Couples Camping Checklist (Printable & Editable)

You and your significant other haven’t been camping before but you’d like to try it. Neither of you is a big outdoor person and you’re a bit worried that you might get out into the great outdoors and discover you have left the tent behind! Oops!

The smartest thing you can do to keep you and your partner happy and safe as you embark on a new adventure together is to use a couples camping checklist!

Don’t guess and get it wrong. Have a look at what we recommend you take with you as the basics for car camping with a tent for people who aren’t very experienced with spending the night in the forest under canvas!

We’ve got it all sorted for you. From the tent to the long sticks for cooking marshmallows on the fire, we’ve got you covered for a complete checklist for couples camping!

Sleeping

  • 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: Looking for a tent to get you started on your romantic adventure? Find out what the best 2 person tent for camping is.

Kitchen

  • 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
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  • 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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Eating

  • 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

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

  • 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

  • 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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Lighting

  • Lanterns
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  • Rechargeable fairy lights for ambiance and romance
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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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Entertainment

  • 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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  • Double 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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  • Mystical fire. Creates colored campfire flames!
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Useful things

  • 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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  • Animals or toxic plants you may encounter
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A couple enjoying a drink at their campsite and acknowledging the photographer.
Getting away from other people and concentrating on each other is the goal for couples camping!

Bonus romantic activities for your couple’s camping trip!

  • Dancing in a beautiful place
  • Drinking wine by the fire
  • Dining with a view
  • Watching a sunrise or sunset together.
  • Stargazing
  • Serenade each other with songs and music
  • Set up a beautiful picnic lunch in the wilderness.
  • Go swimming – clothes optional!
  • Moonlight walking

Hints and tips for making your couple’s camping trip great!

  • Use a checklist to pack so you don’t start the trip with an argument about who forgot what!
  • Try to pick a spot without many people around to increase intimacy.
  • Research the site before you go to make sure it matches your expectations and reserve it if you are happy with it to make sure you don’t miss out!
  • Arrive in daylight to make it easier to set up and get sorted. 
  • Pack your favorite food and indulge each other’s food loves. 
  • Make sure your other half is as comfortable as you are with the camping plans and adjust your plans accordingly.
  • Do the things you know you both already enjoy on the trip. You don’t have to have a list of firsts. Keep it comfortable. 
  • Pack plenty of treats. Include luxuries and enjoy being romantic with your significant other. 
  • Cook together. Dine together. Wash up together. Couples camping is all about spending time with each other.
  • Check the weather and make sure you are prepared for it!
  • Connect without devices. See if you can concentrate on each other, not your social media accounts.
  • Breakfast in bed or at a romantic spot near your camp is a great way to start the day!
  • Do something cute or sweet on this camping trip to remind your partner how much they mean to you!

And a few things to do before you leave

Do a bit of research before you leave – It’s also a good idea to know what the weather is going to do, the fire ban status of the area, 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 let someone know exactly where you are going and when you’ll be back. Email your campsite details to a friend in case of an emergency so they can get hold of you. 

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

Stay safe!  Have fun!

Happy Camping 😊

Back one: Run out of space in your backpack? Here’s a tip to keep your trip going – can you put a tent in a compression sack?

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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!