What Do You Need To Camp In A Tent

REI’s Beginner’s Guide to Your First Campout

There have been 945 reviews, with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5. This article is part of a series on a variety of topics: Camping: A Beginner’s Guide No matter how used you are to living in the city, the desire to get away from it all—to camp out, in fact—can take hold of your mind at any time. If you’re thinking about going vehicle camping for the first time but are intimidated by the amount of gear and preparation required, don’t give up hope. We’re here to assist you. The most important thing for first-time campers is, of course, the assistance of a knowledgeable outdoorsperson who is familiar with the area.

For those fortunate enough to have a camping reservation as well as a whole garage full of camping gear to share, skip ahead to our downloadable checklist of camping necessities at the conclusion of the piece for a step-by-step guide to packing for a camping trip.

You just require a few essential items of equipment, after which you must determine where you want to travel.

  1. Borrow or rent expensive equipment in order to save money. Always remember to dress in layers for the cold and rain in order to optimize your comfort. Bring lots of food with you to fulfill your appetite stimulated by the fresh air
  2. Camp near to your house if you want to leave your choices open. (There is no shame in abandoning a project if difficulties develop.) If the weather prediction seems bleak, you should postpone your camping trip to ensure that you make a good first impression. Leave No Trace principles should be followed at all times to ensure that you leave a positive impression on people who come after you.

Want to talk to a live expert about how to choose camping gear?

If you have any queries, we would be happy to answer them. When you use Virtual Outfitting, it’s easy to obtain professional advice and gear recommendations from the convenience of your own home or office. Make a virtual appointment with a virtual assistant.

Essential Camping Gear

Camping is similar to sleeping in a basic cabin, except that there is no cabin to dwell in. As a result, in addition to your tent, prepare as though you’re going to be staying somewhere with little or no furniture, no power, no stove or refrigerator, and no food in the refrigerator or cabinets at all. Having access to running water and a community restroom is only a few hundred yards away at an established campsite. A normal campground will have a table (if one is not provided, you will need to provide one), a space to park a car, and a spot to set up a tent for the night.

That’s a better plan than paying rock-bottom prices for items that may not even last for a single camping trip, let alone a season.

  • The tent: If your budget allows it, you should consider going a little bigger with your tent: A 3-person tent provides a little additional breathing room for a loving couple, while a 6-person tent allows a family of four to more easily find harmony in their surroundings. If you want a tent in which you can stand up, you should also look at the peak height of the tent (that can make getting dressed and moving around easier to do). It’s convenient to have vestibules outside the doors for storing muddy shoes, and having two entrances can save you from having to crawl over sleeping tentmates while taking late-night toilet visits. Read How to Choose a Camping Tent for a more in-depth look at tent considerations.

Tip: Before you go camping, practice setting up your tent at home. In addition, make sure your footprint is the correct size—if you have a ground sheet that is too tiny, it will not entirely cover your tent floor, and if you have one that is too large, it will trap rainfall and pool it below your tent.

  • The sleeping bag: When choosing your sleeping bag, consider the temperature rating as a starting point. If you’re only intending on going fair-weather camping, a summer backpack would likely enough, but a 3-season bag will provide you with additional flexibility in case the weather turns unpredictable during the shoulder seasons. If you’re usually cold (or always hot), make the necessary adjustments. Furthermore, there is no need to use a super-snug mummy bag as hikers use when a rectangle camping bag would provide you with more room to move around. How to Choose a Camping Bag. The sleeping pad is made of: When you sleep on a nice sleeping pad, it is similar to the mattress on your bed, but it also contains high-tech insulation to keep you from losing body heat when you are on the chilly ground. However, despite the fact that large air mattresses, such as those used by your visitors at home, may appear luxurious, their lack of insulation will almost certainly leave you feeling cold. When comparing sleeping pads, pay attention to the specifications: a thicker, longer, or broader sleeping pad, as well as one with a greater insulation value (also known as the R-value), will be more comfortable and warmer. How to Choose a Sleeping Pad. Do you like to be higher up than you are on the ground? Bring acotas in good condition.

Set up your tent, sleeping bag, and pad early in the morning so that you don’t have to do it in the dark.

  • Lighting: Because camping grounds do not have lighting, you will need to provide your own. A flashlight will suffice, but a headlamp will allow you to use your hands for other camp chores. A lantern is useful for providing ambient light. Building a campfire is also an option
  • However, be aware of any local fire regulations. A few purchasing advice may be found in our articles on how to choose the right headlamp and how to choose the right lantern. Propane camp stove: A traditional two-burner propane camp stove should suffice. You will not spend a fortune, and you will be able to make breakfast while also preparing your morning cup of coffee. If possible, bring a couple of fuel canisters and a lighter, and test it out once you get home to ensure that you understand how it works
  • Cooler: It’s possible that you already have one, and it will most likely function just fine. Just make sure you have adequate storage space for your perishable food as well as a few cold beverages, as well as enough ice to keep them frozen for as long as possible. Some contemporary coolers with extra-thick insulation (such as these from YETI) can keep ice for an extended period of time, albeit they will cost more to purchase. Pots, plates, glasses, and sporks are all included. You must carry all of the equipment essential for meal preparation and consumption. You are welcome to plunder your own kitchen, but please do not bring any nice china. A scrubber, biodegradable soap, a towel, and a small washtub or two (one for filthy dishes and another for clean dishes) are also required, unless you want to carry dirty dishes home with you.

