16 Camping Checklist Templates (Word | Excel | PDF)

Camping usually implies varying things to different individuals depending on their motives and likes. Some go camping to bond and spend time with friends and families, while others indulge as a way to commune with nature, among others. As such, some may often opt for car camping while others may head off deep into the wild. Some individuals also often prefer roughing up the experience with minimal basics, while others load up every possible item for maximum comfort. Nonetheless, with all the excitement usually comes stress and anxiety of accommodating all the items required, and, in some instances, we’ve all heard the phrase from fellow campers, “Who packed the…” or individually forgotten about some camping essentials like boots or towels and only realizing once at the site. This usually prompts the vitality of a camping checklist for subsequent trips.

What is a Camping Checklist?

This is, therefore, the ultimate planning aid for any upcoming camping trip, regardless of the type of camping or destination. It usually makes the entire process simple by ensuring that all the essentials for the trip are properly packed. Camping checklists thus guarantee almost zero inconveniences and are often applicable to individual campers or even a large group. It limits forgetting about essentials and unnecessarily carrying extra materials that would only add to the weight and bulk of the camping items with no apparent usefulness. Subsequently, the checklist makes it easy and efficient for first-time campers to enjoy their trips without constant worry and frustration.

What is a Camping Checklist Template?

This is a customizable, downloadable, and printable template designed and formatted with all the necessary camping trip requirements. These templates may often vary depending on;

  • Whether going to an existing campground or a primitive campsite.
  • The kind of activities one would engage in during the trip
  • The extent of luxury one would embrace.

However, some items are often consistent and thus a must on any trip. Failure to carry some of them may warrant new purchases or a canceled trip. Thus, a camping checklist template is the fastest and surest way to ensure that your camping trip progresses without any complications.

Camping Checklist Templates & Examples

    The Ultimate Camping Checklist

    This may usually be accompanied by quite a number of items which together can often be overwhelming and confusing to users. As such, below are the camping items properly sorted in varying categories for easy reference and confirmation. The ultimate camping checklist categories include;


    As a basic need, shelter is also usually a requirement during camping. Therefore, when going camping, you will need to pack things that would house you and your other items for the night and against the harsh conditions of the wilderness, such as wild animals and weather. These include;

    • A tent (Including footprint and stakes)
    • Camping mattress
    • Sleeping bag
    • Lantern/headlamp
    • Camping pillow

    You may also incorporate the following for increased comfort;

    • Camping tables
    • Hammock
    • Clothesline

    Camping tools

    These constitute items necessary for making camping much simpler. These items often come in handy when preparing things on the campsite like ground/wood, connecting or patching broken parts/items, among other functions. They include;

    • Saw
    • Ax
    • Duct tape
    • Para chord
    • Mallet
    • Tent pole repair sleeve
    • Air mattress repair kit

    Note; There are multi-tools that have versatile applications when camping. For instance, the folding saw saving on space on top of fulfilling its function.


    These are also vital when planning a camping trip. The specific footwear usually varies with the environment of the campsite and the purpose of the activity. For instance, you may need to pack moisture-absorbing socks to deal with excessive wilderness moisture, hiking footwear for treacherous terrains, and open shoes on easy trails. Subsequently, when in a water-infested region, water shoes and many other matches would be necessary. As such, some of the footwear to consider include;

    • Sandals
    • Hiking boots
    • Sneakers
    • Water shoes
    • Wool/synthetic socks
    • Shower sandals
    • Trail boots

    Campsite extras

    This aspect of the camping checklist constitutes items that would make the camping more fun, enjoyable and memorable. They come in handy to prevent inconveniences such as keeping your gadgets safe and dry and being able to charge your devices in remote regions. Others enhance the experience by facilitating watching and interacting with nature, playing, and noting down important points. Some of these extras include;

    • Games collections/ideas
    • Notebooks/journals
    • Binoculars
    • Reading materials like novels
    • Dry bags
    • Solar power equipment
    • Rechargeable/extra batteries


    Food is essential even when camping and thus necessary when planning to go camping. Some individuals often go the hard way by eating survival-type foods such as roasting at the campfire. Nevertheless, most often prefer more enticing meals which require an extensive kitchen and cooking collection, including storage, cleaning, and disposal of items. Some of the checklist items include;

    • Charcoal
    • Stove fuel
    • Camp stove
    • Cooler
    • Biodegradable soap
    • Matches/lighter
    • Cooking utensils like pots and pans
    • Eating utensils like plates and bowls
    • Portable coffee maker
    • Pot scrubber/sponge
    • Trash bags

    Sun Protection and Bug Spray

    Camping usually implies getting ready to embrace the harsh natural conditions like too much sun, heat, cold, bug bites, and accidental cuts, among others. Some of the items to consider include;

    • Insect repellants
    • Bug sprays
    • Sunglasses
    • Sunscreen
    • Sun hat
    • Lip balm

    Miscellaneous Camping Items

    This category of camping items may not be mandatory but is often equally significant when camping. As such, most can usually survive without them, but they can often be a requirement in extremes. They include;

