Essential Camping Gear List

Last Updated on 01/05/2023


Here is the basic camping gear list I use before every trip I take. You will unlikely take everything on this list all at once. Instead, you can pick and choose the things you need knowing that you haven’t forgotten any of the important things.

Embarking on a camping adventure is always an exciting endeavor, and having the right gear can significantly enhance your experience. As a fellow outdoor enthusiast, I’ve put together a comprehensive camping gear list to help you prepare for your journey. By sharing my personal favorites and recommendations, I hope to make your time in nature more comfortable, safe, and enjoyable.

Camping Gear List

Here are some of the most important items you will need to go camping:

  1. Tent (Alternatives: Bivvy Bag, Tarp)
  2. Self Inflating Sleeping Pad (Alternatives: Air Mattress, Foam Pad, Camping Cot, or other alternatives)
  3. Sleeping Bag (Alternatives: Quilt, Blanket, Sleeping Bag Liner)
  4. Camping Pillow (Inflatable, Memory Foam, or other alternatives)
  5. Hammock and Tarp (Optional Extras: Hammock Underquilt)
  6. Headlamp or Flashlight (Spare Batteries)

Camping Cooking Gear

Here are the essential cooking items I take camping on an average weekend and some more optional items for summer:

  1. Gas Stove (Alternatives: Liquid Fuel Stove, Multi-Fuel Stove)
  2. Stove Fuel (Optional Extra: Gas Canister Stand, Wind Block)
  3. Lighter (Alternatives: Matches, Firestarter Tool)
  4. Water Boiling Pot or Kettle
  5. Cooking Pots and Pans
  6. Drinking Mug
  7. Titanium Spork
  8. Knife
  9. Water Bottle
  10. BBQ or Grill
  11. Dutch Oven

campfire fun with friends outside tent

Camp Kitchen List

Before I plan the specific meals I will be eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I default to these eight items:

  1. Coffee and Coffee Press
  2. Sugar
  3. Salt and Pepper
  4. Oil
  5. Rice
  6. Jerky
  7. Trail Mix
  8. Camp Meals

Clothing List for Camping

Never overpack clothing for camping because you will find that you only end up wearing one pair of pants and the same tops day after day when showers aren’t so important. This is what I start with:

  1. Hiking Boots
  2. Underwear
  3. Socks
  4. Base Layer
  5. Shorts
  6. Pants
  7. T-shirt
  8. Hoodie
  9. Fleece
  10. Warm Jacket
  11. Hat or Cap
  12. Scarf or Neck Gaiter
  13. Gloves or Mittens
  14. Waterproof Jacket
  15. Waterproof Pants
  16. Rain Poncho
  17. Camp Shoes, Slippers, or Sandals
  18. Gaiters
  19. Swimsuit
  20. Towel

bushcraft auger with scotch drill bit

Hand Tools

At a campsite, I won’t take most of these, but when wild camping in the woods, tools like an axe and saw can be a real asset.

  1. Knife
  2. Multi-Tool
  3. Axe
  4. Saw
  5. Lighter
  6. Auger
  7. Sharpening Stone
  8. Water Filter
  9. Fishing Set


Toiletries and medications are very personal, but some basics you can start with are:

  1. Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  2. Biodegradable Soap
  3. Sun Lotion
  4. Bug Spray
  5. Lip Balm
  6. Antiseptic Spray
  7. First Aid Kit
  8. Biodegradable Shampoo
  9. Baby Wipes
  10. Ear Plugs

This camping gear list is an ongoing checklist that I will add to as and when I add new gear to my camping kit.

Gear Assistant
Gear Assistant

This article has been written and/or edited by Andrew N. 20+ years of hiking, mountaineering, and camping experience, with access to all the latest outdoor gear.

Gear Assistant