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How to Pack Items for a Camping Trip

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It's a great time of year to plan a camping trip, and we want to make sure you are fully prepared to hit the woods. Here are some packing tips and a list of camping essentials that will help you get organized for the great outdoors.

How to Pack Items for a Camping Trip

Work out the details of your trip

There are many details to consider when going camping, namely: Where are you going camping? How long are you going for? What's the weather going to be like? Figuring out the answers to these questions will help you pack accordingly, ensuring you are prepared for your trip.

If you are only camping for a night or two, you won't need more than a couple of outfits. Make sure to check the weather forecast before you pack. If you anticipate rain, pack a poncho, boots, and extra tarps to keep your campsite dry and free of mud.

Decide what to bring for a camping trip and create a packing

Now's the time to write down what things to bring and what to leave at home. If you've been camping before, you already have a good idea of what you'll need, and if you're planning a camping trip for the first time, you should create a list of things and organize them into categories such as clothing, travel gear, food, and miscellaneous items.

This will not only keep you organized when you pack, but you'll also figure out what you may need to purchase before you go.

Purchase anything you need and update your list

Now that you have a list of essentials for camping packing list filled out, you can head to the store to pick up the items you still need. Once you've purchased everything important, be sure to update that list.

What to pack for camping

When you are packing for a trip, use your packing list to make sure you don't forget anything important. Following are some things to pack for camping:

  • Clothing - shirts, pants / shorts, jacket / poncho, bathing suits : Pack the appropriate types of clothing for the weather. If it's going to be rainy or get cold at night, bring a jacket, sweater, or poncho. If you plan to swim, pack a swimsuit and a towel. Don't overpack! You don't want to be lugging around unnecessary weight. Choose lightweight clothes that are comfortable and easy to wear more than once.
  • Eating and drinking essentials : Chances are you'll have to prepare your own food, so, make sure to pack cookware, food, trash bags, water bottles, and other eating and drinking essentials. Make sure you have fresh water as well.
  • Camping essentials : Pack these essentials a few days in advance and double check everything before you leave. Check off each item on the checklist as you put it in the car.
  • Tent :

    Tip: Pack your tent last so you can unload them from your vehicle first.

    • Pillows and sleeping bag: Pack a season-appropriate sleeping bag: heavy for autumn/winter, lightweight for spring/summer.
    • Backpack
    • Flashlights (with extra batteries)
    • Lighter/lantern
    • Compass/GPS
    • Bug spray
    • Toilet paper
  • Personal essentials : Pack only these basic necessities:
    • Sunglasses
    • Camera with lens
    • Cell phone and charger
    • Toiletries
    • First aid kit / medication
    • Towels
    • Hiking boots / sneakers

Once your gear is packed and your vehicle loaded, double-check your camping checklist to confirm that all the essential items are packed.

Pro tip: If you're camping with kids, pack some toys or other activities, music, and extra snacks!

Ryan Hussey  Posted by Ryan Hussey on June 25, 2015

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