What to Pack on a Camping Trip?

What to Pack on a Camping Trip

Everyone, one day, decides to leave regular life and go into the wild. It does not matter whether it is for a couple of days or months. Both variants need preparation.

Camping trips can vary: with family or alone, by car or hiking, on a campsite territory or deep in the woods. You will have to take very little gear with you, with nothing that is unnecessary. However, it is nice to have a comfortable camping experience. So, let us discuss together the gear list, which includes the necessary minimum for a convenient first camping trip. It is easier to assume that you are going hiking alone, as in this case, it is possible to create the optimal packing list, which is suitable for one person.

First of all, choose the travel route. Some hiking trails have very well organized campsites with picnic tables, bathrooms, and running water. It will make your gear list significantly shorter. But if you want to be like Bill Bryson in his “A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail,” get a piece of paper and start to plan thoroughly.

During the camping trip we need to satisfy two basic needs first:

  • Physiological needs (food, water, sleep, clothes, etc.);
  • Safety needs (personal security, health, safety needs against accidents, etc.)

Only when we have enough to survive, can we appreciate the beauty of nature and our journey.

Food and Drinks

Food and Drinks

Try to calculate how much food is necessary to take. You need to have enough energy to go the whole day when required. Usually, it is better to take simple and nutritious food like cereals, pasta, canned food (fish or beef), sausages, bread, salt, spices, sweets, nuts, dried fruits, etc. How easy it is to cook, and shelf life are the most important criteria.

Regarding drinks, water is always the best option. Take a reusable water bottle and a special filter for purifying water. For cozy mornings and warm evenings, tea or coffee are ideal.

To cook, you will need something to make fire (a small camping stove with fuel, matches), lightweight cookware and utensils, knife (or even better, two), and perhaps a small cutting board. Forget about picnic table, tablecloth, and other decorations.



Your comfort during camping and hiking directly depends on your clothes. Before going anywhere, check the local weather conditions to be prepared. As far as weather-appropriate clothing goes, you will need:

Consider a waterproof jacket with pockets and additional water shoes. Long pants and long-sleeved shirts are obligatory. Do not pack a lot of items if you are able to wash them overnight.



Sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and travel pillows will help you to feel better after a long day. They should be waterproof, lightweight, and warm.

However, the most important item for sleep (and, well, everything else) is a tent. The tents are so different that you will need some time to decide which one to buy. Be aware that you will have to carry it on your back.

Safety Needs

Safety Needs Camping

The following items are obligatory to have during any trip to ensure health safety:

  • First aid kit;
  • Medication;
  • Hand sanitizer;
  • Toiletry kit;
  • Bug spray.

You always feel safe when you know where you are. So, remember to navigate properly during your hike. Take some tools with you that will help guide you and make your trip safe.

  • Portable GPS and chargers;
  • A compass and map (in case the chargers are not enough for the whole trip);
  • Travel lantern, or flashlights, or headlamps (and extra batteries, of course).

Before the trip, you should inform your family and friends in detail about where you are going. Create an approximate schedule for them, so they could know when approximately you will finish your trip. If it is possible, call them from a forester or park ranger.

Now you know the most necessary things to have during the long walk in the wild. However, camping has become a more entertaining activity than a self-test. The most common way to do it is to take your family, car, and go to a beautiful campsite. In case you prefer a relaxing vacation with plenty of BBQs and sunbathing, do not hesitate to take more gear with you.

To satisfy all your family members, you will also need:

  • Binoculars to observe beautiful views;
  • A camera to capture lovely moments;
  • Board games and playing cards to play together;
  • Fishing gear to satisfy boys;
  • Bikes to please everyone.

As you can see, spending time together can be fun even without high-tech distractions.

Once you have prepared everything, it is time to pack the vehicle. Make sure that each item necessary for the road trip is easily accessible, up-to-date, and charged. If you are driving to the mountains or other regions where the weather is cold, check your vehicle. It should be ready for a significant temperature change.

Put everything inside of the car in the reverse order in which you will need items when you reach your destination. It will be easier to find the necessary things. Do not keep food or a good cooler for camping in the sunlight. Hide the food somewhere in a shady corner. Keep some snacks nearby if you have to have a bite during the long trip.

Last but not least: remember to be environmentally friendly. You will produce some waste while camping. Do not forget to take all the necessary bags to keep it until you can get rid of it. It is important to keep nature as clean as possible. Otherwise, we will not be able to spend time in this way in the future.

Your trip will start long before you close the door of your house. Detailed preparation is essential for any outdoor adventure. Start your planning with a checklist and shopping. Discuss all the options with your family or your friend and create the best plan, so that you have the best camping trip.