Our boys love camping! I like being outside with my family and … I like good camping checklists (so I don’t forget the things we need to make easy outdoor memories).

Our below camping checklists cover a bunch of gear and stuff, but don’t feel like you have to bring everything listed. This should get you started but once you get going, you’ll figure out some other things to bring camping.

 

Camping Gear

  • Tent (maybe two, and test it before you go, make sure you know how to set it up)
  • Tarps (to put under your tent and if needed, to keep other stuff dry)
  • Table (lightweight + portable)
  • Rope and heavy twine
  • Repair tools: knife, duct tape, mallet, high quality multi-tool
  • Sleeping bags, pillows, extra blankets
  • Cot, blowup mattress or sleeping pad (trust me, sleeping on hard ground, or worse rocks, isn’t fun)
  • Camping stove (check if everything works before you go)
  • Coolers (keep a small flashlight tied to the cooler, so you can see inside at night)
  • Hammocks (make sure your campsite allows you to tie ropes to the trees)
  • Kayaks, SUPs or bikes
  • Fishing rods and tackle (bring your fishing license)
  • Ninjaline
  • First-aid kit (make sure it is current and doesn’t contain dried ointment from 2001)
  • Firewood (some places you’ll have to bring your own, as you may not be allowed to pick up wood from campsite areas)
Pro Tip: Pillows are bulky items, even if you’re car camping. To save space, try bringing a pillowcase and fill it with extra clothes.

 

Other Good Camping Stuff

  • Water Jugs (you’ll need enough for each person to drink 2 liters of water a day, plus water for cooking and cleaning, bring a way to treat fresh water, if needed) + Water bottles
  • Hats + Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Camera
  • Matches, lighters (have a plan to keep them dry, put them in a water tight container)
  • Flashlights + Headlamps (check the batteries, and bring extras)
  • Glow sticks and necklaces (trust me)
  • Music — either bring your guitar and make your own, or bring a speaker (careful not to be too loud)
  • Books + Small travel games (our faves: backpack chess, Bananagrams, StoryCubes, UNO, deck of cards + chess board)
  • Baby wipes and paper towels
  • Washcloths, small bar of soap, toothbrush, travel shampoo
Pro Tip: Keep all your dry food and paper products in 1-2 big clear storage bins (clear makes it easier to see what’s inside).

Food + Cooler Stuff

  • Snacks
  • Beverages
  • Fruit + Veggies
  • Cheeses + Meats
Pro Tip: Keep frozen water bottles (3/4 full) in your cooler — they’ll keep it cold and when it melts, you’ll have drinking water instead of a useless cooler pack.

Kitchen Stuff

  • Camping skillet
  • Coffee pot or French press
  • Grill rack or cooking grate
  • Openers for bottles, cans and wine
  • Aluminum foil
  • Table cloth
  • Marshmallow and hot dog sticks
  • Utensils, cutting knife board, tongs, large spoon/spatula
  • Camping stove and fuel
  • Cups, mugs, plates, bowls, utensils (reusable are better than paper)
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Scrub brush or sponge
  • Wash buckets (one for soapy water, one for rinse)
  • Towels (cloths are better than paper towels)
  • Baby wipes + Antibacterial wipes
  • Trash bags

 

Clothes + Shoes Stuff

  • Jackets — think in layers
  • Raincoats
  • Bathing suits
  • Long Sleeve Shirts
  • Hiking shoes
  • Change of undergarments

 

Bathroom Stuff

  • Toilet paper
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Lip Balm
  • Make up remover and cleaning towelettes

 

In Closing

Planning and solid camping checklists make good camping experiences. But there’s no need to stress, just do your research, start making lists, piling up supplies (like safe sunscreen) and get ready to make some outdoor memories with your family.