Camping Packing List

A camping packing list helps to avoid that sinking feeling! Remember it...

When you're half-way to your campsite, and then you think of that essential item you forgot! Or sometimes you don't realize it until you're AT the site - aaargh!!

Much better to have that packing list - like a check-off or a "cheat sheet" so that everything you need - your essential Camping Equipment is along with you. Avoid that awful feeling!

Believe me - it's happened to us - for sure...

So we learned to keep a good camping packing check-list on hand. Some things we regularly use daily in our lives. So they're not stored away just for camping. When arriving at that campsite, we did need them. But we'd forgotten them - so we learned!

We thought we'd help you out, if you've been in this situation too. Since we've gathered our camping packing list - it could be helpful to you. We'd like to share it with you.

camping checklistA campsite should be organized & comfortable, with all needed items.

We have the camping packing list divided up 2 ways. It's sectioned into categories.

There are those things that are absolute essentials - so we have those in one check-list. Those types of items will apply whether you are in a tent or an RV.

If you're backpacking, then you'll want a list that's a little more specialized. We have some tips for that - more here>

Then there are those things you may want on occasion, depending on the type of trip you're making, where you're going, the time of year, etc. So those are the essentially optional items.

Overall, our check-lists are divided that way. And... don't forget your campground reservation paperwork - if you have made reservations. Hope this helps!

Camping Packing Check-List



  • Camp stove with fuel, or propane tank-check for RV
  • Matches and/or fire-lighter
  • Cooking pots and frying pan and/or griddle
  • Pot grabber and/or pot-holders/oven mitts
  • Bottle & can opener + cork-screw
  • Food/left-over storage: zip bags or containers
  • Trash bags
  • Table cloth & clips for picnic table (or duck/masking tape)
  • Cooler (pick up ice)
  • Plates, bowls, forks/spoons/knives - Paper/plastic, or wash & reuse
  • Cups, mugs, drinking glasses - Paper/throwaway, or wash & reuse
  • Utensils - serving/mixing spoon, spatula, carving knife
  • Aluminum foil/
  • Collapsible water container, or water bottles for RV
  • Wash-basin/paper towels/dish towel/scrubber sponge
  • Food - main meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks: X days at campsite
  • Food accessories - syrup? butter? sugar? seasonings? Jam/Peanut-butter? Cooking oil/pan spray?
  • Drinks - Coffee, tea-bags, fruit drinks, hot chocolate, mixes, soda, beer/cocktails
camping packing listToilet Paper & Hiking Boots - 2 needed items for a Camping Packing List

Personal Items

  • Toilet paper
  • Sunscreen/cosmetics/mirror/shaving items
  • Insect repellent
  • Contact lens needs/eyeglass case/reading glasses/sunglasses
  • Prescription medications
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste/mouthwash
  • Brush/comb
  • Shampoo/conditioner/soap - biodegradable especially if not in an RV
  • Campground shower items: Shower flip-flops & carry bag for toiletries
  • Bath towels
  • First aid kit/tissues

Campsite Basics/Tents and/or Additions to RV

  • Tent & set-up with ground sheet
  • Mallet or hammer
  • Air mattresses with pump/cots
  • Pillows
  • Sleeping bags
  • Flashlights & extra batteries/lanterns with fuel & mantles
  • Work/gardening gloves
  • Broom/dust-pan
  • Scissors
  • Fire-extinguisher
camera is on the camping check-listYou won't regret having your camera along when camping!

Camping Accessory Equipment

  • Folding chairs
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Guidebooks/field guides/maps
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Umbrella/rain coat
  • Books/eBooks
  • Sleepwear
  • Hiking boots/shoes
  • Underwear for each day of the trip
  • Jackets
  • Day-pack

Check-List Extras - Depending on Trip


  • Long sleeve shirts - for bugs/sun/warmth
  • Swimsuits
  • Long underwear
  • Gloves/mittens
  • Clothesline rope & clothes pins
  • In-camp slippers/sandals

Misc. Cooking/Camping Gear

  • Screen-house/shade tarp
  • Multi-tool knife
  • Hiking stick/pole
  • Folding table
  • Stove wind-screen
  • Charcoal, grill, and fire-starter
  • Grill rack for campfire
  • Hot/cold vacuum bottle
  • Marshmallow roasting sticks & marshmallows (+ graham crackers & chocolate for S'mores)
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Cutting board
  • Hammock
  • Lantern hanger/pole
  • Lip balm
  • Antiseptic wipes

Fun Options

  • Star chart & guide for the night sky
  • Notebook/diary/travel journal with pen & pencils
  • Radio/music player with headphones/earphones
  • 2-way radios
  • GPS for trail tracing or Geocaching participation
  • Night-time activities: Playing cards, Puzzles, Board games
  • Flying discs
  • Water toys in warm weather
  • Bringing the dog? Our camping packing list shouldn't forget the dog! (Or your other camp-ground friendly pet!) Bring pet food, pet toys, leash