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Making a Camping Checklist

Updated on November 27, 2014

Why make a camping checklist?

Every year when we go camping, we make a camping checklist so that we don't anything important. Usually we still miss something, but because of our camping checklist, whatever we miss tends not to be of dire importance.

The camping checklist makes everything easier when you're tired or stressed trying to get everything ready. Ideally, the camping checklist should be made a couple of weeks prior to leaving so that you have a lot of time to think about what you need to bring and add things as you come up with them.

I remember one group camping trip that I was on that should have used a camping checklist. We had already been paddling for about 5 hours when one of the leaders in the other canoe suddenly says, "Oh No! I forgot the salt...and the pepper...and the sugar." Everyone groaned, but then thought the day was at least partially saved when the sterns man in my canoe blurted out. "That's O.K. I've got honey..." but then he paused for a moment and continued, " my truck." Needless to say, we had a rather bland camping trip. Red River cereal (basically flax porridge) sweetened with chocolate chips just didn't do it somehow.

So, the moral of this story is not only to make a camping checklist, but to use it for every transfer of equipment you make. Each loose item should be listed on the camping checklist, ready to check off as the item is stowed in it's proper location.

photo credit:

Camping Checklist Primary Equipment

This is the equipment that is likely to be shared.

  • tent
  • canoe
  • paddles
  • Life Jackets
  • Fishing equipment
  • first aid kit
  • bicycles
  • firewood- please check local laws before bringing firewood
  • metal detector
  • matches
  • firestarter
  • tarps
  • TP (Toilet Paper)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent
  • Small or folding shovel
  • Daypack- a small pack that you can take essentials out on day trips.
  • Cards
  • camping permit
  • garbage bags
  • maps
  • compass
  • Rope
  • Duct Tape
  • Swimming accessories- pool noodles, boogie boards etc.
  • netting hat and coat
  • snorkeling equipment
  • portable table
  • folding lawn chairs
  • tools -screwdriver, pliers, hammer
  • wood saw
  • flashlight
  • glow sticks
  • hand sanitizer
  • cooler
  • pen and paper or notebook
  • insect coil - these are good for burning outside the tent to keep the bugs from the door


Wenzel Klondike Tent - 8 Person
Wenzel Klondike Tent - 8 Person

Having a tent with an attached screen room can be a huge bonus. Not only does it give you more storage and a place for the dog to sleep, the screen room can act as a sort of 'air lock' to keep the mosquitoes out of your sleeping area.


Camping Checklist- Personal Equipment

This is a checklist of things that will be required by each person

  • Warm shirts
  • t-shirts
  • jeans/long pants
  • sweat pants (good for sleeping in)
  • underwear
  • socks
  • hat
  • bathing suit
  • towel and facecloth
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrush
  • soap
  • feminine products
  • comb or brush and hair elastics
  • shampoo
  • book/ reading material
  • hiking boots
  • extra shoes
  • water shoes
  • Fanny Pack
  • sleeping bag
  • extra blanket
  • air mattress or foam
  • rain suit
  • rubber boots

Camping pots on Amazon

Texsport Backpackers Stainless Steel  Copper Bottom Outdoor Camping Cookware Cook Set with Storage Bag
Texsport Backpackers Stainless Steel Copper Bottom Outdoor Camping Cookware Cook Set with Storage Bag

A copper bottom nesting cook set with a large pot, small pot, fry pan and plastic cup.

Coleman 14 Cup Percolator
Coleman 14 Cup Percolator

Watch the coffee perk in the morning in this nice pot.

Open Country 4516-0085 Weekender 6-Person Cook Set
Open Country 4516-0085 Weekender 6-Person Cook Set

This cook set outfits 6 people. Set contains 6- 3 section plastic plates, 6 plastic cups, 8 quart pot, 4 quart pot, non stick frying pan, and an 8 quart coffee boiler.

Camp Chef DO-14 Pre-Seasoned Deluxe 12-Quart 14" Dutch Oven with Lid
Camp Chef DO-14 Pre-Seasoned Deluxe 12-Quart 14" Dutch Oven with Lid

Use this seasoned cast iron pot to do some traditional camp cooking in the coals.


Camping Checklist- Cooking Equipment

Camping without eating isn't much fun. Don't forget these things.

  • Pots and pans - either a camp kit or old pots
  • Food pack- enough for each person on the trip. Don't forget snacks
  • Plastic bowls and plates for everyone in the group
  • knives forks and spoons for everyone in the group
  • Sharp knife
  • can opener if you're bringing cans
  • cutting board
  • bottle opener
  • ziplock baggies in various sizes
  • recipes
  • edible plant identification guide
  • water filter or purifier
  • oven mitts
  • corkscrew
  • paper towels
  • tin foil
  • salt, pepper and sugar
  • camp stove and fuel
  • grill

Handy Camping Books

These books are full of ideas for projects to do while camping.

Camping Checklist- Stuff for kids

Camping with kids is great. Just be sure you bring lots of stuff for them to do.

  • sand toys
  • bag of toys
  • colouring book
  • crayons or markers
  • bike or trike
  • kite
  • magnifying glass
  • net
  • rubber boots
  • bottle
  • diapers
  • soother
  • playpen
  • comfort toy

Here's a printable list of equipment that is likely to be shared with all the members of the camping trip.


  • Ten t
  • Canoe
  • Paddles
  • Life Jacket
  • Fishing Equipment
  • First Aid Kit
  • Bicycles
  • Firewood -Be sure to check local laws about transporting firewood
  • Metal Detector
  • Matches
  • Firestarter
  • Tarps
  • TP (Toilet Paper)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent
  • Small or Folding Shovel
  • Daypack for outings
  • Playing cards
  • Camping Permit
  • Fishing Licence
  • Maps
  • Garbage Bags
  • Compass
  • Rope
  • Duct Tape
  • Swimming Accessories (Pool Noodles
  • boards etc.)
  • Netting Hat and coat
  • Snorkeling Equipment
  • Portable Table
  • Folding Lawn Chairs
  • Tools
  • Wood Saw
  • Flashlight
  • Glow Sticks
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Cooler
  • Notebook and Pen
  • Insect Coil
Cast your vote for Shared Equipment

Have you had an experience where you headed into the bush and discovered that something rather essential was missing? Share it with us.

Ever Forget Something?

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    • profile image

      jferbill 2 years ago

      liked it, but you forgot coffee! ;-)

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 6 years ago from Virginia

      Even though it's been a while, this gets the camping spark going again. Nicely done.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      For car-camping, I like to separate things in plastic bins (ie. kitchen stuff, toiletries, etc.). I keep the bins stocked, so when it's time to go camping, I just put the bins in the vehicle, including the one with the tent, sleeping bags, etc.

    • bechand profile image

      bechand 6 years ago

      Great packing list - I may look at next month when I'm going :O)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Excellent idea, because we always forget something, well I don't, but then I always use our check list LOL

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      This page will be a great resource for anyone planning a camping trip.

    • DuaneJ profile image

      DuaneJ 6 years ago

      Nice check-list for those who like camping...sounds like a lot of fun!