Pack clothes for the season. For spring or summer camping, pack sandals, tennis shoes, lightweight hiking boots, shorts, light pants, T-shirts and a hat or bandana to keep the sun off your head. For winter camping, pack thermal underwear, long-sleeved shirts, snow pants, heavy boots, a warm hat and a winter jacket. Be prepared for inclement weather no matter the season. Always bring along rain gear and an extra sweater or two in case things get cold.
Bring sleeping gear. A tent, sleeping pad or air mattress and a sleeping bag will work all year round. Some summer campers prefer to stay in a sleeping hammock. In that case, bring a tarp to hang over your hammock to protect it from rain.
Bring toiletries and needed medication. If you are going to be washing outdoors, be sure to use biodegradable soap. You will also need a flashlight (or ideally, two), a first-aid kit, a knife or multi-tool and a compass and map if you plan on doing any hiking. Bring along a portable radio as well so you can check on weather conditions. Bring bungee cords, twine, duct tape and a sewing kit for any needed rigging or repairs. Don't forget to bring lip balm, sunblock, bug spray and sunglasses as well.
Decide how ambitious you want to be with food preparation on your campout. At a minimum, you should have plenty of water, dried food such as trail mix, health bars and granola, and fruits and vegetables to snack on. Dehydrated milk will allow you to prepare cereal in the morning without the need for an ice chest. If you want to go one step up, get a portable camping stove and bring along canned stew or soup, a pot, a ladle, dishes and cutlery. If you want to actually prepare full meals in the woods, chop all your ingredients ahead of time and store them in food storage bags or containers inside an ice chest. Bring basic spices such as salt and pepper along in sealed containers. If you do plan to have any sort of fire, bring at least two different fire-starters such as a box of waterproof matches and a flint and steel spark tool. And don't forget graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows for s'mores!