Camping Gear Checklist: 9 Items You Need To Bring

Creating a camping checklist for your family is a good way to stop you from packing too much, while ensuring you're including the essentials.  You can click here for a printable checklist for your next camping trip.

Here are 9 Items on my camping gear checklist

Map & Compass

The most common disaster on a camping trip is not being mauled by a Grizzly Bear – it’s getting lost and not having any idea where you are. You might think that with your smartphone's GPS and Google maps, you'll never get lost again.  Big mistake.  Get a map and compass, especially when backpacking.

Sturdy Pair of Boots

Hiking boots are not sneakers. Hiking boots are not cross country running shoes.  Hiking boots  And you're going to need something that can handle wear and tear.  If you rip out the soles of your sneakers you'll be sitting on stumps for the rest of your trip.

Extra Food

It’s a real pain to run out of food when camping, so always pack more than you think you will need. But be smart on how and what kind of food you're packing. Bags of cereal and chips are often half full of air, which wastes a lot of space. Consider using a vacuum sealer to create compact survival snack rations.


Sleeping under the stars without a tent is something everyone should try at least once.  Especially if it's a clear sky full of stars.  But don't let that pretty sky stop you from packing a tent.  It's great for keeping bugs out, shade, and shelter if it decides to rain on you.

Camping Knife

A good multi-purpose knife is a must-have for any camper. Sharpen sticks, pound in tent stakes, or a weapon if needed. And when you're camping you're constantly having to cut threads off clothing and gear.  Lastly, if you're bored you can widdle something.


I prefer a high lumen flashlight but a headlamp or lantern works just as good. If you forget a light, you can always attempt to make a survival lantern, but I prefer something that can zoom in.  I like to know what's on the perimeter of my camp.

Extra Clothes

You don't have to pack your kitchen sink, but if you're going to be outdoors for an extended period of time, make sure you have extra everything, especially underwear and socks.  You never know when it will rain, or a late night scary campfire story makes you ruins your undies.

First Aid

If you don't have a first aid kit you can bring the basics like band-aids, elastic bandages, antibiotics, painkillers and disinfectant. Stuff your first aid items into a ziplock or waterproof bag so they stay dry.

Camping Cookware

You're going to need to eat and I don't mean sticking your hand in a bag of trail mix all weekend. Your camping mess kit will differ depending on how much walking you'll need to do and how much weight you can carry. My personal favorite is a Dutch Oven Skillet, but it's also hell to carry those in a pack.  


Make sure you run through a camping checklist before you wander off into mother nature. She can be nasty if you're not prepared.

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