A backpack and camera taken on a camping trip.

Your Master Camping Checklist

As the weather warms up, more and more of us are unpacking our tents and sleeping bags, getting ready to go camping. Cold weather camping has its place and can be good fun, but nothing beats enjoying the outdoors on a warm day before going to sleep on  a cool night.  Camping in the warmer months also provides the possibility of boating, paddling, and swimming while camping, which can make the trip infinitely more fun. But, the more you plan to do, the more you’ll need to pack.

If you’ve got packing to do for an upcoming warm weather camping trip, now is the perfect time to make a list. You don’t want to be caught without an essential piece of gear. For reference, feel free to consult the master list below. In this list, you should be able to find just about everything you’d ever need for a camping trip.

Note: unless you’re going on a crazy huge trip, you won’t need all these things.  And unless you’re a camping or survival fanatic, you probably won’t even own all of these things. This list is just to give you some ideas. Read over the list, and ask yourself if you already have or even need these things. If you come across something you might need but don’t have, feel free to use the idea—free of charge.

There are areas you can expand and add to this list. Specific food choices are up to the camper and can include too many ingredients to name, so make sure you don’t go hungry out there and bring along your food of choice. Clothing is another area left unexplored in this list, but you’re going to want to bring some of that as well (again, unless you’re a survival fanatic).

Have fun out there, campers!

  • Tent (of course)
  • Tent stakes
  • Food and drinks
  • Backpack and storage bins
  • Bungee cords or straps
  • Umbrella or shade shelter
  • Towels
  • Other toiletries
  • Cooler(s) and ice
  • Pillows, blankets, sleeping bags
  • Cots or air mattresses
  • (Folding) chairs
  • (Folding) table
  • Table cloth
  • Plates and cups
  • Dish soap
  • Measuring cups
  • Pots and pans
  • Cutlery
  • Hatchet/Machete/Knife/Saw
  • Materials for fire (wood, matches, lighter, fuel, firestarters, etc)
  • Gallon(s) of water for cooking, drinking, extinguishing fire
  • Dry box (smallish, waterproof container for keys, phone, lighters, and other water-sensitive supplies)
  • Bug spray/repellant
  • Sun screen
  • Gas and a grill
  • Gas and a heater
  • Thermos
  • Sunglasses with croakies
  • First-aid kit
  • Flare gun and flares
  • Compass
  • Walking Stick
  • Fishing poles, bait, and tackle
  • Gas or electric lantern
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Pocket knife
  • Whet stone
  • Hammock
  • Carabiners
  • Kayak or canoe
  • Paddle(s)
  • Anchor
  • Rope
  • Life vest(s)
  • Ziploc bags and/or aluminum foil
  • Trash bags for clean up or water-proofing gear
Last Updated: March 27, 2015