Pack all of your cooking supplies in a big transparent plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.

It’s simple to store everything at home, and everything will be ready for you to go camping the next time you wish to go.

  • Camp Chairs: Although these are not required if you can sit at the camp picnic table, having a comfortable spot to perch can make downtime a bit more pleasurable. An ahammock is considerably more comfortable, especially for midday naps.

Tip: If you leave your mesh camp chairs out in the rain or dew in the morning, they will dry rapidly since they allow water to drain readily.

What to Wear Camping

Getting dirty is part of the fun, so dress in clothes that look nice while they’re filthy. (If you store your belongings in a plastic storage container, you may use it as a dish tub as well.) Generally speaking, cotton should be avoided since damp cotton can make you feel chilly and unhappy, even in unexpectedly mild weather. Bring a heavy coat, as well as long underwear, gloves, a beanie, and warm socks for the nights, as well as a rain jacket just in case the weather turns chilly. Prepare your feet by packing some practical (durable) shoes and a pair of slip-ons for those late-night restroom trips.

Camp Toiletries

Of course, you’ll need your prescription drugs as well as personal hygiene products. A separate first-aid kit, which comes in a very compact bag, has a thorough supply of bandages and other medications that you may bring from home. Ensure that you plan for the sun and that you are prepared for bugs by packing sunscreen and insect repellent. Bring your own soap, toilet paper, and a small towel to use in the campsite restrooms because they may run out of supplies at any given moment. It’s a good idea to maintain hand sanitizer in your kitchen area.

Meal Planning for Camping

If you’re a skilled cook (campfire paella, anyone?) and meal planner, go ahead and do your thing, but keep in mind that easy preparation is preferable to complicated preparation. Even if you’re not a trained cook, you should create a basic meal plan for yourself. As easy as eating dinner out on the way to camp, then cooking breakfast and lunch before breaking camp on the following day may suffice. You can prepare entrees and side dishes from boxes or cans, or you can prepare them from scratch.

Make sure to include lots of munchies, as well as the ingredients for s’mores if you can’t fathom a camping trip without them.

Don’t leave food or rubbish out overnight or unattended in campgrounds because critters who congregate in campgrounds are experienced robbers.

Check the local restrictions if you’re in bear territory; there may be food lockers available because bears have been known to break into automobiles.

Where to Go Camping

There are a plethora of options available, from national parks to RV campgrounds. However, humanity’s desire for camping is equally limitless, so book your campground reservations well in advance to avoid disappointment. Where Can I Campdescribes in depth the locations that allow camping as well as the rules and regulations that apply in those areas. Recreation.gov is an online service that allows you to make camping reservations on public lands all throughout the country. Hipcamp is a fantastic website for discovering and booking private lands campsites all across the country (and worldwide).

Although reservations are not necessary months in advance, it is a good idea to check with the campsite to find out when the optimum time to arrive is in order to get a spot.

Most first-time campers prefer to stay in an established campsite with flush toilets and running water, so seek for one that has these amenities.

It’s also a good idea to double-check that the water flowing out of the faucet is treated. Natural water sources contribute to the complexity of water treatment, which is necessary to prevent health problems.

Camping Essentials

If you’re getting ready to go camping for the first time, or if you simply want a refresher on the most important goods to have on hand, here’s a useful reference list to help you out. Please review our completeCamping Checklist if you’re searching for a more comprehensive list of everything you would want to have on hand at your campsite, including clothes and food.

Camping Checklist

Any outdoor adventure needs thorough planning and preparation. Being prepared with the appropriate materials and equipment may make a significant difference in your overall enjoyment and experience. Checklists are an excellent tool for improving your organizational skills. Depending on the sort of camping and activities you have planned, the locations you are visiting, the time of year you are traveling, and the duration of your vacation, your camping list may differ. Items can be added or removed to meet your specific requirements.

See also:  How To Decorate A Tent For Camping

PNG image of a checklist As a result of popular demand, we are now providing a printer-friendly camping checklist in PDF format or as a PNG graphic!

Camping checklist is now more dynamic than ever!


