Camping Checklist

This article is part of our series: Intro to Camping.

 Illustration of items in camping checklist

Camping is a great way to get outside with family and friends or even by yourself. You can go camping in many state and national parks, at private campgrounds, in the backcountry or even in your own backyard. (For more info, read Where Can I Camp?)

Most campsites include a picnic table, a place to park your car and a spot to pitch your tent. Many also have shared bathrooms and running water.

 

What to Bring Camping

Part of the joy of camping is needing very little gear to exist outdoors. But it’s also nice to have a comfortable, convenient and homey campsite. If it’s your first time camping, it might be best to borrow or rent some of these things. As you become a more experienced camper, you may find that part of the fun is figuring out what to bring along to meet your needs.

While you’re packing, use this handy camping checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything important. This is a comprehensive list, and we don't expect you to bring along every item — though we won't judge you if you do!

 

Printer-friendly version (PDF) 

 

 
tent icon

Campsite


These are important items for your camping checklist:
 

Optional:

 

 

repair tool icon

Tools & Repair Items


 

 

camp mug icon

Kitchen


Many campgrounds have drinkable water. If not, bring your own, or be prepared to treat water if there’s a water source. Also, for even more ideas and food suggestions, see our separate Camp Kitchen Checklist.
 

Optional:

 

 

pen and pencil icon

Campsite Extras


Most of the following items are optional, though depending on how remote your campsite is, navigation tools such as a map, compass and/or GPS may be required (for more info, read about the Ten Essentials).

 

 

 

puffy vest icon

Clothing & Footwear


Additional items for rainy and/or cold weather:

Optional:

 

 

soap icon

Health & Hygiene


Sun and bug protection:

Optional:

 

 

personal ID and credit card icon

Personal Items


 

Video: What to Take Camping

 

 

How helpful was this article? Click a star to rate.

547 votes so far - average rating 4.3