If you’re looking forward to a trip in the great outdoors, there are quite a few ways you can go camping.

Some people’s version of camping is called glamping. When you’re glamping you might be in a cozy RV or a super fancy tent. Other people choose to rough it.

In this article, we are going to assume that you’re roughing it. If you only have a normal tent and you still want to be safe and comfortable, this article is for you.

Continue reading this article for a great camper checklist that will allow you to enjoy your time camping out in nature.

The Must-Have Camper Checklist

We know there could be more items to add to this list. If you want to share your favorites, feel free to do so in the comments. We’re you know about many cool gadgets like this battery kit but we can only list so many below.

Easy to Prepare Food

When you’re camping, you won’t have your full kitchen with you. Think about food that is easy to cook.

You could bring along the standard camping food like beans and weenies. Mac and cheese is also easy to prepare food to bring along.

Anything that can be fixed over a campfire or other small cooking device is a good choice.

Easy to Access Water

When you’re out in the elements, it is easy to forget to drink enough water. You’re enjoying yourself and having fun. You’re not thinking about hydration.

Get bottles that have straws so you can easily take a swig of water every little bit to keep the hydration going.


When you’re selecting a tent, keep in mind that you aren’t going to be in the tent that much – unless it rains.

Make sure you don’t buy a tent that is so small that it will be miserable to hang out in until the rain goes away. 

Check your tent for any holes and patch accordingly. You don’t want rain or little critters making their way into your tent.

Sleeping Bag, Cot or Air Mattress

If you don’t get good sleep while you’re camping, you aren’t likely to be in a good mood. This is especially true if you’re camping with teenagers.

Make sure everyone has a sleeping bag, cot or air mattress of their choice.


Your camping bedding is going to be different than your home sleeping situation so you need to choose a pillow accordingly. You might need more or less fluff than you do at home.


You never know when you might need to clear a little space around your camping area. Hatchets can also be used to chop firewood and help out in other situations that might arise.

Small Broom & Dustpan

Leaves and other debris seem to make their way into tents even easier than in your own home. You need to have a small broom and dustpan along or you’ll be swimming in dirt by the end of the trip.

Cooler with Ice

Get a good cooler that will keep your ice for as long as possible if you’re going during the warm season. Remember that more expensive doesn’t always mean it’s a higher quality.

Compact Grill

Plan on cooking some meat? There are small grills that can help you cook up a delicious catch and they won’t break the bank.

Plastic Forks & Spoons

You don’t want to do dishes while you’re camping. Bring on the plastic utensils.

Paper Towels

If you’re eating with your hands, you’re going to need paper towels to make the clean up easier.

Travel Towel

Some people find it convenient to share hand and bath towels with others especially their family or friends while on a trip. Sharing bath towels can pass germs easily, and this can lead to several health issues. So, it is important that you take your travel towel with you anytime you are traveling to avoid the hazards of sharing towels. Mizu Towel is the world’s firstΒ bacteria detecting towel. Its color-changing strips detect residual soap, dirt, sweat, and bacteria metabolites.

Trash Bags

Make sure to bag up all of your trash right away. You also want to have a place to put your trash bags so you won’t attract wildlife.

Paper Cups

Styrofoam cups are easy to break and make messes. Use paper cups when you’re camping.

Appropriate Clothing

Depending on the weather, make sure you pack the right clothing. If the temps change a lot throughout the day then bring layers.

If there isn’t a lot of shade, you don’t want to expose your skin to the harsh rays. Grab sun shirts or other thin garments that will help keep your skin from experiencing the toughness.


No one wants to be stuck in a stinky tent. Make sure everyone has deodorant but you can also grab some deodorant for inside the tent. There are little twist pods you can put in the tent that release good smells to mask anything that might try to annoy your nose.


You’re camping but you don’t have to look like a bed head. Don’t forget your brush.


There are a lot of different types of lighting you can check into before you go camping. Whether that is a lantern, little string lights or other types of lights.

If you can find solar powered light choices, that will make things easier for you. Another thing you should keep in mind is how much sun the area you’ll be gets.

If you have solar powered items but there is no sun – they aren’t going to run. You may have a close by area you can walk over to and set them for a charge.

Need More Camping Details?

Now that you have this camper checklist, you may want some additional reading before you head out on your camping trip.

Read our article about why you need a rechargeable lantern to learn more.