Camping Checklist: Essentials You Need For Family Fun Outdoors

By Duane Beckett
Credit: Trougnouf (Benoit Brummer) / WikiCommons

Before setting off on any big outdoor adventure, always remember to consult this camping checklist first. The last thing you or anyone you’re responsible for wants is to be stuck without essential items.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a Family Proof Camping Checklist. Including everything you may potentially need to make sure your family has the fun it deserves outdoors, rather than a heated argument about who left the soap at home.

Remember to bookmark this camping checklist so you can come back and never forget the essentials again.

Camping Checklist: Shelter Essentials

  • Tent(s)
  • Tent pegs, and extras just in case.
  • Additional tent ropes.
  • Ground tarp.
  • Tent awning/shading.
  • Additional shading supports if camping somewhere with lots of sunshine.
  • Sleeping bags, pads, and/or air mattresses.
  • Air pump if using inflatable pads or mattresses.
  • Repair kits for sleeping pads/air mattresses.
  • Batteries for pumps, if battery operated.
  • Blankets.
  • Pillows.
  • Storage: Whether it be bags or a line to hang items up off the floor.
  • Dustpan and brush.
  • Duct tape/electrical tape.
  • Water jug or water bucket.
  • Water bottles or canteens.
  • Coolers and ice.
  • Cooking stove or grill.
  • Fuel/propane for the stove.
  • Matches, lighter, or firelighters for the stove.
  • Oven tin/dutch oven/box oven for the stove.
  • Plates, bowls, and cups.
  • Utensils including forks, knives, et al.
  • Cooking utensils including tongs, skewers, grill forks.
  • Aluminum foil.
  • Trash bags.
  • Dish soap.
  • Chairs.
  • Lanterns/torches.
  • Fans.
  • Basic tools: Shovel, axe, and hammer.
  • Radio.
  • Watch/clock.
  • GPS/map
  • Trail maps and guides.

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Camping Checklist: Personal Items

  • Sunglasses.
  • Boots for walking.
  • Comfortable but strong pants.
  • Extra socks and underwear.
  • Sun hat, visor, or thick hats if camping somewhere cold.
  • Clothes for sleeping in.
  • Waterproof gear including jacket, trousers, and boots.
  • Wash bags.
  • Towels
  • Washcloths
  • Soaps
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Mirrors
  • Razors
  • Hairbrush
  • Feminine products
  • Toilet paper
  • If you have access to a shower: Flip flops and shower bags.
  • If you do not have access to a shower: A large bucket and shower pump.
  • Sunscreen
  • Cotton swabs
  • First aid items including, bandages, tweezers, adhesive tape, gauze pads, and scissors.
  • Special medication for allergies, asthma, and painkillers.
  • Bug repellent.
  • Safety whistles.

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Camping Entertainment

  1. Books/magazines/reading material.
  2. Extra chargeable batteries for smartphones.
  3. Fanny packs.
  4. Fishing gear, bait, and licenses.
  5. Radio.
  6. Musical instruments.
  7. Popcorn.
  8. Smores, marshmallows, and other campfire foods.
  9. Lots of food and drink.
  10. Cards (for card games).
  11. Bikes, scooters, skateboards.
  12. Wallets and purses, just in case.

There are a million extras that could be added to this camping checklist. However, always make sure you have the essentials first and then customize to your own camping needs.

Remember, be safe, be prepared, and have fun when visiting the best campsites in the U.S.

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