites and board games.


Camping Packing List Roundup

Once you’ve gathered all the equipment together, one thing that’s been really helpful is to double check everything. I’ve also found that asking someone else to do the double checking makes it more effective since you get a new pair of eyes looking at things from a different way. Spending the extra few minutes to double check all the equipment is well worth the effort. I’ve learned that from past experience since you can’t go back home to get whatever you forget.


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