Is it your first-time camping and don’t know what camping items to carry with you? Camping can be fun and memorable. But most of the time, people do forget to carry one or two things with them which makes their experiences to be awful. This happened to me and my friends on our first camping trip.
So, before you head out with your family or friends, it’s important to come up with a camping checklist that will assist you to carry all of the items that you will need while out there in the wild. Also, it will help you leave out the gears that you don’t need and add the ones that you had forgotten about.
Summary of Contents
Complete Camping Checklist of 2023
Campers need a rugged and lightweight backpack for carrying different items! Depending on how many days one is going to camp, they can pack different particulars that they will use during that period. Some items are heavy and choosing lightweight and ruggedly built products is worth considering. There are a number of essential products to carry on the trip such as tents, flashlights, stoves, sleeping bags, first aid kits, water bottles, map and much more…Read our camping checklist to be enlightened!!!
This checklist is one of the most important. It should have all the items that are basic and the ones that you will need at your camp. If you are going to a campsite, the items that you carry should be minimal, but if it’s camping in a place you know nothing about such as in the wild, then you should be well prepared. Also, camping in the wild means you will face some hardships and thus you should keep the list shorter and the tent items should be lightweight. Here are the tent particulars:
Tent and its accessories
The first thing to consider when going camping is carrying a quality tent. There are various types and sizes of tents. Get a bigger tent which can accommodate you and your friends, and at the same time leave some extra space for keeping other camping items. Also, acquire tent accessories such as a tent mat and tent porch. These will make your tent to be more comfortable.
Tent Poles and Ropes
Before you set up the tent in the forest or woods, you should learn how to install the tent by yourself at home. It comes with ropes and poles which should be set up the right way. Furthermore, the tent you select should be dry and also comfortable.
This hugely depends on the terrain of the area where you are going to camp. If the area is hilly or mountainous, then carrying trekking poles is a great idea. They will help you climb on steep areas when your backpack is fully loaded with camping items and reduce strain. Trekking poles provide extra support to the camper and should be brought along.
Sleeping bag or air bed
Even if you are out there camping, you need to have proper bedding. Moreover, safety is another thing to look at. A sleeping bag is the best option as it protects you from all the crawling creatures on the cold floor. Also, instead of carrying a sleeping bag, one can carry an air bed. It is easy to store and lightweight. Acquire quality bedding. It doesn’t matter if it is a sleeping bag or an air bed. It should be of the right size, too. Pick from the best brands with a great reputation.
Tarp or ground cloth
In case of rain, a tarp can prove to be of great importance because of its waterproof material. But if you don’t want a tarp, you can as well get a ground cloth which you can lay on the tent floor. Choose the ideal tarp or ground cloth size and material. It should be a quality one.
A lantern illuminates the tent during the day and at night. Picking the right size that offers enough light to your tent is crucial. Lanterns use gas, propane or batteries. If you want a lantern to use inside the tent, a battery-powered lantern is the best. But if it’s for using outside the tent, a gas or propane powered lantern should be just fine. This is because the later is very dangerous to use and can start a fire easily.
A pillow is a great addition to your sleeping accessories. It will bring comfort and allow you to sleep comfortably. A small pillow should be enough for you. Better off, you can carry an empty suck where you can stuff clothes in it and turn it into a makeshift pillow. This will be easier for you to manage.
Foldable camp chairs
Another important tent accessory to have with you in your camp is a foldable chair. Though, you may not have time to sit down with friends as you will spend most of the time performing various activities around the camp. A foldable chair can do you good and help you relax. You should not carry heavy relaxing chair for camping rather than use those at home. This is true, especially in the evening when you’re tired and worn out. A foldable chair is easy to carry and doesn’t take much space.
If you plan on carrying an air bed, then having a blanket will be a good choice too. The weather out there can get extremely cold, and thus possessing a quality and standard-sized blanket is a great idea. It should provide you with the warmth that you need and be of great material.
A duct or adhesive tape can come in handy in several ways. This item is very strong and can be utilized to fix almost everything. From setting up the tent to other things inside the tent, the duct tape is a wonderful product to have. Duct tapes are durable and water-resistant, too. Choose the right one and you will be glad that you did.
