The Ultimate Guide for What to Bring to Camp

Going outdoors and on a camping trip requires more effort than you think. If you want to get the most of your time, then, you need to properly plan and prepare for it. That said, it is important to have a checklist, especially if you are new to it. Over time, as you go camping more and more, you will eventually know what to bring to camp.

Before you make your list of things to bring, you still have to consider a lot of things. When, where, and how long you are camping affects the preparation. You also consider who you are going with.

Here’s a guide to help you come up with what to bring to your camping trip:

1. Shelter and Bedding

There are so many ways to camp outdoors such as tent camping, hammock camping, and trailer camping. Whatever you decide to camp in, take note of the weather and the temperatures, because they affect the preparations.

You should also know a little bit about the camping grounds. Some places might have limitations, for example, the size of the trailer or the number of tents.

For tent camping, consider getting a tent that suits all seasons. Otherwise, you might just end up being uncomfortable because of the temperature in the tent. The four-season tent has more durable fabric that can handle winter. Also, buy a tarp or ground cloth to avoid moisture and water from seeping in from the ground.

Camping doesn’t have to mean sleeping uncomfortably, so bring a sleeping bag that provides insulation and comfort. You should also use a sleeping mat because it adds cushion and provides insulation.

To summarize, here’s a list in the shelter and bedding category to help you out.

  • Tent / Hammock
  • Tarp or ground cloth
  • Stakes
  • Shade tarp
  • Mat for tent entrance
  • Dustpan and brush for cleaning
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sheets/blankets
  • Pillows
  • Sleeping pad

2. Cooking Essentials/Food and Water

When planning your food and water, you have to consider how long you are camping and how many are you camping with. However, bringing more than what you need is always the safer bet. Bring high-energy foods and plenty of water because you will probably be doing some high energy activities. You should also bring purification tablets or a water filter in case.

While fresh food and ingredients are ideal, it’s not going to be easy to take to camp. Instead, you should precook meals, freeze them and just reheat them in camp. If you have access to a camping grill, freeze your ingredients before your trip, and then just warm them at camp.

If you are going with other people, you can assign each other what to bring so you distribute the weight to each other. You’ll also be able to bring more if you have a storage like a car or a trailer. Here’s a list to help you prepare for meals and cooking outdoors:

  • Stove/fuel/fire starter.

Since not all campsites have fire rings or allow campfires, you might need a stove or burner. But also, stoves are better for the land and easier than building a fire. If campfires are permitted, then, make sure you follow their guidelines and regulations.

  • Matches/lighter
  • Camping grill
  • Pots and Pans

If you have access to storage of a vehicle, then, just bring the ones you have at home. You don’t have to bring fancy things, unless you are ready to beat them up.

  • Tongs and Spatulas
  • Potholders/mitts
  • Bowls and plates
  • Cups
  • Utensils
  • Can opener, bottle opener
  • Kitchen knife
  • Cutting board
  • Thermos
  • Large water jug
  • Personal water bottle
  • Foldable table. It is a luxury, but if you can bring one, it will certainly makes cooking outdoors easier.

3. Cleaning Items

Responsible camping means leaving the campsite better than you came into it. You want to leave as little to no footprint as you can, so bring these items to help you clean up:

  • Dish rags or towel
  • Dish soap
  • Scrub pads
  • Seasoning/sugar/condiments
  • Trashbags
  • Napkins

4. Clothing/ Hygiene/Personal Items

Your clothing also depends on the season and the location. Your beach camp pack list is a lot different from your mounting camping list. Generally, you want clothes that are comfortable. You might sweat a lot from doing activities outdoors, so choose a material that is quick dry or breathable.

You will need more clothing for colder camp trips, and the secret is to do layers. First, you will need a warm base layer, then, an insulating layer. Finally, you want a protective or weatherproof outer layer. Your footwear will also vary according to the type of camp you are going to.

Here’s a list to help you pack your clothing and other personal items:

  • Underwear (panties/sport bras/brief etc.)
  • Weatherproof/Rain jacket/windbreaker/
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Footwear: weatherproof boots/hiking sandals/flipflops or slip on sandals for evenings around the camp
  • Sleep clothes
  • Swimwear
  • Towel
  • Scarf
  • Extra socks
  • Laundry bag
  • Razor
  • Comb/brush
  • Oral care
  • Sunblock
  • Insect repellant
  • Chapstick/lip balm
  • Chaffing cream
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Toilet paper
  • Wet wipes
  • Deodorant
  • shampoo/soap/conditioner
  • other personal items
  • Medication


  • Lighting such as a headlamp
  • Camera and batteries or film
  • Books
  • Cards
  • Maps
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Fishing/hunting gear
  • Sunglasses
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Cellphones and chargers
  • Camp chairs
  • Musical instruments
  • Radio
  • Scissors

5. Safety / First Aid Kit

A lot can happen when you are outdoors. A first aid kit and other safety items are things you don’t want to have to use, but should always bring. Even small cuts can get infected really quick, so bringing a first aid kit can prevent any further damage.

Consider bringing these things:

  • Bandages
  • Tweezers
  • Antiseptic wipes/solutions
  • safety pins
  • Scissors
  • bug repellant
  • sterile compresses
  • Splinting material
  • smirrors
  • antibiotic cream
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Sunburn lotion
  • Ipecac
  • Blanket


Even if you have a lot of experience in camping, a checklist can still make such a big difference. It prevents you from forgetting important items, and helps you be more thorough, so you can enjoy your trip better.

This list is a guide for different camper, so many of the items may not be necessary. Some of the things are optional, and will depend on your storage, your company, and type of camp.

What do you think about the list? We’d love to hear about your camping experiences, so use the comment section below. We’d also love to hear your suggestions or tips.

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