The two most common causes of a bad camping trip are poor planning and entirely too much gear.

Kentucky Hiker Gear List | Camping

I remember one of our first family camping trips. We had our car packed to capacity, seriously dated gear, and decided to go when we knew there would be heavy rain. I recall driving home at about 3 a.m. on Sunday morning after being awakened by a river of water running through our tent. We hastily put the kids in the car, broke down camp, and managed to throw our no-longer-waterproof tent in the dumpster on the way out. Whoops.

That was a long time ago, but many can relate to disastrous camping trips. With better planning and gear choices, your camping trip won't end up like ours so many years ago.

To ensure your next (or first) camping adventure doesn't turn into the fiasco we endured, start with the gear list below. It'll put you well ahead of the game by allowing you to pack up in 15 minutes and setup camp in under 30 - all while knowing you have everything you need for a great time.

  • Camp bin
    • Tent(s), on top
    • Tarp(s), on top
    • Garbage bags
    • Fire starter sticks
    • Pocket bellow
    • Lighter
    • LED lantern(s)
    • Lightweight camp hammer
    • Backup paracord
    • Backup tent stakes
    • Backup batteries
    • Backup propane/butane tank
  • Food bin
    • Stove
    • Propane/butane
    • 12" non-stick skillet
    • Spatula and spoon
    • Knives with sheaths
    • Telescoping roasting forks
    • Plates, cups, sporks
    • Paper towels
    • Hand towels
    • Dish soap
    • Aluminum foil
    • Seasonings
    • Dry foods
  • Cooler
    • Food
    • Drinks
    • Ice
  • Adult backpack
    • Lightweight sleeping bag
    • Lightweight sleeping pad
    • Inflatable pillow
    • Clothes in stuff sack
    • Water bottles
    • Headlamp with batteries
  • Kid backpack
    • Lightweight sleeping bag
    • Lightweight sleeping pad
    • Inflatable pillow
    • Clothes in stuff sack
    • Water bottles
    • Headlamp with batteries