Shelter repair kit
There are so many particulars to include in a tent and we cannot exhaust all of them. The ones that we’ve mentioned are some of the most important and you will likely need them. On top of them, you should have a shelter repair kit so that you can use it to fix the tent or any of its accessories.
Camping is fun but at the same time, it is vital to look out for your health. One of the best ways to do this is by having the right attire. The weather in the campsite may vary from good to extreme. Ensure that you carry the right clothing for both cold and hot weather. This way, you can keep your body healthy and from extreme weather conditions. Below are items to include in your clothing checklist.
- T-shirts – the T-shirts that you carry should be in line with the weather inside the camp. Light clothes should be brought for warm days, while heavy clothes for colder evenings. Also, carrying a jacket in case of a rainfall is a wonderful idea too. Always carry extra clothing so that you can protect your body as needed and be neat.
- Pants – if you intend to spend many days out in the woods, carrying sleeping pants should be a priority. Sleeping in clothes is very disturbing to many people. Carry pants that are enough for the days that you are going spend in the camping ground.
- Hiking boots – these might be heavy but they are really important. Strolling in the forest or hills can be very risky. The terrain is mostly made of rocks and other dangerous items. Wear hiking boots when not in your camp or as you go outside the camping area. These boots will protect you from hurting your feet.
- Sunglasses – sunglasses look beautiful to wear but they are more than just this. Staring directly at the sun can be detrimental to our eyes. To prevent the harm that comes from the piercing sun, you should put on sunglasses. Also, wearing them in a windy or dusty surrounding can help you see well than a person who has no glasses.
- Gloves – the best part of camping is when you go out looking for wood or setting up a tent. You shouldn’t do this with your bare hands. Ensure that you include gloves in your camping checklist. They will prevent your hands from getting hurt. Also, pick quality gloves and they should fit you perfectly.
- Rainwear – with the ever-changing weather conditions, to be prepared for all kinds of calamities is important. Carry a rainwear just in case the rains begin when you’re still outside the camp. This will help you not to get wet.
- Underwear – carry enough underwear to change on a daily basis. You don’t want to be unkempt.
- Socks – when the nights get extremely cold, you may need some of these. Pack a pair of some socks which you can wear at night or as you go out in the woods. Leave small parts of your skin as there are insects and other dangerous plants that you wouldn’t want getting into contact with.
- Sandals – ensure your checklist has water sandals. These can be worn when going to bath. Furthermore, you can wear them to allow your feet to breathe and relax after a long day of moving up and down in the woods.
- Hat – instead of carrying sunglasses, you can carry a hat. Alternatively, you can have both. The hat is a great thing to have as it will protect you from direct sun rays, bird’s droppings and other things while out there in the wild.
- Swimsuits – swimsuits can be a great idea if you want to have extra fun in a nearby river or lake. It can as well be used as a bathing costume. Choose a perfectly fitting swimsuit and include it in your camping list if you love swimming.
How can the entire process of camping be without cooking food? The best part of camping is when you cook food which you have hunted or fished in a nearby pond. A camper needs to carry various kitchen instruments to aid them in preparing food. The equipment one chooses should suit the type of food that they are going to prepare and the number of people to be served.
- Camp stove – with so many types and brands on the market, choosing the right camp stove is ideal. Select a camp stove that will sustain you for the days that you intend to camp. Also, it should be all-weather, portable and not a heavy and large stove that makes maneuvering around or packing it to be a problem. There are lots of options to pick from. Ensure that you acquire the best.
- Fuel – carry enough fuel with you. If you’re going out for the weekend, two liters of fuel should be enough for you. But if you intend to stay longer in a camp, then you should carry more fuel which should be enough for the days you intend to stay there. A portable generator could be handy for family camping.
- Dishpan – after you’ve had your fried fish or meat in the camp, you will be required to wash the dishes after eating. This can be made easy if you have a large container which can act as your sink for washing the dishes. Get a big dishpan that you can pour water inside and wash dishes from there.
- Frying pans/pots – the frying pans or pots you choose to use at the camp should be lightweight and able to prepare food for all. There are different sizes and quality of frying pans. Select a pan that is easy to wash and one that can prepare different meals.
- Tablecloth – carry a quality and easy to use a tablecloth. A plastic tablecloth is ideal for cleaning and it won’t be a problem. Also, in case of rain, a plastic tablecloth will still be used as it is suitable for all kinds of weather.