    • Radios
    • Cameras
    • A fire extinguisher
    • Compass
    • Two-way radio
    • GPS
    • Alarm clock
    • Work gloves

    Hygiene Items

    A day’s worth of camping may not usually warrant showers; however, hygiene is vital in many aspects. As such, camping usually requires some items to facilitate personal hygiene and essentially limit any discomforts. These include;

    • Toilet paper
    • Face/body wipes
    • Deodorants
    • Solar shower
    • Toothpaste and brush
    • A razor
    • Washcloth
    • Towel Hand sanitizer

    Personal Items

    Despite all the other items, personal items are vital as they could determine a life-or-death situation. These items can often be utilized for communication, purchasing a lacking/insufficient commodity, or individual identification. They include;

    • A cell phone
    • Credit cards
    • Some cash
    • Emergency contact information
    • Identification documents
    • First aid kit


    Clothing is mandatory for camping since the great outdoors can often be unpredictable. As such, apart from common clothing, an individual may need to pack extra ones for complications like spills or mud splatters. Subsequently, due to unpredictable weather patterns, you should also carry clothes for rainy and cold climates as well as extremely hot ones as changes may occur in the course of the day. Some of the clothing to consider thus include;

    Regular weather

    • T-shirts
    • Shoes
    • Hat
    • Socks
    • Pants
    • Bandanna
    • Underwear
    • Sleeping clothes
    • Shirts

    Rainy and Cold Weather

    • Warm hat
    • Rain jacket
    • Rain pants
    • Vest
    • Baseball cap
    • Rain poncho
    • Gloves/mittens
    • Fleece pants
    • Fleece pullover
    • Insulated Jacket


    Planning future meals before embarking on a camping trip often helps have a proper meal plan while in the wilderness. As such, you may check out and download some of the camping-friendly recipes on the web for a faster list or just create your preferred food items list for a memorable experience.


    What are the 5 most important things to bring when you go camping?

    Camping often requires several items to guarantee a smooth experience. Nevertheless, some of these must always be included in your checklist to avoid extreme inconveniences or cancellation of the trip altogether. Some of them include;
    1.    Tent
    2.    Food/Water
    3.    Appropriate clothing
    4.    Lighting source
    5.    Sleeping bag

    What should you not bring camping?

    Stress and anxiety often prompt campers to over-prepare, with some individuals packing more than they actually need or would otherwise utilize. Nonetheless, some of the following items should never be part of the camping checklist or even considered. They include;
    · Colognes, perfumes, and scented oils
    · Glassware and ceramic items
    · High-end fashion clothing and jewelry
    · Accelerants
    · Sophisticated electronic like TVs and big sound systems

    What food should I bring for 3 days camping?

    A 3-day camping tour may seem long to most as they often get boggled on what they would eat. However, camping foods often constitute snacks, on-the-go meals, and campfire meals as long as they are sufficiently filling, easy to pack, and easy to prepare out in the wild. For instance, a camper may package some eggs, bread, and rice for preparing omelets, sandwiches, and pasta, among other dishes for easy dinner meals. Many other food varieties such as meats, potatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and other vegetables/fruits are also often recommended for easy preparation of foods like salads.

    Why do you put a tarp under a tent?

    Placing a tarp under camping tents usually facilitates many functions:
    · Being waterproof, they usually act as moisture barriers and prevent flowing rainwater from seeping into the tent.
    · They also act as insulators securing the tent floor from the coldness of the ground.
    · They also protect the underside of the tents from tear and wear emanating from frequent use in rough areas.

    How do you keep food cold while camping?

    Keeping your food cold while camping usually requires that you have a properly working cooler box. Subsequently, there are also other steps to consider to ensure that your food stays cold for as long as possible during the camping period. These include;
    · Freezing or cooling any food items on the checklist before departure.
    · Acquiring some ice packs, whether from the grocery or DIY made.
    · Pre-cooling the cooler.
    · Properly and tightly packing the food in the cooler.
    · Opening the cooler as little as possible.
    · Keeping the cooler out of direct sunlight.

    How do you store meat when camping?

    Meat being very perishable if not preserved often requires proper storage. Therefore, raw meat should always be double-wrapped in aluminum foil and sealed in freezer bags to prevent cross-contamination or leakage to other food items in the cooler. The raw meat should always be frozen before packaging and placed in the bottom-most section of the cooler. Nevertheless, the raw meat to be consumed immediately should be placed closer to the top to allow slowed thawing as you wait for mealtime.

    Can bears smell food in a cooler in a car?

    Yes, bears usually have a great sense of smell which allows them to sniff out things like meat stores, beverages, and even toiletries. Nevertheless, the trick is always to utilize a bear-proof cooler or campsite storage facility if available. Nonetheless, if these are unavailable, you may find a good spot out of reach for the bear.

    Final thoughts

    Camping checklists are vital to new and old campers as they tend to save on time and limit any inconveniences. Nevertheless, individual needs often vary with different campers. As such, apart from some specific must-bring items, some individuals may often prefer light camping while others go all out bringing many items. Therefore, this article provides you with all the relevant data required when making the ultimate camping checklist, and this will guarantee you an exceptional camping adventure.