Camping Checklist: Gear & Supplies Packing List - Panergy

by Regina Wu
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Camping Checklist: Gear & Supplies Packing List - Panergy

Being prepared is an important part of a fun, smooth, comfortable camping trip. The goal of this list is to present you with a comprehensive (but not overwhelming) checklist of gear and supplies. Having a checklist can help you remember important gear and help groups of people remember who’s bringing what supplies.

Your needs may change depending on the kind of camping or backpacking you’re doing. You probably won’t need every single thing on this list. But it’s a great place to start when putting your own list together. 

PERSONAL GEAR

□ Cellphone
□ Flashlight
□ Headlamp
□ Extra flashlight batteries
□ Knife or multitool
□ Nylon cord/paracord (30 Ft.)
□ Candle lantern/candles
□ Fire starters
□ Needle and thread
□ Duct tape
□ Cash and credit card
□ Sunglasses

The smallest things you take with you can be among the most important. Small essentials like a light source, a knife, and a way to start a fire are important. The best thing you can be on any camping trip is prepared. 

CAMPSITE AND FURNITURE

□ Camp table
□ Camp chairs
□ Sun shelter
□ Insect screen
□ Camp grill
□ Hammock

If you’re hiking, your campsite will likely be simple. Most people just need a tent, a fire, and a place to cook a meal. But if you’re car camping, there’s no reason not to spruce your campsite up a little. A sun shelter or insect screen over a camp table can be a great place to serve meals away from insects, and furniture like camp chairs can help the people you care about gather around the campfire to share stories and enjoy the scenery together.

SHELTER AND BEDDING

□ Tent with footprint 
□ Lightweight tarp (for a ground cloth or as an emergency shelter)
□ Extra stakes
□ Tent repair/replacement kits
□ Sleeping bag
□ Sleeping pad (foam or self-inflating)
□ Camping pillow
□ Cot

Your tent is one of the biggest necessities, as well as one of the biggest items in your pack. Consider whether you need accessories like a footprint for protection, extra stakes, or a repair kit. Finding a tent that suits your needs for group size and weather is one of the best ways to help ensure a comfortable trip. Backpacking enthusiasts may consider alternative shelters, such as a hammock-and-tarp setup. Make sure that your sleeping bag is rated for the temperature where you’re planning to camp, and don’t forget to consider comfort items like a sleeping pad or cot, if there’s room for them.

COOKING GEAR AND FOOD STORAGE

□ Stove and stove fuel
□ Cook kit/drinking cup
□ Eating/cooking utensils
□ Pots and pans
□ Matches in a waterproof container
□ Plastic bags (for food storage and to pack out trash)
□ Cooler
□ Ice (or cold packs/frozen water jugs)
□ Plastic bin and sponge (for cleaning dishes)
□ Tinfoil
□ Knives
□ Cutting board

Like the rest of your campsite, a cooking setup at a campground will look very different than one on a hike. In any case, you’ll definitely need a camping stove and fuel for cooking and boiling water. You’ll also want a container to cook in and eat from, and basic utensils. For a more comprehensive look at campsite cooking, check out this camping cooking essential gear list.

FOOD AND CONSUMABLES

□ Spices and seasonings
□ Sugar
□ Cooking oil
□ Dehydrated food
□ Trail snacks
□ Pre-prepared meals
□ Ingredients for cooking

You can cook some amazing things on the trail if you get creative with dehydrated or partially-cooked ingredients. Check out this camping food checklist or these just-add-water recipes for ideas. Your snacks should have plenty of protein, fat, and sugar to keep you energized on the trail or around the campsite. Trailmix, banana chips, cheese, nuts, and granola are some great options. 

WATER AND DRINKS

□ Drinking water
□ Water purification filter or tablets
□ Coffee/tea/drink mixes
□ Coffee maker
□ Water bottle or hydration pack

Staying hydrated is always important, but it’s especially important when hiking. Bring water, but also be ready to purify water you find on the trail. Small pleasures like a morning cup of camp coffee or your favorite drink mix can add some wonderful moments to your trip, and don’t take up much weight or pack space. 

CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR

□ Socks (both heavyweight and light liners, avoid cotton)
□ Moisture-wicking underwear
□ Hat/Sun Protection
□ Insulated jacket
□ Rain jacket or shell
□ Bandanas
□ Swim suit
□ Gloves
Hiking shorts/pants
□ Shirts
□ Hiking boots
□ Running shoes
□ Moccasins for in-camp use
□ Sleepwear

The clothing you wear will vary greatly depending on the weather and season where you camp. Regardless of location, though, you should always protect yourself from the Sun, and always be ready for the weather to throw a surprise or two at you.

NAVIGATION AND DIRECTIONS

□ Maps
□ Compass
□ GPS

If you’re just car camping, you may be fine using your phone for navigation. But for most people, it’s wise to have a backup navigation method close at hando, especially if you’re planning to hike, or if you’re going to an area with limited reception.If you aren’t familiar with navigating by map and compass, consider taking a wilderness navigation class.

TOILETRIES AND HYGIENE

□ Toothbrush and toothpaste
□ Floss
□ Hand sanitizer
□ Toiletry kit
□ Biodegradable soap
□ Toilet paper
□ Sanitary supplies
□ Towel
□ Any prescription medications you need

No matter where you go, hygiene is still important. You’re probably going to get sweaty and dirty over the course of your trip. You probably don’t need to do a whole big skin care routine every single day, but 

FIRST AID AND MEDICAL

□ First aid kit
□ Moleskin
□ Allergy accommodations
□ Medic alert ID
□ Hydrogen peroxide and/or antiseptic wipes
□ Insect sting treatment
□ Blister treatment
□ Gauze pads
□ Bandages
□ Tweezers
□ Lip balm
□ Sunscreen
□ Insect repellent


Your first aid kit is an important piece of gear. Not only should you have one while camping, you should also keep one in your car. You can put a first-aid kit together yourself, or you can purchase a pre-made one.

ADDITIONAL SAFETY

□ Whistle
□ Mirror (for a reflector if lost)
□ Research the weather at your campsite for the dates of your trip
□ Always leave a detailed trip schedule, in writing, with a responsible person back home
Add: Emergency communication device/Satellite Phone 

There are a few miscellaneous items that are good to have in an emergency--and a couple of important steps to take before setting off on a camping trip. 

PERMITS AND LICENSES

□ Fire/camping permits
□ Fishing/hunting licenses
□ Personal identification/driver’s license

Make sure that you have any paperwork you need for the campsite in advance. Calling ahead to confirm what permits (if any) are needed before you head out is a smart idea. 

ENTERTAINMENT

□ Volleyball net/ball
□ Cornhole set
□ Horseshoes
□ Deck of cards
□ Binoculars
□ Bird guide
□ Reading material
□ Charger for electronics
□ Kayak or canoe
□ Fishing rod and tackle

Everyone’s idea of a relaxing camping trip looks different. Maybe you’re an old-fashioned, “cards by the campfire” person. Maybe you like to play video games in your tent. Maybe you want to bring your fishing kayak and hit the water. This space is for you. Whatever makes your heart sing and brings you closer to your fellow campers, this is the place to put it. 

by Regina Wu

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