Inform someone of your plans – include specifics about where you’re going and when you expect to return, as well as directions and possible alternate routes that you may take. Also include cell phone numbers, vehicle description and license plate numbers, hand-held radio channel and codes that you’ll be using, and phone numbers for local authorities (such as the State Police, GameFish Commission, Sheriff Department, and so on) for the county or area that you’ll be in.

Additional First Aid Tips

  • Enroll in a First Aid and CPR course, and keep your knowledge up to date on these topics. Keep goods in a container that is clearly labeled, is sturdy, and is waterproof
  • Maintain the order of the contents
  • Understand how to utilize all of the items in your first aid kit
  • Examine material on a regular basis and replenish supplies as needed. Continue to make yourself easily available at all times.

Camping Checklist: What to Pack for a Comfy Night Under the Stars

Depending on who you ask, the term “c amping” signifies different things. Some travelers like the thought of roughing it with only the bare necessities, while others prefer to pack their cars with as many creature comforts as they can fit. We choose a comfortable medium between the two: For a weekend in the great outdoors, you’ll need the essentials plus a few creature pleasures (a chair for stargazing, a plush pillow, and even a cast-iron pan for the ultimate campground breakfast). Casual car campers—those who prefer to drive to a campground rather than hiking or bicycling in—will still require all of the essentials: a tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad.

However, you have enough room to pack a few more items in addition to the essentials.

It will ensure that you have everything you need.


It is always necessary to set up a campsite in order to stay warm. You will also want a shelter, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. Other objects, such as chairs and pillows, provide an additional layer of comfort.

Also, before you leave, double-check the campground’s amenities. In most cases, drive-up campgrounds will include a picnic table and a fireplace, as well as the opportunity to purchase locally produced firewood on site.

  • Tent, complete with footprint and pegs
  • Sleeping bags
  • Sleeping pads or cots
  • Camping chairs
  • Headlamps
  • Lighting, such as a lantern and string lights
  • And other items as needed or desired. Lighter
  • sPillow

You may also want:

  • Camping table, hammock, games, firewood (purchase firewood close to your campground to avoid introducing new insects), duct tape, batteries, axe (for chopping wood), and other essentials.

Consider storing all of your camping stuff in a specialized camping gear bin or box, such as the foldable Thule Go Box ($70, thule.com), to keep everything neat and tidy.

Toiletries and first aid

Toiletries for camping are more about being prepared for things like wounds, bug bites, and basic cleanliness than anything else. If you’re only going to be camping for a night or two, you may as well forego showering altogether—though that doesn’t rule out the possibility of staying clean (ish). After a night spent in a tent, a simple body wipe and a stick of deodorant may make a world of difference.

  • Biodegradable soap, deodorant, body or face wipes, toilet paper, quick-dry towel, sunscreen, and hand sanitizer are all recommended items. Bug spray (Picaridin-basedNatrapel, $7, is an excellent DEET-free choice)
  • Insect repellent (Natrapel is a good DEET-free option). The Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight Kit ($29), which includes adhesive bandages, gauze, tweezers and pain medications in a waterproof pouch, is a good example of a first aid kit.

You may also want:

  • Shower at your campground
  • Flip-flops (if your campsite has a shower)
  • Clothesline
  • Etc.


When I was a youngster, I used to tag along on my brother’s Boy Scout campouts, and I quickly learned that you should always, always have a spare pair of clothing and shoes. That’s not because it’s in the Boy Scout rulebook, but because I could never make it through a night of s’mores without smearing marshmallow all over me. Conclusion: The unexpected might happen while you’re out in nature, so check the weather forecast and pack clothes that will keep you warm and dry at night while remaining cool during the day.

  • Sleeveless shirts in both short and long sleeves
  • Pants and shorts
  • A warm jacket for the evenings
  • Hiking boots or shoes are recommended. Socks
  • Sandals for relaxing around the campground
  • And other personal items. Clothing for sleeping or lounging
  • Sunglasses
  • sHat

You may also want:

Sure, you could cook your meals with little more than a roll of tinfoil and a bonfire if you were very clever (hello, fire-baked potato). However, whether you’re planning on preparing a taco supper, a whole pancake breakfast, or even just a cup of (real) coffee, you’ll want to bring along a few more camp kitchen staples for both cooking and cleaning up afterward as well. If you’re camping in bear territory, you may also want to consider bringing a bear canister to keep your food safe (some coolers, like the Yeti, double as a bear canister).

  • Stove and fuel
  • Matches or a lighter
  • A pair of gloves Cooking equipment and a complete kitchen set (pots and pans)
  • A decent knife is essential. Mess kit (which includes a plate, a bowl, and dining utensils)
  • Portable coffee maker (such as the Snow Peak folding coffee dripper, which costs $30)
  • Wash your hands with biodegradable soap (we prefer theJoshua Tree camp soap, $9, which can also be used as dish and body soap)
  • A sponge
  • A coolant

You may also want:

  • Filled water bottles (if your campsite does not have potable water)
  • Grill and charcoal
  • Cutting board
  • Tablecloth
  • Bottle opener
  • Tinfoil (if you are camping in a remote area).