- Firestarter – this is a crucial item to have. Imagine, showing up at the camp hungry and only to realize that you don’t have a lighter to start a fire. This is really embarrassing as it can ruin the whole camping thing. A fire starter should be on top of your camping checklist. You can add a matchbox as back up if need be. The matchbox should be waterproof or be kept in a waterproof casing.
- Cutting board – the board will help you chop different foods such as tomatoes, onions, and much more. It should be of a desirable size so that packing it isn’t an issue.
- Bottle opener – bring with you a bottle opener which you will use to open bottle tops and cans. Having a tool such as a Swiss knife may be the best option as it offers more than just a bottle opener. It comes with various tools like a nail cutter, a wine opener, and many others.
- Aluminum foil – cooking in a campground is a thing that is done once or twice in a day. You may decide to prepare breakfast and super alone as most of the time people spend out of the camp. So, why not cook enough food and store some for consuming later. An aluminum foil can be used to keep leftovers.
- Dish soap – this can be used to clean dishes and pots after being used.
- Utensils – bring along several kitchen utensils like spoons, forks, and a reliable knife. The knife you choose should be sturdy and able to cut various foods. Pick the useful kitchen utensils alone.
- Water bottles – in the wild, finding clean water to drink may be difficult. So, it’s wise if you carry bottled water. If possible, you should carry a water filter with you so that you can use it in case you run out of bottled water.
- Food storage containers – normally, there are two types of food storage containers. One is made from plastic and another from glass. Both of these have their advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to camping, a plastic food storage container is the best. It is lightweight and can be used to store both fresh and leftover food. Select a big container or several of them to keep the food that you will need during camping. The metal food storage container can also be used but it will add on weight. A portable dehydrator is also a good option.
- Quick-dry towel – this will be needed to dry your wet hands after washing them. Select one with a soft microfiber cloth.
- Dutch oven – a Dutch oven can be an excellent addition to your camping list. It can be used to prepare different meals due to its even heat distribution. You can pick one made from cast aluminum as the type made from ceramic is a bit heavier. The cast aluminum Dutch oven is durably made for tough conditions and also suitable to use in hot or cold weather.
- Thermos – if you go camping, you won’t be able to start a fire all the time like in your home. Hence, carrying items like a thermos can keep warm water which can enable you to make coffee, tea or chocolate whenever you want to. It keeps water warm and you can bump into the camp at any time to have a warm drink, especially on a cold day.
- Trash bags – never forget to carry trash bags or disposal if you’re going camping. This will help you keep all the dirty remains of food and other particulars in one place. Also, you will have a chance of keeping the surrounding clean and neat.
This list is based on people’s preferences. What you consider important might be looked at in a different way by another person. For instance, you may love reading while your friend may be a fan of playing cards or chase. Thus, packing other private items that might keep you engaged and not miss home plays a huge role in your happiness while at a campsite. You won’t miss home a single day as you will be able to pack most of the things that you love. Here is the private camping list:
- Books – if you love reading, you can carry a book to keep you engaged when you are doing nothing.
- Games – alternatively, if you don’t love reading but like playing games, carrying games like the chase, cards or a puzzle can be a great way to hang out in a camp. This will pass time if you aren’t busy or after a long day in the wild.
- Medication – this applies to individuals who have a certain condition or are not feeling well. They should carry their medicine and take it as recommended by their doctors. Also, carrying painkillers and other helpful medicine may be of great benefit to the campers.
- Deodorant – this as well applies to individuals who love deodorants. But if you are going deep in the forest, this isn’t a great idea as a sweet smell can attract a bad company like snakes.
- Hairbrush – it doesn’t mean that if you go camping, you stay shabby and unkempt. Stay neat by packing things like a hairbrush.
- Watch – a watch can help you know what time it is. Weather conditions in the wild can be deceiving and having a reliable and all-weather watch can help a lot. Keep track of the days as well as the hours.
- Shampoo – You can also carry a shampoo to avoid hair damage.
Health and safety
If you don’t create a camping list, then you might even forget other important items that may guarantee you good health and safety while you’re in the wild. The conditions out there aren’t favorable and that’s why it is important to have items that will ensure you remain healthy and safe at the same time. Things like insect bites, cuts and sunburn are common. Protect yourself by having these items with you.
