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Complete Camping Checklist and Gear

Camping is such a great way to unplug from the hustle and bustle of every day 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
  • Clothesline
  • Cot
  • flashlight
  • Footprint
  • hammock
  • headlamp
  • lantern/mantels/fuel
  • sleeping bag
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • sleeping pads
  • stakes
  • Table cloth
  • tarp
  • Tent
  • binoculars
  • book or reading material
  • dog gear
  • dry bags, stuff sacks, clear plastic bins
  • field guide to flowers and insects
  • games
  • music player with headphones
  • Navigation tools
  • Notebook or journal
  • Solar and portable power
  • star chart/night-sky identifier
  • bandana
  • belt
  • hat
  • Laundry bag
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Pants
  • Rain Gear
  • Shoes/boots
  • shorts
  • Sleeping clothes
  • sweatshirt / jacket
  • Swim Suite
  • t-shirts
  • Towel
  • Underwear
  • wool or synthetic socks
  • camping shower
  • comb or brush
  • deodorant
  • feminine products
  • medications
  • razor
  • shower bag
  • shower pump
  • Shower shoes
  • soap in plastic case
  • toilet paper
  • tooth brush
  • toothe paste
  • towel
  • wash cloth
  • bivy sack
  • emergency survival blanket
  • high quality survival knife
  • Duct tape
  • Extra cord
  • Mallet or hammer
  • Multi-tool
  • pad/mattress repair kit
  • Axe or hatchet
  • Saw
  • Tent pole repair sleeve
  • biodegradable soap
  • bottle opener, can opener, corkscrew
  • camp grill and fuel
  • camp sink or wash bin
  • charcoal
  • cook pot
  • cooking utensils
  • cooler
  • cutting board
  • dish towels
  • dutch oven
  • eating utensiles
  • frying pan
  • griddle
  • grill rack
  • Ice
  • large clear plastic bin to store kitchen gear
  • large water jugs
  • marshmellow hot dog roasting forks
  • matches/lighter/firestarter
  • mugs/cups
  • optional
  • plates/bowls
  • portable coffee maker
  • pot scrubber/sponge
  • sharp knife
  • small food storage containers bags foil
  • Stove and fuel
  • trash / recycling bags
  • water bottles
  • day pack
  • fanny pack
  • long haul
  • overnight
  • filtration system
  • life straw
  • 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
  • rain jacket
  • rain pants
  • poncho
  • warm hat
  • warm insulated jacket
  • vest
  • baseball cap
  • Footwear Checklist
  • Hiking boots
  • sandals
  • sneakers
  • socks
  • trail shoes
  • shower shoes
  • Water shoes
  • insect repellent
  • insect repellent candles
  • lip balm
  • Sun hat
  • Sun screen
  • Sunglasses
  • 2 way radios
  • basic sewing kit
  • binoculars
  • bungee cords
  • camera
  • compass
  • deck of cards
  • emergency whistle
  • fire extinguisher
  • fishing gear & license
  • GPS
  • pocket knife
  • radio
  • rope
  • safety pins
  • small shovel
  • individual snacks
  • solar charger
  • tissues
  • travel alarm clock
  • watch
  • work gloves
  • Ace bandages
  • Adhesive tape
  • Anti-acids (Tums, Rolaids)
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Aspirin/Ibuprofen/Tylenol
  • Burn ointment
  • Butterfly bandages
  • Cotton swabs
  • Eye drops
  • First aid manual
  • Heat/cold packs
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Latex gloves
  • Misc. Band Aides/bandages
  • Mole skin for blisters
  • Nail clippers
  • Plastic bags
  • Poison ivy cream/cleansers
  • Roll bandages
  • Safety pins
  • Scissors
  • Sinus medications
  • Splinting materials
  • Sterile compresses
  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Sunburn lotion
  • Thermometer
  • Triangular bandages
  • Tweezers

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
    Clothesline
    Cot
    flashlight
    Footprint
    hammock
    headlamp
    latern/mantels/fuel
    sleeping bag
    Sleeping bag liner
    sleeping pads
    stakes
    Table cloth
    tarp
    Tent