It is beneficial to plan ahead of time what meals you will prepare while camping and to compile a grocery list of the items you will need. oatmeal, freeze-dried soups, sandwiches, and hot dogs are always easy camp staples, but if you’re seeking for additional inspiration, we recommend The Campout Cookbook ($15), which includes delectable camp-friendly recipes (such as a tinfoil shrimp boil and pan pizza). Don’t have the energy to prepare and purchase for your camp meals? Wild salmon, dehydrated bean soups, breakfast grains, and even canned mussels are included in the Patagonia Provisions 2-Day Camp Meal Kit For Two ($89), which makes meal preparation a breeze.

With the addition of fresh fruit, you’ve got yourself a weekend’s worth of no-fuss dinner for two.

It was updated on April 5, 2021, to reflect the most recent information available.

The products we write about have been independently evaluated and recommended to us by our editorial staff. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of our affiliate links, AFAR may get a commission, which helps to sustain our independent journalism.

6 Ways to Camp Without a Tent

While tents are commonly considered of as a necessity for camping, there are a variety of additional options for those who do not want to use one. And, owing to current technology, there are also tent alternatives that were once unpopular but have recently gained popularity. For those on a tight budget or who want to reduce the amount of weight in their backpack, here are six creative methods to camp without a tent to try out on your next camping trip.

Do You Need a Tent for Camping?

Photograph courtesy of UmnakonVisualhunt/CC BY-SA Hence, camping does not necessitate the use of a tent. Hammocks, tarps, bivies, and even sleeping under the stars are some of the many options available to you. For the record, I haven’t camped out in a tent in several years. I like to sleep in my hammock since it is more comfortable. They are far more pleasant than sleeping in tents. Other than that, I’ve spent nights sleeping under the stars or under a wool blanket next to the campfire in the wilds of northern Canada.

It’s the same when I go vehicle camping; I don’t carry a tent along with me.

Is Camping Without a Tent Safe?

Camping without a tent is generally regarded to be a safe practice. Essentially, there are two hazards to be aware of: In the case of wilderness camping, both of these factors might provide a problem. You should constantly be prepared for any weather conditions that may arise. Even if you don’t pack a tent, having adequate rain gear when in the bush can save your life by avoiding hypothermia from setting in. However, while animal assaults from bears and mountain lions are possible, they are statistically infrequent.

How to Go Camping Without a Tent

Photograph courtesy of Lorenzo Tlacaelelon Visual Hunt/Creative Commons BY Before we get into the six different methods to go camping without a tent, it’s crucial to note that several of these options may be utilized in conjunction with one another. Whatever approach you use, it’s critical to understand the following gear concepts: A ground tarp is highly suggested, regardless of whether you are using a tent for your camping trip. A ground tarp can assist to keep you and your belongings clean, dry, and free of harm while on the ground.

  1. Rainfly– Rainflys are just lightweight tarps that are meant to be portable.
  2. This will be more cumbersome than the other solutions, but it will work.
  3. It is critical to have an asleeping mat when tentless camping, regardless of the method you pick.
  4. An additional necessity, particularly during colder weather, is a sleeping bag.
  5. Here are a few alternatives to sleeping bags.

Additionally, there are additional possibilities, including as bivys and hammocks, which I will address in greater depth later in the section under “Tent Alternatives.” Now, let’s talk about the tent options.

1. Tarp Shelter

Credit: UmnakonVisual hunt/CC BY-SA for the photo. The tarp shelter is a popular tent substitute among ultralight trekkers who want to travel light. A tarp is used in place of a tent in this situation. This will not keep out the bugs, but it might be a good solution for keeping you dry without the trouble of a raincoat. Tarp camping may be done in a variety of ways, and there are many possible arrangements. Some individuals use large tarps that give complete coverage on both sides, while others use smaller tarps that provide only partial coverage on one or the other.

If you need paracord, Amazon has some decent offers on that as well.

2. Hammock

When I go camping, my first pick is always a hammock. I really carry two of them in order to assist tenters in their conversion to the dark side. However, I find them to be more enjoyable and soothing. I despise sleeping on the ground without a significant amount of cushioning (my hips get sore easily). My personal hammock of choice is the ENO Hammock, but there are other excellent alternatives available, such as the SunYear Hammock on Amazon, which has a built-in mosquito net and comes with straps.

