ultimate camping checklist

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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 with you that need.

I hate it when I forget something when I go camping, which is why we created this camping checklist. It is a great tool to help you pack for your trip so you wouldn’t miss anything important you need while you are camping.

If you are just heading out for the day you might like our Day Trip Checklist, and if you are off for some angling then our Fishing Trip Checklist will be right up your alley.

“Did you remember to pack your”, is a common phrase used by parents everywhere as they help their families get ready to go camping. I remember my mom and dad asking me that question, and my wife and I do the same thing with our kids.

A camping checklist will help parents save their sanity, without having to repeat themselves a hundred times. Instead, they can just continue to refer everyone to the list. We hope you have a great time on your trip, and we hope this camping checklist is a huge help to you. Have fun!

Planning Trips for Larger Groups

Not everyone is going to want to bring the exact same gear when they are planning for their outdoor adventures. Camping checklists like the ones below are great when you have a whole family or a large group of people going camping. Using a centralized checklist for the whole group to go from makes sure the group as a whole has everything they need, without wasted space and effort by doubling up on items you don’t need more than one of.

Let’s face it, you only need one ax or hatchet to split wood for your campfire. Four families don’t all need to bring an ax. Unless of course, you plan to have an ax-throwing competition, in which multiple axes might be a good idea.

Having a group checklist is a good way to review and determine who is responsible to bring certain items. Planning and clarity of who is responsible for what items is a good thing. That way you don’t end up missing things you wish you had for your camping trip. It can also help save money, and who doesn’t like saving money.


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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 forgotten. This is especially handy if you haven’t gone camping a lot. Having this checklist makes our inner Boy Scout smile.

Camping Checklist
camping chair camping table camping pillow camping cot
flashlight tent footprint hammock headlamp
lantern sleeping bag Sleeping bag liner sleeping pads
tent stakes tarp tent dry bags
clear plastic bins solar charger bandana hat
long sleeve shirt rain gear sweatshirt swimsuit
towel wool socks personal hygiene items feminine products
medications bivy sack toilet paper emergency survival blanket
camping knife duct tape multi-tool air mattress repair kit
hatchet folding saw tent pole repair sleeve can opener
camping stove dish pan cooking utensils stove fuel
cooler ice water container lighter
fire starter plates or bowls water filtration campsite reservation
fleece pullover gloves or mittens warm hat warm jacket
hiking boots water shoes insect repellent spf lip balm
sunscreen bungee cords rope small shovel
tissues watch first-aid kit hatchet


Camping Checklist Grouped By Category

an orderly collection of camping gearWe 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 the last moment check to make sure something doesn’t stand out to you.


So when it comes to a camping checklist for your campsite, these are some of the big items you are going to make sure you have. It has a few of the must-have necessities such as your tent, camping mattress, and your sleeping bag. Add in a lantern or a headlamp so you can see when it gets dark and you are pretty much good to survive a night. Of course, you may be hungry, but those are the things that will get you by for a quick trip.

Campsite Checklist
camping chair camping table camping pillow clothesline
flashlight tent footprint hammock headlamp
lantern sleeping bag Sleeping bag liner sleeping pads
tent stakes tarp tent

Camping Tools

Our camping tools checklist are things that will make your life easier, especially the ax and saw for getting firewood and setting up your tent. Having a folding saw makes it easy to store with the rest of your gear and also protects the blade. It is always a good idea to carry a multitool because they are just so handy. There are also a few items to help repair some of your gear.

Camping Tools Checklist
duct tape para chord mallet multi-tool
ax saw tent pole repair sleeve air mattress repair kit


What you choose to bring for footwear really depends on the activities you plan on doing while you are camping. We always suggest either wool or synthetic socks as they are good at wicking away moisture. If you plan on hiking while you camping it is a good idea to bring some hiking boots with you for more strenuous trails. Many people just wear sneakers on easier trails. There are some great trail sneakers that give extra support and have a more aggressive tread but tend to be lighter than hiking boots. Depending on where you are camping (or glamping), there may be shower facilities. If that is the case you should bring shower shoes with you or sandals. If you are going to end up in a lake or stream, a lot of people prefer to have water shoes.

