How to Pack for a Weekend Camping Trip

How to Pack for a Weekend Camping Trip
Weekend camping trips are short, and camping gear should be minimal, focusing more on recreational activities than on gear. The less you pack, the easier it is to maximize your time spent hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, swimming and relaxing. Pack the essentials, be prepared for inclement weather but maintain a minimalist approach when selecting your gear. Avoid packing bulky items that require a complex setup process.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

The Basics

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Rain jacket and pants
  • Layered clothing
  • Hiking boots and sandals
  • First Aid kit
  • Insect repellent
  • Tooth brush, tooth paste, towel and soap
  • Small propane stove
  • Skillet, plates and utensils
  • Food and water
  • Fire starters and lighter
  • Folding chair
  • Recreational gear
Step 1
Pack a small tent that is deigned for the number of people sleeping in it. Backpacking tents are compact, lightweight and are ideal for sleeping several people. Also pack a sleeping bag that has ample insulation for the weather but can be compacted to a small size. A simple sleeping pad and small pillow are also ideal for short camping trips and do require time to set up.
Step 2
Pack only one set of layered clothing with the exception of socks. Carry a base layer, mid layer and a warm jacket and pants for cold weather. Carry an extra pair of dry socks to prevent blistering on your feet. Also pack a rain jacket and pants that pack into a small stuff sack. The rain gear can be stored easily and will be valuable in wet conditions.
Step 3
Carry one pair of hiking boots and an extra pair of sandals for comfort around camp. You will not need several pairs of shoes on a short camping trip and are likely to only wear the hiking boots while on the trail.
Step 4
Pack first aid supplies, insect repellent, and a basic hygiene kit with biodegradable soap and a small towel. Weekend camping trips are often performed without bathing, but a small towel and some soap should be carried for emergency use.

Cooking and Recreation

Step 1
Pack a small propane stove with a simple pot or skillet. You can do all of your cooking in single pot by using simple recipes. Cook pasta, soup, stew, eggs, ground beef and items that can be combined in the single pot. It is possible to use a two burner stove and two pots, but a single pot will minimize the time spent cooking.
Step 2
Pack dry foods that do not require processing and complex recipes. Granola bars, cereal, bagels and pre-made sandwiches are all ideal for weekend camping trips. You can fit milk, eggs and meat in a small ice chest and have the luxury of cooking steaks and burgers without the hassle of hauling a large, heavy cooler. Meat also can be barbecued on a grate over a campfire to prevent the need for a bulky grill.
Step 3
Pack only the recreational gear you will use during your camping trip. Focus on a single activity. Weekend camping trips are short, and you likely will not have time to go fishing, kayaking, biking and hiking in a two-day period. Pack light, and maximize your time by minimizing your gear.
Step 4
Pack extra items for recreation at the camp site. A deck of cards, cribbage board and a book are all small items that can provide hours of entertainment while camping. Also pack a flashlight or headlamp to enjoy these activities after dark.

Tips & Warnings

Know the area you are camping in, and be prepared for bad weather. If you are camping in the spring or fall, consider carrying extra cloths and warm-weather gear.

Article Written By Zach Lazzari

Zach Lazzari is an outdoor writing specialist. He has experience in website writing as well as standard newspaper writing. He wrote an outdoor column for the Silver World in Lake City, Colo., and articles for Lazzari is currently completing his bachelor's degree online through Arizona State University and lives in southwest Montana.

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