  • Even if there is a slight probability of rain, you will require a rainfly.
  • You can pick up some paracord and a low-cost hammer from your local Walmart.
  • Even if it doesn’t rain, rainflies are still useful to have around.
  • My closed-cell foam sleeping pad in the hammock, together with a few blankets, was my go-to sleeping arrangement.
  • One disadvantage of hammocks is that, once you’ve purchased the hammock, straps, insect net, and rain fly, it might become prohibitively expensive.
  • You may also be interested in The Most Comfortable Camping Pillows

3. Bivy Sack and Bivy Shelter

CC BY 2.0 image credit: kteagueonVisualHunt.com/CC BY Another common option is the bivy, which is particularly popular among minimalists, hikers, and bike campers. Most appealing about this option is that you receive all of the protection you want while reducing the weight and volume of your pack. A bivy sack is a waterproof shelter that is worn around the waist of your sleeping bag to keep you warm. They function in the same way as a tent in that they keep out the weather and mosquitoes. They also have robust bottoms that provide additional protection while also keeping water out.

See also:  Dayz How To Make A Tent

A bivy shelter is similar to a bivy bag, with the exception that it is equipped with poles to provide extra space.

While they can save a significant amount of weight and space, the negative is that they do not provide any storage space for your stuff. Another potential disadvantage is that they become hotter in the summer. You may also be interested in Tents for Extreme Weather Conditions

4. Sleep Inside Your Car

It is always possible to sleep in your car or truck if you do not have a tent available. Having slept in my car several times throughout my cross-country road trip, I understand how difficult it can be to find adequate room while yet sleeping comfortably. The secret of sleeping in your automobile is as follows: If you have seats that can be folded flat, this will be quite beneficial. Put your sleeping bag on the ground, take some blankets and a pillow, and you’re ready to go. Most automobiles, on the other hand, do not have this function.

These are inflatable mattresses that are placed on the chairs to provide a level surface.

Many, on the other hand, come with inflators that you can connect to the electrical socket in your automobile.

(As well as Instructions on How to Do It)

5. Cowboy Camping

Another alternative for camping without a tent is to not bring anything at all with you. Cowboy camping is defined as sleeping beneath the stars in the absence of any form of shelter. During a weekend survival trip, I slept on the ground close to a campfire with nothing but a wool blanket, and it was just wonderful. Despite the fact that it wasn’t the most pleasant experience, it was a highly interesting one. Others who can sleep against a tree or a rock are considered to be good sleepers by those who are not.

Camping cushion ideas include wrapping your water bladder in a t-shirt, which may be used in the same way as a regular pillow.

Then, using any soft material you may locate, such as leaves or pine needles, fill in the gaps with the rest of the material.

6. Survival Shelter

Okay, most people will not approve of this strategy, but it may be effective in some situations, such as when you find yourself in a difficult circumstance and need to stay the night. This will also not function everywhere because it is dependent on the local environment. You may construct a variety of different types of shelters. The majority of them entail constructing a form of frame or ridgeline and then attaching sticks to the sides of it. Once you have a sufficient number of sticks, you may begin piling on the leaves.

Except in a survival emergency or as a means of honing your talents, I would not suggest using this technique.

You may also be interested in Tents that are the simplest to erect by yourself

Advantages to Tents

While you are not need to use a tent when camping, they are often the most convenient option.

Tents may be quite beneficial when vehicle camping with children or pets. After all, here are a few compelling arguments for why you should consider renting a tent:

  • Space Advantages-A tent provides significantly more space for storing and organizing stuff, as well as for changing clothing. It’s convenient to be able to keep everything ordered and easily available without being disoriented
  • The ability to undress and spend personal time with your spouse will be especially important at campgrounds. Privacy is also important while camping with children. Bug Protection– Having a well-sealed tent can help keep those bothersome bugs away, reducing the number of reasons you’ll have to dislike camping. Some people find it uncomfortable to sleep without a fully enclosed barrier around them when they are asleep. It is enough to have four walls around you to provide a great deal of comfort and put your mind at peace.

— Photo attribution for the featured image: UmnakonVisualHunt/CC BY-SA

10 Tips for Tent Camping

Getting away from our hectic lives and embarking on adventures in the great outdoors allows us to disconnect from technology and reconnect with Mother Nature. Tent camping is a great way to get away from it all and reconnect with Mother Nature. If you want to make your camping vacation pleasant and pleasurable, you must first learn what you’re doing and then equip yourself with the appropriate equipment. If you don’t plan beforehand, your dream camping trip might turn into a nightmarish nightmare.

Once you have checked off all of the items on the list below, you will know that you are truly prepared to hit the road in search of your favorite KOA.

1. Practice Setting Up The Tent At Home

Sure, it appears to be a simple process to set up. “The package states that set-up will only take 5 minutes,” you remark emphatically. As you may be aware, not everyone has the necessary camping expertise. Moreover, while you’re out in the woods with just a few minutes of daylight remaining, you’re not going to want to be putting your camping abilities to the test. Prepare the tent in your living room or backyard a couple of times before stepping out into the great outdoors. Not only will this assist you in getting the feel of where everything goes, but it will also assist you in speeding up the process of setting up the tent so that you aren’t spending your valuable camping time fiddling with tent poles and other small details.

