Camping can be a fun activity, but it can quickly become a major hassle if it isn’t planned out correctly. You could get lost, forget vital equipment, or commit some other mistake that will make your family camping trip a downer instead of fun.
Thankfully, this can be avoided by getting together a really simple camping checklist. If you don’t feel like making one of your own, feel free to use this one that we have made. Simply add in any extra stuff that may be personal to your family (such as specific foods or medications).
Tent And Sleeping Equipment
The first thing that you absolutely need to do is make sure that you have everything that you need to properly set up your campsite. This includes tents, sleeping bags, and more. It should be the first section on any good camping checklist. So, here is what you need to bring:
• A size appropriate tent: Remember to always bring a tent that is a size larger than the number of people coming on the trip, i.e. bring a 4-person tent if 3 people are going on the trip. This gives flexibility.
• Tent poles
• Tent stakes: In case the ground is difficult, and you need some extra stability for your tent.
• Sleeping Bags: Bring the best sleeping bag for the weather. A thicker one for cold weather or a thin one for very warm weather.
• Blankets and sheets: Even if it is warm, it is a good idea to bring a decent number of blankets and sheets as they can be useful in a pinch.
• Mattresses: Depending on the size of your tents, you might want to bring blow-up mattresses instead of sleeping bags.
• Rain Fly: A rain fly on the outside of your tent can help you keep dry during even the worst rainstorm.
Food & Drink
One of the most important things to keep track of on your camping checklist when preparing for a trip is what you are going to eat and drink. You definitely want to pay extra attention to water, as not every campground is equipped with drinkable water.
• Drinkable water: Make sure to bring lots of water or some sort of way to get clean water. Remember, it is better to bring more water than you need than not enough.
• Cooking instruments: Unless you are planning on only eating prepackaged foods, then you are going to need something like a portable stove.
• Cooler: What’s a camping trip without cold beer? Make sure that you always add a cooler to your camping checklist.
• Storage containers and trash bags: Leaving litter is a big no-no, so make sure to bring both storage containers for excess food and trash bags for waste.
• Cooking utensils: Bringing things like forks, knives, spatulas, plates, bowls, and cups are always a good idea.
• Paper towels: Having a way to clean up is always very helpful, and since you don’t want to have to carry around dirty cloths, paper towel is the best option.
• Soap: Not technically related to cooking, but depending on the length of your camping trip, you may need to clean yourself and your cookware, in which case, having some soap is essential.
Next up on your camping checklist, you want to figure out what clothing you are going to be bringing along on your camping trip. You never want to get caught without the right clothes for the right situation. You also never want to get caught without an extra pair of clothes.
• An extra set of clothing.
• Swimwear: If the camping site you are going to has a lake or place to swim, why not take advantage of it?
• Warm clothing: Even if it is the middle of summer, you never know when a cold streak will hit, so having some warm clothing can be a real lifesaver.
• Extra shoes: If you plan on doing something like hiking or going near water while camping, then it is a good idea to bring specialty shoes like water shoes or hiking shoes.
• Hats, raincoats, and sunglasses: Sometimes the elements don’t want to cooperate with you, in which case having clothing that protects you from the rain and intense sunshine.
• Dirty clothing bags: Nothing is worse than having a campsite with dirty clothes scattered about. Make sure to bring something that lets campers deposit their dirty clothes.
Medical and/or Individual Items
The last section of any good camping checklist should be dedicated to medical items and individual items. This is probably the most diverse part of the checklist and it can include an absolutely huge number of different items.
• Medications: For obvious reasons, you want to make sure that any medications that you need for the duration of the trip are packed. This includes pills, allergy medications, EpiPens, and more.
• First-Aid: Accidents do happen, and when they do, you want to be prepared. Lots of campsites have first-aid available, but it is still a really good idea to bring a first-aid kit of your own so that you can have quick access to one.
• Oral hygiene items: Toothbrushes, mouthwash, etc.
• Sunscreen and bug spray: Depending on the area that you are camping in, you might need either of these or indeed both. Nothing ruins a camping trip worse than excessive bug bites or sunburn, so make sure these make it onto your camping checklist.
• Campsite info: Most campsites may require you to carry confirmations that you are supposed to be there. Likewise, you may need things like I.D.
• Maps and location info: Even though GPS is easier, it still pays to have some maps on hand and some general information about the area. In particular, it is more useful for larger camping areas.
Hopefully, this comprehensive camping checklist ensures that you will never forget anything important when planning your next camping trip.
As was mentioned earlier, if you have anything else that you want to bring, it is a good idea to add it manually to the checklist. Don’t be afraid to take our camping checklist and build on it.