Items You Should Have On Your Camping List

May 12, 2022 | Blog


Camping is a beloved pastime for many, and for good reason! It’s a great way to get outside and enjoy nature, plus it’s affordable since you don’t have to book a hotel or anything.

If you’re new to camping or just need a refresher on what to bring, this camping list is for you! We’ve included everything from the basics like tents and food to the more specialized items like bear pepper spray.

You’ll be fully prepared for an unforgettable camping trip with this camping checklist!


Items  To Have In Your Camping List (By Category)

For Indoors

A recreational vehicle


The standards of an indoor campsite are determined by the facility in which you are staying, but there are a few basic things to consider. For example, will you need an air mattress, or will a sleeping bag on the ground suffice?

If you’ll be staying at a campground with partly equipped accommodation, call ahead and find out what goods they provide and which ones you’ll need to bring yourself, such as bedding, dishes, and cooking utensils.

Additionally, if you have young children with you, be sure to bring along some toys and activities to keep them occupied and any necessary baby gear.

Here are some examples of common indoor items to think about:

  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • A portable charging station
  • An air mattress, pump, and repair kit
  • A sleeping bag and insulated liner
  • Cots
  • A hot water bottle
  • A sleeping pad or mattress topper
  • A plug-in or battery-operated fan
  • Earplugs and a sleeping mask
  • A tent-safe heater

For Outdoors

A man sitting down near his tent


The great outdoors is what camping is all about! This is where you’ll find fresh air, beautiful scenery, and an opportunity for adventure. Be sure to pack accordingly to make the most of your time in nature and to be prepared for anything.

Some common outdoor items to consider include:

  • A season-appropriate camping tent and tent stakes
  • A tarp
  • Flashlights and headlamps
  • Some firewood
  • A picnic table
  • Camp chairs
  • A mallet or hammer
  • Mosquito netting
  • A lantern with fuel
  • Matches, firestarter, or a lighter
  • A refillable water dispenser
  • Kindling to help start a campfire
  • A spacious cooler and ice
  • Campsite decor
  • Citronella candles to repel insects
  • Tablecloth clips
  • Outdoor lighting

Tools For Camping

A person lying on a hammock


While not strictly necessary, having a few tools on hand can make your camping trips much more pleasant. These items can help with common issues like bad weather or broken equipment and can even be used for fun activities like roasting marshmallows over the campfire.

Some common tool items to consider include:

  • A hammock
  • A pop-up pavilion or shade structure
  • A folding table
  • An outdoor rug

Recreational Camping Gear

Two men fishing near a river


One of the best things about camping is having the opportunity to enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities. Depending on your interests, you may want to bring along some extra gear to make the most of your trip.

Some common recreational gear items to consider include:

  • Fishing poles and tackle
  • Winter sports equipment
  • A kayak or canoe
  • Swim towels
  • Lifejackets
  • Lawn games, like badminton and cornhole
  • A hiking daypack
  • Board games and playing cards
  • A music player and speaker
  • A video camera or camera
  • Trekking poles
  • Binoculars
  • Bikes, skateboards or rollerblades
  • Instruments to play music around the campfire.
  • Glow sticks
  • Frisbees, volleyballs, footballs
  • Tickets to special events or local attractions
  • A local attractions guidebook
  • Books

Clothes And Shoes To Brave The Elements

Two friends having breakfast at camp


Remember to pack your luggage for a camping trip according to the season, local climate, and weather forecast. Tightly roll each clothing component instead of folding it before packing it away in your suitcase to save space, and use airtight bags to keep out moisture.

If you’re staying at a campsite with laundry facilities or own an RV with a built-in washer, you may get away with packing fewer clothes than you would for a traditional vacation. However, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and pack a few extra outfits, just in case.

Some common clothing and shoe items to consider include:

  • Thick socks, preferably made of wool
  • A sweater, hoodie, or fleece pullover
  • Pants and shorts
  • Pajamas
  • T-shirts
  • A raincoat
  • Light layering pieces
  • Underwear
  • A swimsuit or swimming trunks
  • A wide-brimmed sun hat or visor
  • A beanie or knit cap
  • Sunglasses
  • Gloves
  • Hiking boots
  • Shower shoes
  • Walking shoes
  • Rain boots
  • Sandals or flipflops

Camp Cooking Essentials

Kettles and a pot over a fire


No matter how you plan to cook your camp meals, there are some essentials that you’ll need to bring along. If you’re planning on cooking over a campfire, pack plenty of extra wood. It’s always better to have too much than not enough!

Some common cooking items to consider include:

  • A grill and some fuel
  • A portable cooking stove
  • Some roasting forks
  • A coffee percolator
  • A dutch oven (cast-iron)
  • A grate

Camp Kitchen Utensils

Camping utensils are available from a variety of specialty stores. They’re generally constructed of more rust-resistant materials and can be readily tucked away. Disposable or conventional utensils are available based on how often you intend to use them.

Here is what you need:

  • knives, spoons, and forks
  • Cooking knives
  • Measuring cups
  • An instant-read food thermometer
  • Plates
  • Spatulas, mixing spoons, and tongs
  • A washable cutting board
  • A fire-safe frying pan
  • Shatter-proof cups and mugs
  • Oven mitts
  • A bottle opener
  • A can opener
  • A bear proof food vault for overnight storage
  • Coffee filters, if applicable
  • Kitchen scissors
  • Toothpicks and a container to keep them dry
  • Small food storage bags
  • Bamboo cooking skewers
  • Food storage containers

Food Items

The food you pack will depend on how long you’re staying, what kind of camping trip you’re taking, and your personal preferences. If you’re camping with young children, pack plenty of snacks and easy-to-prepare meals. And don’t forget the marshmallows for s’mores!

