Your camping list is your guidebook for packing.  Because you have to bring everything you will need with you, packing for your camping trip and being prepared is an important part of the trip. You want to make sure you bring everything you need to be comfortable and safe while you are out having fun…and exposed to the elements.

It can also be a bit nerve wracking, trying to make sure you choose the right items to bring…especially if you have limited packing space or are just starting out camping and haven’t accumulated all your equipment.

Having a camping packing list will help make sure you don’t forget essential items…and might even remind you of a few essentials you didn’t even realize you had wanted to bring!

These 9 items make up the basic list of camping supply list of items to take on a camping trip to be comfortable and keep your body healthy and safe.

  1. Water. Water is first on our camping list because we cannot live without it. You will need approximately one gallon of water, per person camping, per day for drinking and cooking purposes. While most family campsites have a spigot right on the property, this is something you need to know in advance. If the spigot is not available or the spigot water is not potable, you will need to bring your own water with you.
  2. Food. Of course while you are camping you and your family will want to eat! Planning your meals in advance, and doing the shopping in advance to make sure you have everything you need will lead to some great camping meals.
  3. First Aid Kit. On any camping trip you should bring a well-stocked camping first aid kit. Little things happen…cuts, scrapes, burns, and you want to be able to deal with them even if you are miles away from the nearest grocery or drug store. You can put one together yourself or purchase a store-bought kit that contains most of what you will need. If you are putting it together yourself, at minimum it should contain assorted Band-Aids, a wound cleanser, a topical antibiotic cream, scissors, tweezers, a pain reliever such as Tylenol, aspirin, or Advil, and sunscreen.
  4. Shelter. Don’t forget your tent! Unless you are a backpacking minimalist, and there are many who enjoy doing this, a tent offers you privacy and protection from the rain, wind, and insects when you are sleeping.
  5. Bedding. Proper bedding can make the difference between being uncomfortable and getting a good night’s sleep. Make sure you have sleeping bags for everyone, rated to the appropriate temperature. For cooler camping weather we also bring blankets to throw on top of our sleeping bags. A sleeping bag is one of those purchases that doesn’t have to be made on the first camping trip…if you don’t have one yet and don’t want to buy one, sheets and comforters work fine. Just make sure you have enough layers to keep you warm if the temperatures turn cool!
  6. Clothing. It is important to bring proper clothing to see you through different weather conditions. Raingear to keep you dry in case of rain; a jacket for cooler temperatures in the evening; and one or two extra changes of clothing (a few more for young children who WILL get dirty!) just in case.
  7. Campsite Tools. Have some basic campsite tools will help you take care of any issues that might arise. A hammer is good for setting and pulling stakes. An axe and saw make obtaining firewood easier. And a good knife comes in handy in many different situations.
  8. Camping Kitchen Equipment. While you are camping you will want to eat. And what you bring for a camping kitchen depends on the extent of the meals you want to prepare. It can be as simple as a can opener and a spoon, to open a can of stew, heat it right on the fire, and eat it right from the can, or you can carry in a complete kitchen and prepare that stew from scratch in your Dutch Oven. Most people bring a basic mess kit per person with a plate, bowl, cup, and silverware. You can buy a matching set, or just bring old stuff from your kitchen at home.
  9. Lanterns/Flashlights. Lighting makes the list of camping essentials because when the sun goes down for the day it is really dark out there. Choose lanterns, flashlights, or bring both. Everyone in our family has their own flashlight.

Of course the the number of items you can bring is only limited by the amount of packing room you have….but if you don’t want to bring a lot of stuff, this camping list is the perfect pared down list of camping essentials to make sure you have most of what you need to make this camping trip almost like home.

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