When packing your things before camping, you should make sure that you bring everything you need. Camping will take you to places without stores, or specifically in the woods or mountains. Therefore, you should arm yourself with complete gears and equipment.
When making your checklist, you should create different categories for the items that you’re going to bring. We suggest you separate them depending on if they are for shelter, cooking, clothes/outfits, gears for personal use, personal hygiene, first aid kit, food, drinks, and consumables. This way, it will be easy to find specific stuff.
To complete your needs in your backpack, we made a checklist for you to follow, which can be found on the following topic. We will also be giving tips for camping and will talk about the things you shouldn’t bring. We’ll start with the checklist.
Investing in camping gear can be a nerve-racking experience. The items that you are about to purchase are not cheap, but with the right timing, you might be able to buy them at a lower price. What is the best time to buy camping gear? Read our article to learn more.
List of all items in their respective categories
Before you proceed to pack your things for camping, you should make your checklist. The checklist we created is categorized into the following categories: Shelter, Cooking, Clothes/Outfits, Gears for Personal Use, Personal Hygiene, First Aid Kit, Food, Drinks, and Consumables.
Note that this camping checklist can also be revised. We composed this as a guide in case you want to make your own. What is important is that the things you need should be included on your list. Click on the links to check our gear recommendations.
- Sleeping pad or mat
- Sleeping bag
- Camping cot
- Quilt (recommended for hammock camping)
- Camping pillows
- Camping tarp
- Stakes, poles, and guylines
- Sleeping bag liner
- Pump (air mattress)
- Camping table and chairs
- Camping lantern or headlamps
- Camping stove
- Camping cookware (preferably with lids)
- Dishes and cooking utensils for camping
- Water and food containers or jugs
- Plates, mugs, cups, and bowls
- Basin or camping sink
- Biodegradable soap
- Super absorbent or fast-drying cloth
- Tissues or paper towels
- Garbage bags
- Resealable bags
- Coffee maker (choose a portable one, like a French press)
- Cooking oil
- Can and bottle openers
- Cutting board
- Cooking fuel
- Pants and short (quick-dry)
- Moist wicking socks shirts and underwear
- Hiking boots or shoes
- Camping hats or cap
- Camping eyewear
- Long-sleeve shirts
- Rain outfits (pants and shirts or jackets)
- Base layer (the inner outfit and the middle layer)
- Insulated coats
- Swimming suits
- Laundry bags
- Extra socks
GEARS FOR PERSONAL USE
- GPS or maps
- Notebooks and pen
- Solar charger
- Credit card
- Permits and other documents for camping
- Water container
- Portable camping shower
- Multi-tool knife
- Fanny pack
- Books or any materials for entertainment (cards, etc.)
- Fishing tools
- Tree straps
- Duct tape
- Sewing kits
- Walkie talkies
- Portable shovel
FOOD, DRINKS, AND CONSUMABLES
- Marshmallows and chocolates
- Cooking condiments or seasonings
- Coffee, milk, or tea
- Food for dinner and lunch (dependent on the type of camping)
PERSONAL HYGIENE AND OTHER ESSENTIALS
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Wet wipes and toilet paper
- Flip flops
- Soap and shampoo
- Maintenance drugs or medicine (if needed)
- Insect repellant
- Menstrual kits
FIRST AID KIT
- Bandages or shaped band-aids
- Petroleum jelly
- Antiseptic wipes
- Medical tapes
- Medicine for stomach pain
- Pain reliever
- Adhesive tapes
- Safety pin
- Cotton balls
- Aspirin and Tylenol
- Surgical gloves
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Antibacterial soap
- First aid guide
Your camping tent can make or break your camping trip. Some may think that any kind of tent is good enough for camping but they are mistaken. If you share that sentiment, read our article to know why you need a good camping tent.
When camping, you should appropriately organize your things so that they can be easy to find. Also, choose the simplest ways to prepare your food and dispose of your garbage properly. To constantly preserve your cooler, you can cover it with sleeping pads. Finally, bring first aid kits for emergency purposes.
We still have a lot of tips to be discussed in this topic, aside from what we mentioned. Here is what we recommend.
- Organization consistency
Before you pack, ensure that all of your things are arranged according to a category. You can associate the organization with the checklist you’ve created. Use some resealable bags or clear containers to separate your stuff.
By using these storages, you can easily identify the things inside without rummaging. This is a good practice to observe, especially if you came with your car. However, you can also apply this inside your backpack. Just make sure that you will be able to pack everything you need.
Avoid over packing and prioritize your essentials. If there is still space left, then you can use them for your other materials. Be consistent in organizing your things up until the end of your activity.
- Food preparation for camping
Another substantial area of camping is the food. If you are going to camp with a group, discuss whether you are going to cook at the campsite or just bring foods that are ready to eat. There are some advantages to just bringing easy-to-prepare food rather than packing up some frozen raw meat.
Your load or carriages will be affected if you are going to pack food to cook. However, it will again depend on the type of camping you’re partaking in. We also recommend preparing the ingredients of the food. Then, you just need to cook the preparation while camping.
That’s a simpler method than preparing it on site. Arranging your food outside without a stable kitchen can be very difficult and a total hassle.
