The Essential Tent Camping Checklist All Campers Should Have

Don’t Head Out Until You’ve Read This Handy Tent Camping Checklist

It seems like there’s always something we forget when we head out on a camping trip. Whether it’s your first trip or you’re a camping pro, consulting a tent camping checklist can always be super helpful.

For some, camping means going into the wilderness armed with just a few small gadgets and a good pair of boots. However, for many others, camping means packing up the kids and the car and heading out to your favorite family campground.

When you’re traveling with children, life doesn’t just stop and wait for you to double check that you packed everything.

You’re probably familiar with that sinking feeling of realization when you get to the campsite, start to set up, and realize you’ve forgotten something really important. If you’re far from home, going back to get it isn’t an option.

We want to help you avoid that feeling altogether with a list of camping supplies you’ll need.

Keep this tent camping checklist handy and make sure you pack all of these essential items you can’t forget. It’ll save you time and effort when it comes time to get everyone on the road on schedule.

Family at the campsite. What to take camping for your next trip.

What Clothing to Take on a Camping Trip

Camping isn’t a dress to impress type of occasion. Instead, you should focus on the things you’ll need to stay warm at night and cool during the day. While many of us do know this, it’s sometimes easy to overlook how many pairs of underwear you’ll need or if you should pack an extra sweater.

Now, everyone’s clothing list is going to be different, but there are a few things that everyone should consider before zipping up that duffel bag.

  • Proper shoes if you’re going to be hiking
  • Slip on shoes for going in and out of your tent
  • Rain jacket or poncho
  • Hat
  • Shower shoes
  • Towels
  • Extra socks
  • Sweater and pants
  • Laundry bag

Backpack with camping gear. Here is what to pack camping.

All the Camping Tools You Need

One of the first tools on your camping checklist should be a car kit. This is important if you’re driving to your campsite because you never know when you could get stuck in the mud or accidentally drive over a sharp rock.

Your car kit should include jumper cables, a tire iron, windshield wiper fluid, a tow rope, and road flares.

Other tools you’ll need include an axe and knife, so you can cut firewood and shave down sticks for roasting marshmallows. Duct tape is another handy tool, as you never know when you’ll need it. Keep some S-hooks on hand as well, as they also come in handy from time to time.

Phone, map, and compass. Make sure these are on your list of camping supplies.

Your Essential List of Camping Equipment

When it’s time to pack the right equipment, there are some essentials that seem completely obvious. For example, your tent, sleeping bags, and air mattresses are likely the first things you’ll be packing.

Here’s a list of other camping equipment you’ll need on your trip:

  • Extra tent pegs/stakes
  • Tarp
  • Rope
  • Lanterns, flashlights, and extra batteries
  • Matches
  • GPS, map, and compass
  • Pillows and blankets
  • Camping chairs
  • Coolers
  • Water jug
  • Water purifiers
  • Small sewing kit
  • Candles

It isn’t an essential, but it’s a great idea to bring a small hand broom and dustpan with you so you can sweep out your tent before you pack it up. This will help prevent dirt and dust from building up while your tent is in storage.

Cooking eggs over campfire grill. Everyone's list of camping supplies for cooking is somewhat different.

Camping Supplies for Cooking

When it comes to cooking, many people have different preferences and opinions as to how they like to prepare their food while camping. Some like to enjoy cooking over the campfire, while others prefer to bring a portable grill.

Whatever your cooking preference is, here are some cooking supplies you don’t want to overlook when packing:

  • Portable grill or camp stove and propane tanks
  • Tin foil
  • Dish soap
  • Tablecloth
  • Utensils
  • Cups and plates
  • Pots and pans
  • Coffee pot or stovetop kettle
  • Tongs and barbeque utensils
  • Can and bottle openers
  • Ziploc bags
  • Oven mitts or pot holders
  • Cutting board

You also want to prepare your menu so you don’t overpack any food. However, this part is going to be different for everyone. Get together with your family or fellow campers to plan out what you’ll be eating during your trip.

Picnic table at clean campsite. Here is your list of camping supplies to go over.

Cleaning Supplies You Can’t Forget

Okay, so being in the great outdoors is the perfect excuse for slacking on cleaning. But there are some things you’ll need, regardless of how dirty you’re planning on getting.

In addition, the more you leave bits of leftover food or garbage sitting around, the more you’re inviting critters like raccoons to come and visit. We’re not saying keep the place neat and tidy, but it is important to bring some cleaning items for maintenance purposes.

Garbage bags are commonly overlooked, but you absolutely need those so you don’t leave a mess. They are also a great way to transport wet or soiled clothing home when you leave.

Paper towels, a wash bin for your dishes, and dish towels are also important items for keeping your campsite and dishes clean. Just make sure that the soap you’re using is biodegradable so you don’t damage the environment.

Trunk of car packed with camping supplies.

Other Things to Pack for a Camping Trip

It’s also possible to overlook toiletries when you leave. Shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste are all essentials that you’ll regret leaving behind.

  • Toilet paper
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand sanitizer and/or baby wipes
  • Deck of cards or board games
  • Sports equipment- football, baseball and glove, frisbee, etc.

You should also have a first aid kit stocked with items to be prepared for emergencies. Among these items should be tweezers, bandaids, antiseptic wipes, calamine lotion, polysporin, and benadryl.

Family camping. Your list for camping should include some fun activities and games.

Book Your Next Campsite With Ease on

Now that we’ve helped to make packing easier, we can help make choosing your next campsite easier, too. We’ve done all of the research for you, so you just need to pick and click the park you want to visit.

Your next family camping trip is just a click away. If you make your reservation through, you can also score coupons and deals on some of our featured parks.

Download our app or reserve online now to start your next adventure!

Use BookYourSite to choose from thousands of campsites in North America.

This entry was posted in Camping, Gear, Uncategorized.