The Ultimate Camping Checklist for Beginners

Maria Jordão

Published on
The Ultimate Camping Checklist for Beginners

After a week of projects, deadlines, and piled-up stress, camping might just be what you need to take a break and refill your energy. Getting in touch with nature while enjoying the best the outdoors has to offer is a one of a kind experience. You can be a solo camper or even invite friends and family for a memorable getaway. From campgrounds to state and national parks, your camping options are endless—and you can also do it in your backyard to get the hang of it if you so wish.

Before you venture out into the wild, creating a camping list should be one of your first steps as a beginner camper. This will ensure you have a smooth experience without any bumps in the road. This list might vary according to the type of camping you’re going for, the activities you have planned, the season, and even the length of your trip.

We went ahead and made a checklist to ensure you have the best camping adventure, especially if you're still getting used to the experience.

Plan ahead to avoid overpacking

What’s the duration of your trip? What activities will you be doing? Are you driving there? These are all major questions that you should ask yourself before you go camping. To make sure you don’t overpack, start by choosing a backpack that fits the length of your trip and can carry all of your items. Thinking ahead of the activities you’ll be doing will also ensure you don’t carry too much weight on your shoulders if you happen to go hiking.

Setting up your campsite 

Setting up a tent on your very first camping trip might sound like a nightmare come to life, especially if you happen to arrive at your campsite with only a few hours of sunlight to spare. If you want to be prepared for anything, why not try to set up your tent in your backyard or living room a few times to get the hang of it? It will leave you more at ease and boost your confidence.

The inside of your tent is also important. For a good night’s sleep, choose your gear wisely. You’ll want your trip to run smoothly without any surprise backaches and head bumps, right? Then this camping gear is for you:

Channeling your inner camping chef

Your camping kitchen system will depend on the type of camper that you are and how much you intend on cooking. If you truly enjoy eating granola bars or cans of baked beans, then you’re pretty much good to go—well, maybe consider bringing a can opener. But if you’re the type of camper that can’t go without a warm meal every day then we advise you to plan ahead.

You can opt for a stove, a grill, or even an appropriate container to cook over a fire. It’s entirely up to you and what meals you want to make. You can start by preparing the ingredients at home for each meal and just cook something simple on a portable stove. You’ll surely be the camp cook in no time!

Here’s all the cooking gear you’ll need:

Camper tip: We advise you to go prepared and bring your own drinkable water in case the location you’re headed only has a natural water source.

camping experience cooking - skyhour

Cooking over the fire while camping by @mariaemmacamargo 

The eternal “what clothes should I pack?”

This question has haunted every camper when packing. Choosing your gear should always depend on the duration of your trip and the expected weather conditions of where you’re going. Since no one wants to run out of clean underwear when camping, plan ahead. Choose fabrics that keep your body sweat-free and you’ll thank us later. Take a look at some of the gear you should pack:

If you’re facing rain or cold weather, don’t forget the following:

No toiletries left behind

Toiletry bags can be one of the most practical bags you can take on your camping trip. They make sure all of your hygiene and health items are stored up correctly in one place and there’s no chance of finding that deodorant 1 month later when you decide to open that bag again. Here are a few things you shouldn’t forget:

Your personal gear wants to go camping as well

Even though camping gear is the most important thing you can bring with you, don’t leave your personal belongings alone at home. We know your phone most likely has a GPS incorporated (and will let you take amazing photos to remember later) but you should also carry a map in case your signal goes awry. Here’s what you should also pack:

Maria Jordão
Writer
Lisbon, Portugal
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