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. If you are traveling with kids who will not use the porta potty, you can make one out of a bucket, toilet seat and substrate, or you can buy a portable one small enough to carry. Or, I guess you could always dig a hole, so a small trowel is a good idea if you’re doing a thru hike. Don’t forget zip lock and 5 gallon trash bags – life saver.

  2. Thanks, that’s very detailed! My husband works in the city full time so I am in charge of packing everything for our family of 5 to go camping this weekend! One thing not on the list that my family will need…diapers! Ha ha. 😉

  3. this list its very thorough, if you are going for many days its good to bring book, and the Bible to read and Meditate..!! God Bless.

  4. This list was the best thing it help alot. But they forgot a lot of thing like flashlight . And most of all the food so we could cook and eat.

  5. Been tent camping regularly for many decades. A good camping checklist is a requirement if you don’t want to forget an important item. You get so anxious to get going that you can forget many things.

    Camping in bear country is really difficult without a camper or motor home. The danger is real. A friend of mine had a black bear tear into his pop-up camper with him and his family inside. Lucky he had a .45 with him. When in bear country always use extra caution. Keep food secure. Don’t use any smelly deodorants, shampoos, or lotions. Keep the campsite clean. Don’t burn any leftover food or garbage or pour things on the ground that might contain food odors. When hiking always make noise so you don’t surprise a bear. Get as much information as possible to protect yourself before going into bear country.

  6. I’d like to repost what the checklist description says at the beginning:

    “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.”

    There, now everyone that has an issue with the amount of things on the list might understand the POINT of the list (this is a CHECKLIST, not a REQUIREMENT list….) SMH. On a personal note, its a great list, I only take the basics but since I am the one that has to plan every single 2 week trip, it gets a little overwhelming and its SOO nice to have a thorough checklist to get the packing done. I’d like to add I have to pack for 2, plus 3 large dogs, and I drive a TINY honda civic with a system in the trunk and have to use a car topper, so yes to the ignorant and arrogant, the BASICS can get very confusing, instead of being nasty you should thank these people for taking time out of their busy schedule to make this for those who actually appreciate/need it. If you dont have anything to add to the list then just stfu and get a life trolls!

  7. Perhaps someone has already mentioned this in one of the older comments which I have not read yet.
    However, I believe it is very important. At least, for some of us.
    If you need to wear eyeglasses you must, must, MUST, take at least one extra pair.
    What are you going to do if you lose/break them? Even when you only THINK you have lost them you will be freaking out if you know you do not have a back-up pair.
    Those of you who are young with perfect eyesight will not understand. You are still at the age when you think that losing your sex drive with age is everything. We older folks realize that losing your glasses IS EVERTHING.
    While we are on the eye subject. Please consider taking a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from overexposure to the sun. They are also very useful if you are in to fishing. A quality pair of sunglasses will enhance your ability to visually explore the underwater terrain.
    Still on the eye subject. If you are planning to do any airgunning etc. Safety glasses a MUST. You would not be the first to lose an eye. Do NOT underestimate the power of a ricochetting pellet.

  8. Hey Rip if someone wants to take their Bible that’s their business not yours….no need to get nasty…..it’s a comprehensive list and you take what you need or want ….good job ….p.s. most parks I’ve been to do not allow firearms so bring a good knife

  9. @ Rhonda

    If you are from anywhere, or camping anywhere, a portable weather radio is highly recommended. (Radio is listed under miscellaneous, but weather radio should be added/substituted)

    Very nice looking list, even with the number of spelling typos (Band-Aids, Rolaids, snake bite kit, bungee cords, zip-loc bags)

  10. Never mind. . . I think I’ll just stick to my adventures in trekking to Starbuck’s. They have wild animal pictures. . .

  11. great list but some idea’s would be to freeze your water before you go if you are taking bottle’s .. that will keep things cold longer 🙂 great for chilling beer. dog food for your dog. i don’t think i saw that and a gas tank (my husband always forgets) also a sleeping mask to keep the light out.. helps with sleep.jumper cables . to leave in the car expectialy for group camping

  12. btw i would add my bf’s car battery charger in case he car dies while we are int he woods,etc and cant charge our cells….id also suggest one cooler for drinks n ice and another for meats/cold food, depending on how long u camp for may need a few trips to town for fresh ice

  13. I understand there are “Traditionalists” who like camping to be old-fashioned and what they consider true camping (and what lots of people refer to as roughing it)…but I think those people should just quietly do their own thing, not lambaste the people who want camping to be a comfortable, convenient and enjoyable experience (especially for family members who were hesitant about going). Even if the kids watch a DVD in the evening, so what? They are up the next morning fishing on the lake…or exploring during a hike (things that weren’t going to happen if they just stayed home). If you enjoy camping under a lean-to in a place that’s 100 miles from the nearest store, that is your prerogative! I personally commend all people who are getting outside and enjoying whatever part of the wild they are in…it sure isn’t home! The last state park campground I stayed at had alligators, snakes, raccoon and many other assorted creatures and bugs…if it wasn’t camping, I don’t know what to call it…I’ve sure never had any of those things at a hotel!! (By the way, we also love getting remote sometimes and hearing the silence and seeing more stars…but we aren’t always able to take that kind of trip or don’t want to). Anyway, thanks for a great list to add to my own!! Everyone have a great and safe time out there!

  14. dryer sheets! i have found that if you put them in your sleeping bag or in your pocket that they really keep the bugs away!

