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When you’re camping, you need more than just a suitcase full of clothes. You’ll be spending more time in the great outdoors, and that means a different set of supplies to bring with you. Plus, you’re likely cooking many of your meals over a campfire or grill. While some full service campgrounds do have on-site camp stores and even restaurants, you’ll still want to bring cooking supplies with you as well. That’s where a camping checklist comes in.
This is not meant to be a comprehensive camping checklist or even a list where you need to pack everything. However, it is a list of items to think about bringing. If you own your travel trailer or RV, some of these items you may have packed and stored in the camper year-round. If you’re renting an RV, these are some of the items you may want to bring with you. Check with the rental to see what they stock.
- Bedding or sleeping bags
- hiking boots or sturdy shoes
- sandals or flipflops for lazy afternoons
- Hammock – definitely not a need, but a nice to have!
- Camp Chairs
- Portable Fire Ring – if you are camping remotely or boondocking you may need your own fire ring. Check with the campground before you go. I like the one linked because it’s portable and folds up nice.
- Lighter Fluid
- Heavy-Duty Aluminum Foil
- String Lights to hang on the awning for additional ambiance
- Camping Lantern, to have some light to and from restrooms if needed.
- Outdoor Table Cloth – Standard Picnic tables are 28-30 inches wide, and 6 to 8 feet long. If you want a disposable table cloth, a 54 inch by 108 inches will work. You can buy a heavy-duty one, or get a simple plastic one when you order your groceries.
- Table Clips – To hold down your table cloth. I usually use what I have around the house. Large Binder Clips work for this.
- Portable Table – you may want a work table in addition to the picnic table. If you really want to go all out, get this camp table and organizer.
- Portable Grill – In case it rains, you can still grill under the awning.
- Trash Bags
- Coolers – Make sure you get a decent size for your whole family. You may have a refrigerator in the trailer, but it’s helpful to have additional cold storage.
- Paper Towels
- Outdoor Cookware – Your RV or travel trailer may have the cooking items you’re used to for your kitchen. But if you want to put a skillet over the fire, I recommend getting a Lodge Cast Iron set. We have this one and it serves as a pot, a dutch oven, and a skillet all in one.
- Cooking stand. This may not be necessary if you have a grate for the firepit (or if you’re using a grill) but I like this stand for using my cast iron over the fire. It’s heavy, but smaller diameter than a grate.
- Reusable dishes – or –
- Disposable plates, cups, and flatware. Go biodegradable to dispose of even easier.
- Roasting Sticks for marshmallows, hot dogs, etc.
Since packing for a camping trip is more involved than a regular trip, especially if you’re planning on cooking all your own meals, I save time by placing a grocery delivery order from services such as Instacart and Shipt. This way someone does the shopping for me, while I pack up the rest of what we need.
If you need advice on how to cook in an RV for a week, read here.
- Insect Repellant
- Bite Relief – I have something called the Bug Bite Thing, it uses a suction tool to get the bug venom out of you. I’m telling you it’s genius and it works well even on the horsefly bites I’ve gotten.
- Wipes – You will appreciate having something to clean your hands outdoors.
- Citronella Candle
- Toilet Paper
- First Aid Kit
- Shampoo, conditioner, soap
- Soccer ball
- Bocce Ball
- Whiffle Ball
Indoor or Picnic Table Games
Let’s face it, we know there may be a time when the weather is bad and we can’t be outside. Or maybe we’re just hanging out at the picnic table. This is where card games work well. They’re small, easy to pack, and perfect for smaller spaces. I have a list of family favorite card games here.
Camping Checklist Supplies
I’ve linked a lot of items above, but if you’re in need of camping supplies, I’d recommend checking out the stores that are experts in outdoor equipment and supplies. These are a few of my favorites.
- REI – If you have an REI near you, you can order online and pick up in-store or curbside pickup. Plus for a lifetime $20 fee, you can be a REI Co-Op member and get members-only offers, 10% back, in-store garage sales, and more. Learn more about the REI Co-Op here. Also, they offer free shipping for orders over $50.
- Eastern Mountain Sports – If you’re in the northeast, you’ve likely visited an Eastern Mountain Sports store. They have great specials on outdoor gear and a rewards program.
- Camping World is more than just RVs and travel trailers. They have everything you need for camping as well. It’s a great site to complete your camping checklist.
- Cabela’s – I know most people think of Cabela’s as hunting and fishing, but as these are outdoor activities, it stands to reason they’d have a lot of camping gear too. They also have a Club Membership where you can earn rewards.
- Dick’s Sporting Goods – While I normally shop here for my son’s soccer gear, I did buy a kayak from Dick’s, and they have a good selection of camping items. I like that you can order online and pick up at a store near you.