Camping Essentials Checklist

Growing up my mom would take my siblings and me camping at least once a year. We had a group of friends and we would head out every summer. Somehow we always had everything we needed for camping, the magic camping fairy would prepare all out clothes, gear and food and we would just pack the car and leave. It wasn’t until I was freezing cold on a mountaintop with my brand new husband that I realized just how much work that camping fairy *cough, cough* mom…. Did before each trip.

Next time we go camping, I will be more prepared. To that end, I have prepared a list of gear to keep on hand. So hopefully next time I won’t have to freeze my buns off.


  • First Aid Gear
  • Map
  • Back Pack
  • Garbage bags for the rain (and/or pack cover)
  • Bags for garbage so you can pack everything out
  • Hiking   poles / walking stick


  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping / ground pad
  • Tent
  • Headlamp / Flashlight
  • Pillow
  • Watch w/ alarm


  • GPS   / Compass
  • Bear   bell
  • Sun glasses
  • Whistle
  • Rope / bear line (25’+)
  • Food bag / container
  • Bear   spray


  • Boots
  • Flip   flops / sandals for around camp
  • Gaiters
  • Long underwear
  • Underwear
  • Socks / liner   socks
  • Shorts / pants
  • Shirts
  • Fleece / Parka
  • Rain gear
  • Ziploc bags and stuff sacks for organizing
  • Hat   for sun / rain
  • Hat   for warmth / bandana
  • Gloves

Eating / Drinking

  • Water bottles
  • Water Filter
  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Lighter / Matches
  • Pots / Pans / Pot handle
  • Napkins / Towel
  • Bowl / cup / utensils / knife
  • Soap / hand   sanitizer
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner per day
  • Snacks per day
  • Tea / coffee / hot cocoa / energy drink powder
  • Hot   sauce, spices, herbs

Personal effects

  • Toothbrush / toothpaste
  • Toilet paper / baby wipes
  • Chap   stick
  • Deodorant   / lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Repellant
  • Shovel   (for bathroom use)
  • Glasses / contacts / contact solution
  • Hair tie
  • Book   / cards
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Music

*BONUS* Next time we go camping we will probably have out little one with us, so I added a little checklist for infants here too. Basically he will need the same as everything listed above plus a few extras.

For the Baby

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Diaper bag
  • Bottles
  • Toys
  • Hat
  • Extra blankets
  • Something for baby to sleep on (my sister-in-law uses a storage bin with a changing pad at the bottom. That works perfectly)
  • Baby carrier .
  • Changing pad
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Doggie doodie bags for diapers

I’m sure there’s something I forgot but that’s what I have for now.

What camping gear do you have to have before setting out?


16 thoughts on “Camping Essentials Checklist”

  1. Since I’m not a big fan on camping, the first thing I would do is wish for a magic camping fairy like yours. Your camping essential list would be the first thing on my list. Thanks for the insight.

  2. Checklists are my favorite! Helps making sure you don’t forget anything. Great list! Definitely helpful if you’re that person who always forgets something! Have fun camping with your littles! I have so many wonderful memories from my childhood because of camping!

  3. I’m glad I found this post because I really want to go camping this Fall, and I’ve never been, and I would have been SO unprepared without this lists of things!!! Lol thank you!

  4. Really great list! I am one of those people who always has to google a list to help me back when I go away as I always forget something!

  5. I have many memories of my parents taking me camping, have to admit, I am more of a smart caravan / hotel kind of a girl now!
    I pays to pack for every eventuality for sure, enjoy your next trip 🙂

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