  15. The Bible is the most important part of the list not the least! God created all the natural beauty that we enjoy while camping. Thank you God for your Awsome Outdoors!!!!

  16. This is obviously for, as I like to call it, “fluffly” camping.. I am looking for something a little more ‘back country’ intensive.. I have a lot of whittling to do…

  17. The list is excessive. Might as well take the whole house with you.
    For “campground” trips… Tent, sheets (sleeping bags or even blankets are too hot in summer) pillow. Personal items and clean underwear.. Only if you really care to shower, but let’s be honest, you’re camping. Water, and cooler. On the food I like to pre make things. Like breakfast burritos. Make them at home, wrap in foil and warm up in the coals in the am. Who really wants to get up after sleeping on the ground all night to I’d pancakes and eggs and bacon. Clean up consists of disposing of the foil. And bring thinks you can cook on a stick. Oh and if there are shower facilities that you plan to use…. Quarters. Just a few ideas there. Let’s cut out bringing half the kitchen. Camping isn’t supposed to be a luxury, but you can prepare to camp smart and convenient.
    On real camping, the best thing to do is have knowledge. People who like to do real camping like to live off the land as much as possible. And for you rv campers…. What’s the point!?!?

  18. Wow that was one great list of things
    I’m planning to go for 2days with my friends
    its my first time about 4hours drive and
    this list was a great help,we being shopping
    for the last 2days and our plan for camping is
    to go next week:D

    anyways thank you for the nice reminder:)

  19. @Rip

    If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all.

    It’s not like beliefs are being pushed on you. It’s just a suggestion to bring a Bible, for a Christian who might be reading this thread. If you don’t agree, then just gloss over it and forget about it. No need to leave a nasty comment, insulting others’ beliefs.

  20. can you make a list for People Who are going Camping In A pop-up Camper Before July 16 of 2012 It’d Really Help Or if anyone wants to help Email me at Punisherx9@hotmail.com
    (By the way I’m 13)

  21. Thanks for this great list!! One thing that I personally can not stress enough when tent camping – BE PREPARED FOR THUNDER STORMS!! I would suggest BRINGING EXTRA TARPS & TIE DOWNS, LARGE PLASTIC GARBAGE BAGS (Cover or bag your firewood, unless you like waiting til “Christmas” to eat!?), STORE CLOTHES EITHER IN WATERPROOF BAGS OR IN YOUR CAR If severe weather hits, your tent may become compromised and leak! (Possibly from the top and bottom) Laundromats are not always available and you may end up heading for home wearing your p.j.’s while your wet clothes and gear gets moldy in your trunk!! – True story!! :/

  22. This was very helpful.. have been on my camps but u just seem to forget what u need every year 🙁 hehe

  23. Hey, Rip…why don’t you do as you requested and keep your beliefs to yourself. No one disrespected your belief by stating their own.

  24. Consider taking TerraShield as all natural bug spray instead of other toxic options!
    My friend’s hubby took it to Elk Camp while the others used Deep Woods OFF. He was the only one who didn’t have any bites at all.
    Message me if you need help finding some!

  25. Great List! I found it very helpful. Lots on the list that I had not thought of. I don’t remember seeing extention cord (for charging multiple cell phones or radio use) although I may have missed it. someone said a flashlight was not on there but I found it under misc. @RIP~ If you don’t believe in fairy tales then why are you so against the bible? If God doesn’t exsist and he is only a fairy tale what are you fighting? Everyone has the right to their opinion or to put the bible or other “fairy tales” as you call it, on their list if they like. I will be carrying my bible on my trip to read all about my creator while enjoying all he created 😉 Happy camping all and thanks for the list!

  26. Thanks so much for the list. I had my own list saved and lost it when I changed computers. I have learned NEVER to pack without a checklist after we went camping one year and forgot the sleeping bags! Happy camping!!

  27. Thanks for this list..really comprehensive and can be customized to our needs.
    Advice: If you’ve never camped before…camp in your backyard or nearby state park for 2 nights. That will show you what you need.

  28. This list was very thorough and helpful! Just remember to pack for extreme weather conditions and bring proper gear cause nature is unpredictable. Though this list covers the basics and then some…

  29. I got the idea for the front door mat for the tent from one of these lists years ago. Best idea!!!! Really keeps the dirt out of the tent, need to use the hand broom and dust pan (also really useful) a lot less. If you have room, a dollar store dish drainer is handy.

  30. Holy crap I’m 50 years and I have been camping up and down Lake Huron for decades. Cut this list in half unless your going to take a tractor trailer. LMAO. A pan, axe, sharp swiss army knife, food, lantern,fishing pole and bait plates, matches, tent and a mickey of Jack.

  31. Also need to add-
    Beer
    Vodka,rum, or whiskey
    Weed
    Bong (extra water to fill said bong)
    Rolling papers
    And never forget extra cigs cause you know you’ll smoke more than usual

  32. I’m going to overnight camp on Sunday! Can’t wait!! Going to be taking a 4 hour car ride the second week of camp up to Northern Wisconsin for about a 5-day camping trip! It will be my first time camping! I am SOOOOOOOO excited!

  33. Great list! I’ve been camping my whole life, but a refresher list is always a good thing to have! Found a few things I’d overlooked and we are headed out tomorrow. Thanks again!

  34. i didn’t see LIFE JACKETS: if canoeing or boating and you have children, it’s a law and wise…
    thanks for a GREAT list !

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