Travel

Essential Camping Gear Checklist

By
Tim Gillespie
on
January 11, 2021

Camping is a great activity to do with friends and family, or even on a solo excursion, to explore the outdoors, get in touch with nature, and maybe even test your comfort levels.  A camping trip can help break up your normal routine and stir it up with a little adventure.  But just like taking on any project, a well organized camping trip needs some necessary preparation.  Having the right supplies and equipment will make all the difference in your overall enjoyment and experience.

Checklists are an important tool in organization.  This camping list we provided is quite comprehensive. We are not saying that you need everything listed, but let this help in ensuring you don’t forget anything important on your next camping trip.  Also, if you are a beginner camper, we suggest borrowing some of the items on this list from a friend before going out and purchasing all of your own camping gear. 

Essential camping gear


As a note, your exact camping list will vary depending on where you will be camping, the expected weather conditions, the length of your camping trip, and the activities you have planned.  We hope this camping checklist helps make packing for your next camping trip hassle-free.

Shelter/bedding

  • Tent (with stakes, guylines, and rainfly)
  • Ground mat / tent footprint
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat
  • Camping pillow

Camp Kitchen

  • Cooler
  • Ice for cooler
  • Large water jug/dispenser
  • Stove with fuel/propane
  • Matches/lighter/firestarter
  • Cook pots
  • Frying pan
  • Eating utensils
  • Cooking utensils
  • Reusable bowls/plates/cups
  • Containers for food storage
  • Bottle opener, can opener, corkscrew
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Paper towels
  • Trash bags
  • Ziplock bags
  • Dish soap (biodegradable is preferred)
  • Dish-washing basin
  • Sponge
  • Seasonings/spices/condiments
  • Potholders/oven mitts
  • Electrolyte powder or tablets

Clothing & Footwear

  • Moisture-wicking T-shirts
  • Quick-drying pants/shorts
  • Underwear & Bras 
  • Long-sleeved shirts (bugs/sun protection)
  • Lightweight fleece or jacket
  • Hiking shoes/boots
  • Camp shoes/slip-ons
  • Wool socks
  • Sleepwear (remember to keep in the tent for sleeping only)
  • Hat/sunglasses
  • Raingear
  • Swimsuit
  • Base layer top and bottom
  • Bandanas

Personal Gear

  • Headlamp (with extra batteries)
  • Daypack
  • Water bottle or hydration pack
  • Multi-tool or Swiss Army knife
  • Whistle
  • Phone with portable charger
  • Camera
  • Cash and/or credit card
  • ID
  • Permits/ reservations/fees/licenses
  • Hiking guides/maps
  • Car keys

Campsite extras

  • Lantern
  • Camp table (if campsite does not provide one)
  • Camp chairs
  • Candles
  • Clear plastic bins to store items
  • Mallet or hammer (for tent stakes)
  • Camping saw or axe (for chopping wood)
  • Trowel/shovel (if bathroom facilities are not present)
  • Camping/BBQ grill
  • Hammock
  • Notebook/journal
  • Games and toys
  • Book/reading material
  • Duct tape
  • Work gloves

Health & Hygiene

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Toiletries (soap, shampoo, etc.)
  • Cosmetics
  • Toilet paper or wet naps
  • Prescription medications
  • Quick-dry pack towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Hand/skin lotion

First Aid Kit

  • Bandaids
  • Roll bandages
  • Adhesive tape
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Aspirin/Ibuprofen/Tylenol (headache reliever)
  • Antihistamine (allergic reactions)
  • Aloe (for sunburn)
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Cotton swabs
  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Safety pins
  • Eye drops
  • Nail clippers
Camp setup with essential camping gear

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Tim Gillespie
Tim is U30X's Thailand Manager & Community Builder, and has been living, traveling and accumulating experiences in SE Asia since 2009. He loves being in the outdoors, immersing himself in local cultures, and tasting exotic foods.

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