Camping has always been a huge part of all of our epic adventures. Whether you are camping in the backcountry or just taking a short auto-camping weekend getaway, you want to make sure that you have the necessary camping gear to take this trip in comfort.
We’ve found this to be the best way to create a comprehensive camping checklist. This is the list we used while camping on 5 different continents so you know it was tested. We recommend that you go through this checklist before your next camping trip and make sure you have all of these camping basics.
The essential camping checklist
Before you can begin compiling your camping gear list, these are the questions you should ask yourself as they will determine what gear is required. You don’t want to be crammed with items that you can easily find around the campsite and you don’t want to miss any items when you go off the net.
Are you camping on a campsite or in the hinterland? When you go to a campsite, there may be facilities that you can use that are not available to you in the hinterland. Things like electricity, picnic tables, washrooms, and even swimming pools.
What activities would you like to do on your camping trip? If you just want to relax outdoors, you may need different equipment than you would on outdoor adventures like hiking, climbing, or fishing.
How primitive or luxurious do you want your camp to be? Everyone has different levels of comfort. Some prefer to take it rougher and others want certain amenities. Camping can be anything from simple backcountry tours to luxurious glamping vacations. Knowing what type of camping experience you want is key to having fun.
Finding this before camping means you have the right equipment to keep you comfortable.
Epic camping trips around the world
Plan your camping trip
Every good camping checklist starts with these essential points. This list of camping equipment includes items that should be packed for any camping trip that will add to your comfort and fun. You definitely want to be prepared for all weather conditions, from cold weather to rainy weather. Mother nature can change things in the blink of an eye, and being prepared can really save your bacon.
We personally used all of these elements on our camping checklist. Quality and durability are very important to us, especially when choosing your sleeping bag and tent. We think it’s always a good idea to spend a little more initially to save up and keep buying items.
Necessary for accommodation and sleeping
Camping furniture and furnishings
Probably one of the most important parts of a good camping checklist is having the right campfire cooking and camping kitchen tools. Deciding what to bring and what to leave behind can be overwhelming.
Here we list all of the necessities you need for a great camping kitchen.
Note: We left out food as it really is a personal preference. However, we recommend considering a few if you are camping in the backcountry Freeze-dried food packages and boil-in-a-bag options to really save weight. It is always good to have a meal plan when camping as it will help bring the right amount of food with you.
Camping-specific cooking utensils can be purchased from your dealer MEC (in Canada) or REI in the United States. In the following lists we have also linked our favorite camping equipment for cooking.
After camping in so many different situations, we’ve gone through many trials and errors for you. We have perfected a personal equipment list that will prepare you for most situations without cluttering. Everything from toilet paper to baby wipes are the items that often make all the difference in how comfortable you are outdoors.
Don’t forget that these are personal items. So if you have something that you know you can’t camp without it, add it to the list.
- Campsite reservation
- Backcountry permits
- Credit card
First aid kit
Good camping first aid kit can help you prepare for most minor injuries that can happen while camping or along the way. What we’ve listed below is the bare minimum that you should have on your camping checklist when it comes to first aid. Check out our full travel first aid kit pack for long term travel
If you don’t want to buy all of these things individually, check out the special offer Camping or backcountry first aid kits which contain most of the basics. Make sure you keep an eye on the supplies in your first aid kit. There are some things that are used more than others for first aid that you will want to replenish after each of your camping trips.
- Bandages (different sizes)
- Moleskin (for blister)
- Antiseptic wipes
- Prescription drugs
Optional elements of the camping checklist
When it comes to making your camping trip a pleasure, consider bringing some of these items in your backpack. They can help you pass the time when you are not exploring the great outdoors.
We always make sure we wrap up some games that we can play on a rainy night (Travel scrabble is our favorite), a card game, books to read to relax and some other things that may come in handy depending on the type of camping.
Camping doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. In fact, there are so many different products on the market that can add convenience that you can make your next camping trip as luxurious as you want. Provided you want to carry all the extras with you. This works great for car camping.
Remember that camping is usually a tight spot and weight, and your tent and sleeping bag take up the most space and are the heaviest items you will be carrying. That doesn’t mean you should go without comfort items, just weigh their value against the effort involved in getting them to the campsite.
These are a couple of things we think should be on the camping checklist, mostly on car camping trips, that really made a difference to us.
- Camp mat: Great to set up outside of your tent so you don’t chase dirt and dust around your tent
- Coffee press: If you love good coffee, pack a french press and your own ground coffee beans.
- 100w solar panel: Keep all your necessities charged.
- Hanging fan: Perfect for hot summer nights in a tent.
- Hand operated mixer: If, like us, you love a morning smoothie, this is a perfect addition.
- Beverage cooler: Keeping drinks cool is a luxury when camping, and a range of cool boxes can really help. We always pack a couple of cool boxes when we go to barrier-free campsites
- Beverage cooler and ice: Ice is like gold when camping, so it’s important for any car camping to have a cool box and some ice with you to keep the food fresh.
We love camping and making sure we are well prepared for fun, comfort and safety are things that we believe are critical to a successful outing. In all fairness, this list could go on forever because packing for a camping trip really depends on your personal level of comfort and how much you are willing to carry.
We recommend that you always make a checklist of the items to bring and then add the items you plan to bring. This way you won’t get caught without the essentials and your camping checklist will never let you down.
If you’re going for the great outdoors this year, use this camping checklist as a baseline for your next adventure.
Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments!
Use these resources to plan your next camping trip