- Dispose of garbage properly
Since we always promote the Leave No Trace principle, we should remind you to take care of your garbage properly. Don’t just be satisfied that you are enjoying your activity and leave everything a mess since it’s not your place.
Keep the area clean and neat to prevent insects and rats from attacking your campsite. Also, separate the recyclable materials from other garbage. Dispose of this garbage in the appropriate spots that the campsite instructs you.
Some campgrounds provide dumpsters to throw your waste. Practice this on and before your camping activity. No matter if you are on campgrounds or in isolated places, always think of the harmful effects it can have on nature and wildlife.
- Constantly cool your cooler
A cooler is known equipment used outdoors since we can’t bring our fridge anywhere. However, coolers tend to keep your food and drinks chill for a limited amount of time, especially during summer, as it is indeed hot during the season.
You might think that they already have thick walls to hold the cool temperature inside but there are some other practices to lengthen the ability of your cooler. Before you fill it with your drinks, chill your food and fill your cooler with ice.
Bear in mind that if the cooler is packed, it can extend the cold temperature for a long time since heat won’t be able to stay in the condition. We suggest you also use smaller coolers than larger ones. Small coolers tend to get immediately full compared to bigger ones.
So, instead of bringing a large cooler, we prefer you use two or three small coolers. It can also lessen the amount of times you open your cooler since the food inside is separated. Finally, cover your cooler with sleeping pads or a blanket and avoid exposing it to sunlight.
- First aid kit
You have all of your essentials packed, however, don’t ever forget to bring a first aid kit. Activities outdoors that take you to far places are sometimes dangerous. Let’s say we engage in this activity for fun, however, we can’t be sure of what will happen.
First aid kits aim to treat minor cuts, wounds, and injuries. If you accidentally experience these, you will be able to allay the injury with the tools you have inside your kit. Apart from the tools, we suggest you also learn basic first aid treatments.
In times of accidents, we can immediately manage the specific injury rather than leaving it alone. If you see, sometimes even in movie scenes, people apply techniques or measures before escorting the patient to the hospital. Sometimes, these methods can save a life.
Some establishments conduct seminars on first aid treatment, or you can just buy a manual to follow in case of emergency.
One of the first challenges that you will encounter when you go camping is setting up your tent. If you don’t want to go through the hassle and stress of this process, we recommend that you try a pop up tent. Read our article to learn more about how a pop up tent works.
What not to bring on a camping trip
When you pack for camping, avoid bringing denim pants or jeans and leave your jewelry and expensive stuff at home. If you think other gadgets are unnecessary, leave them at home as well. Also, don’t wear white clothes because they can be easily stained. Strong perfumes can attract other animals, so avoid packing them too.
- Don’t bring denim pants or jeans
They are hard to wear obviously and they limit your movements since the texture and fabric are fitted. When going to camp, especially to places where you need to climb, it will be very difficult for you to do so while wearing jeans.
Another disadvantage of jeans is the struggle to dry them. Plus, they’re not easy to pack. Therefore, we prefer you avoid packing denim.
- Leave your jewelry and expensive stuff at home
Except for your phone, because it is important for communicating or using a GPS. But, jewelry and costly stuff are useless when camping. You are going to a place surrounded by trees and you need to spend your time there.
Wearing expensive items won’t be an advantage but a disadvantage. If you lose or damage them, you will regret bringing them. So, we recommend you leave them at your house.
- Don’t pack unusable gadgets
Specifically your computer or tablet. They will be useless in your camping adventure. Like we said, your phone is very usable. However, for some types of camping, we do recommend you to bring laptops and tablets, especially if you are with your kids. It can be an instrument for entertainment.
From our perspective, places in this kind of camping may not be very far or situated in mountains, so it is up to you. But, if you are going to sites with extreme terrains, avoid packing them. You may accidentally or unnoticeably damage or lose them.
- Perfumes may put you in danger
Strong scents can attract other animals, or worse, harm their senses. To avoid them from chasing you and putting yourself in danger, leave your perfumes at home. Camping does not require you to smell intoxicatingly good.
- White clothing is a no-no
On campsites, there can be mud and other obstacles that can dirty your white clothes. They are hard to clean, especially when camping. People who dirty them while camping usually just pack them and wash them at home.
Go for dark-colored outfits instead, however, these kinds of fits increase your temperature too. Beware while choosing your clothes.
- Leave unnecessary things at home
If you think it will add to your burden, then leave those things behind. Observe that what you packed to camp should be packed when you go home. Meaning, you shouldn’t leave anything at the campsite. The Leave No Trace principle also applies to this.
Don’t leave something and avoid touching anything. Vacate the surroundings and leave them in the conditions you found them in when you arrive at the campsite. Pack your garbage and throw it in proper waste disposal areas. If you leave these unnecessary things behind, it can also reduce your load.
Sometimes, when we think about being prepared, we forget that there are already useless things we brought. So, scrutinize the items before including them on your checklist.
From all of the topics we discussed in this article, the main idea to observe is to be organized in all ways. Follow the tips by starting to make a checklist before you pack your things. It can help you by categorizing your stuff and prevent you from forgetting your essentials.
We can say that camping is like having a sleepover outside your house. Without your house, there will be a lack of your needs. This is why you need to make sure you have everything before leaving your house. In the end, your experience matters, whether you had fun or just struggled big time in your adventure.