What Supplies to Take on a Camping Trip

What Supplies to Take on a Camping TripCamping supplies include all the consumables needed or wanted for a camping trip. Packing enough of the right supplies will make for a successful camping trip. No one packs an extra tent or sleeping bag to go camping, but running out of food or discovering the matches are waterlogged or ruined with no back-up constitutes a camping disaster. Bringing all the necessary supplies is at least as important as any other preparatory step for a camping trip.

Water and Drinks

For a camping trip to a developed campground with potable water, water treatment kits are not entirely necessary. However, for a backcountry trip, such a kit is an absolute necessity. The kits require filters, and a wise camper will pack two filters: one to use and one for back-up. Some backcountry campers rely on iodine tablets or chlorine drops to disinfect their water. Pack a sufficient quantity of these supplies, bringing more than absolutely necessary to allow for a margin of error in the wilderness.

Flavored drinks are also desirable supplies. Backcountry campers relying on iodine or chlorine often pack Tang or Kool-Aid powder as well, to mask the unpleasant chemical taste of their treated water.

Many a developed campground camper would never clamber out of her tent on a chilly morning without the promise of a hot mug of coffee or tea. Drinks to pack for car or "frontcountry" camping depend on the campers' personal tastes, and water, of course, is still a necessity. While running out of flavored drinking supplies is not a disaster, it is unpleasant, so pack more than is strictly necessary as a cushion.


Many camping areas mandate the use of camping stoves rather than fire pits. If a camping stove is part of the equipment checklist, the stove's fuel is part of the supply list. Camping stoves burn a variety of fuels, ranging from simple alcohol to butane to propane, so pack the correct fuel for your stove. Some stoves burn more than one type of fuel, offering some flexibility.

Even without a camping stove, fuel supplies are sometimes necessary for camping. Many campgrounds come equipped with charcoal grills, and if the campground mandates the purchase of firewood from its own supplies, bringing charcoal briquettes as a fuel source instead is both cheaper and more efficient.

Starting a fire is at least as important as fueling one, and this demands an ample supply of fire-starting materials. Matches, lighters and lighter fluid, and flint, steel and tinder are all typical fire-starting supplies. A wise camper takes at least two sets of fire-starting material with him. If you rely solely upon matches, for example, it is a good idea to pack two matchboxes in their own separate, waterproof containers as a hedge against accidents.


Even a backcountry camper may have at least one electronic device with him. Cameras, radios, flashlights and GPS receivers are all popular among campers. Although crank-driven and solar-powered radios are available, most of other items are battery-powered and require a supply of replacement batteries. Every electronic device taken on a camping trip should have batteries installed plus at least one back-up set.



All campers require food, but exactly what food to take depends on the camping format. Backcountry campers must carry every ounce of food into the wildnerness with them, and otherwise rely upon wild, foraged sources. This mandates preserved, lightweight, calorie-dense food supplies, such as pasta, nuts, dried fruits and vegetables, jerky and dehydrated food packages.

A camper at a developed campground, on the other hand, is never far away from the car or truck. That applies even to walk-in campsites, as hiking an hour's distance from the parking lot and the supply cache in the car trunk is merely inconvenient. Campers at developed campgrounds may use coolers to preserve small quantities of fresh meat, eggs and dairy products, and can afford the extra weight for canned goods and fresh fruits and vegetables with a long shelf life, such as potatoes and onions.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.