Camping Packing List

22 Aug

We are about a week away.  Time to start thinking about the essentials for a three-night camping trip.  If I am car camping, I am going to do it right.  That means shelter, bedding, kitchen supplies, water, seating, food, and anything useful that I can think of. 

Food and water will be handled in a later post when I discuss meals and grocery lists.  


  • Tent: Oh. Hell. Yeah.
  • Stakes: Not just for the tent, but for the canopy as well.  Also, bring extra in case any break.
  • Plastic Drop Cloth: You always want something between your tent and the ground. This is a cheap option.
  • Tarp: I use this as a sun blocking wall for the canopy, but there are dozens of uses for a tarp while camping
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Air Mattress/Pump: I gave up sleeping on foam pads a decade ago.
  • Pillow: Or a duffle bag stuffed with your clothes will work too.
  • Sheet/Blankets: If you are into that sort of thing
  • Duct Tape: Something is going to pop, tear, or come undone.  Probably at night.  Probably in the rain.  
  • Duffle Bags: For storage

Dogs: Check Ahead with Hosted Sites to Make Sure Pets are Allowed

  • Beds/Travel Seat
  • Leashes: Most hosted sites require leashes at all times.  Check ahead to see the rules.  
  • Dog Food: Sealed tight
  • Food and Water Bowls
  • Medication
  • Treats
  • Brushes
  • Towel
  • Gate: It might be easier to put the pets inside a gate when setting up and breaking camp.
  • FRIO Wallet 
  • Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda: Necessary for any encounters with skunks


  • Canopy Shade
  • Chairs
  • Folding Table
  • Stove Stand
  • Grill
  • 4 Propane Bottles (1 per day + 1 extra)
  • Lantern
  • Coleman LEDsAren’t they cute?  Battery-operated.  Lighting for the canopy.
  • LeathermanThe most important tool in my bag.
  • Hatchet: I use the blunt side as a mallet to plant stakes.  The sharp side can dig holes or cut wood.  
  • Rope/Twine
  • Lighter/Charcoal: Why do people use matches?  Just get a lighter and call it a day.  
  • Cooler/Ice
  • Water JugNice to have, even at hosted sites with water.
  • Grilling SuitcaseAt the very least, you need tongs and a spatula
  • Trash Bags
  • Paper Towels/Dish Rags
  • Cast Iron Cookware
  • Plates, Bowls, Silverware, Mugs
  • SoapAll-purpose, biodegradable, small container.  
  • Brillo Pad
  • Spoon, Knifes
  • Cutting Board
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Tin Foil (Heavy Duty)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Ziploc Bags 
  • Hammock
  • Bungee Cords: You can never have enough of these
  • Coffee Percolator
  • Cupboard: See earlier post on how to make your own
  • Brown Paper Bags: For cooking
  • Fire Shovel: To move hot coals onto Dutch oven and put out fire

Personal for 3 Nights

  • 3 T-shirts/ 1 Jeans
  • 1 Pair of Shorts
  • Old Shoes: The will come back covered in soot, mud, and smelling like smoke
  • Towel
  • 1 Jacket
  • 1 Sweatshirt
  • 4-5 Underwear
  • 4-5 Socks
  • Deodorant/Shampoo
  • Razor
  • Toothbrush
  • Tooth Paste
  • Hat
  • Toilet Paper
  • Contacts/Glasses/Sunglasses
  • Bug Repellent: Deet is good.  Sage in the fire is good.  Citronella is good.  Bring all 3.  
  • Sunscreen
  • Chap-stick
  • Mophie/Cell Phones
  • Reservation Info





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