A Camping Packing List

A Camping Packing List
Packing for your first family camping trip can be a bit overwhelming. Here, I’m providing the list we use when our family of five goes camping. You can use it as a jumping off point for your own list, just save it to your computer, customize it, and print it out.


Tent- If you’ll be using one.
Stakes, poles, mallet for pounding stakes
Sand stakes (if you’re camping near the water)
Doormat: For wiping off muddy feet before entering the tent.
Ground cloth: To put under the tent to protect the bottom.
2 tarps: You can never have too many tarps. You can use them to protect the floor of your tent or create an awning over a doorway or picnic table.
Broom/dustpan: For keeping your tent clean.

For Sleeping

Sleeping bags, sleeping pads or airbeds
Pillows & extra pillowcases
Sheets: for light warmth on a hot night, or they can double as a picnic blanket.
Extra blankets/comforters: For cold nights.
Air mattress patch kit


Lantern w/ fuel or batteries: Take your pick or bring both kinds. (If you choose a fuel lantern, a chain to hang it from a tree is a nice extra).
Extra lantern bulbs, flashlight bulbs, lantern mantles etc.
Flashlights: Bring smaller sizes for the kids.
Battery-operated radio: Good for checking the weather.
Hatchet/folding shovel/folding saw/maul/bow saw: You may or may not need these.
Bungee cords
Duct tape
Lantern funnel
Swiss army knife
Adjustable wrench & pliers
Knot tying card
Nylon repair tape
Sportsman’s goop
Seam sealer
3/8” grommet kit

Kitchen Stuff

Camp Stove & fuel
Cooler & ice
Tablecloth & clips
Can opener/bottle opener/corkscrew/scissors
Spatula /vegetable peeler/cheese grater/serving utensils
Utensils-forks/knives/spoons: Look for heavy duty plastic ones in the camping section of department stores.
Plates/bowls/cups & mugs: We usually bring plastic and wash them, you could also bring paper.
Aluminum Foil
Trash bags (big & small)
Nylon or copper scrubber: For scouring pots, these work better than steel wool.
Paper towels
Pot holders
Pie iron: Fun for dessert
Tea kettle: Makes it easier to boil and pour water for hot chocolate, tea, and coffee.
Pots w/ lids: Pack at least two.
Frying Pan: Get a cast iron one if you can, it’ll be worth it
Big stainless steel bowl: For mixing, serving, washing, you name it.
Cutting boards: For both meats and vegetables.
BBQ fork/spatula/tongs: If you’ll be cooking over the fire, bring the right tools.
Sharp knife
Antibacterial dish soap/biodegradable soap
2 dish pans: One for washing, one for rinsing.
Dish towels & dish cloths

For the Campfire

Matches or other flame starters
Fire starters: Buy them or just stuff empty paper towel rolls with newspaper.
Heavy gloves
Wood: If you can spare the car space to pack your own, you’ll save money.

Keeping clean

Nail brush
Toilet paper
Bath towels & washcloths
Shower totes
Small mirror
Solar shower: If your campground doesn’t have a shower, these are great.
Biodegradable soap/shampoo
Baby needs: A portable potty chair, inflatable bathtub, hook on high chair, diapers, wipes, whatever else you can’t be without.
Clothesline & clothespins

First aid/Safety

Bear spray/snake bite kit: Depending on where you’re traveling.
Cell phone
Water filter
Bugspray & citronella candles
Calamine lotion
Lip balm
Rubbing alcohol
Instant cold pack
Hand sanitizer
Eye wash
Eyeglass repair kit
Safety pins
Emergency blanket
Maxi pads/gauze pads: Good for large wounds.
Butterfly closures/bandages/tape & non-adhesive bandages
Antibiotic ointment & wipes
Tylenol/infant Tylenol
Safety pins


Reading material
Glow sticks
Frisbee/kites/other sports equipment
Pen & paper/markers/crayons/stickers/other craft supplies
Musical instruments
Camping chairs


Binoculars/small telescope/water nets
Fishing gear
Bug jars. Buy or make your own out of a peanut butter jar (punch holes in the lid).
Nature guides
Hiking packs
Hiking boots

You Should Also Read:
Choosing a Family Camping Destination
Choosing a Family Tent
Camping With a Baby

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