Some common food items to consider include:

  • Cooking oil
  • Spices, herbs, and seasonings
  • Bottled water, soda, and juice
  • Eggs
  • Potatoes
  • Popcorn in a fire-safe popping pan
  • S’mores ingredients
  • Meat
  • Nut butter and jelly
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • A loaf of bread
  • Condiments, including ketchup, mustard, relish, and mayonnaise
  • Grab-and-go snacks, like trail mix and energy bars
  • Sliced cheese and deli meat
  • Cereal or granola
  • Beef jerky
  • Hotdogs and hamburgers
  • Chips, pretzels, or other salty snacks
  • Canned beans
  • Breakfast meats

Hygiene And Toiletries

Assorted Toiletries


While some people enjoy the natural feel of camping, most of us still appreciate having access to basic hygiene and toiletry items.

A small first-aid kit is also a good idea in case of minor cuts, scrapes, or bug bites, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

Some common hygiene and toiletry items to consider include:

  • Hand soap
  • Bath towels and washcloths
  • Hand and body lotion
  • Body soap, shampoo, and conditioner
  • A hairbrush
  • Cotton swabs
  • Toilet paper
  • A handheld mirror
  • Glasses and contacts and lens wipe and contact solution
  • Dental floss
  • Tissues
  • A water-safe shower bag
  • A razor and shaving cream
  • Menstrual products
  • Deodorant
  • Makeup and skincare items
  • A portable shower and toilet, if applicable
  • Baby wipes for quick wipe-downs between washes
  • A toothbrush and toothpaste.

Clean-Up Gear

No one wants to leave a campsite messier than they found it, so be sure to pack enough clean-up gear to last the duration of your trip. To make clean-up a breeze, fill all the necessary supplies, including garbage bags, a small shovel, and a brush.

Some common clean-up gear items to consider include:

  • Environmentally-friendly dish soap
  • Trash bags
  • Plastic bags or laundry hamper for dirty clothes
  • Dishtowels
  • Paper towels
  • A drying rack or clothesline
  • Cleaning supplies, like disinfectant wipes
  • A stain-remover pen for clothes
  • A portable sink or basin for dishwashing
  • A cleaning sponge
  • A broom and dustpan

Safety Items

Camping tents


Safety should always be a top priority when camping. Be sure to pack items like a first-aid kit, flashlight, and whistle in case of an emergency and any items specific to your camping location and activities. Although it doesn’t qualify as a safety item, a GPS can help you stay on the right trail if you’re car camping.

Some common safety items to consider include:

  • A portable fire extinguisher
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Spare cash
  • An emergency blanket
  • High SPF, water-resistant sunscreen
  • A map of the area
  • Insect repellant, with DEET if applicable
  • Spare batteries
  • Jugs of freshwater, for emergencies
  • A compass
  • A field guide with information about local plants and animals
  • Bear mace
  • Water treatment or filtration system
  • Printed directions to the nearest hospital
  • A whistle
  • A disposable rain poncho

Personal Belongings

Of course, you’ll also need to pack your personal belongings to make the most of your camping trip.

Some common personal belongings items to consider include:

  • All licenses and permits
  • SPF-protected lip balm
  • Your wallet with credit cards and legal ID inside
  • Your keys
  • A cell phone and charger
  • An insulated water bottle
  • A copy of your campsite reservation confirmation, if applicable
  • A travel-sized umbrella

First Aid

No matter how careful you are, there’s always a chance someone might get hurt while camping. Be prepared for minor injuries by packing a small first-aid kit.

Make sure your first-aid kit includes the following items to ensure that each person is a safe and happy camper:

  • Adhesive bandages
  • Alcohol
  • Gauze
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Anti-itch medication, such as calamine lotion
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, antihistamines, and antacid tablets
  • An oral thermometer
  • Finger splints
  • Eye drops
  • Liquid bandage
  • Non-latex gloves
  • Sunburn cream or gel
  • A snakebite treatment kit
  • Prescription medications

Items For Camping With Kids

A man and his kids in a tent


If you’re planning to camp with young children, there are a few extra items you’ll need to pack to make the trip enjoyable for everyone.

Some common camping with kids items to consider include:

  • A crib or bassinet
  • Pop-up playpens
  • A baby monitor
  • Baby wipes and diapers
  • A wearable baby carrier
  • A portable baby bathtub
  • Indoor and outdoor toys
  • An outdoor high chair
  • Baby food
  • A current photo
  • Child-sized camping chairs

Items For Camping With Pets

If you’re planning to camp with pets, there are a few extra items you’ll need to pack to make the trip enjoyable for everyone.

Some common camping with pets items to consider include:

  • Waste disposal bags
  • A dog leash and harness
  • Food and water bowls
  • Dog food and treats
  • A pet first-aid kit
  • A pet bed
  • Outdoor dog toys
  • Dog ID tags


Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but it’s important to be prepared before you head out for your next camping trip. Be sure to pack all the essential items on this list, as well as any other items specific to your camping location and activities. With a little planning and preparation, you’re sure to have a safe and fun-filled camping trip.

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