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Camping Checklists

Camping ChecklistsA  checklist is essential as part of your preparation for camping if your camp experience is to be enjoyed with your family or just a group of friends. Each year, many families go camping and summer camp brings new adventures, new friends, new skills and new experiences. The single most important thing that will ensure the success of your camping experience is be prepared. Weather can change, food can get spoiled or you can have an accident. If you are prepared, then you are ready for just about any eventuality.

It’s the responsibility of every good parent or guardian to see that the family  has everything they need. That doesn’t mean that you have to pack all of their bags far from it. There are several reasons for your kids to prepare themselves.

  • They need to know what to pack so that nothing is forgotten.
  • Know how to pack so nothing is damaged or soiled.
  • They needs to learn to pack so everything is logically placed and can be found quickly and easily.
  • They need to learn how to prepare so that when they are old enough to take their own families they will know how to prepare for a great camping experience

The easiest way to know what to bring to camp is to create a  camping checklist. A laminated checklist can be used to pack  bags at home and to take with you to make sure it all comes back.

Camping Checklists


Are unsure what needs to be on the camp checklist. For example it’s always a good idea to ask a veteran camper what to bring along. Be systematic about your approach to creating your list. We have created a list here. However give some thought about the camp you are going to and how what additional things you may need at your camp site.

  • Large backpack for main items
  • Small backpack for day trips


  • Underclothes
  • Socks – if you have thick hiking socks include these or consider wearing two pairs on a long hike.
  • Shorts
  • Jeans
  • Lightweight jacket, preferably a pack away type,
  • Sweat shirt or sweat suit in case the evenings turn cool,
  • Athletic/training shoes
  • Hiking boots
  • Sandals
  • Rain gear
  • Swimwear – two pairs if you are doing water activities.
  • Towels – minimum of three


  • Ziploc of washing powder or tablet soap for laundry
  • 15 ft nylon rope for clothes line
  • Laundry bag for dirty clothes
  • Toilet paper
  • Disinfectant spray freshens tents and deters spiders
  • Mothballs deter little critters
  • Toiletries bag including: Soap, Shampoo, Face cloth,
  • Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Deodorant.


  • Prescription medicines
  • Non-prescription medicines (Headache pills, anti-acid, anti-itch creams, insect repellant and high SPF sunscreen)
  • Personal first aid kit

Night time:

  • Sleeping bag or blankets
  • Pillow
  • Ground sheet
  • Flashlight
  • Spare batteries and bulbs


  • Water bottle or canteen
  • Mess tins
  • Utensils – knife, fork, spoon
  • Tin cup

Activity time:

  • Paper and pencils
  • Other activity paraphernalia – check with your patrol or troop leaders
  • Money for activity materials


  • Money for  – souvenirs, snacks etc. (keep separate from activity money)
  • Compass
  • Watch – preferably analog to use as compass
  • Sunglasses
  • Long sleeved shirt
  • Camera
  • Spare film or spare memory card & batteries
  • Clear plastic bag for camera – for taking water photos
  • Prayer book or bible
  • Sketch book and pencils
  • Pocket knife – choose one that has several useful tools.
  • Waxed/water resistant string for emergency boot laces and a variety of other uses

Choose a backpack that is comfortable on the shoulders and has good lumbar support. The higher it sits up the back, the less strain there will be on the lower back. For example if you have a frame style backpack, so much the better. They are usually adjustable and most have sectional or removable packs. In addition the more side pockets that you have the easier it is to find without having to dig through the main pack.

Understand the terrain, weather, season and length of time that you will be at  camp.

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One Response to “Camping Checklists”

  1. what a great list of things for camping. we printed out this list and will use it for our next trip. we will ad to this camping list as well.

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