Car Camping Gear

Camping Gear Essentials: The Ultimate Checklist

Are you ready to take on your next camping adventure? Planning a camping trip can be overwhelming, especially when packing the essentials. Whether you are a seasoned camper or a beginner, compiling the perfect camping gear checklist ensures you bring everything you need for your outdoor excursion. In this post, we run through the ultimate camping gear essentials for all your campsite camping needs.

Are you thinking of backpacking or taking a canoe/kayak camping trip? Your ultimate camping gear checklist will look somewhat different, which we’ll cover later.

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1. Essentials for a Comfortable Camping Experience

Basic camping gear requirements are simple; a tent and sleeping bag – as some would say, “everything else is a luxury”! I, for one, would prefer a more comfortable camping experience, especially when children are involved! For an enjoyable experience, campers should pack quality sleeping equipment, reliable shelter and practical items.

*Do not forget batteries and air pump if using an air mattress.


2. All the Camping Gear Essentials That You Need for Cooking 

Roasting Marshmallows
Roasting Marshmallows

At the campsite, you need the right gear for cooking. Whether you’re grilling steaks, boiling potatoes, or brewing coffee, we’ve got all the camp kitchen essentials you need for a delicious and unforgettable outdoor meal.

  • Camp Stove & Fuel (Small or Large)
  • Fire Starter (Matches / Lighter / Ferro Rod)
  • Pots & Pan
  • Cutlery & Cooking Utensils
  • Roasting Sticks
  • Bottle Opener / Can Opener / Corkscrew
  • Knife & Cutting Board
  • Plates, Bowls, Cups, Mugs
  • Water Bottles
  • Food Storage Containers
    • Aluminum Foil / Ziploc Bags / Paper Towel
  • Cooler & Ice Packs
  • Camp Sink or Bin
    • Soap, Scrubber, Dish Towel
  • Recycling & Trash Bags
  • Water Jug / Water Filter (if no drinkable water at the campground)
  • Firewood
    • Axe
  • Small Broom & Dust Pan
  • Snacks / S’mores Ingredients
  • Coffee / Tea Bags / Drinks
  • Recipes & Meal Ingredients

3. Important Camping Gear Essentials for Safety and Survival 

Emergency Camping Gear
Emergency Camping Gear

Emergencies have a way of challenging your plans. What better way to deal with these emergencies than being prepared with essential safety and survival gear? Not only are you better prepared, but it also puts your mind at ease knowing you have the proper safety gear! From flashlights and fire starters to bear-resistant food containers and bug spray, these items will make your outdoor adventure one to remember.

  • Knife / Multi-tool
  • Paracord
  • First Aid Kit / Emergency Antibiotic Kit / IFAK Kit
  • Repair Kits for Air Mattress, Tent, Poles
  • Duct Tape
  • Flashlight
  • Whistle
  • Bug Spray / Sunscreen / Calamine Lotion
  • Bear Safety Gear
  • Map / GPS / Compass
  • Daypack
  • Bandana

4. Camping Necessities for Staying Clean

Keeping clean while camping is paramount to protecting your health. Without proper hygiene, you put yourself at risk of infection from bacteria and other microorganisms. Stay clean with this necessity list for a safe and healthy camping experience.

  • Toiletry Kit (soap, shampoo & conditioner, deodorant)
  • Toothbrush / Toothpaste
  • Brush / Comb
  • Make-up
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Menstrual Products
  • Wet Wipes / Alcohol Wipes
  • Quick Dry Towel / Wash Cloths
  • Toilet Paper

5. Clothing and Personal Effects

Before packing for your camping trip, be sure to check the forecast so you can bring the best clothing for the conditions. Opt for moisture-wicking and quick-drying fabrics to ensure you stay comfortable and dry whatever the weather. Don’t forget to pack layers, as temperatures often drop significantly in the evenings at your campsite!

  • Hat / Toque / Gloves
  • Shorts / Pants
  • Short-Sleeve / Long-Sleeve Shirts
  • Sweater
  • Jacket / Fleece
  • Rainwear
  • Socks & Underwear (sports bra)
  • Boots / Shoes / Sandals
  • Swimwear
  • Sleepwear
  • Lip Balm
  • Medication / Allergy Medicine / Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen
  • Sunglasses / Extra Pair of Glasses or Contacts
  • Ear Plugs
  • Power Bank / Batteries
  • Cellphone
  • ID
  • Credit Card / Cash
  • Park Pass
  • Dry Bags / Stuff Sacks

6. Additional Accessories To Consider

Relaxing in a Hammock

Now that you have your basics packed, there are some entertainment camping essentials to consider. These items will keep you sane when the children are bored or when you need a break from nature, or to make your camping outing more comfortable. From a hammock to a portable coffeemaker to games and bikes, these items will have you relaxing in no time.

  • Hammock
  • Portable Table
  • Bug Shelter
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cots
  • Clothesline & Clips
  • Bins to Store Kitchen Items
  • Field Guides / Star Chart / Books
  • Bikes
  • Art Supplies / Games
  • Watersport Gear & PFD’s
  • Music Player / Camera
  • Dog Gear
  • Binoculars

Now You’re Ready for Your Next Camping Trip!

Camping Gear Essentials - Infographic
Camping Gear – Infograph

This ultimate checklist of camping gear essentials includes everything you might need for a successful and comfortable outdoor adventure. Utilize this guide to ensure you pack all the essential gear, from cooking and sleeping items to safety and hygiene supplies. Don’t forget to bring a few additional accessories to make the trip more enjoyable.

Start packing confidently for your camping trip using this ultimate camping gear checklist. 

Please share this post with your fellow camping enthusiasts to ensure they are adequately prepared for their next outdoor mission. Lastly, you may want to head to Ontario Parks and book now for the upcoming season.

Purchase the Items in This Post

We have sprinkled the post with links to some incredible gear! These are the exact items we own and use ourselves at BushLife, and they come highly recommended.

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Katherine Widziak
Katherine Widziak

I am a mother of two adventurous children, a graphic designer and entreprenuer. My passion is the outdoors - I can start a fire, setup camp, ride an ATV, shoot a gun on target and out fish just about any man, including my husband, just don't tell him! ;)

When not working away at something creative, you'll find me enjoying the outdoors in one form or another. Hopefully I can inspire many women and men alike to pursue their outdoors goals and embark on new adventures.

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