Essentials to Bring for a Camping Trip

Camping is a great way to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature. Each trip can be an adventure even if you’re going to a site you have visited many times. Another good thing about camping is that you can enjoy it whether you go solo, with friends, or with family. Of course, packing for a trip can seem confusing or even daunting. Some people overlook critical items because there is so much to consider.

Food and Cooking Supplies

Pack nonperishable items such as canned goods, trail mix, and of course, jerky. Jerky is an excellent snack because of how lightweight and easy to pack it is. It also serves as a good source of protein to keep your energy up and assist in muscle repair. The long shelf life of jerky also makes it ideal as you prepare for a camping trip and go on extended backpacking adventures.

The website has a nice array of beef, chicken, fish, pork, turkey, and vegan jerky, among other types. Choose the flavors and textures you like.

If you pack perishable items, you could bring a camping stove, matches, pots and pans, and utensils. A cooler with ice also keeps these perishable items fresh. Bottle openers, cutting boards, camp sinks, and large water jugs could be useful, too.

However, if you will be camping far from your car, you might prefer to save perishable items for another trip. Stoves, pots, pans, and the like begin to feel heavy quickly when you are walking through the woods, especially in the heat and on hilly terrain.

You may need to treat your water when camping, hiking, or traveling, so check these details about your campsite before you head up there. See if you should bring supplies that let you boil, disinfect, or filter your water.

Shelter, Sleeping, and Relaxation Essentials

Staying dry and getting a good night’s sleep can do wonders for your morale. A sturdy tent, a sleeping bag, and a sleeping pad can keep you warm and comfortable during the night. Related items to pack include these:


  • Camping pillow
  • Camp table (if the site does not have a picnic table)
  • Headlamp (or a flashlight with extra batteries)
  • Camping chair
  • Hammock

Clothing and Footwear

Wearing the right clothing and footwear is essential. If you are buying new items, break them in before the trip to reduce the chances of developing painful blisters or not being able to move around freely.

Check the weather conditions before your trip and pack appropriately. You may need rain gear, warm layers, and durable shoes or boots. Pack extra socks and underwear, and remember a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.

Hygiene and First Aid Items

When you camp, you can be at higher risk of getting sick or injured. Hygiene and first aid items help mitigate these odds.

Pack essentials such as sunblock, biodegradable soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, hand sanitizer, and wet wipes. In your first aid kit, include items such as bandages, antiseptic, and insect repellent.

Customize your kit according to any particular needs in your group. For example, if someone has diabetes, a juice box, glucose tablets, and an emergency glucagon injection kit could be necessary.

Entertainment and Recreation Necessities

Camping represents a rare opportunity for people to fully disconnect from technology and enjoy the great outdoors. Items such as books, board games, and a deck of cards can keep folks entertained for a good while. Recreational items such as a frisbee, hiking boots, and fishing gear are great to have around, too.

Check the campsite before you head out to see what the recreational activities are like there. Sometimes, you can rent kayaks, bicycles, or other gear at a site, and some campgrounds have pools or other amenities. In these cases, swimsuits, and swim goggles could be perfect to bring.

Tools and Repair Items

Could you patch up a tear or hole in a pinch? With the right tools, you might be able to. Pack a general multi-tool as well as duct tape, a tent-pole repair sleeve, and a mallet or hammer to hammer these tent stakes. An extra cord or two is a good idea, too.

If you plan to cut firewood at the site, pack a saw or ax. A small broom and dustpan can be incredibly helpful depending on the situation, too.

The more remote your campsite and the longer the trip, the more you should err on the side of safety. For example, if you can hop in your car and drive to a store easily, you do not need to stress as much about repair or first aid items.

Proper planning helps you ensure a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience. Essentials such as sleeping gear, appropriate clothing, and beef jerky help keep you healthy, while cards, board games, and other recreational items are part of the fun. Hopefully, on your next trip, you can fully embrace your natural settings and create lasting memories.

About the Author

I'm Rodney Heaton and I love hunting in the wild. In the past, I was in the military for over 5 years. After that I became a licensed hunter and a mountain guide.