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The Ultimate Camping Checklist For Your Summer Adventure

By: Goal Zero Editors

The Ultimate Camping Checklist For Your Summer Adventure

If you’re anything like us, you’re counting down the days until it’s warm enough to head out on your first camping adventure of the summer season. Escaping into the outdoors, be it solo or with a large group of friends and family, is a tried and true way to let go of undue stress and live presently in the moment — and it doesn’t hurt that it’s really fun, too.

If you’re not a seasoned camper or career backpacker, assembling supplies for even a short trip into the great outdoors can be intimidating, but never fear. We’ve put together an inclusive camping checklist for minimalist and maximalist campers alike, so you can pack up stress-free and hit the road.

Here is your ultimate camping checklist for your next outdoor adventure:

Food and Cooking

The food you bring on camping trips can vary significantly, depending on your personal tastes, the length of your trip, and how likely you are to bring an icebox to store non-perishables. If simple is more your style, pack compact, lightweight camping cookware and dining/utensil sets and cook easy, one-pot camping meals over a propane stove.

A cast-iron pan or dutch oven also work wonders if you want to cook your meals over an open fire — and never forget the power of tin foil dinners.

Must-Haves:

  • Compact cookset
  • Portable kitchen utensil set
  • Potholder/oven mitt
  • Cutlery
  • Plates and bowls
  • Cutting board
  • Water or water purifier
  • Camp stove
  • Fuel
  • Cooler
  • Ice
  • Lighter
  • Foodstuffs
  • Food storage containers
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Sponge
  • Dishtowel

Extras:

  • Charcoal
  • Matches or lighter
  • Firewood
  • Marshmallow sticks
  • Foil
  • For coffee lovers: Aeropress
  • For espresso lovers: Moka pot
  • Coffee/espresso beans
  • Handheld coffee grinder
  • Bottle opener/Corkscrew
  • Cast Iron skillet
  • Dutch oven
  • Can opener
  • Microfiber towel
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Portable camp sink
  • Drying rack
  • Resealable storage bags

Campsite Gear

These essential items are basically a no-brainer, but what kind of camping checklist would this be if we did not include them? Make sure you’re prepared with everything you need to sleep comfortably outdoors.

Essentials:

  • Tent
  • Sleeping pads
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillows
  • Knife or multi-tool

Extras:

  • Air mattresses
  • Air mattress pump
  • Tarp or sun shade
  • Blankets
  • Daypacks
  • Folding chairs
  • Folding table
  • Tablecloth with clips

Lighting

Flashlights are, of course, essential for lighting your way through the forest at night. But coming prepared with additional campsite lighting to better illuminate the entire area can make your entire experience that much more comfortable. Consider bringing a few lanterns to rest on surfaces and even hanging some outdoor lights overhead.

Personal Items

For convenience and simplicity, everyone on your camping trip should pack their own, small toiletry bag with travel-sized personal items. This helps with organization and keeping everything lightweight and easy to move around.

  • First-aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Medications
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush
  • Toiletries
  • Insect repellent
  • Toilet paper
  • Brush
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lip balm
  • Mirror
  • Brush/comb

Entertainment

If you’re heading out into the wilderness alone, a book or two will do to keep you entertained on those quiet, peaceful nights. But if you’re planning a fun family or friends camping trip, definitely bring along toys and games for technology-free nights of quality time.

  • Board games
  • Puzzles
  • Playing cards
  • Water toys
  • Sports balls and equipment
  • Kites
  • Musical instruments
  • Books

Power

Listen, we get the whole point of a camping trip is to “unplug,” but having access to power in case of emergencies — or for entertainment purposes — isn’t a bad thing. A lightweight, portable solar panel can charge your lights and devices directly, or charge up a power station for later use — so you can play music, charge up your camera, and keep your phone charged for emergencies or GPS.

Miscellaneous camping items

  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Radio or speaker
  • Pet food and supplies

Be ready for any adventure. Shop Goal Zero’s portable power and lighting.

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