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

739 Replies to “Camping Checklist”

  1. Fabulous list! As mentioned before, you can tweak this list to better suit your needs. I’d love some suggestions on camping with babies. We are taking our 7-month-old camping and barring the normal diaper bag stuff, I’m almost at a loss about what to bring.

  2. For all the diehard campers who like eating bird ankles and tree roots… Stop cutting down the people who may just love getting out of the house and enjoying the outdoors! If you’re so awesome at camping and hiking and living off so few supplies… WHY did you even visit this site? GET OUTDOORS EVERYONE! Have a great summer!

  3. This is a very good camping list!! I always forget something every single time I go and this time I will be for sure that I forget NOTHING!! First time in 10 years LOL πŸ™‚ My husband will be so happy!! I am actually taking a huge igloo drink thingy LOL that way we have ice cold water all weekend!! Thanks for the big list!!

  4. Complete guide and Reference, it will prevents my equipments left behind, thanks for your checklist

  5. Nice list. Too many things on the list not needed. It depends on how you camp. Primitive or Electric. Electric I didn’t see extension cords.

  6. @April is that you, sweetie? I know its your first camping trip
    on your own. This is a good list to use.
    Glad you’re planning ahead. Don’t forget RV Grandma will have alot of the stuff you’ll need. Have fun, Mom

  7. Tent.. whats that? in our country we use Swags!

    Mozzie spray and marshmellows.. Tallyho papers for sure πŸ˜‰

  8. Thankyou for posting this list – very hand to check against – obviously not everyone takes all that. But what about passport, driving licence, mosquito net and wet suits.

  9. Well I’m off to Iraq tomorrow and this list was super useful for when I’m in a firefight I will use the tampons to stop any bleeding if necessary. LOL silly niggaz, this list is outrageous

  10. this is the single most hoity toity camping list EVER! what ever happened to just bringing beer hotdogs and condoms?? jeez people get into the spirit of camping!

  11. I am a pregnant mother of 4, and I LOVE camping. Everyone has their own opinion on what camping is. Some only think it qualifies if you go straight back packing, other’s like their big screen in their camper. I personally love being out in the sticks with no cell service and no bathrooms/showers, but I also have to stay somewhat practical with all my kids, and a husband who hates camping. I am a very organized camper, cuz I don’t like to be out there and realize I forgot diapers, or bottled water or my tin foil! This list is extensive because it is a tool to be able to fill in the holes in your own list. I have my own list, and it was nice to have the “sunglasses reminder” from this one. Some of these things might seem unnecessary, but to others, they are necessity. I personally have to make sure to bring my camera. I am a very religious person, but a bible just takes up space that I could use for an extra gallon of water. (Although I appreciate the concept behind the bible on the camping checklist) I envy all of you who have huge trucks & campers, but I have to fit everything in my minivan. (Another reason to be organized) For those of you who think a lot of this stuff is unnecessary, you’ve gotta remember that other people have different needs. I always pack water guns for my kids. I either pre-messure my pancake mix in a baggie at home, or I do take a measuring cup. Feeding 6 people breakfast for 4 days straight out in the middle of nowhere might just make pancakes a reasonable checklist item. Go figure. My idea of camping is being out doors for 4 days without technology or instant entertainment, yet I want to sit on a lawn chair in the shade and enjoy myself. Backpacking is work. Impossible with small kids. Not relaxing. As I read through the comments on this page, I couldn’t help but think how a few of you are morons. Pack what is important to your camping trip, and don’t be rude to others who have a different idea. I personally love sleeping out under the stars on the ground, but I’ll take a tent for my family, and an air mattress since I’m 8 months pregnant. I’m still camping. Because my husband hates camping, we find compromises. He goes, and I take a few things that make it a little more tolerable for him. To the jerk who implied that this list is for the families that “think” their camping because the sign says “camp ground” some of this was for you. No showers, no running water, no stores, no kitchen, no TV. With a family, that seems like roughing it to me. Just because they did the work of pre-making my fire pit doesn’t mean I’m not camping.

    My favorite thing about camping is eating a tin foil dinner, and then putting my kids to bed and sitting around the campfire in the dark with my husband just enjoying each other’s company. Life doesn’t get better than that. And during the days, I enjoy watching my kids get filthy, jump in the creek, learn to fish, climb big rocks, and learn skills that they can’t get anywhere else. Teaching them to build a fire or bait a hook. Some of my fondest memories of my family are out camping. Ultimately, just get out there and enjoy the great outdoors. However you choose to do it. And to each his own. Happy Camping!

  12. Thanks for the advice. My husband and son camp a lot, every year. This will be the first trip this year. I have used this list several times and ALWAYS find that without it, should an mergency arise I would have forgotten an essential item. I was burned very badly last year cooking over fire, and am grateful to if had what I needed on hand. Thank you.

  13. We pack up into four big rubber-maid boxes (waterproof!):

    -Gear box
    -Kitchen Box
    -Food Box
    -Toy box (for the kiddies)

    Oh and bring a sharpie! Really useful, especially for marking whose mug is whose. πŸ™‚

    PS Great list!

  14. I’ve been camping 3 times a year, for 26 years (my life) and I have never taken this much stuff! Lol! It’s definitely a good “cover everything” list though! For people with kids, water shoes are great for walking streams or creeks, they can have fun in the water but you don’t have to worry about glass or sharp rocks. Also bring a kiddie sized bucket for them, they can collect all kinds of neat little things to bring home as a treasure or they can use it for craws or frogs they may find. Trust me, you want to make sure that your children are having a good time, otherwise you may be heading home early.

