Get organized with a camping equipment list

Whether you’re new to camping or have been camping for years, it’s always a good idea to have a camping equipment list on hand.  Make up your own or use this camping gear list to make sure you’ve got everything you need!  Use it when you’re checking your gear at the beginning of the season, when you’re packing up the car to head out to woods, or when you’re out at the camping store checking out the sales!

Pile of camping gear with text overlay reading camping equipment checklist

What should be on your camping equipment list?

There are definitely some must haves for camping… like somewhere to sleep and something to cook and eat with.  But aside from those items, all the other camping stuff just increases your comfort and enjoyment of the trip.

If you’re looking for specific details on camping necessities, hop over to this detailed article all about the camping essentials you need for a successful trip.

Otherwise, below you can get a quick run-down of the items and grab this camping equipment list to make your camping planning easier.

Gear for sleeping and staying warm

A tent.  Or a camper.  Maybe a hammock.

You’ll need to decide which method works best for you and your family.  But, you’ll need something… unless you plan to sleep under the stars cowboy style.  And, if that’s your style, then that’s very cool!  And, very brave!

Now, that you’ve decided how you’ll be sheltered, you’ll need a sleeping bag or linens of some sort.  If it gets cold where you sleep, don’t try to save money on your sleeping bag.  Seriously, spend the money and buy a quality bag that will keep you warm and dry.

A good quality insulated sleeping pad is also very important for keeping you both comfortable and warm at night.

If, on the other hand, the temperatures stay warm at night, then you can probably get away with a department store sleeping bag or just bringing some sheets and blankets from home.

Head on over to this post on camping necessities to get more details and direction in choosing which type of sleeping bag and sleeping pad you should use.

So, thus far, your camping equipment list should contain:

  • A tent, camper, hammock, or tarp shelter
  • Tent pegs and ropes to secure this shelter to the ground (or trees)
  • A sleeping bag or set of linens for each camper
  • A pillow for each camper (although, hardcore campers will just bunch up their clothing and use that!)
  • A sleeping pad for each sleeper
A pile of camping gear - sleeping bags, cooking gear, sleep pads, and more
A checklist will help you keep all your camping equipment in check!


Gear for cooking and eating:

This is where your gear can start to pile up.  Your comfort and ability or willingness to haul all this gear to the campground will be the biggest deciding factor.

For most camping families, the cooking essentials are:

  • A means of cooking (camp stove, BBQ, or campfire with a grill)
  • Cooking implements (pot with lid, fry pan, long handled cooking utensils)
  • Eating implements (plates, bowls, cups, good knife, cutlery)
  • A vessel for drinking water

From here, you can just keep adding equipment:

  • A few more pots with lids
  • A dutch oven
  • Can and bottle opener
  • Quality knives
  • Coffee maker
  • Kettle
  • Roasting sticks
  • Pie irons (campfire sandwich makers)
  • Colander

Don’t forget washing all this cooking and eating equipment:

  • Dish pans (preferably 2 or 3)
  • Scrubbies, dish towels, dish soap

And, then there’s all those handy extras when you’re camping that you’d wish you’d brought along like:

  • Containers, plastic wrap, and baggies for leftovers
  • Tin foil
  • BBQ tongs
  • Paper towels
  • Wet wipes
  • Garbage bags
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Coffee thermos
  • Water bottles
  • A book, games, or activities


What about all the other camping gear?

Yes, you’ll probably also want to bring along some things to make your trip easier and more enjoyable.  

  • Tarp and ropes for rain or sun shelter
  • Camp chairs
  • Folding table if your site doesn’t have picnic tables
  • A campfire grill if that’s not provided
  • A hatchet or ax for firewood
  • Flashlights, headlamps, or lanterns
  • Hammer and multipurpose tools
  • Duct tape (just because)
  • Fire starting materials and matches
  • A bucket for water if you do plan to have a fire


And those other ‘should haves’ that aren’t really considered equipment:

  • A good quality first aid kit
  • Bug spray
  • Sun screen
  • Bear spray or bear canister (if in bear county)
  • A fire extinguisher
  • Cash
  • Your wallet
  • Pen and paper



So, there you have it… all the camping gear you should make sure to include on your own camping equipment list… or just click here and grab this one that’s already made up for you!

And, now that you’ve made sure you’ve packed all your camping equipment, you might want to read this post to get some tips on organizing, packing, and making sure you don’t forget the rest of the stuff you’ll need for camping!


Other camping articles you should check out:


camping equipment with text overlay reading camping gear, don't forget a thing

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