There is nothing more refreshing than spending a weekend in the great outdoors! From waking up to the chirping birds to stargazing at night, there is so much to love about taking some time away from the busyness of daily life and spending a few nights surrounded by nothing but nature.
Are you planning a camping trip this year? Whether it will be your first time sleeping in a tent or you go camping every year, having a packing checklist is always a great idea for keeping things organized and knowing what to bring! Continue reading to find a complete camping checklist of everything you will need to have a success trip and stay comfortable and safe, confident that you haven’t forgotten the essentials.
The Camping Basics
Before you even start packing, the first item on your camping checklist that you’ll want to make sure you have is a durable backpack that will be able to handle all of your gear and be comfortable to carry, especially if the trip to your campsite requires a lot of hiking. Ideally, you’ll want a backpack that is both lightweight but also sturdy enough to store all of your equipment and hold up to whatever weather you may encounter.
After you’ve chosen a backpack, you’ll probably want to start thinking about choosing the perfect tent. There are many types of tents, so if you’re picking one out for your first trip, it may be hard to know which one to choose. If you don’t already have one and are trying to pick out the perfect option, start by considering how many people will be using it. Whether you’re going solo or camping with your whole family, there are tent options for one person as well as options for more than five people. There are also different options depending on what season and weather conditions you’ll be camping in, so consider that as you choose one.
The next item on the camping list that you’ll need is a sleeping bag. There are options available for a variety of temperatures, so keep the weather in mind while you’re choosing the perfect one. In addition to sleeping bags, you’ll want some other things to keep you comfortable, such as sleeping pads, pillows, tarps (in case of rain), and chairs for sitting around the fire at night.
Food and Cooking Items
Food is definitely an essential item on any camping checklist! From snacks like trail mix and beef sticks to ingredients for dinners, be sure you have everything you’ll need to stay energized. Pick a few simple meals that you’ll be able to make over a grill or fire that don’t require too many ingredients. If you’re looking for some ideas, check out these 5 easy campfire recipes that are perfect for cooking outdoors! Also, don’t forget the s’mores stuff.
After you’ve decided what food to bring, be sure you have the proper cooking items to prepare your meals, such as a cooler, grill, pots and pans, dishes, and other various camping accessoriesfor making meals. Also, be sure you add a water bottle to your checklist so that you can stay hydrated, and extra water as well! If the idea of cooking while camping sounds daunting to you, pack sandwich fixings, granola bars, fruit, and other easy items.
While you’re out at your campsite, you’ll also want to respect the space. Make sure you bring a garbage bag and be mindful of your environment.
Tools for Camping
Be sure you add some tools to your camping checklist, such as a pocketknife, saw or axe, and some spare tent accessories in case you need to replace anything during your trip. Flashlights and lanterns are also a must for camping, so grab some of those along with extra batteries to keep your campsite lit up at night.
What to Wear Camping
Don’t just stuff your everyday clothes into your backpack and call it good. You’ll want to keep some things in mind when choosing the proper clothes to add to your packing checklist. Start by checking the predicted temperatures and weather conditions in the location where you’ll be. Pay special attention to what the low temperatures will be since you’ll want to pack warmer to be on the safe side. Don’t forget the basics like underwear and bras as well.
Layers are always a good idea when camping! Bring along some base layer tops and pants options for chilly nights or rainy days. Speaking of rain, you’ll probably want to bring at least one waterproof layer with you just in case, such as a rain jacket, along with other layers for staying warm, like hoodies and sweatshirts. If you’re packing for a cold region, throwing a packable puffer jacket in the mix is never a bad idea.
When it comes to choosing the proper footwear, first be sure you’re wearing something comfortable, such as hiking shoes, especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of walking and hiking. Along with that, make sure you have socks that are breathable for hiking as well as thicker, warmer options for wearing while you sleep.
Other good clothing and accessory options to throw in your backpack and add to your camping checklist are hats, bandanas, gloves (if the temperatures will be low), and sunglasses.
Also, consider how active you’ll be while out, if you leave the site to hike all day, you’ll likely want a fresh change of clothes when you return to your tent, so make sure to pack extras!
Even though you’re in the outdoors, you’ll still want to add some personal toiletry items to your camping checklist so that you can stay clean, such as your hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, etc. It’s always a good idea to bring some toilet paper along with you as well! Plus, be sure you’re stocked up on bug spray and sunscreen to keep yourself protected from the elements.
In Case of Emergency
Hopefully, you won’t need any emergency gear, but if the unexpected happens, it’s good to have a first-aid kit with all of the essentials like bandages, tweezers, antibiotic cream, etc. on hand, which is why this is an important part of any camping checklist. Add a map, a compass, and bear spray if you’re camping in an area with bears or predators.
Another good idea, especially if you’re camping alone, is to let someone know where you’ll be and how long you’ll be there before you head out.
Just for Fun
Lastly but still an important part of any checklist, don’t forget to bring some fun things to do! A deck of cards is small, easy to pack, and will be something fun to play with friends during your downtime. Books and journals are some other great ideas of small things for your list you can bring to keep yourself entertained without your screen.
Hopefully this camping checklist will help you when planning your next adventure in the great outdoors! There’s a lot to remember to pack, so be sure you stay organized, write out a complete checklist, and stock up on everything from your list that you need before you head out!