What To Take Camping For One Night? Ultimate Checklist

Last Updated on 27/05/2022

What To Take Camping For One Night

What To Take Camping For One Night?

If you are new to camping or it has been a while since you dusted off your tent, you may be asking yourself what you need to take camping for one night. The natural instinct is to pack more than you actually need which makes for a heavy backpack and a lot of unnecessary gear that doesn’t get used. In this 1-night camping checklist, we will explain all the essentials as well as some home comforts that are not so essential.

The essentials consist of things like your tent and sleeping bag as well as food, water, and clothing. The home comforts are things that you can live without but will ultimately make for a more comfortable camp. While many of you will not be trekking over mountains to reach your campsite, most of you will be looking for camping gear that is compact and lightweight.

Deciding what to take camping for one night can be difficult if you don’t know what to expect. I first wrote this camping checklist for one night as my own resource to use when packing my bag. I found myself writing a new list each time I went camping until I decided to publish it here so I hope it covers everything you need for 1-night camping and two days hiking.

I don’t take all of this on every overnight camping trip but depending on many different factors, I will use each of these items at one point or another. If there is something I have missed please feel free to get in contact.

Camping Essentials for One Night

  • Tent or Hammock with Tarp
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Mat
  • Camping Pillow
  • Head Torch
  • Toiletries – Sun cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, medication

Hiking Essentials for Two Days

  • Footwear
  • Backpack
  • Waterproofs
  • Walking Poles
  • Navigation system

Food and Drink for One Night Camping

I normally take a small stove even when only camping for 1 night but this is mostly for a cup of coffee in the morning. Most of the food I eat will be premade before the trip and only occasionally will I cook anything.

  • 2 liters of water most days and use a water filter as and when needed
  • Alcoholic drink for 
  • Nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate as a trail mix
  • Evening Meal
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee


Unlike the hiking and camping essentials above, clothing is very dependent on the climate you are camping in and the weather conditions you might expect. Only half of these might be relevant for your trip but it is better to have them all down than forget one.

  • Sun cap
  • warm hat
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof pants
  • Fleece
  • Bodywarmer – I use this as a pillow inside a dry bag on a night
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • 2 x t-shirts
  • Lightweight hiking pants
  • Shorts
  • Jogging bottoms
  • Underwear
  • 2 x pairs of pure wool socks
  • Pair of thin socks to wear underneath in case of blisters
  • Sandals or slippers


These extras may or may not be essential to you but are things I occasionally pack if the circumstances warrant it.

  • Dry bags – keep your bag organized and your gear dry
  • Powerbank – charge your phone
  • Water filter – Save weight carrying water, I use the Sawyer Mini which I would recommend
  • Ankle and knee support 
  • Hiking poles
  • Gas and stove
  • Kettle, cup, and spoon
  • Book to read
  • Headphones
  • Multi-tool or knife
  • Eco-friendly soap for bathing
  • First aid – plasters, compeed for blisters, pain killers, deep heat etc
  • Bug spray or head net

Keeping the Weight Down

It is always important to keep your overall pack weight as low as possible when carrying camping gear on a hike. The heavier your pack is the harder the walking will be and the more likely you are to be injured. The easiest way to reduce pack weight is to buy lightweight options for the heaviest items. For example, you could save several kilos just by getting a lighter tent and sleeping bag. One foolproof way to save weight is to take a smaller backpack so that you can’t take too much stuff.

Is It Worth Camping for One Night?

Camping is one of the best ways to escape the stress of everyday life and demanding jobs. It is also an amazing way to spend a night with friends or a partner. Camping for one night is totally worth it and in some ways is one of the best ways to get into camping in the first place. The best thing about camping for just one night is that you can take some extra home comforts as you won’t have to fill your backpack with days of supplies.


I hope you have found what you need to take camping for one night in this checklist. Subscribe and like our Facebook page for more info.

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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.

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