Footwear Checklist
hiking boots sandals sneakers wool or synthetic socks
trail shoes shower shoes water shoes

Campsite Extras

So this part of our camping checklist contains a few extras that are nice to have. Having a pair of binoculars is great for bird watching and viewing other wildlife from a distance. We always like to have a good book while relaxing around camp. Having a couple of games, even if it is just a deck of cards, is great fun along with laughter and good memories. Having a solar charger for cell phones or rechargeable batteries when you are camping can be a lifesaver to make sure the batteries do not get drained. Being in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of life and be a great time to reflect on things. Having a notebook or journal to write things down, whether they are great life revelations, or if you just want to journal about your camping trip. Also, a dry bag is good for storing your electronics and other sensitive items in the event of rain.

Campsite Extras Checklist
binoculars reading materials dry bags games
notebook or journal solar charger


There are several things to consider for your camping checklist when it comes to cooking. First off you are going to need a cooking camp stove or at a minimum a grate to go over your campfire. Make sure you have plenty of fuel for your stove. You won’t want to run out in the middle of cooking. You’ll need something to cook in like pots or pans, and then eating utensils along with plates or bowls. They make kits, or you can just grab something from your kitchen cabinets.

Cooking Checklist
biodegradable soap can opener camp stove stove fuel
wash tube charcoal cook pot cooking utensils
cooler cutting board dish towels dutch oven
eating utensils fry pan grill rack ice
large water jug matches cups coffee mug
plates and bowls coffee maker pot scrubber trash bags


Sun Protection Bug Spray

If you don’t normally spend a lot of time outdoors, make sure you bring some insect repellant in case there are a lot of flies or mosquitoes. Also, a great idea to bring some sunscreen as well.

Sun Protection Bug Spray Checklist
insect repellent insect repellent candles spf lip balm spf sunscreen
sun hat sunglasses

Misc Camping Items

These are some miscellaneous items for your camping checklist. You can certainly get away without having them, but they are items worth considering.

Misc Camping Items Checklist
two-way radio binoculars bungee cord camera
compass deck of cards small fire extinguisher fishing gear
gps radio travel alarm clock work gloves

Hygiene Items

So while you are camping, you still need to maintain your personal hygiene, especially if you are going camping for several days. Okay, so you may not care about combing your hair or shaving, but you definitely want toilet paper and you should brush your teeth. Your mom will be proud.

Hygiene Items Checklist
solar shower comb or brush deodorant feminine products
medications razor shower shoes toilet paper
toothpaste toothbrush towel washcloth

Personal Items

Many campsite registrations take place online, so it’s a good idea to print a copy of your campsite registration and bring it with you. Make sure you have a credit card, some cash, and your id when you leave. Your emergency contact numbers are probably already stored in your cell phone so you should be good in case something happens along the way. We always suggest bring a first-aid kit with you in case an injury or accident takes place.

Personal Items Checklist
campsite registration cell phone credit card cash
emergency contact numbers identification first-aid kit


Clothing for your camping checklist is pretty self-explanatory. You need clothes. Choice wisely.

Clothing Checklist
bandanna belt hat long sleeve shirt
pants rain gear shoes sleeping clothes
sweatshirt swimsuit t-shirts underwear

Rainy And Cold Weather

The temperature can change pretty significantly over the course of a full day. When the sun goes down it can get chilly. Make sure you plan appropriately and bring some items to help keep you warm and dry in the event it rains. A rain jacket or rain poncho can go a long way towards keeping you comfortable and dry.

Rainy And Cold Weather Checklist
fleece pants fleece pullover gloves or mittens long underwear
rain jacket rain pants poncho warm hat
insulated jacket vest baseball cap


Final Advice For Your Camping Checklist

No two people are the same when it comes to planning your camping trip. What is important to one person may not matter to another when it comes to camping gear. My son prefers to go ultralight when he is camping. As a family, we tend to bring more items. All this to say, there is no right or wrong answer to what you bring on your camping trip. Our goal is to provide you with a solid camping checklist to plan from. Take what you need and enjoy your adventure.


Camping Checklist PDF

Want a printable copy of our camping 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.


We hope these camping checklists have been helpful for in getting ready for your camping trip. We tried to organize them in a way that would give you a full list as well as different categories to consider as you get prepared. If you think of something we forgot, please reach out and let us know on our contact form.