2. Pick Your Campsites Ahead of Time

There are few things more stressful than the anxious feeling you get as the sun begins to drop and you have no clue where you’re going to pitch up your tent for the evening. With our assistance, you can avoid this. By utilizing the “Find A KOA” tool, you may locate the most suitable camping grounds in a short amount of time and in advance. Search for KOA campgrounds in the places you’re interested in visiting and book a stay at one of them. After that, you may click on each particular location to view additional information about it, including amenities, activities, photos/videos, and other details.

3. Make Campfire-Friendly Meals Ahead of Time

Although camping may not provide you with the luxury of a large kitchen, it does not rule out the possibility of enjoying delicious meals. If you’re not looking forward to a can of baked beans and a couple of hot dogs for supper when camping, make some foods ahead of time that are simple to prepare over a campfire. Prepare the chicken kabobs in advance and store them in plastic bags.

You’ll be able to prepare a delicious lunch over an open fire in only a few minutes if you use this approach, because the kabobs will be ready when you are. Take a peek at some of our favorite camping recipes – you’re sure to discover some that you’ll want to bring with you on your next adventure!

4. Bring Extra Padding

No, camping in a tent does not have to be a difficult or unpleasant experience. There is excellent camping equipment available that is designed to assist you in getting a good night’s sleep while in your tent. A sleeping pad of some form, or even an inflated mattress, is essential for getting a good night’s sleep. Whatever your additional padding is, be sure you don’t forget about it. We guarantee that if you are well rested, your camping experience will be far more pleasurable.

5. Bring Games

Even though you will most likely go hiking and swimming when camping, particularly if you are near water, one thing that many people forget is that there is a significant amount of down time while camping. But, after all, isn’t that the whole point? Is it possible to break away from our hectic life and just relax? We surely believe it to be the case. Moreover, downtime is an excellent chance to get out some card or board games and have some good, old-fashioned fun.

6. Pack Good Coffee

While some campers like the traditional cowboy coffee, there are some of us who are coffee “snobs” who simply cannot bring ourselves to drink coffee grounds while on the trail. Not to mention that just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy coffee that tastes just as wonderful as the cup you’d get at your favorite café. You may bring a French press or a pour-over setup, or you can get some fancy instant coffee to enjoy while you’re at the conference. If you can get that nice gasoline first thing in the morning, it will be well worth it to you.

7. Waterproof Your Tent

Mother Nature is not only lovely, but she is also full of surprises – you can never be too prepared for what the weather may bring. One minute it may be bright and 75 degrees, and the next it could be pouring rain. And this is something for which you must be prepared while you are out camping. Waterproofing your tent before leaving for your journey is a smart idea in order to keep yourself and your belongings dry while on the road. What is the best way to go about it? Purchasing a can of silicone sealer and spraying the tent from top to bottom, left to right while rehearsing the configuration of your tent (see1) is all that is required.

If you spray every square inch of your tent with the spray, you should be OK if you find yourself camping in a deluge while out camping.

8. Go During the Week, Rather Than The Weekend

If your schedule permits you, try to go camping during the weekdays instead of weekends. On any given summer weekend, campgrounds are often jam-packed with people who are all hoping for a little respite from the heat. Consider scheduling your camping vacation during the week instead of the weekend if you want to have a more peaceful and relaxed camping experience.

9. Take Advantage of Campsite Amenities

With KOA’s detailed descriptions of each campsite, you’ll know exactly what facilities the campgrounds you’ll be visiting have to offer. Amenities such as the following are standard in KOA campgrounds:

  • To pitch a tent, you’ll need level ground. Picnic tables, water spouts, and fire pits are all available. Restrooms that are clean
  • Hot showers
  • WiFi
  • And much more

Knowing that you’ll have these and other wonderful facilities waiting for you will relieve a great deal of worry (and, most likely, the need to pack even more).

10. Leave The Campsite As You Found It

Please observe this regulation, not just out of courtesy for others who will come after you, but also to safeguard our lovely natural environment. Remove any rubbish you may have carried into the house and check to be that the fire is entirely extinguished. Also, double-check that you’ve packed everything you own and that you haven’t forgotten anything. Do you think you’re truly ready to go camping right now? With these ten suggestions in your back pocket, your camping preparations will be considerably easier, and your camping vacation will be lot more pleasurable as a result of them.

