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.
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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.
Keep your camping equipment and gear in clear storage bins to see where everything 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 & Accessories
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.
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 & Eating
Clothes & 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.
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 & 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.
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 & Safety 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.
Camping Extras & 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.
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 & Sleeping
Cooking & Eating
Clothing & Footwear
Toiletries & Protection
For more packing lists see our hiking resources page or choose from one of our popular gear lists below: