Recent Comments

Packing Checklists for Camping Trips



They’re called “essentials” for a reason. Every packing list starts with these 10 items.

1. A pocketknife or multitool can be handy in a wide variety of situations. It’s useful for tasks as large as building an emergency shelter or lighting a campfire with poor fuel, or as small as repairing a damaged backpack. Keep you knife sharp and clean, and don’t forget to first earn your Whittling Chip (for older Cub Scouts) or Totin’ Chip (for Boy Scouts).

2. A first-aid kit can be a lifesaver. Literally. A few items will allow you to treat scratches, blisters and other minor injuries. They should also allow you to provide initial care while waiting for help for more serious injuries.

3. Bring extra clothing to match the weather. Multiple layers are better than a single massive jacket, because layered clothing is adaptable to a wide range of temperatures.

4. Rain gear is very important. Rain can come in a hurry, and getting your clothes drenched is more than just uncomfortable, it can lead to hypothermia, a potentially fatal condition.

5. A flashlight, headlamp or a rugged penlight is important for finding your way in the dark. Bring extra batteries, too.

6. Trail food is good for maintaining your energy. Bring more than you think you’ll need in case you get stuck (or lost) in the woods.

7. Water can prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Use a lightweight, unbreakable container with a secure lid.

8. Matches and/or a fire starter may be used to light fires for heat, or for signaling for help. Store matches or lighters in resealable plastic bags.

9. Sun protection might include sunblock, sunglasses, lip balm and a wide-brimmed hat.

10. A map and compass are probably the most important tools you can carry in case you get lost.


Here are some hygiene items you may want to pack, depending on the outing:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Soap
  • Comb
  • Waterless hand cleaner
  • Small towel
  • Washcloth
  • Toilet paper
  • Trowel for digging cathole latrines


Here are some cooking and eating items you may want to pack, depending on the outing:

  • Large plastic cereal bowl or kitchen storage bowl
  • Spoon
  • Cup or insulated mug
  • Water treatment system
  • Backpacking stove with fuel
  • Large pot and lid (2.5- or 3-quart size)
  • Small pot and lid (1.5- or 2-quart size)
  • Lightweight frying pan (10 to 12 inches in diameter)
  • For melting snow, add 1 large pot and lid (6 to 10 quarts)
  • Hot-pot tongs


Here are some extras you may want to pack, depending on the outing:

  • Watch
  • Camera
  • Notebook
  • Pen or pencil
  • Sunglasses
  • Small musical instrument
  • Swimsuit
  • Gloves
  • Whistle
  • Nylon cord
  • Insect repellent
  • Repair kit
  • Hiking stick or trekking poles
  • Binoculars
  • Fishing gear
  • Animal identification books, plant keys, geological studies, star charts or other guides

16 Comments on Packing Checklists for Camping Trips

  1. I like Football // June 9, 2017 at 10:04 pm // Reply

    Good list, but you are missing one crucial thing: A whistle. What if you get lost in the woods, and you yell? After a certain amount of time, Your energy will probably deplete. With a whistle, you only need your breath. Its loud, nd high-pitched. Great thing to bring for a camping trip (Like for the pack or scout camp)

    • great i am a boy scout never been to camp hale so i will use this list

      • A whistle is on the list, in “Extras.”

      • One thing that is vital is your scout book. For some it might sound obvious but it’s an essential. I usually carry some sort of entertainment such as a small instrument, deck of cards, or even a tennis ball.

      • Dave's Mobile Home Phone // July 20, 2018 at 4:02 pm //

        As someone else mentioned, a whistle is, in fact, included on the above list. Another point that has also been mentioned, but just to reinforce the idea- Your scout book is definitely a much needed item. And a deck of cards is always a handy thing to have with you for some late night games of bull around the fire.

  2. i always over or under pack

  3. Where is the dehydrated water?

  4. you dat boi // May 17, 2017 at 10:14 pm // Reply

    i’m using sign language, I need to pee!

  5. none of your busnes // May 17, 2017 at 1:58 pm // Reply

    i always over pack or under pack
    this should help

  6. ProudEagle312 // April 28, 2017 at 8:46 pm // Reply

    I think that they should actually make a whole other list for stuff that shouldn’t be brought

  7. thank you very much. I like it. I’ll share it.

  8. Great! it helps. thanks so much.

  9. micahman11 // March 17, 2017 at 5:41 pm // Reply

    this is a great web site for finding the stuff I need to pack! and I really like your magazines!!!! thank you

  10. It is a good advise thankyou.

Leave a Reply to Beeman Cancel reply

Please don't use your real name.