Basnett's Camping Checklist

Basnett's Camping Checklist

Car camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while spending quality time with your family. This list is extensive and may contain gear that isn't necessary for your particular camp out. Use the printer-friendly version of the camping checklist to make sure you don't leave anything behind while you're packing the car. 

Printer Friendly (PDF) Version

Sleep & Shelter

  • Tent (make sure you know how to put it up and that you have the stakes, rainfly (if your tent has one) and guylines)
  • Extra rope & stakes
  • Tent footprint or tarp at least a large as the footprint of the tent.
  • Sun shade, tarp, or screen house (If you’re camping in hot weather in an area without tree cover, you’re going to want the protection of a shade. Screen houses are convenient when camping in an area with mosquitoes or biting flies.)
  • Sleeping bags (appropriate for time of year; e.g. mummy bag for cold weather, light bag for warm weather)
  • Sleep pads
  • Pillow or stuff sack
  • Cots
  • Folding chairs or camp stools
  • Mallet or hammer (for driving and pulling tent stakes)
  • Blankets
  • Sheets
  • Rope for clothesline and clothes pins
  • One gallon freezer bags (for anything you don’t want getting wet.
  • Campsite reservation confirmation (keep in one of those one-gallon freezer bags)
  • Cell phone charger or extra battery
  • Rope & extra stakes

Lighting, Heating, and Kitchen

  • Headlights and extra batteries
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Lanterns with extra mantles, fuel, funnel, and/or batteries.
  • Lantern stand
  • Glow sticks
  • Matches and fireplace lighters
  • Fire starters
  • Firewood (Call ahead to see if fires are allowed)
  • Shovel or trenching tool
  • Charcoal
  • Charcoal starter fluid
  • Charcoal chimney lighter
  • Camp stove
  • Frying pan
  • Cooking pots
  • Water bucket (for putting out fire)
  • Hot pads
  • Dutch oven (camping-type with legs and coal lip)
  • Lid lifter for Dutch oven
  • Coffee percolator
  • Can opener
  • Utensils (fork, knives, spoons)
  • Plates, bowls, cups, coffee mugs
  • Spatula, whisk, tongs, knives
  • Kitchen thermometer
  • Hand mixer
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Cutting boards
  • Cheese grater
  • Bottle and corkscrew
  • Water storage containers
  • One-gallon freezer bags
  • Trash bags
  • Paper towels
  • Aluminum foil
  • Washing tubs (3 for dish washing)
  • Quaternary rinse tablets
  • Coolers
  • Ice
  • Pot scrubbers and scrub brush
  • Dish soap (biodegradable)
  • Hand soap
  • Dish towels
  • Chuck box
  • Stove stand
  • Folding camp table
  • Recipes
  • Water sanitizing tablets


  • Water
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Cocoa
  • Drink mixes
  • Bottled or canned drinks
  • Milk
  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Grits
  • Breakfast bars
  • Eggs
  • Energy bars
  • Granola
  • Dried fruits or nuts
  • Pancake mix (or mix up your own before you go!)
  • Bread, bagels, or English muffins
  • Fruit
  • Butter
  • Cooking oil
  • Cooking spray
  • Syrup or honey
  • Jelly, preserves, jam, peanut butter
  • Crackers/Chips
  • Salt, pepper
  • Spices
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Ice for beverages


  • Hat (with full brim for sun protection)
  • Sun glasses
  • Boots or shoes
  • Socks (pack in one-gallon freezer bag)
  • Underwear
  • Water shoes
  • Sandals
  • T-shirts
  • Long-sleeve shirts (for insect & sun protection)
  • Long pants (for insect & sun protection)
  • Swimsuit
  • Thermal underwear
  • Jacket or coat
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Rain gear (poncho, rubber boots, raincoat & pants)
  • Belt
  • Bandana
  • Pocket knife or multi tool

Toiletry Items

  • Toilet paper
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Contact lenses & solution
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription medications
  • Nail clippers
  • Toothbrush
  • Razor, shaving cream, shaving mirror (a signal mirror works, too)
  • Cosmetics
  • Brush/comb
  • Portable shower/Shower bag
  • Bath soap
  • Shampoo
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Wash cloth

Additional Items

  • Camera, extra battery, film, memory cards
  • Binoculars
  • GPS
  • Umbrella
  • Books
  • Maps
  • Guidebooks, field guides, star charts
  • Two-way radios
  • Notebook or clipboard, paper, pens/pencils
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Watch
  • Cash

Fun & Games

  • Card games
  • Kites
  • Frisbees
  • Puzzles, crossword, Sudoku, etc.
  • Board games
  • Geocaching materials
  • Outdoor games (horseshoes, washers, etc.)


Man that’s a great picture! I love car camping and hiking in a few miles and camping. I’m a hammock camper so no ground sleeping for me. A hammock if done right is comfy and you lay perfectly flat too!


Very good information.


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