  • Leslie, also known as Copy Girl, is a copywriter who gets butterflies when she is able to make stories with words.
  • “I prefer cake than steak,” she says on a regular basis.
  • She also has years of experience embarking on excursions that have brought this Montana girl to some fantastic locations.
  • Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins is a fun and flirty fragrance.

camping checklist

Camping checklistamericasstateparks2022-02-02T17:30:42-05:00 Camping checklistamericasstateparks Our readers provide us with support and financial help. When you purchase a product after clicking on one of our affiliate links, we may receive a commission. More information may be found here. Camping is an excellent opportunity to disconnect from the rush and bustle of modern life and enjoy the great outdoors. Camping with friends and family generates long-lasting memories that will bring a smile to your face every time you think back on them.

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I despise it when I forget anything important when camping, which is why we designed this camping checklist to help you avoid that fate.

Look no farther than ourCamping Checklist Quick Pickspage for some tried and true camping equipment and supplies.

A camping checklist will save parents’ sanity by allowing them to avoid repeating oneself a hundred times while on their camping trip.

Instead, they may just direct everyone to the list as they have been doing. We hope you have a wonderful time on your camping vacation, and we hope that this camping checklist has been of great use to you. Have a good time!

Planning Trips for Larger Groups

When it comes to arranging for outdoor experiences, not everyone will want to pack the same equipment. This is especially true when it comes to camping. Camping checklists, such as the ones provided below, are extremely useful whether you’re going camping with your entire family or a large number of people. Using a centralized checklist for the entire group to refer to ensures that the group as a whole has everything they require, without wasting space and time by doubling up on items that you don’t require more than one of.

  • It is not necessary for all four households to carry an ax.
  • Group checklists are an excellent tool for reviewing and determining who is responsible for bringing certain materials to the meeting.
  • As a result, you won’t have to worry about forgetting something important for your camping vacation.
  • Check out the camping tents for families.

Camping Checklist

So, without further ado, here is our comprehensive camping checklist. When planning a camping vacation, it’s a good idea to make a list of everything you’ll need. Our objective is to give you with a comprehensive checklist that will assist you in remembering items that you may have overlooked or simply forgotten. This is especially useful if you haven’t done a lot of camping in the past. The fact that we have this checklist makes our inner Boy Scout happy. Check out ourCamping Checklist Quick Pickspage for some tried and tested suggestions on what to bring on your camping trip.

Camping Checklist

camping chair camping table camping pillow camping cot
flashlight tent footprint hammock headlamp
lantern sleeping bag Sleeping bag liner sleeping pads
tent stakes tarp tent dry bags
clear plastic bins solar charger bandana hat
long sleeve shirt rain gear sweatshirt swimsuit
towel wool socks personal hygiene items feminine products
medications bivy sack toilet paper emergency survival blanket
camping knife duct tape multi-tool air mattress repair kit
hatchet folding saw tent pole repair sleeve can opener
camping stove dish pan cooking utensils stove fuel
cooler ice water container lighter
fire starter plates or bowls water filtration campsite reservation
fleece pullover gloves or mittens warm hat warm jacket
hiking boots water shoes insect repellent spf lip balm
sunscreen bungee cords rope small shovel
tissues watch first-aid kit hatchet

Camping Checklist Grouped By Category

We understand that having a single, comprehensive camping checklist with over two hundred possible things might be intimidating. We’ve divided our camping supplies into categories to make it easier to manage your packing and preparation. As a last-minute check to ensure that nothing stands out to you, we find this to be very useful.


The following are some of the most important elements to include on a camping checklist for your campground when it comes to preparing for a camping trip. It includes a few essentials like as your tent, camping mattress, and sleeping bag, among other things. When you add in a lantern or a headlamp to ensure that you can see when it becomes dark, you’ll be well prepared to endure the night. Although you may be hungry, those are the kinds of items that will get you by on a short journey.

Campsite Checklist

camping chair camping table camping pillow clothesline
flashlight tent footprint hammock headlamp
lantern sleeping bag Sleeping bag liner sleeping pads
tent stakes tarp tent

Camping Tools

Our camping tools checklist includes items that will make your life simpler, such as an ax and saw for cutting firewood and setting up your tent, as well as other useful items.

Having a folding saw makes it simple to store with the rest of your equipment and also protects the blade while not in use. It is usually a good idea to have a multitool on available because they are really convenient. There are also a few products to assist you in repairing some of your equipment.

Camping Tools Checklist

duct tape para chord mallet multi-tool
ax saw tent pole repair sleeve air mattress repair kit


What kind of footwear you bring with you for camping is mostly determined by the activities you intend to participate in while there. We always recommend either wool or synthetic socks since they are excellent at wicking away sweat from the feet. If you intend to go trekking while camping, it is a good idea to have some hiking boots with you in case you encounter more difficult paths. On simpler terrain, many individuals choose to simply wear shoes. Trail shoes, which provide additional support and have a more aggressive tread than hiking boots but are often lower in weight than hiking boots, are available.

It is recommended that you bring shower shoes or sandals with you if this is the case.

