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Ultimate Tent Camping Gear Checklist & Essentials

Use this tent camping gear checklist and guide to help you prepare for future camping trips to ensure you're always prepared for your outdoor adventures!

No matter how many times you go camping, a gear checklist always comes in handy because there are so many items to keep track of to help you prepare for your camping trip. It may seem daunting seeing how many items you can bring camping, but keep in mind that these items can be collected over time, bought used or even rented from outdoors retailers like REI.

There are many different ways to pack for your camping trip, and but these are few key factors to help you prepare.

Packing Tips:

Check the Weather: The weather forecast will influence how and what you pack for your camping trip. You should always expect the unexpected, and if there's a slight chance that the weather will change on you, it's best to be over prepared. Even if you are planning a summer camping trip, I highly recommend that you research the weather patterns and forecast for the local area, especially in higher elevations!

Tip: If you need to find weather forecasts in remote places, use this website and pin point your exact camp site location on the map to find the most accurate weather forecast. Just searching the nearest city will not always have correct forecasts and can be very different!

Check Fire Restrictions: The campfire is one of the best parts of camping! Although, depending on the season and location, campfires are not always permitted. Check the website where you made your camp site reservations to see if you are even allowed to have a fire. If not, you might not need to pack your campfire supplies and can save some space in your car.

Download Offline Maps: Packing paper maps was an essential for campers before the internet, but now you can download maps directly to your phone. I recommend using Google Maps to download offline maps so you can bookmark locations if head into no-phone service territory. Bookmark important locations such as your campsite, nearest gas station, grocery store, and hospital.

Utilize Storage & Organization: One of the best ways to keep your camping gear organized is to keep everything in storage bins. That way you can easily stack and pack your gear at home and straight into your car. We use an assortment of these stackable and budget friendly bins, and it really helps simplify our packing for camping trips.

Use a Packing Checklist: Use a Camping Gear Packing list to help you stay organized, that way you aren't having to recreate the wheel each time you leave for a trip.

Download the PDF Camp Gear Packing Checklist

Camping Gear Checklist-2
Download PDF • 31KB

Favorite Places to Buy Camping Gear:

Itemized List of Camping Gear:

Storage & Organization

  • Small Storage Bins

  • Large Stackable Storage Bins

  • Clothing Packing Cubes

  • Luggage (Suitcase, Duffle or Backpack)

  • Campsite Storage Strap

  • Rooftop Cargo (Optional)

Tip: If you need Summer camp clothing ideas check out my clothing guide here.

Shelter & Bedding List

Quality shelter and bedding can greatly affect your enjoyment on a camping trip, so make sure to do your research and find items that best suit your specific needs.

  • Tent

  • Tent Stakes & Rainfly

  • Tent Groundsheet

  • Sleeping Pad/ Air Mattress

  • Air Pump

  • Sleeping Bags

  • Pillows

  • Blankets & Sheets

  • Mallet for Tent Stakes

  • Hand Vacuum or Small Broom & Dustpan

  • Inflatables Patch Kit

Tip: When choosing a camping tent, if you prefer comfortability and luxury, make sure to size up. Even when it says 2-Person tent, you might be surprised at how small it actually is. For most tent camping trips we use this 6-Person tent, and for backpacking trips we use this 3-Person tent.

Cooking & Kitchen Gear List

Every camp trip our cooking and kitchen gear needs vary depending on location and how gourmet we are trying to go. If you are completely remote you might decide to bring all items listed, or if you are camping near a restaurant or store you might decide to pack lighter.

  • Kitchen Stove

  • Stove Fuel

  • Camp Pots, Pans & Stoves

  • Cooler & Drink Cooler

  • Water Kettle / Jet Boil

  • Plates & Bowls

  • Silverware - Forks, Spoons, Knives

  • Kitchen Utensils: Spatula,

  • Sharp Knife

  • Portable Cups & Mugs

  • Coffee Dripper/Coffee Press

  • Cutting Board

  • Drinking Water Jugs & Water Bottle

  • Paper Towels

  • Wash Basin, Soap, & Sponge

  • Bottle Opener

  • Can Opener

  • Cooking Oils & Spices

  • Garbage & Recycling Bags

  • Measuring Cups

  • Smore's Sticks

  • Portable BBQ (if you want) & Charcoal

Tip: Purchase camp kitchen gear separately and store away in organization bins rather than using personal kitchen items to help from forgetting to pack specific items when camping.

Site Gear List

  • Camp Chair

  • Camp Table (Optional)

  • Lantern

  • Flashlights

  • Headlights

  • Hammock

  • Insect Repellant Candle

  • Table Cloth (Optional)

  • Multi-Tool

  • Lighter / Matches

  • Shovel

Bathroom & Toiletries List

  • Toilet Paper / Biodegradable Wipes

  • Face Towel

  • Face Wash

  • Bath Towel

  • Hand Sanitizer

  • Chapstick with SPF

  • Shampoo/Conditioner

  • Menstural Products/ Feminine Urinary Products

  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste

  • Hair Brush

  • Beach Towel

  • Shower/Changing Tent (Optional)

  • Portable Camp Shower (Optional)

Personal Items List

  • Day Pack / Fanny Pack

  • Phone Charging Chord

  • Wallet (Bring Cash)

  • ID Card

  • Sunglasses & Hats

  • Sunscreen

  • Bug Spray

  • Cosmetics

  • Picnic Blanket

Camp Electronics List

  • Portable Phone Charger

  • Extra Batteries

  • Music Speaker

  • Satellite Communicator

First Aid List

  • First Aid Kit

  • Personal Medications

  • Antiseptic Wipes

  • Band Aids / Wraps

  • Hydration Packets

  • Anti-Histamines

  • Anti-Acids

  • Ibuprofen

  • Altitude Sickness Meds

  • Aloe

Camp Fire List

  • Firewood (Best to Buy Locally near Camp Site)

  • Hatchet

  • Fire Starter

  • Tarp

  • Smore's (Graham Cracker, Chocolate, Marshmallow)

  • Smore's Roasting Sticks

Cooler Items List

  • Ice/Ice Packs

  • Condiments

  • Drinks

  • Coffee Creamer

Camp Dog List

  • Dog Bowls

  • Dog Blanket

  • Long Leash

  • Harness & Regular Leash

  • Dog Water Bottle

  • Poop Bags

  • Dog Food Container & Food

Adventure Toy Gear List

  • Kayak

  • SUP Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

  • Waterproof Dry Bags

  • Waterproof Phone Bag

Tip: Want to find a good lake camping spot in Northern California? Check out my guide here!

I hope this Camping Gear Pack list helps you prepare for all your future camp trips!

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Welcome to the Brittsbellavita Blog, a California based travel and adventure community geared towards inspiring others to find their "Bella Vita." I am a Licensed Drone Pilot and Content Creator with a passion for exploring the outdoors, finding hidden gems, and getting off the beaten path. I live in Northern California, and love showcasing the Golden State, West Coast, and beyond!

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