You've made the decision. You want to go camping, and like it or not, the kids are coming with you. Now you just need to know what to take. You could just wing it, but if you're anything like me, chances are you'll leave necessary items at home and end up having to run to the nearest store to buy stuff. That's a real drag when you want to set up camp! When it comes to camping, we live by this must have camping gear checklist!
Must Have Camping Gear
Obviously, you need shelter to camp. There are several options regarding shelter.
- Tent – Tents are the simplest and basic ways of camping. Some campgrounds will allow you to rent a tent for a small fee.
- Camper Trailer – These provide beds and some of the basic comforts all the way up to being just as nice as or better than your home. You may be able to rent one from the campground or an RV store.
- Motorhome – This is a home on wheels coming with beds, bathrooms, TVs, Refrigerator, and the kitchen sink. You can either own or even rent one of these.
- Cabin – Many campgrounds offer cabin rental. This can be an easy way to camping to have some conveniences without the cost of a trailer or motorhome.
Food and Drink
You have to eat so bringing food and drinks is important. Keeping your food and drinks cool and safe is extremely important. The last thing you want is food poisoning! You're going to want your food and water to stay cold. Keeping water at hand with personal water bottles will keep you hydrated.
You simply must pack chocolate bars, marshmallows, and graham crackers… no camping trip is quite right without making s'mores and roasting marshmallows.
Cooking and Kitchen essentials
Tin foil is essential for cooking and keeping food while you are camping. A cast iron skillet, that you don't mind getting scuffed up while cooking over coals or grates, and a dutch oven are great for cooking. Keeping a set of camping travel utensils and a set of camping dinnerware in your camping gear will keep you sane.
Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil (Pack of 2)Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Deep Camp Dutch Oven – 12 Inch / 8 QuartLodge Camp Dutch Oven Lid LifterLodge L5SK3 Cast Iron Skillet, Pre-Seasoned, 8-inchCamping Travel Cooking Utensils Set (8 Items)Coleman 24-Piece Enamel Dinnerware Set
Of course, you have to pack cloths. That said, be sure to pack for different temperatures, as it could be very warm in the day but keep in mind that temperatures drop at night. Remember to layer so that you can take jackets or shirts off as the day progresses and even put back on as it gets cooler. Packing hats to protect the head whether you are hiking, fishing or just sitting outside is always a good idea. Sunburns happen easily and quick.
In my experience, you can pretty much guarantee any time you go camping it is going to rain… at least briefly. Be prepared in the event that rain does come with rain jackets, ponchos, and water resistant shoes or boots. Ponchos are pretty cheap on Amazon!
Bring card games such as: Uno, Skipbo, Spot It or your standard playing cards. Outdoor games like washers, velcro ball, or air scoop ball are also small and easily portable. Of course, a baseball, baseball bat, and baseball glove are great for camping.
Uno Card GameSKIP BO Card GameSpot ItGoSports Premium Birch Wood Washer Toss GameFinlon Throw and Catch Ball Toss and Catch and Toss Game Set for Outdoor Beach Garden Pool ToyUS Games Fun-Air Scoop Ball
If you're going to be camping near water, pack swimwear, personal flotation devices, and sunscreen. Be sure to pack your fishing poles and fishing tackle if you plan to cast a line, and check the regulations wherever you're camping to see if you need a permit to fish.
When camping, it is essential to have a First Aid kit to be able to handle cuts and injuries. We prefer a hard shell first aid kit so it doesn't get smashed among everything else. There are several things that most first aid kids do NOT include, which we add to our camping gear. Those include wound wash, eye wash solution, NasalCease — stops nose bleeds quick, bug repellant, and aloe vera gel. The aloe comes in handy if anyone does start to burn, though we try to avoid it with regular application of sunscreen.
Lifeline 85-Piece Large Hard Shell First Aid KitNeilMed Cleanse Sterile Saline Wound Wash, 6 OuncePhysiciansCare 24-201 Eye Wash Solution, 32 ounce BottleNasalcease FirstAid Nosebleeds, 5-Count BoxSkedattle Natural Insect Repellent Made with Essential Oils – DEET Free, Natural Bug SprayAmara Organics Aloe Vera Gel from Organic Cold Pressed Aloe, 8 fl. oz.
Extra cash in the event your camping trip gets flooded out. You want to be prepared just in case rather than be caught having to head home or staying in your vehicle.
Now that you've seen our essentials, I wanted to share our actual packing list. These are the things that get packed whenever we're headed for the great outdoors.Share this free printable Must Have Packing List for Camping with your friends!
You can print the Must Have Packing List for Camping by right clicking the link or the image to save the camping list for yourself.