There are many ways to camp from back-to-basics style to luxurious glamping, and of course the camping packing list for each style is different. But if you are looking for the ultimate camping packing list you are in the right place!
When packing for a camping trip there are the things that you need to have and the things that are nice to have. So let’s start with the things you need to have on your camping essentials list.
The first thing to establish is what you will sleep in. If you have a caravan, motorhome or a camper then you have your shelter and bed and probably also pillows, duvets and other sleeping gear. If you are going glamping you also won’t have to worry about shelter. But if you are going camping with your tent the camping gear list is a bit longer. Apart from the tent, remember the tent pegs and a hammer to knock them into the ground. The pegs come with the tent but you can also buy some extra and stronger pegs. The stronger ones are especially helpful if it will be windy or the soil is very soft or hard, so don’t underestimate the pegs. You will also need sleeping bags, some kind of mattress like sleeping mats or air beds and potentially pillows to sleep more comfortably. If you opt for air beds do remember to bring a pump and a repair kit.
If you want to make your shelter a bit more comfortable and you have room for more than just the essentials. A ground cloth or a tarp under your tent will keep away moisture and coolness from the ground so your tent stays dry and the mattresses don’t get cold. You can also bring a mat for the entrance and a dustpan and brush to keep your tent clean.
If you don’t have a kitchen in your camper or you are going with a tent your camping gear list should include some cooking gear. A camping stove is always good to have to be sure you can always make yourself a meal. You can choose how many burners you want the stove to have, or figure out how much you have room for. But even with one burner you can make many delicious camping meals. Bring a lighter or matches along with the stove to make sure you can turn it on. Apart from the camping stove you will also need cooking pans and utensils to prepare a meal. Don’t forget to pack some plates, mugs, and cutlery as well to enjoy your camping feast. We recommend bringing reusable ones, you can either take what you already have at home or find some nice and inexpensive lightweight cutlery that you can use on many camping adventures ahead.
A few other things that you should add to your camping essentials list is a water carrier, water canister or some other form of water container to always have water at hand. Bin bags is another thing you should always have to keep your camp clean and make sure you leave nothing but your footprints behind.
You can also bring a bucket for your dishes, some natural dishwashing liquid, a sponge or a brush and some tea towels and kitchen washcloths.
You might not need to dress up for camping but you still need to keep yourself clean so don’t forget to pack your toiletries. The most important ones are a toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, shampoo and towels for showering, a comb or brush, deodorant and toilet paper. For women it’s also good to have some feminine products at hand, even if it’s not that time of the month it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
If you are going back-to-basics and there is no shower you can bring a shower bag or a camping shower, or maybe make your own diy shower.
When it comes to packing clothes and footwear for camping it’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast for where you are going to get an idea of what you need most of. Nevertheless, your camping essentials list should always contain a set of clothes for rainy weather, a swimsuit, and then clothes for the season. There is really no reason to bring your winter coat in summer unless you are going camping north or south of the polar circle. But a nice warm poncho or blanket is never wasted if you do hit one of the cooler summer nights. And don’t forget your jamies and your underwear.
As for shoes, comfort comes first. If you have a pair of sneakers you can walk 40 km. in, bring them! Otherwise a pair of hiking boots is always handy, then maybe a pair of sneakers and a pair of sandals or flippers - these can also be used as shower shoes ;) If there is rain in the forecast, give your shoes some beeswax to make them waterproof.
You might not be near a supermarket or a restaurant on your camping trip, so we do recommend having the most basic food items on your camping packing list. These include spices, oil, water, eggs, pasta, rice, potatoes, veggies, fruits, and potentially meat or tofu. Breakfast foods, like bread and jams or oats and fruits, depending on what you like for breakfast. You can also easily decide what you want to have for lunch on your trip so you can bring what you need to make that. You can even make a meal plan and bring exactly what you need or even prep some of it at home. If you need some inspiration for easy camping meals to make then we have got breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas for you.
We always recommend having a first aid kit with you, this can be one you compiled yourself or one you bought and always keep with you. You never know when you will need it. The most essential things in a first aid kit are personal mediations, sanitising alcohol, gauze, band aids, medical tape, tweezers, scissors, cotton swabs and balls and painkillers. Insect repellent is also something you will need when you go camping, but there are many natural repellents that you can easily get cheaper and that even work better.
Other items that should be on your camping essentials list is a torch or head light, batteries, sunscreen and after sun lotion. A swiss knife and duct tape are always handy items to have if you have to fix something. If you need electricity to charge a phone or something else, we recommend a portable solar panel. This way you can make green energy and you won’t be dependent on any other source.
We have made an extensive camping packing list for you that covers everything you will need for any type of camping!
The essential part of the camping packing list mostly covers practical things that you will need when you go camping, but there are other things to take camping as well. Things to make a more comfortable and cosy camp and things to keep you entertained during your outdoor adventure.
If you are lucky there might be a picnic table or something at the site where you are going camping, but you never know if it’s there and if there’s even one close to your camp so if you have room it’s always good to add some items that will help you make a cosy and comfortable outdoor space to your camping gear list. This includes things like camping chairs and a camping table, one or more tarps can also be really great as these can both provide shade if it’s very sunny or keep you dry if it starts raining - at least if you pick a waterproof one ;). They can both be useful to keep your “common area” dry or shaded as well as your tents if you bring more than one. If the weather forecast looks windy a windbreak can also be handy for shelter or even just to create some privacy. If you want extra comfort you can also bring a hammock or maybe even a blow-up couch or whatever you think would be the most comfortable to relax in.
Other things to take camping to make your trip even cosier could be firewood, fire starters and matches to make a fire you can all sit around and enjoy. If you want to be really popular you can even bring some marshmallows, biscuits, and chocolate to make some delicious s’mores or something else that you love to make over the fire. To make sure your campfire is safe have a look at our campfire guide and if you want more ideas for what to cook over the campfire take a look at our campfire specials.
When your camp is all set up and cosy and you have had time to relax it’s great to have some things to do with your family or friends. We all like to do different things, you might want to bring a book for when you are relaxing by yourself, but it’s also great to bring some games for when you want to do something together. All games are great camping games, you can easily bring any kind of board game or cards, but outdoor games like kubb, ring toss, ladder golf or petanque. A football, volleyball or a badminton set can also be the basis of hours of fun activities. If you are not a big fan of games but love other outdoor activities you can bring your bikes, paddle board or kayak if you have those or find a place to rent them nearby.
If you haven’t already got an outdoor adventure to pack for, then book one now.
Are we missing something on our camping packing list? Pleas let us know!
Up to 95% CO2 reduction if you book a campspace adventure. Learn more