Camping Checklist: What Should You Bring Camping?

Love the great outdoors, but haven’t spent much time there? Want an inexpensive get-away that is appealing to families, couples, and singles?

Camping is a great way to getaway. Being in nature, away from the office, bonding with loved ones is a favorite trip for many.

But if you’re new to this mode of vacationing, you need to know what to bring, as missing items will cost you enjoyment. This is especially true if young ones are a part of the mix.

Don’t worry about forgetting anything, though, because here is your ultimate camping checklist.

What to Bring Camping: Essentials

There are a few things that are must-haves on any camping trip. In fact, these items basically define the word “camping.”

Tents and Bedding

Many campsites offer cabins with cots, in which case, a sleeping bag, and a smaller pillow are enough for each person. But, tents are what “make” camping, since you are literally going to set up a camping site.

Your tent must be big enough for all, (or have more than one tent,) and you need stakes, a footprint base, and rope to set the tent upright.


Give each camper a personal flashlight, and have either a large, heavy-duty light or a lantern at your site for nighttime. Remember batteries and fuel are needed, as well as matches or a lighter.


For relaxing, bring a couple of camp chairs for the adults, a tarp for the kids, and a comfy tree-hung hammock or two for lounging, (shop now for the latest in hammocks, which can be used anywhere there are trees.) If there are no tables at your site, bring a portable one with you.


A good multi-tool, plus a hammer for tent stakes are crucial. If your campsite includes a fire pit, bring an ax to chop wood, or bring your own wood.

Cooking and Eating

Plan a camping menu, and keep it simple. Your grocery list is up to you!

You will need a cooking source, like a grill. If the site does not provide one, bring your own. Make sure you bring fuel in either case. A large pot and a pan, along with a potholder will be enough for cooking. Cooking tools such as tongs, a slotted spoon, and a large fork are important, as are a sharp knife and manual can opener.

Decide if you will use disposable eating utensils, or plan to wash dishes. Bring a dishpan, soap, and towels, if it’s the latter. Trash bags are a must.

Bottled water and other drinks, a large cooler (or two), and ice also fall under this category.

Personal Care and Clothing

Always have a first-aid kit with you for minor emergencies. Each person should have what they need for their own personal care, including a toothbrush. Toilet paper and paper towels are important, and sunscreen and bug spray even more so.

Plan for clothing that is in line with the weather you expect. Make sure everyone has good solid shoes for outdoor activities, and an extra pair of socks can be a real help!

Update Your Camping Checklist

If you plan on future camping trips, revise and update your camping checklist each time, as you learn what works and doesn’t work on your trip. Above all, be flexible, plan well, and enjoy the camping!

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