Skip to content

Camping Checklist

Camping Supplies

Camping is a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors, whether by yourself, with family, or with friends. Great camping opportunities can be found in state or national parks, private campgrounds, or even your very own backyard. Most campsites will provide some of the most basic pieces you’ll need, like a picnic table, a parking spot, and a dedicated place to pitch a tent. Running water and shared bathrooms can even be found at some campsites.

On one hand, many people enjoy the simplicity of camping, and for the lack of equipment needed to enjoy the outdoors. However, most people also want some degree of comfort during their camping experience. Beginners may choose to rent or borrow some of the less-necessary camping gear, but as you become a more avid camper, you might find that deciding what to bring is actually a very enjoyable part of the camping experience.

So, while you’re gearing up for your next camping adventure, go over this checklist to ensure that you haven’t forgotten anything important. This list is very thorough, so don’t feel obligated to bring every item on every trip. But, there’s nothing wrong with being well prepared!


Optional items:

Camping Tools

  • 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

Camp Kitchen Supplies

While many campgrounds have drinkable water, not all do. You should always have a water filter handy just to make sure you always have access to clean water. For a more comprehensive list of kitchen ideas, visit our camp kitchen checklist.

Optional items:

  • Camp grill and fuel
  • Grill rack
  • Griddle
  • Dutch oven
  • Charcoal
  • Portable coffee/tea maker
  • Rolling ice cream maker
  • Marshmallow/hot dog roasting forks
  • Small food-storage containers/bags/foil
  • Large water jugs
  • Large, clear plastic bins to store kitchen gear


While the following campsite extras are optional, depending on how active a camper you are and how remote you travel, many tools such as maps, compass or GPS may be required.

  • 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 and insects)
  • Lightweight fleece or jacket
  • Boots or shoes suited to terrain
  • Socks (synthetic or wool)
  • Sleepwear

Rainy and cold weather items:

  • Rainwear (jacket and pants)
  • Long underwear
  • Warm insulated jacket or vest
  • Fleece pants
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Warm hat and scarf

Optional items:

  • Swimsuits
  • Water sandals
  • In-camp sandals or booties
  • Bandanas

Health, Saftey, and Hygiene

  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Toiletry kit
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Menstrual products
  • Prescription medications
  • First-aid kit or first-aid supplies (see First-Aid Checklist)

Sun and bug protection:

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses (and retainer leash)
  • Sun hat
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellent


  • Urinary products
  • Sanitation trowel (if no toilets)
  • Baby wipes
  • Alcohol or antiseptic wipes
  • Mirror
  • Comb/brush
  • Spare eyeglasses/contact lens supplies
  • Earplugs
  • Portable camp shower