Camping Checklist (Printable PDF & Editable)

You are looking for a solid basic list of camping gear to take on a camping trip and you’ve ended up here? Then well done! We have compiled a great list for you of good solid basics for you and turned it into an editable and printable camping checklist for you so you can add and remove items, depending on what you plan to do!

How damn handy is that? Pretty darn handy, if you ask us! All you have to do is download this checklist and have a look through it. Decide if you need to take all these things on your particular trip. Some things you will always need, others will depend on where you are going and at what time of the year!

This list should cover a family camping trip, a couples romantic weekend, or a weekend away with workmates. It covers all the things you will need to set up your home away from home but not the activities that you might want to do while you are away. 

Enough talk about lists, let’s get on with checking our suggested items list against your camping trip specifics, and let’s get packed and get outta here!  

Sleeping Packing List

  • Tent, poles, stakes/pegs, mallet, rainfly, or tarp
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  • Groundsheet, footprint, or tarp
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  • Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, sheets, blankets
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  • Pillow
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Related: If you’re a casual camper and don’t like having to mess around with setting up a tent, pop up tents might be the answer for you. Find out what the best pop up tent for camping is.

Kitchen Gear List

  • Camp table
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  • Camp chairs
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  • Tarp or shelter
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  • Portable camping stove or campfire materials
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  • Extra stove fuel, lighters, matches, firewood, firelighters
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  • Cooking pots and pans
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  • Large bowl
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  • Stovetop kettle
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  • Cooking utensils (Wooden spoons, tongs, flippers, spatula)
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  • Can opener, corkscrew, bottle openers
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  • Cutting board and knives
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  • Cooler with ice or ice packs
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  • Rubbish bin/bags
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  • Bucket for dishwashing, scrubber, detergent, tea towels, dishcloth
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  • Large drinking water container with potable water or water purification system
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  • Food containers and resealable plastic bags for food storage
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  • Foil and paper towel
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  • Marshmallow cooking sticks
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  • Dustpan and brush
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  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks for the time you are away
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Eating And Drinking

  • Plates and bowls
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  • Knives, forks, and spoons
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  • Mugs and water cups
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  • Wine glasses!
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  • Water bottles
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Wet weather protection To Stay Dry While You Camp

  • Tarp, poles, ropes, stakes
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  • Rain jackets
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  • Clothes pegs
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Clothing & Footwear Suitable For Hiking

  • Bag for clean clothes
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  • Quick-drying suitable outdoor clothing for the season
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  • Suitable nightwear
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  • Sun protection (Hats, sunglasses, sun shirts)
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  • Snow protection (Jackets, boots, thermal underwear)
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  • Cold weather protection (Hats, gloves, scarves)
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  • Trekking boots, water shoes, slip-on shoes
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  • Socks
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  • Swimming gear (swimsuit, towel)
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  • Plastic bag for dirty/wet clothes
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Toiletries Packing List

  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
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  • Deodorant
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  • Soap, shampoo
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  • Quick-dry towel
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  • Hairbrush
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  • Shaver
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  • Toilet paper
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  • Medications
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  • First aid kit
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  • Insect repellent
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  • Sunscreen
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  • Chapstick or lip balm
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  • Reading glasses/contact lenses
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  • Toilet shovel
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  • Waterless hand sanitizer
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  • Baby wipes
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Camp Lighting

  • Lanterns
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  • Candles, matches
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  • Headlamps
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  • Rechargeable torches
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  • Flashlights
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  • Spare Batteries
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  • Portable solar panel for recharging
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Camping Entertainment And Activities

  • Field guides, star charts, and books
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  • Binoculars
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  • Notebook and pencils (pencils write on wet-ish paper)
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  • Music player, Bluetooth speakers, phone, tablet, etc
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  • Musical instrument
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  • Ball, frisbee
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  • Watercrafts
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  • Hammock
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  • Camera
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  • Fishing gear, bait, license
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  • Deck of cards, Jigsaw, board games
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  • Day pack for short hikes
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Useful things To Bring Camping

  • Phone charger
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  • Watch or clock
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  • Rope – thick and thin
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  • Multi-tool/Pocket knife/Scissors
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  • Duct Tape
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  • Extra guy ropes
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  • Bungy/shock cords
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  • Tent pole repair
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  • Hammer/saw/axe
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  • Compass or navigation device
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  • Reflective blanket
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  • Mosquito net
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  • Credit card/cash/Identification
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  • Repair kits for tent, tarps, water toys, blow-up mattresses
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  • Bear spray for errant bears also works well on unwanted human intruders
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  • Whistle
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Camping picnic table by a lake through the trees with watercraft and a hammock in the background
Don’t forget to add to your list the things that you like to do on a camping trip, like books, hammocks, good coffee, your new swimmers, a camera, or your art gear!

Hacks and tips for creating and using your camping checklist

Preparation

  • Use a list. This list. Your list. Any list. They really do stop you from forgetting something. 
  • Use a tracking system. E.g. If an item is crossed off the list, it’s physically in the car. If it has a dot beside it, it’s in the pile by the front door. If it has a star next to it, it’s an item to grab on the day, just before you leave. 
  • Make sure your significant other is involved in the creation of the list so that you cover all the things they will need to make their trip a good one too!
  • List each item, don’t write “kitchen stuff”. You’ll need the can opener for sure but the egg timer? Maybe not as much. 
  • Get someone else to read the list out to you while you point out each item as you get into the car. A final check can be the difference between eating well-done burnt steaks on the fire and being vegetarian for the weekend! 
  • Edit your list when you get home too. Add the things you wished you has bought and take off the things that you didn’t use and can’t see yourself needing next time either. 

Packing

  • Give the kids a list and get them to pack their personal items. Then get them to unpack it and check what they packed. Your daughter’s 35 dolls might warm her heart but won’t keep her as warm as her sleeping bag at night!
  • Packing is an art as well a science. The list is the science, getting it all into the car is the art!
  • Don’t forget to get the cold food out of the fridge and freezer before you leave!
  • Pack the important stuff first. Leave the “maybes” till last!
  • Make sure you can get at the things you will need while you are on the road. It will be frustrating to have your wallet on the bottom of the pile and to have to unpack half the car to pay for gas…

And a few other things to consider before you Go Camping

It’s a good idea to make sure you have the campsite booking number, address, phone, direction, and a printed confirmation with you. A paper-based map is going to be handy if phone coverage is patchy where you are planning to camp.

It’s also a good idea to know what the weather is going to do, what the fire ban status of the area is, and what dangerous animals or toxic plants you may encounter in your campsite.

Always leave with a full tank of gas in the car, and remember to tell someone exactly where you are going and when you’ll be back.

Relax and enjoy the experience – you’ll remember the first time you used a camping checklist to go camping, forever!

Stay safe! Happy Camping 😊

Next up: Are you a camping beginner? Don’t worry – we’ve got you. Check out our beginner camping checklist.

Back one: Or perhaps you fancy camping but don’t want to lug all your gear around with you? Get started on your car camping trip with our car camping checklist.

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Author at Wilderness Redefined camping website

Kara grew up in New Zealand where camping in the backyard as a child turned into multi-night trips in the National Parks as a teenager and then a full blown backpacking adventure for a year in Asia, by herself in her early 20's. Camping, bush walking, car camping and road trips still feature heavily in her current life style. She lives right next door to a World Heritage National Park on Springbrook Mountain and highly recommends having them as next door neighbours!