Pouring hot water into a container

Camping Equipment Checklist

Use This Camping Equipment Checklist for a More Enjoyable Vacation

A camping equipment checklist will ensure that your camping trip will go well. Camping is fun, healthy, energetic and a good way to escape the computers and TV’s that clutter our lives.

There is nothing worse than forgetting an essential item.

When you go camping, you need to have a good camping equipment checklist to help you prepare. Before you embark on your adventure, you have to decide what you will be doing.

Your camping equipment checklist may vary depending on several factors:

  • The type of camping and activities
  • Where you are going
  • The number and ages of the people
  • The length of the stay 
  • The time of the year

Wherever you go and whatever you do, it should be enjoyable. Make sure you have all your camping equipment with you. A good way to do this is to split your camping equipment checklist into categories.

Communal Items 

If you are camping as a group, most of this will be shared equipment. Do not forget to share the chores too.

Shelter –

This is your home away from home. This is where you will cook, eat, sleep and keep warm and dry. A good tent will last you many seasons if you follow these steps.

  • Choose a tent based on the number of people using it. 
  • A ground tarp will keep the damp and insects out and your belongings in.
  • Choose a tent with a canopy or communal area
  • Stakes and a mallet to knock them in 
  • Hand brush to keep inside clean.

Cooking –

Your camping equipment checklist should include everything to make your outdoor meals enjoyable.

  • Stove, Dutch oven, campfire grill or BBQ grill
  • Charcoal, briquettes, gas or propane fuel, fire starters
  • Matches or lighter
  • Pots and pans with lids, stackable and easy to clean
  • Utensils – spatula, knife, spoon, tongs, can opener, bottle opener, corkscrew
  • Cutting board and mixing bowl
  • Cups, plates and bowls, durable and easy to clean
  • Knives, forks and spoons
  • Airlock food containers, Ziploc bags, aluminum foil
  • Dish pan, wash up soap, Brillo/scrub pad, microfiber cloths
  • Water container

Personal Items

Each person on the trip should check off on the following camping equipment items.

Bedding –

Look for the items that will make your nights comfortable. We are not all built the same; select a size that fits you, especially if you are a taller or larger person.

  • Sleeping bag 
  • Air mattress, cot or sleeping pad – keep off of the hard ground
  • Do not forget the air pump if you have an airbed.
  • Repair kit for air mattress, just in case you get the sinking feeling
  • Pillow

Hygienic necessities –

Some of these camping equipment items may be communal.

  • Camping shower, shower pump, Wash bowl, 5 gallon water container
  • Shower shoes, sandals or flip flops
  • Face cloth, soap, towels
  • razor, hair brush, tooth brush, toothpaste, deodorant
  • toilet paper 
  • Other personal hygiene products
  • Personal medication

If you are taking personal medication, make sure others in the party know what you are taking, how much you take and when you take it.

Clothing –

Prepare for the environment you will be in and expect the unexpected both in weather and activity.

  • Underwear, socks
  • Shoes and boots
  • Jeans, pants and shorts
  • T-shirts, polo shirts
  • Sweatshirt or jacket
  • Bandana
  • Hat
  • Sleep clothes
  • Swimwear and towel
  • Rainwear
  • Laundry bag

First aid –

Your best choice may be to invest in a good first aid kit, which should include most of the following items.

  • Band-aids, roll bandages, triangular bandages, 
  • Scissors, safety pins, adhesive tape, tweezers,
  • Gauze, swabs, antiseptic wipes,
  • Insect bite medication, bug repellant, burn ointment,
  • Aspirin, Tylenol other medication 
  • Eye drops, eye wash
  • Small bottle of water
  • Sunscreen
  • Personal medical information, notepad and pencil

Miscellaneous –

All the other things that will make your camping trip enjoyable.

  • Phone card, coins for phone
  • Camera, film, memory card, batteries, recharging unit
  • Backpack or fanny pack
  • Sunglasses
  • Flashlight and batteries – look for the self-generating flashlights
  • Compass or hand held GPS
  • Pocket knife – look for Swiss or multi-tool knives
  • Rope or clothes line, string, bungee cords or duct tape
  • Camp chairs
  • Camp table
  • Miscellaneous entertainment – toys, games, ball
  • Bikes, helmets

Don’t forget to leave contact information with a relative, friend or neighbor and give them your vehicle description and license plate number. Let them know where you are going and when you will be back. Arrange for someone to pick up your mail and papers.

If you are travelling in convoy, every vehicle should have a copy of the route map and locations of stops. Consider buying handheld radios.

Make one last check on your camping equipment checklist as you load the vehicle and most of all – enjoy your vacation!

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