  • Campsite Extras Checklist

    binoculars
    book or reading material
    dog gear
    dry bags, stuff sacks, clear plastic bins
    field guide to flowers and insects
    games
    music player with headphones
    Navigation tools
    Notebook or journal
    Solar and portable power
    star chart/night-sky identifier

  • Clothes Checklist

    bandana
    belt
    hat
    Laundry bag
    Long sleeve shirt
    Pants
    Rain Gear
    Shoes/boots
    shorts
    Sleeping clothes
    sweatshirt / jacket
    Swim Suite
    t-shirts
    Towel
    Underwear
    wool or synthetic socks

  • Hygiene Checklist

    camping shower
    comb or brush
    deodorant
    feminine products
    medications
    razor
    shower bag
    shower pump
    Shower shoes
    soap in plastic case
    toilet paper
    tooth brush
    toothe paste
    towel
    wash cloth

  • Survival Gear Checklist

    bivy sack
    emergency survival blanket
    high quality survival knife

  • Camping Tools Checklist

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

  • Cooking Checklist

    biodegradable soap
    bottle opener, can opener, corkscrew
    camp grill and fuel
    camp sink or wash bin
    charcoal
    cook pot
    cooking utensils
    cooler
    cutting board
    dish towels
    dutch oven
    eating utensiles
    frying pan
    griddle
    grill rack
    Ice
    large clear plastic bin to store kitchen gear
    large water jugs
    marshmellow hot dog roasting forks
    matches/lighter/firestarter
    mugs/cups
    optional
    plates/bowls
    portable coffee maker
    pot scrubber/sponge
    sharp knife
    small food storage containers bags foil
    Stove and fuel
    trash / recycling bags
    water bottles

  • Backpack Checklist

    day pack
    fanny pack
    long haul
    overnight

  • 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
    ID

  • Rainy cold weather checklist

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

  • Footwear Checklist

    Hiking boots
    sandals
    sneakers
    socks
    trail shoes
    shower shoes
    Water shoes

  • Sun & Bug Checklist

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

  • Misc Items Checklist

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

  • First Aid Checklist

    Ace bandages
    Adhesive tape
    Anti-acids (Tums, Rolaides)
    Antibacterial soap
    Antibiotic cream
    Antiseptic wipes
    Aspirin/Ibuprofen/Tylenol
    Burn ointment
    Butterfly bandages
    Cotton swabs
    Eye drops
    First aid manual
    Heat/cold packs
    Hydrogen Peroxide
    Latex gloves
    Misc. Band Aides/bandages
    Mole skin for blisters
    Nail clippers
    Plastic bags
    Poison ivy cream/cleansers
    Roll bandages
    Safety pins
    Scissors
    Sinus medications
    Splinting materials
    Sterile compresses
    Sterile gauze pads
    Sunburn lotion
    Thermometer
    Triangular bandages
    Tweezers

Camping Checklist PDF File

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  in a pdf file format here.

Things to Consider When Getting Items for Your Camping Checklist

Tents

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 ultra light, 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 an 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.

Camping Lantern

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 perfect 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 Flashlight

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 season. 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 rate 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 ultra light sleep backs are compact and light, saving crucial space when packing.

Sleeping Pad or Cot

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 or 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.

Navigation Tools

I don’t know if it is from being a Boy Scout or my time in the military, but I always bring a compass with me in my gear. It is a must have on my checklist. If you have a gps they are great especially when you are venturing into the back country.

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 life safer 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

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 concern with 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.

Binoculars

I love being in the outdoors and sharing space with nature. Having a set of binoculars is a great way to get a close up view of birds and other wild life while camping. If you enjoy bird watching or seeing other animals up close in their natural habitat, then make sure you add a set a binoculars to your camping checklist.

Summary

Thank you so much for checkout out our camping checklist page! We hope it was helpful for planning and packing before you head out camping. It you think of something we forgot, please reach out and let us. know on our contact form.