What to Bring Camping & Backpacking

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Table of Contents

I think it’s safe to say that no two camping trips are the same.

Some people camp for a quick overnight stay under the stars, whilst others spend over a week in the same tent, hiking tens of km’s a day.

No matter how long for, or where you’re camping, there’s going to be a few things that you certainly don’t want to forget, or may not even think of bringing.

Which is exactly why we’ve written this article on what to bring camping.

That said, we’re going to do things a little different.

For some reason, when ever I did a search on what to bring camping, all the top sites would throw hundreds upon hundreds of different gear and equipment at you.

Let’s be real, only 30-40% of that is going to be remotely suitable to your style of camping.

With that in mind, we’re going to break this article down into the following categories:

  • What to bring car camping
  • What to bring backpacking
  • What to bring festival camping
  • What to bring when camping with a dog

To top it off, we’re also going to provide you with a free printable PDF for each category, so you can tick things off as you go.

That way, you can check items off as you pack and sleep easy know you’ve got all bases covered.

But first…

The Basics

At the end of the day, the basics should be the same across all of those categories, these include:

  • Tent
  • Steaks
  • Guy Ropes
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Air matress/ Sleeping Bad
  • Pillow
  • Camping Chairs
  • Pop up table
  • Torches/ head lamp
  • Food
  • Drink

This is probably the bare minimum you could bring, and still camp with relative ease. With that said, there’s plenty of other accessories, gear and equipment still to be packed that’ll take things to the next level.

So let’s dive in, and get you camp ready. 

What To Bring Car Camping

Let’s start things off with a car camping checklist, as it’s probably the most popular type, with a lot of things to remember. 

Don’t forget, you can download a free, printable PDF just below each list! 

Camp Set Up

  • Tent
  • Rain Fly
  • Tarp
  • Footprint
  • Stakes
  • Awning / Porch
  • Screen Room
  • Ropes
  • Pillow
  • Air mattress / Sleeping pad / Camp Bed
  • Air pump
  • Additional sleeping bag liners/ blankets
  • Headlamps / Flash light
  • Camping table
  • Camping chairs
  • Generator
  • Appropriate fuel
  • Electric Hook Up/ Mobile mains kit
  • Camping toilet
  • Cupboards and storage
  • Windbreak
  • Portable chargers
  • Tent carpet​/ Flooring

Cooking & Cleaning

  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Food containers
  • Water carrier
  • Camping stove/ Oven/ Grill
  • Gas/ Fuel for stove
  • Cooking pans & utensils
  • Chopping board
  • Knives for chopping
  • Cutlery
  • Mugs, cups / Thermos
  • Tableware
  • Tin opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Cork screw
  • Matches/ Lighter/ Fire starter
  • Anti-bacterial surface wipes
  • Sponge
  • Washing up liquid
  • Icebox/ Cooler
  • Ice
  • Water bottles
  • Wash bin
  • Bin bags
  • Clothesline + Pegs
  • Camelbak

Clothing & footware

  • Wellies
  • Walking boots
  • Trainers/ Sneakers
  • Sandals/ Flip flops
  • Jumpers/ Fleeces/ Hoodies
  • T shirts
  • Shorts
  • Trousers/ Pants/ Jeans
  • Warm sleep ware
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Socks & underwear
  • Swimwear
  • Sun hat/ Cap
  • Woolly hat
  • Gloves/ Mittens
  • Laundry bag

Health & first Aid

  • Prescribed medication
  • First aid kit
  • Extra band aids/ plasters
  • Hand wash
  • Bug spray/ insect repellent
  • Pain killers
  • Antihistamine
  • Citronella candles
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Prescription contact lenses
  • Glasses
  • Bandages

Toiletries & Hygiene

  • After sun/ Moisturizer
  • Lip balm
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Portable mirror
  • Cosmetics
  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush & paste
  • Deodorant
  • Body wash
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Dry shampoo
  • Toilet roll
  • Razor
  • Shaving cream
  • Sanitary products
  • Towels
  • Nail Clippers

Tools & Extras

  • Mallet
  • Duct tape
  • Tent repair kit
  • Brush/ Broom
  • Pen/ Pocket knife
  • String/ Para cord
  • Saw
  • Screw driver
  • Sewing Kit
  • GPS/ Smart watch
  • Satellite phone/ 2 way radio
  • Park/ Trail map
  • Compass
  • Pen/ Pencil
  • Binoculars

Adventure & Entertainment

  • Bike
  • Scooter
  • Skateboards/ Long boards
  • Kayaks
  • Fishing gear
  • Paddleboard
  • Water guns
  • Card games
  • Ball games
  • Board games
  • Laptop
  • Book
  • Speakers
  • iPad
  • Camera

Personal Belongings

  • Phone
  • Phone charger
  • Wallet
  • Identification
  • Car Keys
  • Camp site reservation details
  • Cash

You can download a free PDF checklist listing all of the above equipment. This way, you can tick things off as you go! We’ve also left some blank spaces if you want to add anything that is specific to your trip.

