The Ultimate Camping Checklist for Beginners

Camping Checklist: There’s nothing like roughing it for a night or two with family, a few good friends, or your significant other. Of course, a nice night of camping can easily get ruined by forgetting one or more of the camping essentials.

Camping Checklist for Beginners

Read on for your overnight camping checklist, so you don’t forget the important stuff.

The Essential Overnight Camping Checklist 

The following camping list covers your basic needs for tent camping. If it’s not on this list, you can live without it for a night or two. However, you can always add to the list depending on your upcoming camping activities.

Consider these the essentials: 

Your Tent

Obviously, you can’t camp without a tent. However, you can’t just use any old tent. Make sure your tent is right for the season and is roomy enough to fit the number of people that will be sleeping in it. 

A Cozy Sleeping Bag

A good sleeping bag is another super-essential—and the loftier, the better. Even if you’re camping in warm weather, a nice, thick sleeping bag will add extra cushion between your body and the ground.

A Flashlight and Backup Batteries

You’re going to need light at some point, whether you’re searching for a nice area to relieve yourself or reading in your tent. Make sure your flashlight has a good range and bright bulbs—and don’t forget to pack a few extra sets of batteries!

Insect Repellent

Mosquitos, no-see-ums, and chiggers are serious party crashers. Make sure you bring a good insect repellent with Deet. Deet not only kills these little blood-sucking predators, but it actually repels them, so they don’t end up biting you.   

Cookware and Camp-Friendly Food

Plan out the camp-friendly food you want to cook, i.e., hot dogs, hamburgers, etc., and bring the appropriate cookware for it. Planning will help minimize the amount of stuff you have to carry, which is important because pots and pans can get heavy—especially if you have to walk a bit to get to your campsite. 

Plenty of Water

You’re going to need water for drinking, washing, cooking, and more. It’s better to be over-prepared with too much water than too little. So, don’t skimp on the water!

Extra Rope

You never know when you’re going to need an extra rope. The cords on your hammock or even your tent may snap, so it’s critical to have something to replace them in a punch. You’re also going to need something to hang your trash up high so you won’t attract any unwanted visitors.

You can take things a step further with some sturdy TwistedGoat cords.  

Water-Proof Matches 

Regular matches will do, but if they’re not in a sealed container, you run the risk of getting them wet. Wet matches won’t do you any good when the sun goes down, so we suggest investing in waterproof matches so you can get your campfire going no matter what.

Ziplock Bags and Toilet Paper

These two are pretty self-explanatory, but they’re easily forgotten. Ziplock bags will keep your items dry and secure, including your trash. As for the toilet paper, well, you know what you need toilet paper for. 

Don’t Forget the Marshmallows

Overnight tent camping is always a unique experience, so don’t get lazy with the planning. Use this overnight camping checklist to get you started so you can spend less time worrying and more time enjoying roasting marshmallows under the stars.


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