Camping Supplies Must-Haves For First Time Campers! With Printable Checklist!
One of the great ways to get outside and have fun with your family and friends is going camping. If you want to de-stress, you can even do it by yourself! You can go camping in private campgrounds, national parks, back country, and even your own backyard or living room! The possibilities are endless! But, the last thing you want to do is head out for your great adventure without the proper Camping Supplies!
Part of the joy of going camping is knowing that you only need to bring a few things with you, not a suitcase full like when you travel on a non-camping trip. However, you don’t want to forget anything you might need and make your experience less enjoyable.
Many campsites have picnic tables, parking areas, places to pitch a tent, and barbecue grills. There are also some that have a bathrooms, running water, and a small cooking area.
While packing, it’s handy to know what things you’ll need and we’ve got you covered! We made a free printable list of essential camping must-haves to make the most of your camping trip.
Weather Ready Clothes
You need to stay warm in colder weather and cool on sunny days by wearing dri-fit clothes or moisture-wicking clothes. Dressing in layers is the key to a comfortable camping experience. It keeps you dry all day while giving you the necessary warmth during the cooler nights.
Here are some clothing and footwear items you’ll want to consider packing:
- Pants or Shorts
- Long-sleeve shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jacket
- Boots or shoes
Choosing the right tent is a must. A good tent is weatherproof and easy to set up.
The size and the type of tent you choose depend on the group size and space you’ll need. When you purchase your first tent, make sure to get a reliable and well-ventilated one.
Sleeping under the stars will be a lot more comfortable if you have a waterproof sleeping bag. Believe it or not, it can be dangerous to go camping without a sleeping bag as it gives you adequate warmth during the night.
Bring a lightweight, durable, and easy-to-clean sleeping bag.
First Aid Kit
Bumps, scratches, cuts, or burns — Any of these things might happen when you’re on a camping trip. Make sure to bring a first-aid kit.
When compiling your first aid kit, include the following:
- Gauze Pads
- First Aid Tape
- Allergy Medications
- Mosquito And Bug Repellant
Unless you’re a survivalist with proper training, chances are, you’ll need to have something to start a fire. Without fire, you may have limited food options. Not to mention it being cold and dark at night without a fire.
Have plenty of matches on hand and keep them in a waterproof and airtight container.
Multipurpose Pocket Knife
MacGyver, anyone? A Swiss Army Knife is a camping essential that takes up almost no space in your bag. It has a knife, a saw, a corkscrew, a small scissor, and more that will come in handy when going on a camping trip.
Maps And Compass
You may have GPS on your phone, but, what if you don’t have a signal especially in a remote camping spot?
Have your navigation essentials like a map and a compass at all times, in case your GPS is not reliable.
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A solar lantern is essential, especially during fire bans and the only light you can get is from the moon and the stars.
Getting a solar lantern is great because it requires no electrical source or batteries. It also comes in a collapsible design which is easy to pack and can be easily hung in your tent providing enough light.
A rope has many uses in a campsite, especially if you can tie a variety of knots. You can use it as a clothesline for your wet garments, to hang your coolers, to create a shelter, or at the worst, to tow people out of a tight situation.
Another camping essential that a lot of people often forget to bring are tarps. You can use a tarp to protect the bottom of your tent for more warmth at night and protect your bodies from sharp rocks or as an extra shelter at your campsite.
Tarps are easy to fold. They also take up a small space in your camping bags.
It is important to bring a reusable water bottle whenever you’re camping.
You can refill a water bottle at your campsite’s water spigots or you can bring extra gallons of water. Bring a water bottle that has a sip-friendly spout and a spill-proof locking mechanism.
A Jar Of Peanut Butter
Did you know that peanut butter has a lot of functions?
Peanut butter has a long shelf life. It is a versatile source of fat and protein and can energize you after a day of hiking. You can easily eat it on bread or enjoy it by the spoonful. It can also remove gum from your hair.
There is nothing more relaxing than lying on a hammock under a shady tree at the end of a long hike. You can also use it as an alternative to a sleeping bag. Some hammocks can even accommodate several people all at once, making it perfect for a sit out area.
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A hammock is portable. It’s lightweight, easy to clean, and quick drying. You can easily transport it to your camping site.
Keep your energy up with yummy snacks. Mix some peanuts, raisins, dried cranberries, raisins, almonds, cashews, yogurt chips, and dates. You’ll definitely be a happy camper while snacking on these treats.
A more convenient way to cook your meals, especially if there is no grill or cooking area at the campsite, is to bring a camping stove.
Get a camping stove that is easy to set-up, lightweight, and made of high-quality materials that can last you for years.
If you’re taking a gas stove, don’t forget the burgers, hot dogs, or anything else you’ll grill for dinner or bacon and eggs for breakfast!
Make sure that you also bring your spatula, tongs, stainless bowls, and cutlery. And for Heaven’s sake a way to make coffee! One of the worst migraines of my life was when my SIL “forgot” to bring the coffee.
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Another very important addition to your camping supplies is a solar charger. You might not be able to find any power outlets outdoors.
Bring a solar charger with a USB cord to charge your phone, camera, or other devices. There are chargers available that clip to your backpack allowing them to absorb energy from the sun while you’re hiking.
Whether you are camping with a group or alone, playing some music can set the mood.
Bring a portable, waterproof, or water-resistant speaker that will let you play music from sunrise to sunset.
Sunscreen is something you must bring when camping, no matter what season it is. Even if you have darker skin, you still need sunscreen when you’re outside for prolonged periods of time.
Other Camping Supplies You Might Be Interested In Packing
- Water Filter
- Quick-Dry Towel
- Camping Toiletry Pods
- Folding Chairs
- Bear Spray
- Deck of Cards
- Wet Wipes
- French Press
- Roasting Sticks
- Food Storage Bags
- Biodegradable Soap
- Paper Towels
What NOT To Take When Camping
- DO NOT pack denim. Denim and camping don’t mix well, especially when your jeans are wet — it might take days to dry and are heavy when carried.
- DO NOT take white items of clothing. You might fall in mud, spill food or drinks on yourself, or brush up against tree sap. White shirts, shorts or socks may easily get dirty. Plus, dark clothes absorb the sun much more than lighter colors to help keep you warm on cooler days.
- DO NOT bring unnecessary electronics. You don’t need your iPad, your tablet, or your computer. Camping is an outdoor trip and you might lose your gadgets. Just bring your phone and maybe a camera.
These camping must-haves can help you get started on your first camping adventure. As an added bonus, don’t forget to download and print out the free list we made for you to easily remember the things you”ll need to bring.
Whether you’re a first-time camper or a seasoned outdoorsman, the key is to enjoy yourself and make sure you have all the Camping Supplies you need so you can.