Categories: CampingChecklists

The Definitive Camping Checklist

Packing for a camping trip can be daunting—but not so much when you have this handy checklist!

This checklist is meant for your average car to tent camping trip, but of course, some gear will have to be substituted or added based on where you’re camping (desert, forest, beach?), how long you’re going, how you’re getting there (car camping? backpacking in?), the weather, etc. Essentials are bolded.

Next time you’re camping, print this list out and never forget your sleeping pad, toothbrush or lighter again! (We’ve all been there.)

Campsite Gear


 Sleeping bag (appropriately ranked for the temperature)

Sleeping pad (with air pump if needed)

Camp pillows (stuffing clothes in a stuff sack works well too)

Headlamp, flashlight, or lantern (with fully charged batteries!)

Matches or a lighter

Camp chairs (fold ups or more portable ones, like Crazy Creeks—logs and stumps work great too)


Duct tape


 Daytime clothes

 Dry clothes for sleeping


 Rainwear (you never know!)

 Swimsuit (and towels)

 Sturdy shoes for exploring

 Comfy camp shoes, like Chacos, flip-flops, crocs, etc.

 Warm hat for nighttime

Backpack for day hikes

 Socks and underwear (a pair or two extra than you think you need)

Clothesline and pegs



 Stove fuel

 Lighter or matches

 Firewood (if fires are allowed)

 Pots, pans

 Portable coffee maker

 Trash bags (you can often make do with a make-shift bag)

 Plates, bowls, forks, spoons, knives, etc.

 Cups and mugs

Cooler with ice packs (if you’re car camping)

 Biodegradable soap, washcloths


Easy Breakfast Ideas:



 Yogurt and granola (if you have a cooler)

 Granola and/or meal replacement bars (like Clif, Kind, Luna, etc.)

 Overnight oats

See all camp recipes from the Hipcamp Journal.

Easy Lunch Ideas:


 Hummus and veggies

Peanut butter and trail mix tortilla wrap

Easy Dinner Ideas:

 Canned soup



 Instant rice or couscous with veggies



 Mac and Cheese

 Any of these sweet potato recipes

 Farro, Sweet Potato, Kale and Sausage Cast Iron

See these 7 Vegan Recipes from Simply, Sweet Vegan.


 Jiffy Popcorn

 S’mores (or, Banana Split S’mores!)

 Date Ball Energy Snacks

 Hot chocolate

 Camping cocktail supplies


 Trail Mix

Check out these camp cooking tips from Luke’s Local.

Personal Items

 Toothbrush and paste


Shampoo or dry shampoo


Wet wipes

Tampons or pads as needed


Toilet paper

 Any prescriptions


Bug repellent

Pocket tissues

Hair brush or comb


 Waterbottle(s), filled

Basic First Aid & Safety

 Alcohol or antiseptic wipes

 Blister treatment

Wallet with cash, credit cards, etc

Phone with charger or car adapter


 Gauze pads

 Splinter tweezers

 Antihistamine for allergic reactions


Swiss Army knife

Extra Things for Fun

Camera and charger or spare battery

Cards or books

 Sketchpad and art supplies

Battery-operated LED lights (for vibes and extra light)

 Animal Spirit Cards (we’re obsessed)



Bikes and helmets

 Portable speakers


Walkie talkies (great if you’re with the kids!)

Spare batteries


Camping Packing Tips

  • I used to always forget my toothbrush (gross, I know) until I bought a second set of toiletries and just keep them in my pack for whenever I’m going to go camping again.
  • Storage = your best friend. Buy one of those big plastic containers from Target and make it your camping gear treasure chest. Nothing is worse than running around your house trying to find random pieces of gear.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of #campvibes to elevate any camping trip: fairy lights, patterned throw blankets, a deck of cards, a good bottle of whisky—you know what we’re talking about.
  • Food prep at home! Chop your veggies, do portion control, and season your meats ahead of time. It’ll make cooking a whole lot faster and easier.

A note on gear and spending money: Camping gear can be an expensive investment, but luckily, there are lots of rental gear companies out there, places to buy used gear (Patagonia Worn Wear, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Gear Trade), and camping hacks to make gear right from household supplies.

Even still, if you plan on camping more than once a year, it’s worth investing in some good, dependable gear that can last years. Plus, chances are that if you buy it, you’ll be more incentivized to spend more sweet, sweet time in nature. (And time in nature = priceless).

You can also bypass all that gear stuff and camp in a cabin, glamping tent, yurt, or outfitted treehouse instead! We’ve got lots listed on Hipcamp.

Discover camps, cabins, treehouses, yurts, farmstays—you name it—on Hipcamp.

Hipcamp is an online marketplace where you can list, discover, and book campsites and accommodations on private and public land. Hipcamp is your go-to guide to getting outside. If you’re a landowner, Hipcamp creates new revenue streams for your business, which can help conserve your land and keep it wild. #FindYourselfOutside #LeaveItBetter

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