Camping Gear List

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.


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.

Campsite Bin

  • Tent(s), on top
  • Tarp(s), on top
  • Garbage bags
  • Fire starter sticks
  • Pocket bellow
  • Lighter
  • LED lantern(s)
  • Lightweight camp hammer
  • Paracord
  • Tent stakes
  • Batteries
  • Toilet paper
  • Bath wipes
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen

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


  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Ice

Adult Backpack 

  • Solar charger
  • 2 32-oz. water bottles
  • Paracord
  • Sleeping bag
  • Air mattress
  • Inflatable pillow
  • First-aid kit
  • Stuff sack with clothing
  • Food bag (lightweight drawstring bag)
    • Jetboil Sol
    • Food
    • Long spoon
    • Heat pouch
    • 1 qt. zip-lock baggies
    • Toothbrush
    • Toothpaste
    • Deodorant
  • Rain pants
  • Rain poncho
  • Rain hat
  • Bath wipes
  • Fire kit in zip-lock sandwich bag
    • Lighter
    • Fire starter sticks
  • Compass/whistle/thermometer
  • Map
  • Headlamp, stored without batteries
  • 6 AAA batteries
  • Multi-tool
  • Insect repellant
  • Sunscreen
  • Bear spray, if appropriate

Kid Backpack

  • Lightweight sleeping bag
  • Lightweight sleeping pad
  • Inflatable pillow
  • Clothes in stuff sack
  • Water bottles
  • 1 gal. zip-lock baggie for trash
  • 1 gal. zip-lock baggie with food and spork
  • Headlamp with batteries

Gear Favorites

  • Bins | Far and away, the best thing we did was consolidate our gear into bins. This saves us a truck-ton of time and headache each time we camp because what we need is always ready. The only items we pack are food and drink - that's it!
  • Kid Backpacks | Having your kids pack their own gear is a great way to get them into camping. When kids own and pack their gear, they're more engaged from the start. This instills great habits you can build on at camp, on the trails, and at home.
  • Paracord and Tarps | It's great to have extra tarps and paracord handy when the weather turns south. This can greatly expand the cover you have so you can enjoy your campsite - even in a driving rain.