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The Ultimate Camping Checklist

Camping is such a great way to unplug from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and get outside. Spending time with friends and family while camping creates lasting memories that will bring a smile to your face. It is even better when you remember to bring all the camping gear you need. I hate it when I forget something when I go camping. That is why we created this camping checklist, so you wouldn’t miss anything while packing.

Camping Checklist

So here it is, our complete camping checklist. When planning your camping trip, it’s a good idea to have a list to go by. Our goal is to provide you with a complete checklist to help you think of things you may not have considered, or simply forgot. This is especially handy if you haven’t gone camping a lot. Having this checklist makes our inner Boy Scout smile.

  • camp chair
  • camp table
  • camping pillow
  • cot
  • flashlight
  • tent footprint
  • hammock
  • headlamp
  • lantern
  • sleeping bag
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • sleeping pads
  • tent stakes
  • table cloth
  • tarp
  • tent
  • dry bags
  • clear plastic bins
  • solar charger
  • bandana
  • belt
  • hat
  • long sleeve shirt
  • pants
  • rain Gear
  • shorts
  • sweatshirt
  • swimsuit
  • t-shirts
  • towel
  • underwear
  • wool or synthetic socks
  • comb
  • deodorant
  • feminine products
  • medications
  • razor
  • soap
  • toilet paper
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • towel
  • washcloth
  • bivy sack
  • emergency survival blanket
  • camping knife
  • duct tape
  • extra cord
  • multi-tool
  • air mattress repair kit
  • hatchet
  • saw
  • tent pole repair sleeve
  • can opener
  • camp grill
  • camp sink
  • charcoal
  • cook pot
  • cooking utensils
  • cooler
  • dutch oven
  • eating utensils
  • grill rack
  • ice
  • large water jugs
  • roasting forks
  • lighter & firestarter
  • camping mug
  • optional
  • plates/bowls
  • portable coffee maker
  • pot scrubber/sponge
  • sharp knife
  • small food storage bags
  • Stove and fuel
  • trash bags
  • water bottles
  • backpack
  • water filtration system
  • water treatment tables
  • campsite reservation confirmation
  • cell phone
  • credit card and or cash
  • Emergency contact numbers
  • ID
  • fleece pants
  • fleece pullover
  • gloves or mittens
  • long underwear
  • warm hat
  • warm insulated jacket
  • vest
  • Hiking boots
  • sandals
  • sneakers
  • shower shoes
  • water shoes
  • insect repellent
  • spf lip balm
  • Sun screen
  • Sunglasses
  • 2-way radios
  • bungee cords
  • compass
  • emergency whistle
  • fire extinguisher
  • fishing gear & license
  • GPS
  • pocket knife
  • rope
  • small shovel
  • tissues
  • watch
  • First-aid Kit

Hiking Related Articles:

Best Trekking Poles  Best Backpacking Thermometer   Best Backpacking Hatchet

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Best Binoculars For Birding     Best Budget Binoculars For Birding

Beach Related Articles:

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Camping Checklist Grouped By Category

We realize that having one great big camping checklist with two hundred possible items can be overwhelming. To help organize your packing and planning, we have grouped your camping items by category. We find this especially helpful as a last moment check to make sure something doesn’t stand out to you.

  • Campsite Checklist

    camp chair
    camp table
    camping pillow
    sleeping bag
    Sleeping bag liner
    sleeping pads
    Table cloth

  • Campsite Extras Checklist

    book or reading material
    dry bags
    music player with headphones
    Notebook or journal
    Solar charger

  • Clothes Checklist for Camping

    Laundry bag
    Long sleeve shirt
    Rain Gear
    Sleeping clothes
    Swim Suite
    wool or synthetic socks

  • Hygiene Items Checklist

    camping shower
    comb or brush
    feminine products
    shower bag
    shower pump
    Shower shoes
    soap in a plastic case
    toilet paper

  • Survival Gear Camping Checklist

    bivy sack
    emergency survival blanket
    high quality survival knife

  • Camping Tools Checklist

    Duct tape
    Extra cord
    Mallet or hammer
    pad/mattress repair kit
    Axe or hatchet
    Tent pole repair sleeve

  • Cooking Checklist For Your Campsite

    biodegradable soap
    bottle opener, can opener, corkscrew
    camp grill and fuel
    camp sink or wash bin
    cook pot
    cooking utensils
    cutting board
    dish towels
    dutch oven
    eating utensils
    frying pan
    grill rack
    large water jugs
    roasting forks
    portable coffee maker
    pot scrubber/sponge
    stove and fuel
    trash bags
    water bottles

  • Water Filtration Checklist

    filtration system
    life straw
    water treatment tables

  • Personal Items Checklist

    campsite reservation confirmation
    cell phone
    credit card and or cash
    Emergency contact numbers

  • Rainy Cold Weather Gear Checklist

    fleece pants
    fleece pullover
    gloves or mittens
    long underwear
    rain jacket
    rain pants
    warm hat
    warm insulated jacket
    baseball cap

  • Footwear Checklist For Camping

    Hiking boots
    trail shoes
    shower shoes
    Water shoes

  • Sun Protection & Bug Spray Checklist

    insect repellent
    insect repellent candles
    spf lip balm
    Sun hat
    Sun screen