- First aid kit – this is an item that some campers normally forget about. A first aid kit should comprise of products that help you in case you fall sick or are cut. While in the wild, one is susceptible to any danger and having a first aid kit is extremely important.
- Flashlight – there are different types of flashlights on the market. You can decide to choose a normal flashlight or one with lots of features. A tactical flashlight is great for camping as they are normally built for the wild. In addition, they come with extra features that can help a person in case they are attacked by an assailant. When visiting a toilet at night, a flashlight may prove to be of great help, too. Choose a ruggedly built and bright flashlight and include it in your items.
- Sunscreen – the scorching sun is hard to deal with when camping. If you are based in a place where there is little shade, you may experience sunburn and having a sunscreen can help reduce the sunburn impact. Pick a quality sunscreen that you will have to apply before you leave your tent for outdoor activities.
- Insect repellent – insects are everywhere in the forest and woods. Avoiding them during the day or at night might prove to be futile. The best bet is to acquire an insect repellent and have it in your backpack. Bug bites can be irritating and some even carry dangerous diseases. Ensure that you deter these flying creatures away by applying an insect repellent around the tent and inside the tent.
- Multi-tool knife – having a multi-tool knife is crucial as it will assist you to perform various tasks using just one tool. Pick a quality one from the different brands and types being offered on the market.
- Toiletries – Of course, toiletries cannot be forgotten. Things like tissue paper, bathing soap and toothpaste should be carried along. These will help you maintain a high level of hygiene in your camp.
- Towel – select a quality microfiber towel for drying your body after bathing. Don’t carry the large and heavy towels. Go for a small and lightweight towel which doesn’t add up the load that you already have to carry.
- Aloe gel – one thing to be certain of while you go camping is that the weather may not be friendly to you. So, the more prepared you are the better. Carry aloe gel which you can use to soothe the already sunburned skin.
- Whistle – if you have gone camping in a nearby place, having a safety item like a whistle among your checklist is a good idea. This can be used to alert people nearby in case you are attacked or when you’re in danger. But if you are far away in the woods, you will need a torch to alert people if you’re in danger.
- Anti-bacterial hand wash – unlike being at home, while in the wild, you come into contact with different plants and animals. Most of these are strange and dangerous. Carry an antibacterial hand wash to use it to clean your hands and avoid consuming any harmful substance into your body.
Finally, there are some additional items that can be added to your camping trip. These extra items can be chosen depending on where you are going to camp. Is the activity that you’re going to participate in is only camping, or also hunting, hiking, fishing, or even bike riding. These will need different types of equipments to facilitate and even make them more fulfilling.
- Camera – depending on the activities that you carry out on your camp, you may or may not need a camera. Though, a camera is very important as it can help capture the joyful moments that you share together with your family and friends. Also, you can take pictures of nature, animals and even birds around the camp.
- GPS/Compass/Map – carry a map if you are afraid of getting lost. This is very true, especially for wild campers. A map, GPS or compass can help you find the way back to your tent if you’re lost. So, you should have it handy in your pocket.
- Binoculars – want to know what’s going on around the area that you’re camping in? Then, you should carry binoculars. Actually, this can act as a safety item as you can be able to spot the surrounding around you and know if you’re safe or not.
- Battery – have with you extra flashlight batteries on your camping list. Your flashlight may run out at the wrong time. Always have extra batteries with you.
- Hammock – if you hate sleeping on the floor or just want to have a good time in the camp, carry a hammock with you. It should be of a great design and quality construction. Choose from the various top brands available. You will more about the hammock camping gear list here.
- Backpack – This is another important thing to consider when planning a camping checklist. Ensure that you choose a lightweight and durable backpack with several compartments. The larger the backpack, the more items you will be able to carry.
- Bikes – this applies to campers who are there because of bike riding.
Whether it’s your first time camping or not, having the right camping checklist will make your trip to be memorable and enjoyable at the same time. People usually forget one or two things which end up making their living in the camp to be boring or even unbearable. Imagine if you forgot a bottle opener or lighter to start a fire. This means that opening up of drinks may be difficult and you may even not be able to cook food without a lighter or fire starter.
Ensure that you pack all of the items that you want or need on the trip. Leave out the less important items. Carry some vital kitchen products, toiletries, clothes, a first aid kit and personal items of your choice. These will make your life in the camp to be much more fun!!