Backpacking Checklist

What to bring on a backpacking trip various massively from personal preferneces, location, length of your trip and the climate you’ll be in. 

Remembering to bring all the important gear on a backpacking trip is incredibly important. 

No one wan’ts to be 2 days in, and notice dark clouds forming in the sky, only to realise some of your waterproofs are at home. 

At this point, there’s probably not going to be a shop you can pop in to, or Amazon Prime delivery to help you out (not until their drone service is up and running anyway). 

Moral of the story is check, double check, tripple check and even quadrouple check that you’ve got everything.

Backpacking Gear

  • Backpack
  • Tent
  • Rainfly
  • Guy lines
  • Stakes
  • Footprint
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Pillow
  • Headlamp/ flashlight
  • Trekking poles
  • Pocket knife

Cooking & Cleaning

  • Snacks
  • Meals
  • Extra day/ 2 day’s supply
  • Camel Pack
  • Water bottles (re-usable)
  • Water purifier
  • Backpacking stove
  • Fuel
  • Mess kit
  • Thermos
  • Bowls & dishes
  • Mugs & cups
  • Washing up soap (biodegradable)
  • Towell/ cloth
  • Food sacks
  • Matches/ lighter
  • Eating utencils

Clothing & Footwear

  • Hiking boots
  • Rainwear
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear
  • Hiking shorts/skirt
  • Hiking trousers
  • Jacket
  • Jumper
  • Fleece
  • Sun glasses
  • Cap/ Hat
  • Bandana
  • Gloves
  • Camp shoes/ sandals

First Aid & Emergency Equipment

  • Pain killers
  • First aid kit
  • Gauze pads
  • Medical tape
  • Bain aids
  • Latex gloves
  • Sanitizer
  • Whistle
  • Emergency shelter
  • Stormproof matches
  • Back up water treatment tablets
  • Antihistamines
  • Antidiarrheal
  • 2 back up itinerary - one with friend/family one in car

Toiletries & Hygiene

  • Prescription medication
  • Bug spray
  • Bear spray
  • Bear spray
  • Lip balm
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toothbrush & paste
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo/ Dry shampoo
  • Sanitary products
  • Sanitation trowel
  • Prescription glasses

Navigation

  • Personal locator beacon/ satellite messenger

Tools & Extras

  • Binoculars
  • Watch
  • Tent repair kit
  • Needle & thread
  • Paracord/ string
  • Duct tape
  • Multi tool/ knife
  • Camera & camera bag
  • Daypack
  • Journal
  • Games

Personal belongings

  • Car keys
  • Permits
  • Identification
  • Phone
  • Wallet
  • Charging/power bank

Festival Camping Checklist

Up next we’re going to take a look at some of the various things to remember when festival camping.

Camp Set Up

  • Tent
  • Footprint
  • Stakes
  • Ropes
  • Pillow
  • Air mattress / sleeping pad / camp Bed
  • Air pump
  • Additional sleeping bag liners/ blankets
  • Headlamps / flash Light
  • Camping table
  • Camping chairs
  • Portable chargers
  • Speakers
  • Padlock

Cooking & Cleaning

  • Camping stove
  • Gas
  • Grill
  • Charcoal
  • Lighter/ Matches/ Fire starter
  • Camping kettle
  • Cooking pans & utensils
  • Table wear
  • Mugs / Cups/ Thermos
  • Bottle opener
  • Fruit
  • Breakfast bars
  • Sweets & treats
  • Dried / Cup noodles
  • Tea & coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Bin bags
  • Icebox/ Cooler
  • Cold drinks/ Mixers
  • Anti-bacterial surface wipes
  • Water bottles

Clothing & Footwear

  • T-shirts/ Tops
  • Shorts
  • Trousers
  • Wellies
  • Trainers
  • Cap
  • Waterproof coat
  • Socks & underwear
  • Sun glasses
  • Bandanna
  • Sleep wear
  • Laundry bag
  • Backpack
  • Bum/ Waist bag

Health & Toiletries

  • Prescribed medication
  • Band aids
  • Sun cream
  • Hand wash
  • Bug spray
  • Pain killers
  • Antihistamine
  • Contact lenses
  • Glasses
  • After sun
  • Lip balm
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Portable mirror
  • Cosmetics
  • Toothbrush & paste
  • Sanitary products
  • Dry shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Body wash
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Toilet roll
  • Razor
  • Towels

Personal Belongings

  • Phone
  • Phone charger
  • Cash
  • Debit/ Credit card
  • Identification
  • Car keys
  • Festival ticket
  • Festival map
  • Camera
  • Speakers

What to Bring When Camping with a Dog

What better way to spend time outdoors that with mans’ best friend? The following checklist will cover all your usual car camping gear, as well as all your pooches bits and bobs as well. We’ve also got an article on the best tents for dog owners that you can check out if you’re on the hunt for a dog friendly tent.

