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What do you REALLY need and what’s just extra stuff that would be nice having? The following camping checklist essentials will help you know what’s really important to bring while camping!

I’ve been camping for as long as I can remember, yet I STILL forget some basic necessities! Whether you’re backpacking or staying at a campground, we’ve compiled a camping checklist essentials with all the items we think are pretty important for a comfortable stay outdoors.


✔ Tent - Big Agnes Copper Spur

This may seem like an obvious choice for any camping checklist essentials, but you’d rather have it checked off to be safe than sorry!

✔ Ground Tarp - Fly Creek Footprint / Tarp

Putting a waterproof ground tarp before you pitch your tent is always a good idea. It helps prevent water from getting through and rocks, sticks, and other debris from tearing the bottom of your tent.

✔ Sleeping Bag - The North Face - Cat's Meow

Always be sure to check the weather forecast before you go camping. Determine what kind of night it’s going to be – and then use a sleeping bag that you think you’ll be most comfortable in. We made the mistake a few times of either packing too warm of a sleeping bag and also packing a sleeping bag that’s not warm enough!

✔ Sleeping Pad - Ridgerest Sleeping Pad

Sleeping pads allow you to be extra comfortable while sleeping in the great outdoors. They really make a difference in getting a good night's sleep so you don’t wake up a grumpy mess in the morning (trust me…I have experience with that!). If it’s colder out, use an insulated sleeping pad.


✔ Food - Stinger Waffles

Ok, of course, you have to bring food, right? But, we can’t tell you all the times we’ve forgotten to pack the essentials, like something for breakfast, and then wind up having to either go hungry or go to a local restaurant or store.

There are tons of easy foods to cook and grill. Don’t forget to bring something for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as some snacks for late-night munching! Bring foods that are easy to cook, such as eggs, bacon, soups, and hot dogs. For snacks, don’t forget the marshmallows, Hershey Bars, and Graham crackers to make some mouth-watering S’ mores!

✔ Drinks - Hydroflask Widemouth Insulated Bottle

We like to always pack quite a few bottles of water! We often go hiking when we’re camping so you’d be surprised how fast you go through water. If there isn’t any running water at your campsite, it’s also useful to bring for washing dishes, your hands, or putting out a fire.

✔ Cooking Utensils, Dishes, & Silverware - Snow Peak Trek Bundle

This cooking set is lightweight and easy to pack. 

✔ Camp Stove - MSR Pocket Rocket Stove

We actually have a small, lightweight, and very portable camp stove. This makes it easy to heat up water or a pan for simple cooking.

✔ Cooler - YETI Hopper

If you’re planning on having cold drinks, frozen food, or bringing anything else that needs to be cold, packing a cooler is essential. If you’re bringing a cooler, don’t forget to buy ice! Yeti Coolers are our favorite. They are super insulated to keep your food and drinks cold for a long period of time. They also have the ability to be almost indestructible, making them great for keeping out bears!


✔ Dish Soap - Dr. Bronners Soap

This isn’t as necessary as some of the other items on our camping checklist essentials, but it’s still something to think about. If you’re going camping for a few days, we’d recommend bringing some dish soap to clean your dishes quickly and effortlessly.

✔ Towels - Ultralight Packtowl

There have been so many times where we’ve gone camping and forgot to bring towels! Towels will help you clean dishes, your hands, wash your face, and start a fire. Make sure you bring some (and enough)!


✔ Everyday Clothes - Patagonia Men's Capilene

Pack clothes based on the weather. If it’s going to be cold out, be sure to pack lots of layers!

✔ Clothes to Sleep In - Patagonia Womens' Capilene

I have a tendency to forget sleepwear whenever I go camping. If, if I do remember, they’re never appropriate for the weather. Look at the forecast and then determine what to pack. Is it going to be super hot all night/morning? Or freezing? Maybe it’ll be in between…no matter what the temperature is, try packing accordingly for the night. It’ll make all the difference between you being miserable and having the best sleep of your life!

✔ Appropriate Shoes - Keen Targhee II Mid 

You don’t need a ton of shoes when camping. One pair should do just fine! It’s best to pick a shoe depending on the weather(ex: for rain, you’ll need boots) and what your plans are for the current or next day (you may want to bring hiking boots if you’re exploring!).


✔ Head Lamp & Flashlight - Storm Headlamp

My headlamp was such a great investment. Attach it to your head and you’re good to go! A lot of the newer ones allow you to change the intensity of the light so you won’t have to worry about blinding anyone!

✔ Hand Sanitizer, Wipes, or Soap - MHO Hand Sanitizer

You can either wash your hands with soap or bring a small thing of Purell hand sanitizer. Both take up barely any room, so bring whatever is your personal preference. We like bringing hand sanitizer to clean up really quick before bed, eating, etc.

✔ First Aid Kit - Ultralight Medical Kit

Accidents happen…We’d recommend getting a First Aid Kit that contains band-aids, ointment, bandages, and other safety equipment handy in case you need it.

✔ Hammock - ENO Doublenest Hammock

Hammocks are easy to set up, light, and compressible. We have an ENO two-person hammock that we set up whenever we can. You never know when you’ll have the opportunity, so always bring one just in case, if you have it! 

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