The most basic camping essentials checklist will include your bare minimum and can make for an enjoyable camp trip. When you think about these items in their “groups”, you will pack all that you need for a simple trip.
15 Essentials for Camping Packing List
Depending on the kind of camping trip we set out on, sometimes I pack just the bare essentials. A list of my top 15 items are outlined below, which will ensure you have a relatively good camp trip.
- Sleeping Tent
- Bedding (sleeping pad, pillow, blankets, sleeping bag)
- Clothes + Shoes
- Toiletries (toothbrush/paste, paper, soap, etc.)
- Camping chair (something similar to ours is linked here)
- Propane stove and fuel
- Pan and/or Pot
- Plate, spoon, fork, knife
- Mug or cup
- Cooler + Ice
- Food + Water
Now your basic camping checklist may look slightly different. For example, if you are going on a hike you might skip out on the camping chair and cooler. Adjust to the luxuries that you can afford for the sort of trip you will have.
Give me the Master Camping Checklist
Now, if “basic” is not your flow and you want to work from our master camping checklist, go here to download the master camping checklist.
What to Pack for Camping
When thinking about that to pack for camping, you should consider packing the things you absolutely need on a day to day basis.
I like to walk myself through a usual day, from the moment I get up to the moment I go to sleep. When I track my movements this way, I’m usually able to plot a list of essentials quickly.
Let’s do this together.
- Wake up, make coffee = need mug, water, stove and fuel/wood/lighter
- Brush teeth and stretch = need toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Make breakfast = need food, water, eating utensils and plate, stove and fuel/wood/lighter
- Dress = need clothes/shoes
- Read and work = need camping chair
- Eat lunch = need food, water, eating utensils and plate, stove and fuel/wood/lighter
- Make dinner = need food, water, eating utensils and plate, stove and fuel/wood/lighter
- Clean-up dinner = need soap, scrubber/dishcloth
- Bathe = need soap, water
- Sleep = need tent, sleeping gear, flashlight
Just like that, a simple list of what you need to pack for camping emerges.
Now add in some more luxurious items that you can afford to take. For us, that would include a book, notebook, binoculars, and water bottle.
Camping Must Haves vs. Luxuries
Discerning between camping must haves and luxuries is the key to keeping a basic camping checklist. Often times, we can get along with much less than we thing – if we had to.
Although, on some trips there is no need to spare the packing room and we can load up our favourite books.
You have to consider what kind of camping trip you are going on, how much room you have, and pack accordingly.
Have a look through our Master Camping Checklist to see if there are some “must haves” on there that you would rather not leave behind.
Other Camping Tips
Find tips on good and healthy camp food to prepare in advance here.
Check out our favourite quick camping breakfast with leftovers and eggs.
Look through our Master Camping Checklist to see a glance of the full list of camping items you could consider taking on a trip.