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.

By popular request, we’re now offering a printer friendly camping checklist!

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

Shelter

Bedding

Cooking

Clothes

Personal

Miscellaneous

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

714 Replies to “Camping Checklist”

  1. Great list, we will use this again.
    May I recommend a crucial addition: a martini shaker. Nothing like sipping a dry martini fire-side in the comfort of a deck chair once the tent is pitched and sun goes down. Which leads me to the second item, a tin of green olives in brine.

    Cheers,
    Rob.

  2. Thank you
    im 27 and the last time I went camping was when I was 6 lol
    so this is exactly what I needed especially because the friend I am going with isn’t exactly the most prepared of people in the world.. now ill be able to rest peacefully knowing that I have a great checklist to go by. As we are leaving not tomorrow but the day after 🙂

  3. Are you going camping, or are you dragging all your unnecessary junk into the wilderness??? So many things you don’t need when you’re camping, on this list

  4. Hi there,
    Really great checklist to make sure you have everything in your tent far away from your home. As I’ve booked powered camp site I would like to add few things that will make this list perfect.

    1) Power Board
    2) Extension Cable
    3) Hand Sanitizer
    4) Kettle
    5) Strainer
    6) Dish Pan
    7) Bluetooth Speaker
    8) Tablet

    Thanks,
    Parth Dave

  5. Jess is a hater, this is an awesome check list. I forgot the mini dust pan for tent camping this coming weekend. Thanks for the reminder 😛
    I always bring baby wipes camping. Everything gets dirty/dusty they are just handy especially with a toddler! + hand sanitizer

  6. I’ve been camping for about 27 years with my husband our children and his whole family sometimes just the two us and sometimes with a group of up to 30people or more. We tent camped for 21 of those years and that 6 in our rv and I have learned that everybody has their own ideas as to what camping is my opinion is that why should one be uncomfortable or miserable while camping if you have room to carry it and can carry it and it makes you or who you are camping g with carry it I have also learned that no matter how well you pack or prepare you are going to forget something or need something you don’t have with you I am a list person I start writing my list in March and April and add to it anytime I think of something we camp a lot during the summer months I keep my list and if we go camping the first week of May and realize they I wish I had this I add it to our list I have taught girl scouts how to camp and be prepared I’ve taught my children how and now that they are grown I’m gearing myself up to learn survival camping with only what is in my backpack but all that being said if you are sleeping under the stars in a tent or t.v. it’s still camping and you know you are really camping when a tornado touches down in the camp ground you are in and fills your tent .ankle deep inside water happy trails people and enjoy the great outdoors

  7. I was always taught that real camping was living of the fruit if the land I didn’t have pots and pans to cook with I had a rock and I had to boil my water to make it safe to drink you how hard that was without a pot or pan I mean yes this is a really really good checklist but agreeing with other people there is alot of stuff that is not needed when I camp this is my list tent,sleeping bag,matches,axe,pocket knife,canteen that’s it everything else I got for myself from the wild then again maybe its just the scouts and military in me talking at that point well have a blessed day anyone reading this just thought I’d say packing to heavy isn’t the smartest idea only the essentials pack light it makes for easier packing and leaving early if necessary

  8. Obviously the biggest missing item is the damn uhaul you need for all this unnecessary crap. If this is really what it takes you to be comfortable why not save a campground and get a hotel room.

  9. nice list tyler,
    mine is similar, i carry a walking staff, many uses, defense, and i carry a small tarp, stakes and paracord, the stakes and all can make many fast shelters of different types, the cord has hundreds of uses, some life saving, when a sharp tent stake is tied to the staff i have a hunting tool. i have a military canteen with the pot/cup under it for boiling eating ect. i also carry purification tablets, why not no space requirement. i have a multi tool spoon fork knife ect, i carry it around my kneck on a replacement leather boot lace. i have a sharp ax and stone but with that no need for a knife, just more to carry. i wear bdu pants for cargo and i can tie legs so nothin gits up there. though not fashionable i wear those old weaved leather belts, there infinatly ajustable and are great for sinching cargo or even housting yourself up say a tree. the sleeping bag and tent, i’ll leave that for the weekender at the campground rental.
    true, the less you carry the better, your 4.5lb boots will become cinderblocks fast enough, if it wont hang on a duty belt or go in a pocket, other than my staff, it aint going……ps: my staff also has 30lb fishing line wraped top for grip, and guess what else..

  10. I think this is a solid list. As many have said, camping means different things to different people. This list is a more family- friendly designated campsite list, which is fine. For all of you hardcore, ultralight, “just give me a knife” guys n gals out there, this list is not for you. If you’ve got the luxury of having your car drive right up to your campsite with plenty of room for storage, why not bring it just in case? Better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it. If you don’t think that’s real camping, then go off into the woods, make a ranger grave with your ka-bar and sleep in the dirt. For everyone else, start off bringing more than you need, and then you can bring less and less as you grow accustomed to the routine of camping. Ignore the internet hero survivalists and enjoy the great outdoors any way you see fit. Camping is not a contest.

  11. Every list is a guideline, and is intended for people to use so they don’t forget anything that’s important to them. If you don’t want to use something, scratch it off YOUR list and move on to the next item you actually want. I don’t have a use for two-way radios, but I’m not going to bash someone for putting it on a list for those who do use them. I do, however, wear deodorant, so I’m going to pack it, and check it off. Stop being so critical!

