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Camping Checklist and Things to Do While Camping

Updated on December 19, 2015
The Look-out
The Look-out | Source
On the Look-out
On the Look-out | Source


It’s about that time of year again here in the mid-west, and soon the nature reserves and national and state parks will be full of campers looking to reconnect with nature. I know I pack up the gear and drag the kids out camping at least a couple of times per year, and I admit it many of those years we arrived only to realize that something was left behind. I know; I know it’s camping; you’re supposed to rough it, right? Well that’s for each to decide and there are many different levels of roughing it. I have put some real thought into it and tried to remember the things that we brought and forgot. The following is a basic camping checklist, for fair weather camping in the mid-west. It is likely a good list for many regions and climates with some exceptions depending on the weather, area, and length of the trip.

Camping Checklist

  1. First Aid Kit (I like to add a sewing kit)
  2. Weather radio (extra batteries)
  3. Tent (unless your in an RV or cabin)
  4. Screen tent (for bug free dinning)
  5. Bedding (airbeds, pump, sleeping bags, blankets, pillows)
  6. Sunscreen
  7. Insect repellant
  8. Hygiene products (shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, Q-tips, razors, shave cream, hairbrush, comb)
  9. Towels and washcloths
  10. Lighter, matches
  11. Hatchet, and knife
  12. Plates, cups, bowls, and silverware (disposable or reusable) Plastic washtub if you go with reusable
  13. Dish-soap
  14. Napkins (especially if you have kids)
  15. Hand sanitizer or wipes (to clean your hands)
  16. A pot and pan
  17. Lantern or two (Coleman fuel or propane)
  18. Camping stove (Coleman fuel or propane)
  19. Flashlights (extra batteries)
  20. Skewers (for hotdogs and marshmallows)
  21. Food
  22. Drinks
  23. Cooler (powered or with ice)
  24. DC to AC transformer (to run small electrical appliances or chargers)
  25. Camping Chairs
  26. Folding Table
  27. Clothes (a change for each day plus one extra day)
  28. Shorts (don’t forget your shorts)
  29. Toilet paper (at least a roll or two)
  30. Rope (you never know when you may need to tie something down or up)
  31. Acoustic guitar (if you have one and someone knows how to play)
  32. Games (bad mitten, frisbee, corn hole, football)


I didn’t include firewood because of the growing problem of invasive pests such as the emerald ash borer being introduced and spread through the transportation of firewood. Only approved firewood that has been inspected should ever be taken with you to any camping destination. Most parks and reserves have fire wood for sale near by, or you can find it at many locations along the way.

The Crew
The Crew | Source

Water Fun

There are usually lots of activities close by to camping destinations, unless of course you are not in one of the reserves or parks. If you are more out in nature you may have to look a bit harder to find activities nearby, though you probably just want to camp if you choose this type of location. Of course, you may want to fish, swim, go boating, water skiing, or tubing if there is water nearby. The following is a checklist of some of the things you might want to bring for some water fun on your next camping trip.

1. Zip-lock baggies (to keep things dry)

2. Swimwear

3. Fishing poles

4. Tackle box (stocked with extra line, hooks, bobbers, lures, sinkers, tools)

5. Fishing bait (worms, liver, corn, dough ball, minnows)

6. Life jackets

7. Sand toys, beach ball

8. Beach umbrella

9. Boat (extra gas or oars if not motorized)

10. Ski equipment (skis, ski rope, gloves, goggles)

11. Tow tube

Landscape | Source
Looking Up
Looking Up | Source

Camping Adventures

There are many other adventures that a-wait probably close by your next camping destination. Some ideas you might check in to and be prepared for are hiking (bring hiking gear), bicycling (bring bicycles), horse back riding, sight seeing (bring a camera), cave exploring (bring spelunking equipment), checking out the local shops (bring some extra cash).

I found a really nice place to ride zip-lines through the hills of Brown County Indiana called Holler Hoppin Zip Lines. I included a video at the beginning of the hub of one of the “Jumps” as they called it. It was a really fun activity, the kids loved it and I must admit that I did as well. Where ever you are there is likely some place near by where you can enjoy and just be among nature, while you rejuvenate your self and find a peace that you just can’t seem to find in the crowded streets of civilization. So get out there and see what you can find in nature that eases your mind and helps you connect with the natural world as it was meant to be. Thanks for reading and I hope your next outdoors adventure is safe, fun, and provides lots of great memories with family and friends.

A markerNashville Indiana -
Nashville, IN 47448, USA
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    • dmop profile image

      dmop 5 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      molometer, I would have written it sooner had I only known about HubPages. Thanks for reading, commenting, and for the votes. Have a splendid day.

    • molometer profile image

      molometer 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great hub to remind us what we need when Camping.

      We used to take the kids camping quite a lot when they were younger, and do remember the many things we forgot to bring. lol

      This would have been very useful then, as it is now.

      Voted up interesting and useful.

    • dmop profile image

      dmop 5 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      LGrey, it is a lot of fun and can be quite rejuvenating. Thanks for reading and for the comment. I hope you make time to go camping soon and have a great time.

    • LGrey profile image

      LGrey 5 years ago from Alabama

      Great Hub. It makes me want to go camping. I haven't been in awhile and I definitely need to remedy that!

    • dmop profile image

      dmop 5 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      teaches12345, thanks for stopping by and for taking a moment to comment, I do appreciate it. Brown county has some beautiful scenery doesn't it. Have a great day.

    • dmop profile image

      dmop 5 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      unknown spy, Thanks for stopping by and for your comment. I'm glad you liked the checklist. I tried to make it fairly comprehensive and am continuing to think about it. I will add any other essential items I might think of. Thanks again and have an awesome day.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      We have been to Brown County State Park and always had a great time. Your list is great and I especially love the mention of water-prevention-safe packing tips. Also, don't forget the toilet paper!

    • dmop profile image

      dmop 5 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      phdast7, I am glad to see that you have found your way to another of my hubs. Your support means a lot and I thank you for your thoughtful, warm, and inspiring comments. I love camping, it is one of my favorite outdoor activities. For me there is nothing like sitting around the campfire with my loved ones telling stories or playing a song. Some of my fondest memories are centered by a campfire. Thanks again, I hope your day brings enjoyment to your senses through the experience of life's multitude of flavors.

    • dmop profile image

      dmop 5 years ago from Cambridge City, IN

      Sam Magro, thanks for stopping by, I hope you have a great time camping this summer. If I think of any other common camping items I will add them. Thanks again have an awesome day.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      hello! The Hub that I Love! I've been around nature everytime we get a chance, mountain climbing, camping, swimming.. i love the freshness of the beautiful things around me when Im on the top of a mountain. Your hub really helped me a lot jot down needed to bring on my next adventure. THUMBS UP dmop!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hi dmop - This is a great Hub. My three grown/married sons have been going camping twice a year with my brother for many years. Last year 3 of the 4 wives revolted. :) So now twice a year - spring and fall three generations go on a four day camping trip.

      We rent a covered pavilion with picnic tables, plenty of space for tents, a big metal fire ring, and best of all its on a lake so we take a small boat and fishing gear. We have done this twice and will do it again in the fall. Its been wonderful, but we are still working out the kinks.

      The women wanted to plan a menu and shop carefully for all 12 meals -- the guys were puzzled (and resistant) because they always bought charcoal, a pile of chicken/beef/sausage and some cookies. Why would you need a plan? Its camping!! :) I think I will share your list with everyone. Thanks.

      Voted UP and SHARING :)

    • Sam Magro profile image

      Sammy Magro 5 years ago from NJ

      Going camping this summer. Will keep this hub in mind. voting up!