Basic Shelter Gear
Determine the basic shelter related gear you need by anticipating the destination venue's weather and overall temperatures. If you plan to set up your tent in a higher elevation campground, plan on bringing along a tent rated for at least three-season---preferably four-season---camping. This prevents you from freezing if the temperatures drop significantly from the sunshine and warmth of the day. Moreover, if rain is expected, be sure to pack a rain fly as well as base tarp on which to pitch your tent. Include in this basic shelter gear also your sleeping bag---rated for the appropriate temperatures you foresee encountering---and also a sleeping pad on which to place it.
Remember to pack your essential paperwork. Bring along your membership cards and reservations (for a particular camping spot) to the campground. Moreover, make sure you have your ID on hand, as well as any medical alert paperwork that identifies your allergies or medicines you take. Pack these in a waterproof plastic bag to protect them from damage. Bring along maps as well. Remember that you are limited in the choice of your route by the kind of vehicle you are driving. In some cases you may need to opt for a longer route that allows you vehicle access to a trailhead, rather than four-wheeling over a rugged trail to the campground of your choice.
Keep your camping lantern glowing bright if it is powered with a small propane tank. Make sure you bring ample propane and also one or more replacement propane tanks.
Bring along flashlights, replacement batteries and citronella candles (to keep mosquitoes away). An optional mosquito net is perfect to attach to a tent pole and a couple of trees, creating an impromptu outdoor sitting area. Do not forget to bring along a portable propane barbecue or briquette hibachi. You should not rely on the presence of fire pits. A fire extinguisher is a must when making a fire outdoors and it is a good idea to have a small fire extinguisher inside and outside your tent.
Round out your outdoor equipment with basic kitchen supplies, paper goods and cleaning supplies. Opt for organic or at least eco-friendly cleaning supplies to ensure that you do not damage any nearby streams or lakes when you do dishes.
Keep on hand some dedicated indoor camping supplies that fit into a carrier, tote, or backpack. These include towels, spare clothes and board games. This is also a good time to double check your first aid supply for band-aids, antibiotic ointment and any prescription medication you need to have on hand during your trip.
Optional Camping Supplies Checklist
When you make your tent a home base for your camping trip, you might venture out with a canoe or bike. You might even consider day trips away from the tent, just to explore further into areas that are a hike away. Optional camping supplies for these outings include a bike rack to carry your bikes on the back of a car, a canoe, emergency flares, water containers, food and trash bags to ensure that you can bring trash back with you to camp after your outing.