Camping Checklist

Preparation is essential for any outdoor adventure. Having the necessary supplies and equipment can make a difference in your overall enjoyment and experience. Checklists are a great tool to help with your organization. Your camping list will vary according to the type of camping and activities you have planned, the places you are going, the time of year and the length of your trip. Add or remove items to suit your individual needs. Please email us with any other items that you would include in your camping checklist or write comment below.

Checklist PNG

By popular request, we’re now offering a printer friendly camping checklist in PDFΒ or as PNG image!

NEW! Camping checklist is now dynamic! You can now mark completed items and they will be saved in your local browser storage.







Basic First Aid Kit

Tell someone of your plans - give details of where you are going and when you expect to return, give directions and possible alternative roads that you may take, provide cell phone numbers, vehicle description and license plate numbers, hand-held radio channel and codes that you will use, and provide local authority phone numbers (State Police, Game & Fish Commission, Sheriff Dept, etc.) for the county or area that you will be in.

Additional First Aid Tips

  • Take a First Aid class and a CPR class – keep current on this information
  • Keep supplies in a well marked, durable, waterproof container
  • Keep the contents organized
  • Know how to use everything in your first aid kit
  • Inspect content often, re-supply as needed
  • Keep readily available at all times

777 Replies to “Camping Checklist”

  1. I’ve found this list very helpful, as I’m sure many others have as well. Hey, Haters: If you don’t need everything on this list, then don’t bring it and keep your comments to yourselves! πŸ™‚

  2. people on here have stupid comments about its a huge rediculous list. its a failsafe list. so basically you make your own list, then come on here to check to see it you missed anything that you could add it. some people like to be better safe then sorry. i have prepacked toats to take and load in the truck. this way when stored they don’t get dusty and when its camping season, your mostly ready, just load the toats and get food and ice. takes like ten minutes and off you go….

  3. Its funny. You leave something off and people whine, you put too much on people whine. Morons, use this list as a guide. It clearly states “Add or remove items to suit your individual needs”. How about just thanking the person who made this list for taking the time out to think of every possible item people might need.

  4. One thing I didn’t see is a saw. If you’re going to have a fire and use dead trees you (or preferably your kids) have scavenged from the woods, it is a must-have. A small bow-saw is best. Other point, this is a camping list, NOT a backpacking list. There’s a difference. This is an exhaustive list and a real help. Thanks for putting it out there.

  5. I think it’s fairly obvious this is a great list for drive up style campsites. There are items that I won’t take for weekend camping. I’m a married 31 year old, eagle scout who has been camping and backpacking for years. Those of you who wouldn’t shower if it’s available, enjoy your camping weekend of two bags of chips, beef jerky and the single life:O)

  6. Thats a decent list, lengthy overall….needs fine tuning. Missing from the list are beer, canoe, and herbs.


  7. This list is great!! I’m planning a camping trip for my family and it has helped me out alot. And for those who wanna hate on the list, i got 1 question 4 ya. If you know all that you need to know about camping then why did you even look this site up?? Think about it you dont have to take everything on the list but its a guide for those of us who may forget something that is helpful.

  8. This is a good list. More of a ‘catch all’ for those of us who may forget an item or two. My favorite necessity is the good ol’ cribbage board. It’s a must have for those fishing/camping trips. I am lost without it (trust me I’ve done it once, never again).

  9. To everyone who says this list includes too much, It was clearly stated in the beginning that people can, “Add or remove items to suit your individual needs.”

    Besides, It’s nice to look over a large list that includes everything just in case I forgot something on my own checklist.

    Thanks for the resource!

  10. Great list. Good reference guide. I agree with the people that understand that list is a guideline and also agree with those who mock that clown that goes camping with just a case of beer and his horseshoes. If you’ve got room and are organized, why not bring the extra tools and equipment. Better to be prepared than to be far from home and forget your horseshoe cleaner or beer koozie.
    I’m the guy people come to for double A batteries or that hunk of bungee cord. Camping is about enjoying the outdoors. How individuals choose to do so might differ from others, but we are all after the same thing: an enjoyable, relaxing getaway.

    Here are some items I never forget :
    Mountain bike
    Beersbee poles ( best game ever )
    Bear whistle
    Herbs πŸ˜‰
    Here’s what I leave at home:
    Thoughts of work

    Remember to carry out what you bring in people!
    Be safe and have fun this summer!

  11. I think this list is crazy.. i am taking 2 kids (age 7 and 14) and feel as long as you have tent, food, Nintendo DS for younger child and Ipod touch for older child you are good to go πŸ™‚ a few beers for the hubby and I thats campin LOL

  12. My husband & I are going camping next month and this list will sure help me not to forget something. Where we are going, there are no stores or anything so if we forget something important, we’re out of luck!! We have an RV with bath/shower and don’t listen to those who think camping isn’t camping unless it’s primitive – going for days without showering isn’t my thing either and this list is not written in stone – take what you need – leave the rest! πŸ™‚

  13. I think this is a great checklist. Maybe a little too extensive, but you’ll be sure to not forget anything if you use it! Thanks!

