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What to Bring with You on a Tent Camping Trip

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Pen ticking a checklistUnlike staying with friends or in a hotel, there's more to bring, and therefore more to forget, when you go tent camping. Make sure you're well prepared with our list of what to bring for your camping trip.

The Basic Gear

  • Tent
  • Ground cloth/tarp
  • Sleeping bag and pillow
  • Sleeping mat/air mattress with pump

Cooking and Related Equipment

  • Camping stove or BBQ grill
  • Plates, bowls, cups, mugs, knives, forks and spoons
  • Utensils (can opener/bottle opener, spatula, tongs etc.)
  • Cookware (pot and pan)
  • Matches/lighter
  • Firewood or charcoal - this is often available to buy at the campground, but check beforehand
  • Fire starting material (fire starters, newspaper, paper, etc.)
  • Condiments (salt, pepper, sauces, etc.)
  • Dish soap (preferably biodegradable) and a sponge
  • Dishtowel
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paper towels and paper napkins
  • Garbage bags
  • Containers - for food storage/plastic wrap
  • Cooler
  • Thermos


  • Sturdy walking shoes or boots
  • Pants, jeans and shorts
  • Tee shirts, sweatshirts, sweaters and jacket
  • Hat or baseball cap
  • Socks and underwear
  • Bathing suit - if water sports or a pool are available at your destination
  • Pajamas, sweats or other sleepwear
  • Shower shoes/flip flops
  • Rain gear (raincoat, waterproof pants, etc.)

Personal Items

  • Towels and washcloth
  • Soap, shampoo and other toiletries
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Comb/hairbrush
  • Toilet paper
  • Personal medications
  • Contact lenses and solution/glasses

Camping Essentials

  • First aid kit (see Camping first aid kit essentials for details of what should be in your First aid kit)
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent and citronella candles
  • Flashlight/camping lantern, extra batteries and bulb
  • Camera, batteries and film or memory card
  • Folding camping chairs
  • Sunglasses
  • Swiss Army knife or pocketknife
  • Canteen or water bottles
  • Quarters - sometimes needed for hot showers and laundry
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Compass
  • Whistle
  • Maps / Road Atlas


  • Outdoor activity equipment (bat and balls, Frisbee, fishing gear, etc.)
  • Cards and board games
  • Radio - a solar powered or wind up one is particularly useful
  • Reading material
  • Guide books
  • DVDs - if you have a portable DVD player
  • iPod with FM transmitter - music to listen to through your car stereo whilst you are driving

Wait! Make sure you don't forget personal identification and any campground reservation confirmation information you may have. We also recommend you leave details of your trip with someone back at home.

Happy Camping!

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1 comment(s) so far...

You forgot to list a deck of cards. And maybe a cribbage board. If it rains and you have to spend lots of time under shelter, you'll be glad for a deck of cards.

By Pistolleer on 4/28/2014 4:49:02 PM
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