Just as with any other trip, while getting ready for camping, on the back of our mind always lingers the same, a question – did I pack everything I need, and a thought – how much easier would be to pack if I made that camping equipment checklist?
When packing without the checklist, often enough we leave behind some of the important camping equipment or personal items.
More on our Camping page…
Packing camping equipment
At the same time, while packing, it is important to at least visually inspect the condition of camping gear, especially if a tent is complete and in a good shape, a tent tarp as well, sleeping bags, mats and all of the items for food preparation.
Sky is the limit to how much you will bring with you and that sky may just be the size of a trunk on the back of your car.
The best approach may be to get out all you are planing to take and go through the items, coolers, extra clothes, medications, food, cameras, bear repellent, a trap for that persistent heavy breading nighttime “bird” – cute little raccoon (just kidding), etc. before equipment is placed in the back of a car.
There are basics everyone takes with them to camping and list compiled here may consist of some items you personally do not need or find to be not necessary to carry with you. On the other hand, there may be items not listed that you find necessary so feel free to suggest those in the comments.
Our list of camping equipment
Our list of camping equipment consist of a few categories that include shelter, food preparation, a few basic food items and spices as well some foods that could help spark an idea for a quick meal, outdoor camping equipment, first aid kit, clothes and the entertainment that includes everything from a fishing gear, a ball all the way to your cell phone and camera.
- Ground sheet or tarp (goes under the tent and should be around 3″ smaller than the tent footprint)
- Sleeping pads
- Sleeping bags
- Camp stove
- Stove fuel (propane, butane, liquid fuel or whatever type of fuel your stove is using)
- Cooking pots and pans
- Cups, dishes and bowls
- Camp stove toaster
- Coffee press /maker
- Cutting board
- Utensil set (fork, knife, spoon)
- Water jug
- Cooler(s) and ice packs
- Hard plastic container for 6 or 12 eggs
- ZIP lock bags
- Aluminum foil
- Wood BBQ sticks – Shish Kabob skewers
Food and spices
Plan your meals and snacks for a camping trip as far ahead as you can. Some fruits and some vegetables can last for many days but some only a few, especially in warm weather. Those with a short lifespan you want to eat on the first or a second day.
If you are bringing some BBQ meat with you make sure that it is frozen, on ice and that it is cooked on the first day.
Pastas and caned food, like tomatoes, along with spices may be solution for a cooked meal on a few occasions. Caned meats like ham or fish could along with pickled vegetables offer a quick easy bite as well for many days.
Since this camping list consist of items you are taking with you by car, and you may not be camping “lost” in the wilderness, but in a commercial campground instead, then often on a campground itself, or in a near by town, there’s probably a convenience store that sells basics. Most of them sell some food, like toast bread, eggs, bacon, coffee, chips, dry ice etc, also a firewood. With adding fresh dry ice to a cooler you could extend life-cycle to some cheeses or eggs as well.
Some food and drink suggestions to bring with you camping
- 5 gallons jug of water (it’s practical to have a water available all the time at the campsite even when tent camping)
- Bottled water in reusable bottles that you can refill
- Juices or soy beverages that do not need to stay cool
- Pasta; for soup, spaghetti, macaroni…
- Vegetables: carrots, peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes
- Pickled vegetables
- Fruits; apples, pears, bananas, avocado, grapes, watermelon…
- Nuts; almonds, walnuts…
- Bread and toast
- Caned tomatoes
- Caned ham
- Caned fish
- Cooking oil
- Other spices; basil, oregano, rosemary or simply a mix of spices you like
- Snacks: dried fruits, cereal bars, crackers, chips…
- Marshmallows – also graham crackers and a chocolate for S’more sandwiches
Keeping the “kitchen” clean
- Dish washing fluid
- Empty plastic cooler or bin is handy to have when it comes to dish-washing
- Cloth to dry the dishes
Outdoor camping equipment
Even though most, if not all, campsites on the campgrounds include a picking table, optional could be to bring next too for a various reasons…
- Folding chairs
- Umbrella – sun shield
- Small folding picnic table (cooler can be used as a small table if need it)
- Picnic blanket
… and next items you may or will definitely need:
- Flashlight and extra batteries (if rechargeable then bring the battery charger as well since you may be renting camp site with an electric outlet. Some campgrounds will let you recharge the batteries just as your phone, tablet or a computer in their office)
- Matches and/or BBQ lighter
- Garbage bags
- Rope and clothes pins
- Environmental or dietary allergens medication; pills for adults or liquid for kids
- Adhesive bandages
- Bug repellent
- Fishing gear
- Soccer ball, basketball
- Sand toys
- Cards and a board game or two for rainy days
Camera(s), phone, radio
- Battery powered radio, AM/FM (local news on the radio will have a weather forecast – in case you are in a remote regions without any cell phone reception)
- Camera – photo and/or video
- Extra batteries
- Extra memory cards
- Tripod(s) & slider
- Rain gear – raincoat
- Running shoes
- Hiking shoes
- Sandals – there are beaches, lakes and even swimming pools in some campgrounds
- Warm jacket – it depends on time of the year but even in the late Spring and early Autumn it’s good idea to have one handy, but also warm hat for the cooler nights
- Think about layering so you can add or remove layers of clothes since temperatures can fluctuate. Longer you stay chances of that happening are greater
- Bring extra clothes even though a lot of campgrounds this days have a laundry room
Packing light for a camping trip is easier said than done!
More on our Camping page…