The Ultimate Camping Checklist for Beginners

The Ultimate Camping Checklist for Beginners

Nothing can take your mind off your daily pressures like camping. After a week full of stress, projects, and deadlines, a camping trip can be the perfect opportunity for you to refill your energy by getting in touch with nature. However, before you decide to go into the wild, you’ll need to make a list of what you will need first, especially if you’re a first-time camper. To ensure that your experience is great and trouble-free, make sure to create a checklist of all that you’re going to need to make sure that your trip goes smoothly. If you want to create the ultimate camping checklist, here is a guide that will help you get started.

Determine the Type of Gear to Get

Generally, there are three things you’ll have to consider first before you go on your way for a trip. The first is being the type of campsite. For example, if you’re going to a campground, you will have premade fire pits, bathroom necessities, picnic tables, etc. so you won’t need to make many preparations. On the other hand, you won’t have these things at a primitive campsite. What you’re going to pack will also depend on what type of activities you’re planning to do, like fishing, hiking, or simply playing card games. The third factor you should think about is how luxurious you want your camp to be like. Some people like their camps to be minimalistic so they can merge with nature, while other people like their camps to be luxurious, elaborate, and equipped with all the necessary tools and items to guarantee comfort.

Shelter and Bedding

With that said, you’ll need to consider your shelter. Depending on who you ask, setting up a tent can be an arduous task, especially if one of the main components of the said tent was damaged or in case you forgot a mallet. You also need to consider the sleeping arrangements and homely items you choose to add to your tent to make it more comfortable. You should also bear in mind the carbon monoxide levels, as they are commonly known to pose dangers in campsites. To sum it up, here is a list of the essentials:

  • Pillows
  • Sleeping mats
  • Camp bed
  • Mallets
  • Camping tent, guy lines, and poles
  • Windbreak
  • Tent pegs
  • Dustpan
  • Hot water bottles
  • Carbon monoxide alarm
  • Rug

Transportation and Navigation

You can’t get to the campsite without planning how to get there. For this part, you will need maps. Everyone nowadays carries a smartphone, so you might think that there is no need for a physical map. However, maps are essential because you might not be able to get a good connection out there. You should also consider whether or not to rent an RV. If you visit The Wandering RV, you’ll find out more about RV maintenance, the best types of RVs to rent, and the accessories and gadgets you should get before you go on your adventure. With that said, here are the transportation and navigation essentials you should get.

  • Maps
  • Extra fuel
  • Mobile phone and a charger
  • Sat nav
  • Driving license
  • Booking confirmation
  • Child car seat
  • Travel
  • Leveling chocks
  • Whistle


A camping trip would be difficult to get through without any source of entertainment. Thus, it is important that you pack entertainment essentials, especially if you’re traveling with children. Your essential will vary from books and packs of cards to frisbees, bikes, or balls. Whichever you feel like you might enjoy on your trip, you should definitely pack it! We’ve listed some items here which might be inspirational to you, but keep in mind that not all of these are essential.

  • Books
  • Musical instruments
  • Bikes
  • Frisbees
  • Puzzles
  • Board games
  • Coloring books
  • Magazines
  • Sports equipment
  • Pack of cards
  • Your kids’ favorite toys
  • star finder or star map

The Ultimate Camping Checklist for Beginners

Cooking Supplies

Your trip can go downhill if you don’t pack enough food. Some people even go camping for the purpose of enjoying a good campfire meal or to eat marshmallows as they sit around the fire pit. Of course, starting a fire in the wild can certainly be challenging if you don’t have matches and lighters to keep the fire going. In fact, if you don’t have these supplies, you might be facing a bigger problem. To avoid that, make sure that you check out the items on this list:

  • Matches and/ or a lighter
  • Firestarters and newspaper
  • Stove and fuel supply
  • Oven gloves
  • Tin opener
  • Water storage container
  • Kettle
  • Napkins
  • Paper towels
  • Folding chairs and tables
  • Thermos flask
  • Scrubbing sponge
  • Aluminum foil
  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Cooking oil
  • Tupperware


How much clothing you’re going to pack depends on how many times you plan to do the laundry while camping. Usually, campers will pack clothes that are suitable for outdoor weather, but they will also get more layers if the weather is particularly chilly at night. You should consider your footwear depending on the activities you’re planning to do, like hiking, biking, or fishing. Waterproof layers are also essential for rainy weather. For the most part, these are the items you’re going to need:

  • Spare trousers
  • Walking boots
  • Flip flops
  • T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Scarfs and gloves
  • Waterproofs
  • Swimming suits
  • Warm socks
  • Underwear
  • Sleepwear
  • A bag for the dirty laundry


Campsites are usually set up in natural areas and away from the city. That means that you won’t be bothered by light pollution, but this also means that you won’t be seeing anything if you don’t have sufficient lighting at your campsite. Plus, you may never know when a torch or spare bulb might come in handy. If you like to wander in nature, especially at night, or if you like to spot wildlife under the cover of the night, you will need a source of light to show you the way. Therefore, it is crucial that you pack these items as well:

  • Headlamps
  • Spare bulbs
  • Batteries
  • Torches
  • Lanterns

So there you have it! With this guide, you can create the ultimate checklist for your next camping trip. Make sure that you keep everything in order so that you don’t end up misplacing or leaving any of your belongings behind. Keep all of your items contained to protect them from dust and insects. To stay on the safe side, make sure to pack a first aid kit to treat common injuries like scrapes, sunburns, and bug bites. Now start packing and get ready to enjoy your great outdoor adventure!