How To Make Your Camping Supply List - What to Take on a Camping Trip

Are you planning on going camping this summer?

The key to a really great camping trip is being prepared well in advance.

From picking the right location to having enough entertainment for the kids, there are lots of things to consider as you get ready for your next camping trip.

Bringing along the right camping supplies and gear is definitely a vital part of any successful camping trip. Read on for our guide to creating a camping supply list that works for you.

Before we begin, do bear in mind that this list is a general guide.

Your camping supply list may well differ, depending on the climate, location, and type of campground you are visiting.

The best thing to do is to use this list as a guide and supplement or decrease supplies according to your camping party’s specific needs, such as number of campers, their ages and expectations.

What you need to take will also depend on what facilities are available where you are heading.

What you need for a commercial campground will be very different to what you need if you are going on a hike through a National Park and camping along the way.

Create Your Camping Supply List

At the very least, shelter and bedding are the two most important items on your camping supply list.

While basic camping trips may require nothing more than a tarp to protect you from the ground’s moisture and a good sleeping bag, your family camping checklist should include 1 or 2 adequately sized tents, tent pegs plus extras, a hammer or mallet and a stake puller.

Ground covers, or tarps slightly larger than the bottom of your tent, are great for protecting your tent from moisture and dirt.

You may also want to bring along a small dustpan and brush set to help keep your tent clean, and an outdoor mat for your entrance.

Read on for what to include in your camping supply kit, and you may want to grab and print out our handy free camping checklist to help with your packing:


1. Bedding

There are many different options for bedding and sleeping gear when camping, dependent on just what level of comfort you require.

Sleeping bags or a duvet / comforter are a must, along with something to sleep on like a foam sheet or the ultimate luxury of an air mattress.

Add some extra blankets, and don’t forget your pillows. Children may need specific bedding from home - and don't forget their all-important cuddly plushy friends!

2. Clothes

Clothing is another essential that requires some planning and research.

The type of clothes you pack will depend, of course, on the expected weather, as well as the activities you are planning.

For a simple weekend trip, pack 3 sets of clothing along with something to sleep in, a jacket or sweatshirt, and rain gear.

If you are planning on hiking, you may want to bring long trousers and hiking shoes, as well as extra socks.

Don’t forget swimsuits, sandals for the pool, beach, or wash house, and some sort of hat to protect your head from the sun or the cold.

For longer camping trips, make use of the laundry facilities most campgrounds offer and only add 1 or 2 extra sets of clothing to your packing list.

Thin layers of clothing work best when camping as you can add or dispense with layers as the temperature rises and falls during the day.

3. Personal Care

Personal hygiene products are also a necessity, so note down what personal items you will need.

If you’re visiting a campground with shower facilities, store your toiletries in easy to carry, waterproof containers.

Remember soap, deodorant, dental care products, hair care, as well as medications and other personal items you may need such as contacts and sunscreen.

It's a good idea to pack a camping first aid kit, too.

Don’t forget a bath towel, and a washcloth or sponge.

You may need coins for some showers and laundry facilities, so bring a supply in a change container.

4. Luggage / Storage

If you are not hiking to your campground, rubber totes or rugged duffel bags are great for storing and packing your camping gear.

Consider packing an individual clothing bag and shower tote for each person to make things simple.

It is easier to store other items, such as raincoats, swimsuits, camping games, and beach toys together in separate bags or containers.

Laundry bags are very useful for keeping dirty clothes separated, as well as for the washhouse.

5. Food and Cooking

You will also want to include the right food, cooking and kitchen supplies, and a variety of other camping items on your checklist.

After all, camp cooking and preparing your favourite camping recipes can be one of the best parts of a camping trip!

Take care to include everything you need to prepare your meals, to eat, and to clean up.

Even if you plan to light campfires each evening, you will need a camp stove to boil water for coffee or to cook breakfast.

Bring along enough fuel to last through your trip, a lighter or matches, and fire starters if you’ll need them, as well.

Skewers, camp forks, a grill, and grilling baskets are all ideal for cooking over the open fire.

You will also want camp cookware, pots, pans, and possibly a Dutch oven, depending on the camping recipes you plan to prepare.

Don’t forget the cooking utensils, spatulas, knives, and lids for your pots, as well as potholders or oven mitts.

A pair of tongs to serve food from the grill or pan is also useful - and don't forget your s'mores supplies!!

Many family campgrounds provide charcoal grills at each campsite as well as picnic tables.

If you are planning to use the facility grill, remember charcoal, and bring a tablecloth, as well as table clips for breezy days.

Don’t forget your dishes, too!

A set of enamel dishes is worth buying as paper plates can be very flimsy and the costs soon mount up.

Plates, bowls, cups, mugs, and eating utensils are a must if you are going to a campground, or simply a mug and a plate if you are hiking.

An extra folding table may come in handy for camp cooking and you will want plenty of garbage bags to dispose of your trash and leftovers.

You may also need a can opener and a peeler, and don't forget dish soap, a dishpan, dish cloths, scourers and tea towels.

Heavy duty aluminum foil is a camping necessity and you will want to remember cooking spray and storage containers as well.

We find it easier to measure out and bag up herbs and spices at home then bring marinades and rubs ready to use.

Your camping supply list should also include a cooler.

A chest cooler is great for your campsite to hold soft drinks, juice, water, and perishable foods, while a smaller 6 pack cooler is perfect for visiting the beach or taking to the pool.

If you can afford to invest, the Yeti brand are the toughest coolers around.

Need inspiration on what to cook? Check this out: What to Cook on a Self-Catering Holiday

6. Other Essentials

Other supplies you will need are a bug repellant, lip balm, a pocketknife or multi-purpose tool, a torch /  flashlight per person plus spare batteries, and a camping lantern for each tent or tent bedroom.

It is also handy to pick up a map and guidebook for the area you are staying.

Regardless of where you are camping or how long your trip will last, one of the most important items on your camping checklist is a good first aid kit.

You should always carry an emergency kit in your vehicle and have another specifically for camping.

If you are planning day hikes, boating outings, horseback riding, or other outdoor activities, you will want a smaller first aid kit that can fit inside your daypack as well.

By planning your camping supplies and needs in advance you can be sure that you have covered all possibilities and head out on your next camping adventure knowing everything is taken care of.

More camping tips:

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