Packing for Camp and the Outdoors

packing for camp 1

By Lucy Gomez

Packing for camp should be thought about carefully.  Planning for a camping trip can be hard work, as camping requires a lot of gear to ensure that nothing goes wrong. Your list should obviously start with the basic necessities, that being food, water, and warm clothes, among a lot of other things, but there are also quite a few more items that you may not realize you are going to need.

What Do I Need With Camping?

Depending on the type of camping trip you are planning to have, there are multiple different categories of items, supplies, and other miscellaneous items that are going to be necessary for your trip.

Shelter Items

packing for camp 2For starters, you are going to need shelter items, unless you have a cabin that you will be staying in. You will need a tent, stakes and a few extra, a dust brush and pan, ground tarp or cloth, a small mat for the entrance, a hammer or an axe for the stakes, and rope, poles, and a shade tarp.

Bedding Items

packing for camp 3If you are bringing your own tent, then you will most definitely need bedding to sleep on. Also, if you are bringing an air mattress or a cot with you, you’re going to need a sleeping pad, pillow, sheets, blankets, an air pump, and a repair kit, just in case any damage occurs while camping. However, if you are just bringing a sleeping bag, then all you will need is a pillow, an extra blanket, and a sleeping pad. A utility bag is also a good item to bring, as well.

Cooking Supplies

Just bringing food items is not enough, especially if you are going with a larger group of people:

  • Water bucket and a large jug
  • Ice and a cooler
  • Thermos, you may need more than one depending on how large your group is
  • Lighter or a box of matches
  • Buddy burner, firewood, or charcoal
  • BBQ grill or a campfire grill, which will be something similar to an oven rack
  • Newspaper or any other fire starter
  • Clips, thumbtacks, and tablecloth, if there are picnic benches where you are camping, or if you are bringing your own table
  • Measuring cups
  • Aluminium foil, heavy-duty
  • Paper plates and bowls with plastic cutlery
  • Paper towels
  • Trash bags for cleanup
  • Potholders and oven mitts
  • Frying pans and pots with their lids
  • Skewers, grill forks, tongs, can opener, bottle opener, and any other utensils you may need that are not cutlery
  • Tupperware or containers for storage of food
  • Brillo, scrub pad, sponge
  • Dish towels and rags

Hygienic/Personal Items

For the next checklist, you are going to need all of your hygiene and personal items, which is an especially important essential when going camping. You will need washcloths, towels, shampoo, conditioner, soap, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper, a portable camping shower or pump shower if you do not have access to one, toothbrush and paste, deodorant, a brush and/or a comb, flip flops or shower shoes, medications, razor, and any other personal item that you deem necessary to bring.

Clothing Items

Camping and any style of retreat in the outdoors will require essential clothing that you will need to bring with you. You will need warm sweaters, jeans track pants, and coats, long johns if necessary, hats, gloves, scarves, a dirty laundry bag, a swimsuit, beach towel, rain gear, boots, and extra warm clothing.

Miscellaneous Items

The following are random, miscellaneous items that you might want to include when packing for camp:

  • GPS or compass
  • Lantern with mantles or fuel
  • Chopstick
  • Sunscreen
  • Water purifier or filters
  • Bug candles and/or repellent
  • Chairs for sitting
  • Sunglasses
  • Radio
  • Fishing bait, license, and gear
  • Fanny pack and backpack
  • Random tools, including utility knife
  • Candles
  • Books, Kindle, or magazines
  • Camera and/or video camera
  • Games that will cater to a summer camp for toddlers
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • First aid kits, always bring more than one
  • Hershey bars, graham crackers, and marshmallows to make smores
  • Bungee straps and cords
  • Coffee pot, water bottle, and a spare canteen

Packing for Camp: Having a Successful Camping Trip or Retreat

By ensuring you have all of the items in this checklist, plus the extra items that you deem necessary, you will have a fun, successful camping trip!

What are your favorite things to include when packing for camp?

Multiple Contributor at

Lucy Gomez is a camp editor at Getcampingwild.com. She has been camping her entire life and Getcampingwild.com is a place where campers can share everything we’ve learned along the (sometimes prickly) way in the wilderness.

5 thoughts on “Packing for Camp and the Outdoors

  • December 17, 2016 at 9:16 pm
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    Wow! This is such an extensive and great reference for packing and preparation! Saving this link for later!

    Reply
  • December 17, 2016 at 8:47 pm
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    very thorough list! Thanks for the helpful advice !

    Reply
  • December 12, 2016 at 2:51 pm
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    Very well written. I organize camping trips a few times a year with a group size of 20 to 30 or even more. I do get newbies everytime. Thanks to you, I can just send them this link (and your website overall) if they need a thorough rundown 🙂 I’ll keep this in mind for sure.

    Reply
    • December 12, 2016 at 7:27 pm
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      Thank you so much for your kind comments. We all had to start somewhere, that’s for sure.

      Reply

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