  14. This List is some what large, However Experienced Campers (Those who have gone a few dozen times) Will Know what to leave off. My Wife and I have tent Camped for 30 years and I always make a List. And I am always Looking to Up date it. Hence my intrest in this list. DOnt beleve for one second that Showers and other amenities arent camping Use this list but use common sence If you Dont think you will need it You Probally will Have fun

  15. I don’t know where most of you people are from, but showering in the outdoors??? PLEASE!! Go buy a yuppy RV and a walking stick while you’re at it!! It’s dealing with people like that, that make the outdoors the indoors. Pathetic.

  16. I have been camping since I was 7 years old and continued to camp all my formative years in the boy scouts. I was an eagle scout by 15 and continue to practice the motto of being prepared.

    I had my own list very similar to the one above, but was searching out other lists to see if I was missing anything.

    I am now 34 and camping with my wife and kids. There are enormous differences from when I was camping alone and now, but the main difference is forgetting something when I was alone I would just kick myself and move on. It is something entirely different to tell my daughter that she cannot have smores because dad forgot the matches.

    I use an extensive list like the one above as a starting point. The first thing I do is cross of all the stuff I will not need on this particular trip.

    If I am going backpacking the list is down to just a few items. If I am going car camping with my family the list remains almost entirely in tact.

    Each person has different needs, but I can say for sure being prepared is far better than forgetting something you needed.

    Thank you very much for the list!

  17. One really important thing if you have pets is all the supplies that they require. Food, dishes, leash, treats, bed or blanket. Your going to have a good time so make sure your furry friend does too. And if you are not camping by a water source make sure they get plenty of water

  18. By far the best list I’ve found online. I’ve been camping for 20 years and I still love to have a checklist to lookover cause it sure does suck when a trip is ruined because you forgot something.

    Of course there’s no way you’re going to bring all this stuff, but it’s good to have a reminder in case you do want to bring it.


  19. Thank you for this list! I copied and pasted it in excel so I could print it out and edit as needed. I am getting all the gear together I need and will be going camping in a couple of weeks with my 5 children ages 2-10. We will be in the middle of nowhere, primitive camping in the Utah desert so I want to make sure I don’t forget anything important.

  20. “these are the kinds of guys you give your stuff to because they didn’t have the foresight to pack it themselves.”

    Great comment!! Absolutely true.

    Don’t listen to some of these haters. This is a great list. People should recognize that just because it’s on the list, it doesn’t mean they HAVE to bring it. People should recognize that it takes time to put together this kind of info and should just be grateful they have someone out there to do it for them. Thanks!

  21. Thanks for the list. It is good that it lists as much as possible – you can then pick and choose what level of items you might need for the type of camping/length of trip that each individual is preparing for.
    I don’t think it’s a competition to see who can survive with the least amount of stuff – everyone has different levels and needs.

    I am preparing to do a bit of camping for the first time this year. I had most things covered but this list alerted me to ‘duct tape’ and ‘note pad/pen’. Goo tips – thanks again!

  22. this is great me and my friends are going caming for the first time with out parents so this will be very helpful

  23. I’m a girl scout & we are going camping tomorrow right after school. This list was great… let’s see what I have to say after the camping trip.
    & to whoever said camping isn’t camping if there is a shower is going to be stinky.
    Thanks! *Girl Scouts of America*

  24. I’ve gone primitive camping at the shore (no fresh water, no food, no power) and I’ve gone rv’ing; they both are good depending on who you brought with you and your level of comfort. I love the primitive because you tend to shed a lot of ‘civilized’ habits, but sometimes you need to.. but when the wife comes it’s always with power (she needs a fan to sleep.) At the end of the day, packing it all, for me, makes more for safety than comfort. I know from experience that the full first aid kit is more than a want: losing breakfast, lunch and dinner does not make for a good time.

    Those with young children (we have teenagers) tend to need more than those without, and couples tend to need more than singles do {generally.} It’s not bad or good – whether you like the primitive I do, or you rv camp, as long as you are polite, keep clean and let people do what they want, what does it matter if they have satellite tv and you’d never have it? Heck I’ve done the survival thing (knife, bedroll and compass) – I learned a lot but it certainly wasn’t “fun.” 24 hour paranoia couldn’t ever be fun to me: “Bears, and mountain lions and wolves….OH MY!”

    On your first time, take far more than you think you need, after wards you can prune it out of experience, not stupidity. Time and again you’ll learn what you need, what you want and what isn’t useful.

