Getting ready to go camping this summer? Here’s my pack list for our favorite camping essentials. This list of gear to make sure you take camping will have you feeling prepared! This list is linked to Amazon so you can easily order what you need.
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Camping is one my husband and I’s favorite activities and as a champion list-maker and over-preparer, I think I’ve got our systems down pat.
Note: we don’t have kiddos yet, so this list is what works for us as two adults!
I’m breaking this down into a few sections:
Let’s get you set up to have a great camping trip!
I’ve also got all the links below in my Amazon storefront camping list.
Tent and Sleeping Arrangements
I promise, if you prepare and include the right gear in your camping essentials, you can sleep comfortably while camping.
- A tarp. We always lay out a tarp under our tent and stake it to protect the tent.
- Tent. This is the tent we’ve had since we got married (almost 6 years).
- Inflatable sleeping pads. These work really well for us and are super comfy!
- Sleeping bags. These sleeping bags have always kept us warm. I’ll usually bring a lighter blanket in case we get too toasty.
- Pillows. We just bring our pillows from home!
General Campsite and Tools
- Camping chairs. We just have some cheapo ones we got for literally $7 at the store. Just make sure they have cupholders! I would like to upgrade, though…
- Tablecloth. Something fun to put over your campsite’s picnic table! I like oilcloth or vinyl so it’s easy to wipe down.
- Tablecloth clips. So your tablecloth stays put!
- Firewood. Get more than you think you need. Make sure to purchase your firewood near or at your campsite so you aren’t introducing new buggies to the area you’re staying in.
- Newspaper or some other kind of fire starter. Lint works well!
- Lighters and matches. Bring extra! We bring waterproof matches, too, just in case.
- Citronella candles. They’re pretty and help keep the bugs away.
- Lantern. We have a collapsible silicone lantern I love. I can’t find the exact one, but the one linked is similar.
- A first aid kit. We have a big one for our general campsite and mini first aid kits we keep in our backpacks when hiking, fishing, etc.
- A mini portable generator. This is new to our pack list and certainly not necessary, but nice to have. We like to listen to music and scary podcasts while camping so we can keep our little bluetooth speaker charged! And our Apple Watches for recording all those hikes.
- Portable chargers. Especially if you don’t wanna fork out for the generator!
- Batteries. Bring extras in a few different sizes.
- A flashlight or two.
- Cash. You never know when you might need actual paper money to pay for parking, firewood, etc.
- A multi-tool. Eric just brings his Leatherman.
- A mallet for getting those stakes for your tarp and tent into the ground.
- Chargers! Phone chargers, smart watch chargers, bluetooth speaker charges. All of ’em.
- Duct tape. Because duct tape.
- Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Sunscreen. A billion bottles of it. And don’t mess around, get the high SPF.
- Bug spray. So much bug spray.
- Chapstick. Better if it has SPF.
- Biodegradable wet wipes. I can go a week without washing my hair… but not my SELF.
- Glasses and contacts if ya wear ’em. I’ve been without these before and it sucked.
- Toothpaste and toothbrushes.
- Hand sanitizer.
- Travel sized body soap.
- Toilet paper. Especially if your campground’s toilet situation is less than ideal (or nonexistent).
- Face wipes. You can use body wipes but stuff made for your face will be gentler.
- Aloe vera. Hopefully you won’t need it because of that high SPF sunscreen but ya never know.
- Your prescriptions if ya got ’em. For me, this means inhalers!
This will be dependent on where you’re camping and what kind of activities are available, but here’s my general list.
- Laundry bags. For keeping your dirty clothes separate, and you can easily start a load when you get home.
- Hats. Something you can get sweaty!
- Hiking socks.
- Hiking shoes.
- Whatever clothing you’re comfortable hiking in: leggings, athletic tops, light quarter zips, etc.
- River sandals.
- Sweatshirts. Even if it’s going to be hot, it might be chilly at night!
- Sports bras. Don’t even bother bringing one with underwire, k?
- Rain jacket. Ya never know. Or is that just Oregon?
- Not exactly clothing, but beach towels.
- Underwear ????
- A good cooler. Get one that can drain.
- Ice to fill that good cooler with.
- Disinfecting wipes. Great for wiping down the table, cleaning after cooking, etc.
- Camping grill. Honestly, I don’t usually bring this because we just cook over the fire but it can be handy.
- Propane. If we do bring a grill, I bring extra propane tanks.
- Water storage cubes. Much more environmentally friendly than plastic water bottles and they’re collapsible, so as you go through them they get easier to pack and store!
- Marshmallow sticks. For roasting marshmallows and lil smokies!
- A wine key. Do not forget a wine key or you will be so sad!
- Paper towels. Bring plenty. Use ’em as napkins.
- Zipper top plastic baggies. Sandwich and gallon sized. I always bring extras.
- Garbage bags. Bring several. Most campgrounds will have dumpsters but may not have recycling and we’ll haul it out (Oregonians through and through).
- Foil cooking containers. I’ll do peppers, onions, and potatoes in one of these over the fire to go with sausages.
- Compostable cutlery.
- Compostable cups.
- Compostable plates.
- Camping coffee mugs. We have cheapo ones but I want these Yeti ones!
- A french press. We’ve found it to be the easiest way to make coffee.
- A Jetboil. This is new for us and not at all necessary, I just got sick of building a fire in the AM just to boil water. We opted for the Jetboil Sumo because it boils 1.8 liters, the size of our french press.
- A cast iron skillet. I love to sous vide steaks in advance and sear them to serve over the fire!
- A pot that you don’t mind getting a little blackened, and a lid for it.
- Metal tongs and spatula. Grill utensils work well.
- Oven mits. Don’t grab a hot handle, please!
- Kitchen towels. I use them to wrap my knives, too.
- A few knives.
- Dish soap and sponge. I get mini dish soaps! (Put it in a zipper top bag, k?)
- Lightweight backpacks. For hiking, packing a few things when going to a fishing or beach spot, etc. Each of ours has chapstick and a mini first aid kit in them.
- A dry bag comes in handy if you’re doing anything on the water.
- Kubb! Introduced to us by my cousins, this has quickly become one of our favorite outdoor games. It’s like cornhole meets chess.
- A couple of decks of cards.
- A bluetooth speaker. Just don’t be obnoxious, k? Low volume music at night is fun. We like to listen to ghost story podcasts. Download playlists and podcasts in advance in case you lose service!
- Books or tablet for reading.
- Kites are fun.
I hope you found this list of camping essentials helpful and have a blast on your camping trip! Have favorite camping gear to pack I didn’t include? Drop it in the comments!