  • Misc Camping Items

    2 way radios
    basic sewing kit
    bungee cords
    deck of cards
    emergency whistle
    fire extinguisher
    fishing gear & license
    pocket knife
    safety pins
    small shovel
    individual snacks
    solar charger
    travel alarm clock
    work gloves

  • First Aid Checklist

    Ace bandages
    Adhesive tape
    Anti-acids (Tums, Rolaids)
    Antibacterial soap
    Antibiotic cream
    Antiseptic wipes
    Burn ointment
    Butterfly bandages
    Cotton swabs
    Eye drops
    Cold packs
    Hydrogen Peroxide
    Latex gloves
    Band-Aids & bandages
    Moleskin for blisters
    Poison ivy cream
    Sinus medications
    Splinting materials
    Sterile compresses
    Sterile gauze pads
    Sunburn lotion
    Triangular bandages


Camping Checklist PDF

Want a printable copy of our checklist? Sometimes it is just easier to print off your camping checklist on a piece of paper when you are shopping or packing your gear. It is handy to cross items off your list that way. Click on our link for our camping checklist pdf.

Camping Checklist Things To Consider


Tents obviously come in different sizes from a two-person tent to a 12 person tent. An important thing to remember is a two-person tent is just that; a two-person tent. That means there is usually enough room for two average-sized people and maybe a little gear.

If you are looking to have a little extra room for your things inside the tent, you may want to consider a 3 or 4 person tent for two people instead.

The flip side of having extra room is a larger tent is heavier and takes up more room. If you are backpacking or hiking to a remote spot instead of driving your vehicle to the campsite, you may want to consider an ultralight, smaller tent build specifically for that.

Tent Foot Print or Tarp

It is usually worth it to get a tent footprint or small tarp to put underneath your tent when you are setting it up. Including this on your checklist will give you extra water and moisture barrier if the weather turns bad and it will also help protect the bottom of your tent, extending the life of your tent.

Camping Pillow

Can you get away with not having a pillow when you go camping? Of course, you can, but just won’t be as comfortable and you may wake up with a kink in your neck. The new inflatable camping pillows should be a steady item on your camping checklist. When deflated they are very compact so space is not an issue. Take one along and your neck will thank you.

Lanterns & Lighting

There is something I just love about the old Coleman lanterns with the fuel and mantels. That being said, the new LED lanterns can give you great light and the batteries last for a considerable amount of time. Many of them are rechargeable which will work perfectly with a solar charger. No matter which style of lantern you decide to go with, just make sure this on your checklist as an essential piece of gear.


Headlamp and Flashlights

Some gear on your camping checklist is essential that you can’t do without. Headlamps and flashlights fall into that category. A headlamp gives you freedom with your hands around the campsite to get things done in the dark.

Sleeping Bags

Sleeping bags are rated based on their temperature range. Often times they are referenced based on the number of seasons such as 3 season or 4 seasons. Our pro tip is to use the temperature rating not the number of seasons. Winter camping in Maine is not the same as winter camping in Arizona. My experience has been that a sleeping bag rated for 30 degrees is only comfortable to 40 degrees. If you are in a colder climate or in a place with large temperature swings consider a mummy sleeping bag.

Weight and size may factor in if you are going to be hiking or backpacking. While they are more expensive ultralight sleep backs are compact and light, saving crucial space when packing.


Sleeping Pad and Cots

Cots are great to bring with you on your camping trip if you will driving to your campsite and have plenty of room for packing gear. They are not practical if you need to hike any distance to your campsite. A sleeping pad, especially compact ones, are easy to bring along when hiking and backpacking. They will make a difference in the quality of your sleep, giving you a little cushion and a barrier between you and the ground which will help keep you warmer. We highly recommend a sleeping pad on your checklist.

Dry Bags and Clear Plastic Bins

Let’s face it if you are going camping there is a likely hood that you will experience some wet weather. Having a dry bag to store things in or a clear plastic bin that seals well will keep your stuff dry. Dry bags work well for clothes and electronics stored in your backpack. If you don’t have to hike to your spot plastic bins can come in handy.

Notebook or Journal

I love being in nature and just having the opportunity to disconnect. I usually find myself in a contemplative mood when camping. Writing in a notebook or journal can help you clear your head, set goals and priorities.

Portable Solar Charger

Portable solar chargers can be a lifesaver to keep your electronics such as your cell phone charged. Many lanterns now come with rechargeable batteries that are charged through a micro USB. Having a portable solar charger will help keep your lanterns charged and ready while you are camping. Add it to your checklist, you’ll be glad you did.

Firewood for Camping

An important thing to note about the checklist is many places will not allow you to bring firewood in from an outside source. There is a concern with the disease being spread so you will need to check ahead of time to see if outside firewood is approved for use. In areas where outside firewood is not permitted for use, the park staff will have firewood for purchase. Don’t forget to bring a hatchet or ax with you for chopping, and splitting.



A camping checklist is helpful for planning and packing for your trip. If you think of something we forgot, please reach out and let us know on our contact form.