Ahh, how we love the summer camping trip! Honestly, can you think of anything more delightful than sleeping under the stars? What’s better than days filled with swimming holes and hiking trails? It’s probably the most fun to help the kids toast marshmallows and roast hot dogs over an open fire? And even more enjoyable, imagine being in a place where you wake up and sip coffee on a cool morning in the middle of nowhere. If you love camping like we do here in the Pacific Northwest, you know that a successful camping trip takes a whole heap of planning and prep work. Therefore, we decided to write the ultimate camping checklist – a helpful guide to enable you to camp smarter, not harder. Above all, a successful camping trip is a well-planned camping trip. Feel free to print this out and tailor it to your own family’s needs. Onward!
Information and Safety are the key to camping success! Let’s start with the most important ESSENTIALS.
Printed Campground Reservations and Phone Numbers
Paper Maps of the Area
Field Guides, Guidebooks to the Area
Emergency Phone Numbers Written Down
Emergency Roadside / Outdoor Survival Kit
First Aid Kit
Sunblock & SPF Lip Balm
Shelter is the first and foremost order of business, so let’s go over the CAMPING GEAR.
Tent Poles & Stakes
Tarp (for Ground Cover) +1 Extra Tarp
Mallet or Hammer (for Driving the Stakes)
Sleeping Bag for Every Camper
Sleeping Pad or Air Mattress for Every Camper
Patch Kit & Air Pump for Mattress
Camp Chair for Every Camper
Headlamps and / or Flashlights
Lanterns & Lantern Fuel**
Extra Rope / Tether Cords for Clotheslines, etc.
**Have you seen this handy idea for making your own ambient lamp from a gallon jug?
Do we hear some tummies rumbling? Because we’re moving on to KITCHEN GEAR, FOOD & BEVERAGES.
Long Reach Lighter
Firewood & Kindling
Fuel: Lighter Fluid, Charcoal Briquettes, Propane, etc.
Frying Pan or Skillet
Cooking Knife, Spatula, Serving Spoon, Tongs
Roasting Forks for Marshmallows / Hot Dogs
Forks, Knives, Spoons, Plates, Bowls
Shatterproof Glasses, Coffee Cups
Stainless Steel or Nalgene Water Bottles
French Press or Percolator
Foil & Food Containers
Cooler & Ice Packs
Bin for Washing Dishes
Biodegradable Dish Soap, Rubber Gloves
Cooking Oil (Vegetable or Olive Oil)
Energy Food – Trail Mix, Bars, etc.
Drinking Water – 1 Gallon per Day per Camper (and don’t forget the dogs!)
Written Plan for Each Meal, Each Camping Day**
Dog Bowls for Food and Water
Dog Food in Sealable Container
**Meal Planning: The Pioneer Woman has an awesome guide to camp meal planning here.
You’re doing great and you’re almost done! Time to make sure you’ve got all your CLOTHES AND PERSONAL ITEMS.
One Towel per Camper
Socks and Underwear
Hoodies, Sweaters and Extra Layers
Shoes: Hiking / Walking Shoes, Easy-On Shoes, Water Shoes
To wrap up, let’s not forget about the most important part – the fun! Here’s ENTERTAINMENT.
Outdoor & Beach Toys (Kites, Frisbees, Football, Pails & Shovels)
Air Pump for Balls & Bike Tires
Fishing Poles and Tackle Box
Swim & Water Toys
Yard Games (Cornhole, Badminton, Bocce Ball, etc.)
Deck of Cards or Tabletop Games
Do you have anything to add to this list? Comment Below!