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Camping Gear, Equipment & Clothing Checklists
sleeping bag

If you're new to camping, take this short course on getting started.

Just up ahead, find practical advice on what you'll need, along with links to other helpful tips and tricks to the joys of communing with nature while staying safe.

Things to consider

On your first time out you may want to consider buying used camping equipment, or borrowing camping equipment from a friend. If you can afford it, you may even opt for all the comforts of home, while sitting safely behind the wheel of an RV camper.

How you want to travel to a campground - as well as length of stay - are also important considerations for the camping beginner. A two-night stayover is ideal, while a one nighter won't leave enough time to relax and enjoy it!

Also give some thought about how close or remote your destination, how you will get there, and what you'll be doing (hiking or nature walks, for instance) and with whom.

Depending on the style of camping you prefer, you may not need all of the items on the following checklist. That said, this is a good basic guideline for what to bring along for both comfort and safety.

Hiking Gear & Equipment

Tip: Shop around for the best prices on basic equipment, but remember that not all hiking gear is created equal.

Talk to camping friends, read reviews, and/or browse online comparison shopping sites for more information on best value for the money.

camping checklistBackpack
camping checklistCompass, maps and directions
camping checklistGPS unit
camping checklistSnacks (snack bars, GORP, trail mix)
camping checklistWater container
camping checklistPocket knife
camping checklistFlashlight
camping checklistExtra batteries
camping checklistCamera
camping checklistCell phone (for emergencies)
camping checklistMatches or disposable lighter (for starting a fire in case you get lost in the woods)
camping checklistBattery-powered reading light
camping checklistWater purification tablets
camping checklistMoney (cash or ATM cards)


Because it take hours to dry, cotton clothing should be avoided whenever possible. Wool, fleece or synthetics are best.

camping checklistWide brimmed hat (to protect against rain or sun)
camping checklistWoolen hat (for colder mornings)
camping checklistRain Jacket or sweater
camping checklistLong-sleeved shirts
camping checklistShort-sleeved shirts
camping checklistPants or shorts
camping checklistUnderwear (and/or long underwear)
camping checklistWarm pants
camping checklistHiking boots
camping checklistHiking socks
camping checklistSunglasses

Health, Safety & Personal Items

camping checklistCamping first aid kit
camping checklistInsect repellent
camping checklistSunscreen
camping checklistLip balm
camping checklistEye drops (if hiking in dry climates)

printprintable camping gear checklist

More camping gear buying tips & checklists around the Web:


Your Complete Camping Checklist - Discover an extensive number of checklists to choose from, with tips on what to pack by activity, season, or climate.

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