Camping Checklist


The list
The Boy Scout Motto is simply “Be Prepared.” Preparation is essential for any outdoor adventure. Having the necessary supplies and equipment can make or break your overall enjoyment, experience and likelihood of spending time in the great outdoors again.  Checklists are a great tool to help with your organization and to ensure that you don’t leave any essentials behind. Your camping checklist will vary according to the type of camping and activities you have planned, the time of year and the length of your trip. Add or remove items to suit your individual needs and desires…

Shelter and Camp Checklist – New campers often over look what sort of gear they’ll need besides the tent. Where will you sit by the fire? On the ground? Sure, but a folding chair is much more comfortable. Check out the items that made it to our shelter and camp checklist…

  • Tent
  • Tent footprint, tarp or ground cloth for underneath the tent
  • Extra stakes
  • Shade tarp or screen house
  • Mat for tent entrance
  • Folding chairs
  • Folding table
  • Musical instruments
  • Hammock
  • Rope or clothesline

Bedding – A sleeping bag and a sleeping mat are really all you’ll need. Some people, especially people with babies, prefer air mattresses with sheets and blankets. Stick with a sleeping back to start, then see which you prefer!

Food – Now of course, your camping meals are a matter of preference. Some campers go all out with marinated steaks, corn on the cob with herbed butter and freshly roasted potatoes. It’s certainly possible to prepare a gourmet meal in the wilderness! However, don’t spread yourself too thin at first. Keep it simple and satisfying for your first couple of family camping trips with the food basics below.

  • Coffee and/or tea
  • Hot chocolate mix
  • Granola/oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • Energy bars
  • Pancake mix and maple syrup
  • Butter
  • Bread or bagels
  • Jam and peanut butter
  • Meat (fresh and jerky)
  • Cooking oil
  • Vegetables
  • Drink mixes or electrolyte mixes
  • Trail mix
  • S’moors fixins (graham crackers, chocolate bars, marshmellows)
  • Fruit (dried and fresh)
  • Cheese
  • Pasta
  • Jarred pasta sauce
  • Canned soup
  • Crackers/chips
  • Spices and herbs

Kitchen – You can set up a mini, functional outdoor kitchen in no time. Grills are often the norm at campsites, but don’t rely soley on the grill unless you’re planning to fire it up for burgers and grilled veggies three times a day. To vary your meals, you’ll need a few pots and a pan to place on top of the grill for cooking. Again, not every item below is essential, but take a look and decide what you’ll use most.

  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Matches/lighter
  • Charcoal with firestarter
  • Frying pan
  • Two different sized cooking pots
  • Portable coffee maker or coffee press
  • Bottle opener
  • Plates, bowls, mixing bowls and utensils
  • Chef knife and paring knife
  • Table cloth
  • Resealable food storage bags
  • Garbage bags
  • Coolers with ice
  • Water bottle and hot/cold thermos
  • Spatula
  • Whisk
  • Cutting board
  • Sponge
  • Dish towels
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Collapsible water container
  • Portable or standing camp sink

Clothing and Footwear – Check the weather several times before you leave for your camping trip. Assume that it could change at any moment and be prepared with the essentials below.

Personal Items – Roughing it is fun and all, but you’ll certainly want a few items to feel clean, fresh, and protected from the sun on your camp trip.

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Toilet paper
  • Insect repellent
  • Hand sanitizer
  • First-Aid kit – Check out our First-Aid Checklist
  • Personalized toiletry kit
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Shower shoes/flip flops
  • Personal medications

Tools and Gear – Your last bit of gear includes some miscellaneous items that will be handy and/or fun to bring along. The more you camp, the better an idea you’ll have of what’s most important and useful to you from this list!

  • Hammer
  • Multi-tool or knife
  • Headlamps
  • Flashlights
  • Lantern with fuel
  • Candles
  • Water purification/filters/treatment   – How to purify water?
  • Park map/area guide
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Notebook with pen/pencil
  • Games/cards
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Duct tape
  • Cell phone and charger and 2-way radio/walkie talkies
  • Work gloves
  • Daypack  – Review of best daypacks

Happy Camping!


Leave A Comment