Camping Checklist

July 31, 2012 by

If you want to make the most of your outdoor experience, packing for a camping adventure takes a little extra planning. When you’re out there roughing it, having what you need keeps the adventure enjoyable.

To be sure you’re prepared, a camping checklist can make that difference. What to bring varies depending on camping style and whether you’ll camp in a tent or camper. This basic checklist covers both.


Hikers and fishermen will pack differently, but no matter where you plan to camp, include these items on your camping list:

  • Extra socks
  • Bandanna
  • Hat
  • Jacket or sweatshirt
  • Laundry bag for your dirty clothes
  • Rain gear
  • Work gloves


Nothing relaxes like fresh air and all the activity that goes along with camping. To make sure you get a good night’s sleep and wake refreshed be prepared, bring:

  • Air mattress (or cot)
  • Air pump
  • Extra pillow case
  • Pillow
  • Repair kit in case your mattress springs a link
  • Sleeping bag
  • Tarp to put under your mattress to keep things dry

bear bag

Pack a bear bag to protect your food from bears and raccoons.

Cooking Supplies

Camping works up a healthy appetite. This list includes what you need to cook and clean your dishes. Remember to include a bear bag to protect your food from bears and raccoons.

  • Bucket for water
  • Campfire grill (if you plan to cook over an open fire)
  • Can opener
  • Coffee pot
  • Condiments
  • Cooking oil/spray
  • Cooler(s)
  • Cutting board
  • Dish pan
  • Dish soap (used to clean dishes and soap the outside of your pots)
  • Dish towel
  • Dishrags
  • Disposable food storage containers
  • Fire starters
  • Firewood/charcoal/stove with fuel (will depend on your cooking style)
  • Heavy aluminum foil
  • Ice
  • Large water jug
  • Matches and lighter
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing bowls
  • Mugs
  • Oven mitt
  • Paper products: cups, napkins, ziplock bags
  • Paper towels
  • Pie irons
  • Plastic tablecloth
  • Plates and bowls
  • Potato peeler
  • Pots, frying pans, Dutch oven (with lids)
  • Scouring pad
  • Silverware
  • Thermos to keep you coffee hot
  • Trash bags
  • Utensils for cooking: spatula, tongs, long-handled spoon, knife, grill fork, skewers
  • Water filters/purification system


Don’t forget lighters and matches!

Personal Items

Camping requires a few more personal items than when you stay in a hotel. Along with your standard personal care products like deodorant and a toothbrush, be sure to pack:

  • Bug repellent
  • Collapsible drying rack
  • Hand wipes
  • Lip balm
  • Shampoo
  • Shower bag or large 5 gal. bucket
  • Shower shoes
  • Soap (and a plastic case to store it)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Tissues
  • Toilet paper
  • Towels and washcloths

Other Items You’ll Need

Other items to include on your camping checklist:

  • A compass
  • Binoculars
  • Bottled water
  • Bungi cords
  • Camp chairs
  • Cellphone and charger
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Pocketknife
  • Rope (clothesline)
  • Saw/axe
  • Sewing kit
  • Small shovel

Before You Leave

One more thing to add to your camping list should be accomplished before you leave. Inform someone of your plans, where you’ll be camping, and when you plan to return home. Give them a list of your cell numbers along with information on how to contact the Game & Fish Commission and other authorities in the area where you’ll be camping.

Then pack up and enjoy!

Photo credits: Backpacker.comBetty Mountain GirlHiking-gear-and-equipment-used-for-camping.com

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