Checklist of Camping Supplies

Checklist of Camping SuppliesOn camping trips, you must plan ahead to adequately meet your needs for food, water, shelter and basic human comfort. There is no worse feeling than arriving at a backcountry camping destination and realizing you forgot something important. Overlooking an essential item can lead to hunger, sickness or injury in the backcountry. Stay well prepared by using a checklist when you pack for camping trips.


Whether you are using a tarp, a tent or just a sleeping bag, make sure you have all the components necessary to create shelter for yourself in the wilderness. Check tent poles and stakes to make sure nothing is missing, bent or broken. Check all zippers on your tent and sleeping bag.


Plan your meals before you go and separate the food into bags for each day. Make sure you bring a functioning camp stove, cooking and eating utensils and enough fuel. A fuel canister generally lasts two to three days, if used generously, and will last longer if used stringently.


Bring water containers and a purification system on any extended backcountry trip. If packing in your water, follow the basic rule of one gallon a day for every person.

Base Layers

Bring long underwear, sturdy hiking shoes and enough socks to wear a fresh pair each day. Dirty socks irritate feet and infect blisters.

Warm Layers

Pack at least one insulating layer for cold days or nights. Fleece is a good choice. Also remember a hat, gloves, warm socks and a down jacket.


Rainproof Layers

Never trust the weather report. Always bring a rainproof suit. The jacket should have a hood. If the waterproofing on your garments is wearing off, apply a silicone-based waterproofing spray two days before you pack.

Non-categorized Non-essentials

Basic human comfort has an important place in camping. Here are some important, comfort-providing extras: sleeping pad, sun screen, sun hat, flashlight, bug spray, handkerchief, camera, journal, book, dish sponge, environmentally friendly dish soap and camp shoes such as flip flops or river sandals.

Article Written By Caroline Schley

Based in New York City, Caroline Schley has been writing articles on fitness, social interaction and politics since 2008. Her articles have appeared in "The Tahoe Weekly," "Second Line News" and websites, including Schley graduated from CU Boulder in 2005 with a degree in environmental science.

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