  25. This is a great list! You don’t have to have it all but when you have a large family gathering or whatever it’s great to just go thru the list just incase you have a BRAIN FART. It also helps to buy a tub to store your camping gear in. It makes it easy to clean up and also store things when you get home. No showers arn’t bad. For us women who have a trip planned and didnt think about our cycles it comes in handy. SORRY not to be gross but honest! Oh a cutting board comes in handy too!!!

  26. I’m 18 and going camping with my fiancee. Some of the items on here were very useful but to get all the other crap that isn’t needed is just a waste of moneys i think. I would just get the basics and not all this other fancy stuff like a mini fridge and what not. (: It’s not needed.

  27. I see many lists dont have water tablets to purify for drinking water.Camp near a creek or lake if you wanna be clean πŸ˜›

  28. I’m 18, and an Eagle Scout. This list is very large, but for first time campers, I think it would offer a good idea. As Amanda said, this list is more of a guideline than must-haves. I’ve been camping since I could walk in the Appalachian Mountains, and if there is *anything* you need, always have a knife, but not one of those dinky little ones. If you want to get serious about camping, I would try to get in touch with an experienced friend, or if he/she is unavailable, contact your local BSA troop. If they are up to snuff, they’ll send you in the right direction.

  29. me and my wife have been married for just over a month and so this is the first time we have gone camping together.(pray for me.) Most women I have seen camping using or not will still pack all this even with the man saying we dont need it. and 9 times out of ten… they will have to pull it out because the man cant do something. If your not into the whole not showering thing go for it… It doesnt bother me one bit. Ive done both.

  30. I’ve been camping both convenience and fairly harcore (not really) but I think that this list is comprehensive for people who have never gone before but some things that are listed are not essential and some things as said above the swiss army knife would be one thing thing that I think should be included πŸ™‚ other than that camping is cool

  31. I think this is a great list if your new at camping but im 14 and ive been packing all my own stuff since i was 7 and i dont or wouldnt use more then half this stuff

  32. ROFL That list is for people who want to leave home but take every convenience with them. That’s not camping. Good grief!

  33. great list for beginners, ive recommended it to friends who are going for the first time with their families. there is a lot on it, but it is nice to have everything on one page. good job. and i agree with the walking stick!

  34. Forgot one of the original multipurpose tools, the Walking Stick: balance & thrust for the journey, quick tent pole in an unexpected rain, protection form the animals & so much more. πŸ™‚

  35. I have camped for years when I was younger. But this is the first time I have camped as a married woman and I like the list. When your young your parents pack everything all you have to do is get your toys. As an adult its nice to have a list to go off of so I don’t forget something important.

  36. Thanks a bunch! I’m going camping with a friend this July and this helps SO much! It’s definitely a link on my homepage!! πŸ™‚

  37. I’ve camped for decades and camping w/ rustic showers is great! Those Billy hard A**es are the one that like they’re own smell so much that they’re showers are broke at home LOLZ. Really, w/ kids, having a shower is easy for cleanup and at the end of the day after a long hike or a day playing at the beach. It also keeps the kids from complaining about skeeter bites and other itches. My wife and I have camped w/o showers at times only to find out two things; After a 2-4 day campout, the ride home is windows down most the way home & a few days after you get home. Try going to work Monday after you showered, in the same car you took camping and people at work will wonder why your decided to put on “Monkey Butt” perfume today?

  38. He who goes to bed with itchy butt wakes up with stinky fingers! I love showers even when i didnt have little ones!

  39. I absolutely agree with Jeff! It’s hard to camp somewhere where there are no showers with kids. Its hard enough for us women but kids can’t exactly shower themselves if they are younger. This was a great list!!! This will be the first time my little girl has gone camping and she is absolutely estatic! Happy Trails

  40. I think this is a very good list for campers. I camp along the WA, OR, and CA coast and inland/Redwoods and often there’s showers or not, you have to be prepared when camping. I camp for about two weeks staying at different sites and most the time your not near any stores to stock up. I do camp tent and this list may be overdoing a little bit, but for first time campers it’s a great start. Of course you learn as you go. πŸ™‚

  41. This was actually very helpful. We are going to camp at a site that has showers. Bringing the wife and 2 1/2 yo daughter….and we’re gonna love it!

  42. “this list sounds like your camping a a β€œsite” if theres showers there, you ant camping”

    where’s the button for eye-rolling?

    these are the kinds of guys you give your stuff to because they didn’t have the foresight to pack it themselves.

  43. this check list is over the top…
    heres my check list:
    tent (sleeping bag an pillow)
    b.b gun
    horse shoe pit (4 shoes an 2 re-bar_

    this list sounds like your camping a a “site” if theres showers there, you ant camping

  44. A coffee maker! not electric, the percolating one πŸ™‚ for the campstove or the fire πŸ™‚

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