Footwear Checklist

hiking boots sandals sneakers wool or synthetic socks
trail shoes shower shoes water shoes

Campsite Extras

As a result, this section of our camping checklist includes a few extras that are always pleasant to have. It is quite beneficial to have a pair of binoculars for bird watching or seeing other animals from a distance. While lounging around camp, we like reading a nice book in the evenings. Having a few of games, even if it is only a deck of cards, can be a lot of fun and bring forth a lot of laughter and pleasant memories for you and your family. When camping, having a solar charger for mobile phones or rechargeable batteries may be a lifesaver since it prevents the batteries from being completely depleted.

Having a notepad or diary to jot down notes is important, whether you’re recording life-changing events or simply journaling about your camping trip is your preference.

Campsite Extras Checklist

binoculars reading materials dry bags games
notebook or journal solar charger


When it comes to cooking when camping, there are numerous items to keep in mind for your camping checklist. First and foremost, you will want a cooking camp stove or, at the at least, a grate to place over your campfire. Make sure you have sufficient of fuel for your stove before you start cooking. You won’t want to have to leave the kitchen in the middle of a meal. You’ll need cooking gear, such as pots and pans, as well as serving items such as plates and bowls. They provide kits, or you may simply use what you have in your kitchen cabinets.

Cooking Checklist

biodegradable soap can opener camp stove stove fuel
wash tube charcoal cook pot cooking utensils
cooler cutting board dish towels dutch oven
eating utensils fry pan grill rack ice
large water jug matches cups coffee mug
plates and bowls coffee maker pot scrubber trash bags

Sun Protection Bug Spray

It’s important to have bug repellant with you if you don’t generally spend a lot of time outside in case there are a lot of flies or mosquitoes. Aside from that, it’s a good idea to have some sunscreen with you.

Sun Protection Bug Spray Checklist

insect repellent insect repellent candles spf lip balm spf sunscreen
sun hat sunglasses

Misc Camping Items

Here are a few minor items to include on your camping to-do list. You can easily get away with not having them, but they are goods that are worth considering if you have the opportunity.

Misc Camping Items Checklist

two-way radio binoculars bungee cord camera
compass deck of cards small fire extinguisher fishing gear
gps radio travel alarm clock work gloves

Hygiene Items

So, even if you are camping for a few days, you need keep up with your personal hygiene.

This is especially true if you are camping for a longer period of time. Although combing your hair or shaving may not be important to you, you will need toilet paper and you should wash your teeth regardless of how you feel. Your mother will be pleased with you.

Hygiene Items Checklist

solar shower comb or brush deodorant feminine products
medications razor shower shoes toilet paper
toothpaste toothbrush towel washcloth

Personal Items

Given the fact that many campground registrations are done online, it’s a good idea to print a duplicate of your camping registration and have it with you when you arrive. When you depart, make sure you have your credit card, some cash, and your identification with you. Most likely, your emergency contact information is already recorded in your mobile phone, so you should be prepared in the event that something goes wrong along the road. We always recommend that you have a first-aid kit with you in case you are involved in an accident or suffer an injury.

Personal Items Checklist

campsite registration cell phone credit card cash
emergency contact numbers identification first-aid kit


Your camping checklist should include a few items of clothing that are self-explanatory. You’ll need some clothing. Make an informed decision.

Clothing Checklist

bandanna belt hat long sleeve shirt
pants rain gear shoes sleeping clothes
sweatshirt swimsuit t-shirts underwear

Rainy And Cold Weather

Over the course of a whole day, the temperature might fluctuate quite a little in both directions. When the sun goes down, it may become rather chilly outside. Assume the worst-case scenario and prepare by packing goods that will keep you warm and dry in the event of rain. A rain jacket or poncho may make a significant difference in terms of keeping you comfortable and dry.

Rainy And Cold Weather Checklist

fleece pants fleece pullover gloves or mittens long underwear
rain jacket rain pants poncho warm hat
insulated jacket vest baseball cap

Final Advice For Your Camping Checklist

When it comes to arranging a camping vacation, no two people are the same as the other. When it comes to camping equipment, what is vital to one person may not be as significant to another. When it comes to camping, my son loves to be as light as possible. As a family, we tend to bring a greater number of stuff. All of this is to imply that there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding what to pack on your camping excursion. Our objective is to give you with a comprehensive camping checklist that you can use to organize your trip.

Camping Checklist PDF

Would you want a printed version of our camping checklist? When you’re out shopping or packing your camping gear, it’s just easier to print out your camping checklist on a sheet of paper. It is convenient to be able to check items off your list in this manner. For a printable version of our camping checklist, please see the link below.


The camping checklists provided here are intended to be of use to you in preparing for your camping vacation. The categories were chosen in an attempt to provide you with a comprehensive list as well as varied areas to consider when preparing for the event. If you have any suggestions for anything we should have included, please contact us using our contact form. a link to the page’s load

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