  15. @jhazard – Measuring stuff & mixing bowls are for things like pancake breakfasts. There’s heaps of cookbooks on the market for folks who camp, so somebody besides me must cook on camping trips. You CAN survive on Trail Mix or MRE’s, but good food is just one more way to make the trip enjoyable & memorable.

  16. RE: Rip: Last time I checked this was still a free country and Chris can add to the list “Bible” if so desired. It does not mean you have to add to your list or even read the word if you so choose. Get over it.

  17. Great list! Definitely thorough! In my own opinion, everything not on the list is a personal preference thing, and I noticed a few extra items on this list above that is personal preference! In any event, you put my fiance’s mind at ease, even though I’m an ex-Marine survivalist, but then again, who wants to go camping like that (I do)! thanks again for publishing this on the net!

  18. This was nice to review as a brainstorm, even if you don’t need everything. One thing to consider is your pets if you have any. Are they staying home or coming with you? Either way, be prepared for them too. When I was young, our basset hound was rooting in the backyard and got stung by something. Her face swelled up and had hundreds of lumps. I’m sure this can happen to your dog while camping; check with your vet for allergy and/or pain pills for your pet. Maybe think about putting on some Frontline (or other brand) for your dog for ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes.

  19. I hike all the time and still check this list before I go just to make sure I’m not forgetting anything. Great job!

  20. Of course, this is a way more comprehensive list than I would’ve written, but it’s great to pick and choose your necessities from!
    I agree with the first-aid kit section though, the more prepared you are, the better!
    Have fun camping, everyone!

  21. Good list, to some it may be a bit of a overkill but when you are camping and find you did overlook something you will wish you read it. You don’t have to take everything just what suits your needs.

  22. @nick. and this is why you have water filters or something. if you needed water that bad, filter water through a shirt layered in gravel all the way down to fine sand, filter once more, make a fire if possible and boil if possible. many ways to make non potable water into potable water.

  23. This list is for those families that think they’re camping just cause it says “campgrounds” at the entrance. Real camping doesn’t require half of this crap. the essentials, food, water, maybe a tent, i always take a tarp and improvise, maybe a hammock depending on terrain, and certain other essentials, like most backpackers take. some of this stuff though is definitely not needed, half of the kitchen items are not needed, who needs to measure out anything or have a mixing bowl? you’re not baking a cake. go somewhere where it doesn’t state campgrounds, middle of nowhere, now that’s camping.

  24. THANKS!!! I live in Saudi Arabia and tomorrow me and my family is going to a desert side camping for the first time ever in our lives and for that we needed to make sure we had all the stuff and this list really helped! Thank you again!!

  25. Great list. I’ always looking for more camping checklist on the web.

    For the shelter category you might want to say water proof mat or tarp. Since we all know that the rain hold out until we go camping.

  26. Great List….im going camping this weekend and this was very useful….

    You dont need to bring this but i would bring pepper spray…for all we know jason could be out in the woods

  27. Awesome list guys! I would also like to add that if you take a firearm don’t forget the ammo! πŸ˜‰

  28. That’s way too much stuff to pack!! lol Imagine all the debris it will create. You must take a lot of garbage bags with you to keep everything picked up at the park. Or deep in the forest!! We had canned food, p38, sterno, water jug, and a shovel. LMAO. πŸ™‚

  29. Oh wow, Wouldn’t take everything on this list but it filled in the holes on my own list. Not by much though. I have been camping before but haven’t in a few years and just needed to check over my list to see if I was missing anything. But I would throw in that a lot of the time its easier and cheaper to bring your own fire wood. Some camping ground don’t like it when you cut up their trees. πŸ˜‰
    Overall its a great list. A little too safeish if you ask me but its covers the basics and then some. Haha Thanks!

  30. Hey, I loved this list πŸ˜€

    Alex, feminine products are tampons and pads, I think :S Ah well, have a nice camping everyone !! πŸ˜€

  31. We have been camping for 43 years. Can’t count how many time my friends and other family members that all have camped for year needed first aide for one of the kkids or them selves..I could not leave home without a good stocked first aide kit..I have used a tackle box that I put a large red cross on it with electrical tape..It keeps everything neat and dry..take children meds, even if you don;t have children anymore, also burn med. and there is a pain med called stop pain it is a spray works good, put this to a feild test last year when my 41 year old daughter cought herself with a fish hook….made it so we could get it out without tooooo much pain….I think this list is a great list and I think it is better to be safe than sorry. Oh now some of the campgrounds will fine you a large fine for even cutting a small twig for roasting marshmellow….ask my son……lol….so buy some and take them with you. see you around the campfire

  32. I agree with frontier man and Chris both… BIBLE AND GUNS! just in case of the worst scenarios. restating the knifes and 550 cord… and always a water jug of some kind. know about edible plants too. Again plan for worst case yall

  33. I am one of those diehard campers. For the most part what is in the house stays in the house. I have my camping supplies for just camping.
    I use two heavy duty, strong plastic footlockers. One to store all of my tarps, rope and the tent in.
    The second one to store my sleeping bags and bedding in. Once at the campsite I use the same heavyduty containers to store my food in. Most state grounds that I have been to have bearboxes to store your food in. The footlockers make it easy to take out and store the food items.

    When trailer camping with the RV. There have been times that I had to back the camper into the site in the dark when it is hard to see. I take a string of rope lights, plug them in and use them as a guide to back along side of. No shouting from a spotter or ending up backing up into something. Plus I keep my camper fully loaded with supplies (minus food and water) . Any time I want to leave I just back up- hook up and leave. No loading or unloading. Makes life a little bit easier having extra’s of almost everything already in the camper.

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