Things to Take on a Camping Trip (Essentials Checklist)

essential camping checklist

A camping trip is the perfect way to enjoy nature and escape your busy everyday life by going back to basics. However, to have a comfortable holiday you do need to remember to take the essential equipment with you, so you can stay warm, dry, and not go hungry. 

If you are new to camping, then it can be difficult to decide what items you need to pack. And you may find that no matter how many lists you make, you still leave something important behind. To prevent this from happening again, this essential camping checklist guide will tell you everything you need to take on your future camping trips, so you always have the equipment you need with you.

Essential Camping Checklist

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Once you have your tent sorted, there are several important camping extras that you need to pack to ensure that you have the perfect holiday. In addition to your clothes, footwear, and any personal items, you should have a look at our camping checklist to help you decide what to take with you.  

  • Pegs, mallet, and spare guy lines 
  • Tent repair kit
  • Torches and spare batteries
  • Camping chairs and table 
  • Air bed or camping mats
  • Bedding, blankets and pillows 
  • Camping stove 
  • Kitchen utensils 
  • Water container 
  • First aid kit

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Tent Accessories

In addition to your tent, you will also need tent pegs and a wooden mallet to enable you to pitch your tent safely. You may wish to take additional rope or guylines with you, so you can secure your tent in winds and storms, if unexpected bad weather occurs. 

packing for camping trip with dog

Though not necessarily essential, you will be grateful that you packed a tent repair kit if your tent happens to need an emergency repair in the middle of your holiday. Otherwise, you might find that your holiday has to be cut short as your tent is no longer habitable. This repair kit may only have simple equipment, such as cable ties, fabric repair patch and sewing kit, but it can be enough to save your camping trip. 

Once your tent is set up and ready to use you will need camping chairs and a table to keep everyone comfortable, and prevent you all from having to sit on the floor. It would also be useful if everyone had access to a working torch and spare batteries, to help you get around the campsite at night, as not every location has lighting.

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Even in summer, the nights can get cold, so you need to be properly prepared. Everyone needs access to a good quality sleeping bag and it is sensible to take additional blankets and warm jumpers to keep everyone warm at night. For comfort, you will also want to remember to pack your pillow. 

Sleeping on the floor of a tent does not make the most comfortable of beds, even with a thick padded sleeping bag to protect you. To help you get a good night’s sleep, you should consider investing in a camping mat or an air bed. You may even find that some of the more premium air beds are more comfortable than your mattress at home, so you might not want to leave your tent.

During your camping trip, if you are taking your loved puppy or cat along, make sure he has some tops, pet sweaters, and coats to help keep him warm in inclement weather, especially if he is short-haired. For a trouble-free tent, bring some washable dog or cat diapers, allergy-free pet wipes, and bandages.

camping sleeping bags

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Kitchen Equipment

Cooking is an essential part of every camping holiday, so you need to get a good quality camping stove or grill, and a sufficient quantity of appropriate fuel to get you through your holiday. There are many grills for you to choose from, which can make the decision difficult but outdoorgadgetreview looks at the best portable grills, so you can find the perfect match for your family’s needs. 

When packing for your camping trip, you will need to remember to take basic kitchen utensils, such as pots and pans, plates, cups and cutlery. This will allow you to prepare simple meals and enjoy some quality family meal-times together. While you can choose to take anything out of your kitchen cupboards, it is often safest to take non-breakable items that are quick and easy to clean. Botanex has a wide range of outdoor cooking equipment.

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First Aid

This is often a forgotten part of your camping equipment but can make the difference between a safe holiday or a trip that ends up with someone needing medical attention. The items that you need in your first aid kit can vary depending on the location of your camping trip and the time of year that you go. For ease, most people pack a generic first aid kit, so they know they have everything they need no matter where they are. 

You might like to include the following in your first aid kit:

  • Suntan lotion 
  • Insect repellant 
  • Bite/sting cream 
  • Plasters 
  • Wound dressings and bandages
  • Antiseptic solution 
  • Soap 
  • Wipes 
  • Scissors and tweezers 
  • Pain relief medications 
  • Additional individual medications, if required

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What If You Have Forgotten an Essential Item?

Even with the most extensive packing lists, it is still possible to leave something behind. Usually, it will not ruin your trip, as you will often find that you can do without that item for the duration of your holiday. However, if it is an essential item that you need then you will have to try and source the item while you are away. 

On arrival at your campsite, you will be able to find out if there are any local shops. This will often be sufficient for replacing any clothing or toiletries that you may have forgotten. If the item is part of your camping equipment then you will need to find the location of your nearest camping shop. Otherwise, there might be someone on your campsite who can lend you the item that you need, and save your holiday.

Final Words: Enjoying Your Camping Trip

If you follow this packing guide then you are sure to remember to pack everything you need to enjoy your camping trip. This guide can be used to help you pack for any camping holiday, so you can use it every time you go away. You can also add any additional items to the list that you feel you may need, to give you your own bespoke packing list and help you have the perfect holiday. 

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