What to pack for camping?

What to pack for camping?

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Camping Checklist

Camping is a great choice to get outside with family and friends or even by yourself. You can go camping in many state and national parks, at private campgrounds, in the backcountry or even in your own backyard.

Most campsites include a picnic table, a place to park your car and a spot to pitch your tent. Many also have shared bathrooms and running water.

Part of the joy of camping is needing very little gear to exist outdoors. But it’s also nice to have a comfortable, convenient and homey campsite. If it’s your first time camping, it might be best to borrow or rent some of these things. As you become a more experienced camper, you may find that part of the fun is figuring out what to bring along to meet your needs.

While you’re packing, use this handy camping checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything important and make sure to stock up on the things you need. This is a comprehensive list, and we don't expect you to bring along every item — though we won't judge you if you do!


These are important items for your camping essentials checklist:

  • Tent/Sleeping Bags
  • Sleeping pads
  • Camping pillow Headlamps or flashlights (and extra batteries)
  • Camp chairs Camp table (if no picnic table)
  • Lantern (and mantles and fuel/batteries if needed)

Tools & Repair Items

  • Multi-tool
  • Duct tape
  • Extra cord
  • Tent-pole repair sleeve
  • Pad/Mattress repair kit
  • Mallet or hammer (for hammering tent stakes)
  • Saw or axe (for cutting firewood)
  • Small broom and dustpan
  • Portable power station
  • Solar panel


  • Stove and fuel 
  • Matches/light/firestarter
  • Cook pots (and pot holder)
  • Frying pan
  • Eating utensils
  • Cooking utensils
  • Bottle opener, can opener, corkscrew
  • Sharp knife
  • Plates/bowls Mugs/cups
  • Cutting board
  • Cooler Ice or ice substitutes
  • Water bottles
  • Camp sink or wash bins
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Pot scrubber/sponge(s)
  • Trash/recycling bags
  • Dish towel

Campsite Extras

  • Solar and portable power
  • Binoculars Navigation tools
  • Field guides (flowers, insects)
  • Star chart/night-sky identifier
  • Book/reading material
  • Notebook and pen/pencil
  • Music player with headphones
  • Games and toys
  • Dog gear
  • Dry bags, stuff sacks or clear plastic bins to store items

Clothing & Footwear

  • Moisture-wicking underwear
  • Moisture-wicking
  • T-shirts
  • Quick-drying pants/shorts Long-sleeve shirts (for sun, bugs)
  • Lightweight fleece or jacket
  • Boots or shoes suited to terrain Socks (synthetic or wool)
  • Sleepwear

Health & Hygiene

  • Tissue
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Toiletry kit
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Menstrual products
  • Prescription medications

Personal Items

  • A little cash
  • ID card
  • Cellphone
  • Campsite reservation confirmation

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