Weekend Camping Checklist (Printable & Editable)

You really want to go camping outdoors for the weekend as a couple or as a family with the kids AND have a good time but it’s a completely new experience for you. You don’t want to be one of those people who leave home wondering, “Did I pack everything?” So sensibly, you are looking for a weekend camping equipment list!

Most car camping sites have space for your car, a place to pitch a tent, maybe a picnic table and sometimes even a bathroom, So there’s no reason to be uncomfortable on a weekend camping trip. 

We’ve got a list of the essential things you will need as well as the things that could be handy on your weekend camping trip. We’ve divided the weekend camping checklist into easy sections for you to tackle each camping gear category in one hit. 

We can have you packed and ready to go in a couple of hours! Add and remove items from our editable and printable list depending on how you choose to camp and let’s get packing!

Sleeping Packing List

  • Tent, poles, stakes/pegs, mallet, rainfly, or tarp
  • Groundsheet, footprint, or tarp
  • Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, air mattress, sheets, blankets
  • Pillow
  • Add new

Related: Looking for a great family tent? Check out our reviews of the best 8 person camping tent.

Kitchen Gear List

  • Camp table
  • Camp chairs
  • Tarp or shelter
  • Portable camping stove or campfire materials
  • Extra stove fuel, lighters, matches, firewood, firelighters
  • Cooking pots and pans
  • Large bowl
  • Stovetop kettle
  • Cooking utensils (Wooden spoons, tongs, flippers, spatula)
  • Can opener, corkscrew, bottle openers
  • Cutting board and knives
  • Cooler with ice or ice packs
  • Rubbish bin/bags
  • Bucket/Basin for dishwashing, scrubber, detergent, tea towels, dishcloth
  • Large drinking water container with potable water or water purification system
  • Food containers and resealable plastic bags for food storage
  • Foil and paper towel
  • Marshmallow cooking sticks
  • Dustpan and brush for cleaning out your tent
  • Add new

Eating And Drinking

  • Plates and bowls
  • Knives, forks, and spoons
  • Mugs and water cups
  • Wine glasses
  • Water bottles
  • Food
  • Add new

Wet weather protection To Keep Dry While You Camp

  • Tarp, poles, ropes, stakes
  • Rain jackets
  • Clothesline and pegs
  • Add new

Clothing And Footwear Suitable For Hiking

  • Bag for clean clothes
  • Quick-drying suitable outdoor clothing for the season
  • Suitable nightwear
  • Sun protection (Hats, sunglasses, sun shirts)
  • Trekking boots, water shoes, slip-on shoes
  • Socks
  • Swimming gear (swimsuit, towel)
  • Plastic bag for dirty/wet clothes
  • Add new

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 – just in case
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  • Waterless hand sanitizer
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  • Baby wipes
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  • Add new

Camp Lights and 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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  • Add new

Camping Activities and 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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  • 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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  • Small pack for day hiking
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  • Add new

Useful things For Camping On A Weekend

  • Phone charger
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  • Watch or clock
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  • Ropes – 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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  • Add new
Campfire in a metal drum at a campsite
Weekend camping is a great chance to try cooking on a campfire at least once!

Weekend camping hacks and tips for first-time campers

  • Use a checklist to pack with. It’s hard to track what you’re packing for the first few trips without a list.
  • Check your campsite on Google Earth to see exactly what’s there
  • Once you have all the basic camping gear you think you’ll need, get a large box to store it all in to keep it all dry and together.
  • If you have the room, take a few extra sets of clothes. Keeping clean is hard when you camp outside with campfires, creeks, and outdoor cooking!
  • Plan ALL your meals before you leave. Keep them simple and prep as many as you can to save room and time.
  • Use recent Trip Advisor and Yelp reviews to see what other campers thought and wished they knew before they arrived. 
  • Talk to other campers while you are there and check out how they do things and why. There’s always something new to see and learn!
  • Check where the nearest stores to your campsite are before you leave, just in case you do forget something.
  • Remember to respect the quiet hours if there are other campers nearby.
  • Buy perishable groceries as close to the campsite as possible.
  • Make sure your campsite is close to the things you plan to do – hiking, backpacking, fishing, swimming, kayaking.
  • Bring lots of rubbish bags but don’t attract animals by leaving them outside overnight.
  • For a romantic weekend camping experience for couples, look into Glamping… Glamorous camping is fun too!

And a few things to do before you Go Camping

If you think phone reception might be patchy, take a paper-based map of where you are planning to camp with you so that you can actually get there!

It’s a really good idea to make sure you have the booking number, the access code, address, phone, direction, and a printed confirmation with you when you arrive, just in case your electronics let you down… 

Always leave the home 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. Maybe email them your plans and campsite address. It’s basic camping security in case things go pear-shaped.

It’s also a good idea to know what the weather is going to do while you are away and what dangerous animals or toxic plants you might find in your camping area. Knowing the fire status of the area you are going to might be relevant as well.

Stay safe!

Happy Camping 😊

What’s next?

Going cabin camping? Check out our cabin camping packing checklist. Or if you’re going camping a little later in the year, see our fall camping checklist.

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!