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The Ultimate Camping Packing List



Camping Essentials

Whether you are camping in a state park or a bit more off the grid, it is important that you have all essentials with you. If you are an experienced camper or brand new to camping, this list has something for everyone. With summer just around the corner, camping is a great way to get out and spend some quality time with nature. Continue reading below for an ultimate camping list.

In the Tent

Most of the time when you go camping, you will be sleeping in a tent. The tent will be your home base and can be quite uncomfortable if you don’t set it correctly. You will require more items in your tent than you would an RV, so the basic necessities are a sleeping bag, blanket, and pillow. If you are a first-time camper or have a bad back, consider bringing an air mattress or foam support to lay under your sleeping bag. Other more extravagant items to bring could be earbuds or noise-canceling headphones to help you sleep. Bringing a wireless charger can also be great to have in your tent to charge your phone.


Depending on what kind of campsite or where your campsite is located, you will need different items to set it up properly. A general rule of thumb is to bring the basics which include a tarp, flashlight, and bug spray. What you bring in addition to the basics can depend on where you are camping. If you are camping in Arizona or Texas, heavy clothes and rain supplies might not be necessary but if you are at Michigan state park campsites, a rain jacket and bug spray will be great things to have. Coolers and firestarters can also be very helpful if you are planning on eating and drinking as well as paper plates or reusable cutlery will be helpful. Remember to bring a trash bag as well. It is important to leave the campsite as if you hadn’t been there in the first place. 


Every campsite needs tools for safety and for setting up. A couple of handy ones to have are an ax for wood, a pocket knife, rope, duct tape, and a hammer. These are not always necessary but they can come in handy if something breaks or you need an extra hand but your stake down in the tent. 


It is important to keep your backpacks and camping supplies to a minimum especially if you are backpacking and need to carry your supplies for a few days. With this being said, you should prepare for any weather when camping, as it could be sunny or rainy at any moment. Important things to bring are cotton t-shirts or quick-dry clothing, light layers, raincoat, socks, underwear, hats, and appropriate footwear like hiking boots or very supportive sneakers. 

Meal Prep 

Many campsites nowadays will have a fire grill that is available to you. If you plan on cooking, be sure to call or check online at your campsite provided to see what will be there for you. As previously mentioned, having a mess kit or paper bowls, plates, etc can make cooking while camping much easiest. Additionally, if you plan on cooking, plan your meals ahead so you won’t overpack and you will have all the necessary equipment. 

It is also important to consider bringing foods that are easy to cook, store and eat. A perfect example of this would be hot dogs with beans for dinner, packet oatmeal for breakfast and granola bars, and beef jerky as snacks. High protein items are great to bring because they will provide nutrients but keep you full for longer. With this being said, there are many food items you can bring but be sure that they are nonperishable items. This will save you from having to bring excess and your suitcases and tent will thank you.


Depending on the type of camping trip you are going on, having different forms of entertainment can be great. If you are traveling with kids or with family or friends, card games, bathing suits, fishing poles can all be a fun way to spend time together. If you are happy carrying it, then by all means bring your entertainment. If you are traveling solo or on a more intense backpacking trip, books, journals, and cameras are all smaller forms of entertainment that are great for personal development. Solo camping can be a great way to relax and reboot as well as learn more about yourself.

Last But Not Least, Safety

Safety is a huge eliminate to camping. You want to make sure you are prepared for every situation gone wrong and prepared for all potential threats. Bring a first-aid kit. These are sold at pretty much every camping store and also at Walmart, Target, CVS, etc. It is important to be as prepared as possible in case of an injury. Additionally, sunscreen, mace, bug spray, and paper maps are all great items to have in order to protect yourself from the elements.

Final Thoughts

Having these packing essentials with you will help the entire experience to go much smoother. Use this as a guide for your next trip.

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