  12. cant believe people are mentioning hand sanitizer.. that is completely not needed and specially out camping, just some water and natural soap and not the anti bacterial, just plain natural soap. This is why people have weak immune systems and super bugs that people get sick with because were WAY TO CLEAN… i am not saying stay dirty but a little dirt wont hurt while camping, bring some plain wipes to clean the dust off, not all things on this list is necessary, that is probably more than I use at home let alone camping, if you have to be overly pampered and do not like getting a little dirty in the outdoors then camping is not for you.

  13. This helped me to pick and choose what I want to take. And reminded me of some things I had forgotten. I Love roughing it but with kids it seems a little harder to ditch things I normally would for their comforts sake and to save me from any whining 😉

  14. Hi there,
    Great list. A fishing/boating subcategory might be a good addition to this. Oh, and those propane campfires. They’re usually legal during fire bans and you don’t smell like smoke! Perfect for cooking too. Costco has them. I don’t believe I saw “coffee pot” on there either. Again great job.

  15. Caint wait to go to the lake in camp on memorial day weekend so excited. Spend time with the family

  16. I think this list has a lot of useful gear.It is also very complete.some things are obvious like a tent and fire wood. I came back from camping today. I could of used some stuff on here that I didn’t bring. Camping is fun,but u got to bring what u need.U might be so excited u might just think you don’t need something that is why this list is so useful.

    the camper,
    Chris

  17. This is exactly what I needed to have! I haven’t been camping since I was 8 and my grandparents worked at a campsite and provided everything so now I am n charge n I didn’t want to forget anything!! Thank you

  18. Thanks so much for the list!!

    For those who are whining there’s too much “un-necessary” stuff on here, what in the world are you even looking at this page for in the first place??? This is A CAMPING CHECKLIST. If you don’t need anything other than a rock and a few drops of this or that, why are you complaining – or even here?

    Again, I and many others thank you for your list and hard work!! 🙂

  19. I think this list is really great..and those who are complaining thats it is so much stuff….no one said you have to take EVERYTHING on that list..take what YOU think you might need.Its a list to remind you..”oh damn I almost forgot about that” Great list.

  20. Mar Tina – this is a bit much, take what you need and leave the rest but it’s a good start. Definitely tent and sleeping bags and sleeping pad (or yoga pad or something like that) if you have it

  21. The website is lovetheoutdoors but basicly there saying bring all the stuff you would use at home no offense or any thing but bug spray tent food clean water mat and cover for tent sleeping bags will work to

  22. I think its a great list of course their is somethings you might not need and I would like to add
    lotion
    extension cord
    notebook
    pen and pencil
    Alice Caballero

  23. Great list. Some of you guys don’t seem to get it. You don’t have to take everything. There are different levels of camping. I’m a glamper, my husband is a camper and my 80+ dad is a true mountaineer. I did my stint backpacking, it was great but now. Now I want as close to hotel comfort as I can get and still keep my husband happy. After all you can’t cook dinner in a dutch oven in a hotel room, and no restaurant can beat my camp cooking. My dad wouldn’t look at this, my husband would say this is nice check list but we aren’t taking all this stuff and I’m ready for that U-Haul. The point is the list is pretty comprehensive, take what you need to be happy on your trip. Which is nice 🙂

  24. I’m going on a camping trip with my kids. This list was very helpful to me because I was sitting down trying to make my own list of things I needed and kept feeling like I would forget a major item or even the simplest item like matches. Thank you for the great list. It helped me out so much.

  25. Many thanks for the list. I really appreciated how comprehensive it is. There was a time when a backpack and a canoe were all I needed to head out for a week. Now with a 6 month old, 3 year old and aging parents a lot of the camping we do is by car (a pretty full car). Both types of camping have a place in my life.

  26. Only thing that I can think of missing is stuff for dogs:
    First – Make sure they are allowed!
    Bowl
    Food
    Chewy/Toy
    leashes/collars/tags/muzzles (just in case)
    Rope
    proof of Rabies shot
    dog beds if needed (mine sleep with us)
    dog jackets for the little short haired dogs – if camping in cold areas

  27. First on my list is always a gun and ammo! Great list. I guess all the complainers didn’t read the top first. Bring what you want, you don’t need to bring everything on the list. I’ve been camping/backpacking for 25 plus years and find it always changes. Depending on where you are in life. It’s much different when you’re single vs with a family vs ultra light backpacking. This is one of the best lists i’ve found to cover most items. Who cares who brings what…..just get out there and enjoy the great outdoors!!

  28. You probably don’t need all of this but you can if you want. With all of this it’s gona turn into your home.

  29. I think this list is supposed to be a comprehensive list. I like it, because I will be camping for the first time and I want to see what I should keep in mind. Obviously, I won’t need to bring everything, but you can decide that for yourself – this is just a comprehensive list for the readers. Some people can camp with 3 items and some need more – everyone is different, and if you are someone who only needs a couple of items, then you don’t need this list, but by no means should you criticize it for being too long – think about all the newbie campers out there like me. I won’t be bringing everything on this list, but it’s good to have a comprehensive list to refer to.

  30. Great list, i had to modify it a little because we are going backcountry with a couple puppies

  31. hmm…..it is really very helpful to me type of guys… who often forget to pack-up basic things!!!

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