Camp Set Up

  • Tent
  • Rain Fly
  • Tarp
  • Footprint
  • Stakes
  • Awning / Porch
  • Screen Room
  • Ropes
  • Pillow
  • Air mattress / Sleeping pad / Camp Bed
  • Air pump
  • Additional sleeping bag liners/ blankets
  • Headlamps / Flash light
  • Camping table
  • Camping chairs
  • Generator
  • Appropriate fuel
  • Electric Hook Up/ Mobile mains kit
  • Camping toilet
  • Cupboards and storage
  • Windbreak
  • Portable chargers
  • Tent carpet​/ Flooring

Dog Belongings

  • Short leash
  • Extendable leash
  • Dog identification tag
  • Collar
  • Coat
  • High visibility ribbon
  • Dog poop bag
  • Water bowl
  • Food bowl
  • Treats
  • Dog food
  • Medication
  • Dog wipes
  • Towels
  • Dog shampoo

Cooking & Cleaning

  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Food containers
  • Water carrier
  • Camping stove/ Oven/ Grill
  • Gas/ Fuel for stove
  • Cooking pans & utensils
  • Chopping board
  • Knives for chopping
  • Cutlery
  • Mugs, cups / Thermos
  • Tableware
  • Tin opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Cork screw
  • Matches/ Lighter/ Fire starter
  • Anti-bacterial surface wipes
  • Sponge
  • Washing up liquid
  • Icebox/ Cooler
  • Ice
  • Water bottles
  • Wash bin
  • Bin bags
  • Clothesline + Pegs
  • Camelbak

Clothing & footware

  • Wellies
  • Walking boots
  • Trainers/ Sneakers
  • Sandals/ Flip flops
  • Jumpers/ Fleeces/ Hoodies
  • T shirts
  • Shorts
  • Trousers/ Pants/ Jeans
  • Warm sleep ware
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Socks & underwear
  • Swimwear
  • Sun hat/ Cap
  • Woolly hat
  • Gloves/ Mittens
  • Laundry bag

Health & first Aid

  • Prescribed medication
  • First aid kit
  • Extra band aids/ plasters
  • Hand wash
  • Bug spray/ Insect repellent
  • Pain killers
  • Antihistamine
  • Citronella candles
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Prescription contact lenses
  • Glasses
  • Bandages

Toiletries & Hygiene

  • After sun/ Moisturizer
  • Lip balm
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Portable mirror
  • Cosmetics
  • Face Wash
  • Toothbrush & paste
  • Deodorant
  • Body wash
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Dry shampoo
  • Toilet roll
  • Razor
  • Shaving cream
  • Sanitary products
  • Towels
  • Nail clippers

Tools & Extras

  • Mallet
  • Duct Tape
  • Tent repair kit
  • Brush/ Broom
  • Pen/ Pocket knife
  • String/ Para cord
  • Saw
  • Screw driver
  • Sewing Kit
  • GPS/ Smart watch
  • Satellite phone/ 2 way radio
  • Park/ Trail map
  • Compass
  • Pen/ Pencil
  • Binoculars

Adventure & Entertainment

  • Bike
  • Scooter
  • Skateboards/ Long boards
  • Kayaks
  • Fishing gear
  • Paddleboard
  • Water guns
  • Card games
  • Ball games
  • Board games
  • Laptop
  • Book
  • Speakers
  • iPad
  • Camera

Personal Belongings

  • Phone
  • Phone charger
  • Wallet
  • Identification
  • Car keys
  • Camp site reservation details
  • Cash

Final Thoughts

While camping is undeniably a great experience, it tents to be highly reliant on preparation. One forgotten item can make things a whole lot harder. 
 
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten something as simple as matches, or a change of socks. It’s very surprising how such small things can have such a large effect on a trip. Fortunately, I’ve learnt my lesson now (the hard way), and always have a checklist handy. 
 
What’s more, if you’re camping with new equipment or gear that hasn’t be used in a while, make sure you try it out before you head off. The last thing anyone wants to happen is to pitch up and realised there’s a gaping hole in the middle of the fly. 
 
Well there we have it, thanks for stopping by. I hope this has been of some help to you. If there’s anything you’d like to ask, or even suggestions, please feel free to get in touch below. 

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