Camping Checklist: What to Take To Your Next Camping Trip

Adventure Camping Checklists Outfit Guides By Kühl Editor

Camping checklists can vary greatly depending on the camper's needs and preferences – not all outdoor enthusiasts spend the night in the backcountry in the same way. Some prefer sleeping under the stars, some love the sound of the rain hitting the tent fabric, some prefer a comfortable king-size bed with a breathtaking view, while others enjoy the freedom that “home-on-wheels” provide. And the thing they all have in common are camping essentials like food, water, clothing, and shelter. Many campers also bring items like flashlights, maps, insect repellent, and first-aid kits.

The sheer amount of those must- and should-bring items builds up the anticipation for the upcoming adventure. Before going on a camping trip, it's important to make sure you have everything you need. That way, you can enjoy your time outdoors without worrying about forgetting something important.

There is no universal camping checklist that takes into consideration every possible circumstance, however, some items are necessary for all types of camping trips.

To avoid duplicating the essential items and making our lists unnecessarily long, the checklists below “Basic Tent Camping” expand on the basics. The downloadable PDF versions of the checklists include all the items you need. Finally, consider the “Optional” items as “Nice to haves.”

Without further ado, let’s have a look at our camping checklists.

Don't Forget the Essentials: A Basic Tent Camping Checklist

Camping is a great way to get out in nature and enjoy all that it has to offer. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced camper, there are a few essentials you will need to make your camping trip a success. This checklist will help you pack the basics for your next tent camping trip, no matter where you pitch your tent.

First and foremost, you will need a tent. Be sure to select one that is the correct size for your party. You will also need a tarp to use as a ground cloth under the tent. Next, pack sleeping bags and pads, or an air mattress if you prefer. For cooking and eating, pack a camp stove with fuel, pots and pans, utensils, plates, cups, and bowls. Don't forget food and drinks, as well as a cooler to keep them cold.

Depending on your experience as a camper, the weather conditions, and the camping trip duration, some items may seem excessive. Feel free to add or remove items to and from the camping checklist to your preference.

Glamping: A Checklist for a Perfect Trip

My dad loves the picturesque backcountry landscapes but really dislikes the discomfort of sleeping bags, the hassle of pitching tents, and the tickling of crawly insects. He recently discovered glamping as a way to spend quality time in nature without sacrificing luxury or comfort. He reviewed my glamping checklist and insisted on adding “bug spray” and “insect repellent” to every section. Sorry, dad.

When it comes to glamping, the sky is the limit (or rather, the roof of your tent). But no matter what kind of glamorous camping trip you’re planning, there are a few essentials that you’ll need to bring with you. Some accommodations are better furnished and equipped than others, so be sure to check those amenities first.

Is this the first time you heard of glamping? Learn more about luxurious camping in our quick guide to glamping!

To make things easy for you, here's a comprehensive glamping checklist. So, whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or an extended stay in the great outdoors, be sure to pack these items!

Consider the items on the Basic Tent Camping Checklist, and add the following:

Checklist for a Perfect Camping Trip With Your Family

Camping is a great way to spend time with your family. It can be a fun and adventurous experience or a relaxing and calming one. Spending the night or two outdoors with kids is an entirely different game as the camping trip requires way more planning and way less room for error.

No matter what your goals are for the camping trip, make sure you bring everything you need by using this family camping checklist! It covers all the essentials as well as some suggestions that might improve the experience. Note that depending on the weather, season, and the camping trip duration, you might have to mix and match items from this checklist and the ones above. 

Consider the items on the Basic Tent Camping Checklist, and add the following:

Camping in a Car: Checklist for an Awesome Trip

Camping in a car can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it's important to be prepared for the trip. This checklist will help make sure you have everything you need for a great time.

First and foremost, make sure your car is in good condition and can handle the trip. Check the tires, brakes, and engine oil to ensure they are all up to par. Next, stock up on supplies. You'll need food, water, camping gear, first aid supplies, and tools. Be sure to pack appropriately for the weather conditions you'll be encountering.

If you're not used to camping, it might be a good idea to practice setting up your gear before you go. That way you'll know what you're doing when it comes time to do it for real. Finally, don't forget to bring along some entertainment!

The car camping checklist below considers that you will be sleeping in your car while on the road or campsite. If that’s not the case for your camping trip, don’t worry! ‘Optional’ items include all the things you need.

Consider the items on the Basic Tent Camping Checklist, and add the following:

What to Bring When Camping in an RV

If you're looking for a fun and affordable summer vacation, consider camping in an RV with your friends and family. RV camping is a great way to experience nature while still having all the comforts of home. You can choose from a variety of campsites, each with its own unique features and attractions. And since you're traveling in an RV, you can take your time exploring different areas without having to worry about packing and unpacking every day. So gather up your loved ones and hit the open road!

There are a few things you will want to bring with you on your camping trip to ensure you have a fun and enjoyable experience. Below is a list of some essential items to pack for your RV camping trip.

Consider the items on the Basic Tent Camping Checklist, and add the following:

Winter Camping Checklist: What to Check Before You Go

The snowstorms that hit the States in February 2021 taught us how quickly the weather could change for the worse – a couple went on a camping trip and got caught in a snowstorm that buried their car under 2 feet of snow. Thankfully, they managed to dig themselves out with a stick. Winter camping is as dangerous as it is alluring.

Camping in the winter can also be a fun and unique experience, but it is important to be prepared for the colder weather. Here are some things to check before you head out into the cold:

  • Make sure your tent is properly waterproofed and has plenty of ventilation.
  • Pack extra warm clothes, including a coat, boots, hats, and gloves.
  • Pack plenty of food and water, as well as a way to cook it.
  • Pack a first aid kit and emergency supplies.
  • Make sure your vehicle is in good condition and has enough gas to get you where you're going.
  • Check the weather forecast and plan your route accordingly.

The winter camping checklist below can help you make sure you have everything you need before you go.

Consider the items on the Basic Tent Camping Checklist, and add the following:

New tips for a great camping trip!

In conclusion, taking the time to prepare for a camping trip will ensure that you have everything you need and that you will be able to enjoy your time outdoors.

By ticking boxes on a checklist, you can make sure that you are not forgetting anything important. Be sure to check out our other outdoor checklist as well.

Camping Checklist What To Take Camping 1
Kühl Editor