Camping Checklist – What To Bring Camping (Free PDF)

Updated: April 10, 2023
Camping Checklist Skillet

Packing for a camping trip can be hard work and it is very important that you remember to pack all the essentials.

To help you, we’ve put together a complete camping checklist of all the items you might need, so that you never forget anything behind.

To get to the Ultimate Camping Checklist, see the end of the article. You can download it for free. Also check out our camping gifts and gifts for hikers articles for awesome ideas on special gifts you can give to campers inn your life.

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Campsite Sleeping & Leisure

One of the most important aspects of camping is your shelter (tent) and sleeping arrangements, which can make a world of difference to your experience.

This section includes all the items you need to set up your campsite, like your tent, sleeping bags, pillows, camping chairs, as well as some of the most useful accessories that will come in handy on your camping trip, such as headlamps, lanterns and sun shade.


Camping Tip

Keep your camping equipment and gear in clear storage bins to see where everything is at a glance. This will also keep all your essential gear clean and dust-free between camping trips, as well as make it easy to find and pack everything more efficiently for your next getaway.

Optional Camp Setup Gear

Leisure and Accessories
Sleeping Extras

Camp Cooking

Nowadays, camp cooking gear is more lightweight and compact than regular cooking gear, so that you can pack everything you might need to make delicious, hearty meals and hot drinks while you’re out enjoying nature. 


Camping Tip

Try mixing some of your ingredients at home before you leave so that you don’t have to pack any extra containers of various ingredients.

Optional Cooking Accessories

Cooking and Eating 

Washing Up

Clothes and Footwear

When it comes to camping, you’ll want to pack clothes that are made from lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric that can dry quickly and be worn multiple times before needing a wash.

While the type and quantity of clothes you pack will depend on the weather, it’s always a good idea to pack multiple layers and one thick outer layer that will keep you warm and protect you from any wind or rain.

If you go hiking to explore the area, packing clothes that you can walk comfortably in and possibly packing some swimming gear will come in handy.


Camping Tip

Packing some of the right pairs of socks can make a huge impact on your camping experience. If you’re camping in warm weather, thin socks made from synthetic, moisture-wicking material will help keep your feet dry and comfortable. For colder weather, wool socks are a great option for keeping your feet warm and cozy.

Weather-Dependent Optional Items

Toiletries and Protection

Forgetting any one of basic toiletries can be a real bummer, so always double check that you have all the toiletries you'll need, but don't overpack also.

Things like your toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, soap and sunscreen are all essential items for a camping trip but there are many useful items you can include in your toiletry bag if you have the space.


Camping Tip

Packing a First-Aid kit is a must! It is very important that you have these supplies to treat minor scrapes, cuts, bug bites, sunburn and headaches.

Optional Health and Safety Items

Personal Items

It’s always a good idea to take things like your ID, credit cards and cash with you when you go anywhere so that you have them with you to confirm your campsite bookings or in case of emergencies.

Personal Must-Haves

  • Credit card and cash
  • ID
  • Cellphone (with charger or power bank)
  • Campsite reservation confirmation or permit (if required)
  • Whistle
  • Prescription medications / contact lenses / glasses

Camping Extras and Entertainment

While these may not be essential items for every camping trip, they are a good idea to pack just in case. Some sort of entertainment is great for longer, multi-day camping trips as there will be times where you’ll just feel like relaxing at the campsite and reading a good book or listening to some music or a podcast.

Camping Tip

Keep your campsite clean and litter-free! Make sure you throw away or recycle your garbage and follow a Leave No Trace protocol. Don’t leave any food lying around as it attracts wild animals to the campsite and gives them a taste for human food which is generally unhealthy for them.

Ultimate Camping Checklist

Campsite and Sleeping

  • Tent (with stakes, poles, guylines, etc.)
  • Ground cloth/tent footprint - to protect the bottom of your tent
  • Mallet for tent stakes
  • Torch or headlamp (and batteries)
  • Sleeping bag

Cooking and Eating

  • Cooking set (incl. utensils, pots and pans)
  • Camping grill and rack
  • Water bottles
  • Food and snacks
  • Fire starter (matches, lighter)
  • Camping knife (or multi-tool)
  • Bottle opener, corkscrew
  • Napkins/Paper towels

Clothing and Footwear

Toiletries and Protection

  • Toilet paper
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste (ideally with non-harmful chemicals)
  • Biodegradable baby wipes
  • Quick-dry camping towel
  • First-aid kit or supplies
  • Sunscreen and after sun care
  • Sunglasses (and retainer leash)
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellent

Personal Items

  • Credit card and cash
  • ID
  • Cellphone (with charger or power bank)
  • Campsite reservation confirmation or permit (if required)
  • Whistle
  • Prescription medications / contact lenses / glasses


If you have any further questions or queries about this Camping Checklist, then please leave a comment below and we'll respond as soon as possible.

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About the author 

Mark Whitman

Mark has trekked extensively in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. He founded Mountain IQ in 2014 with the sole aim to be the best online information portal to some of the most popular mountain destinations around the world. When not writing for Mountain IQ, Mark is out exploring the outdoors with his wife!

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