Camping Items

Okay, there are all of the obvious things – tent, sleeping bags, matches and flashlights. But what about those things you wished you hadn’t forgotten, or worse yet, never even thought about until you found yourself without them? Don't forget these camping essentials!

Young family camping

Think about it. You're going camping – living out of a tent or camper for a few days to a few weeks - and everything you and your family needs to exist on a day-to-day basis (toothbrush, pillow, deodorant, baby bottles, dishes, blankets and more) needs to come with you. Here are a few things you may not have thought about, but you'll probably wish you had.

1Family travel guideWood

It seems obvious that you'll need it – especially if you're planning on cooking your dinner over an open fire or roasting marshmallows just for fun. But did you consider you might actually need to bring it with you? Some parks have restrictions about taking wood and brush from the park, so be sure to scout out your particular camping location before you show up without any means for roasting.


If you're a seasoned camper, you probably have one of these in your camping stash. If you're not, you may be wondering, whatever for? Especially if you're bring your own wood; however, a hatchet can come in handy; particularly, if you buy one that can also serve as a hammer. Good for splitting wood or pounding in stakes for the tent.

3Plastic tablecloth

It may not feel like roughing, dragging a plastic tablecloth with you and putting it on that au natural picnic table, but it may be a good idea if you're planning to serve a meal there. That table has been sitting out in nature for goodness knows how many years, collecting crumbs and spills, and the footprints of critters going after the leftovers.


Most campsites, save the most primitive of them, usually offer some form of electricity. To keep yourself and your kids connected with the outside world (this may come in handy if they're driving you crazy), you don't want to be without the various chargers you may need throughout your stay. There's the cell phone, iPod, gaming device and camera to name the most obvious, but what about the electric tools and flashlights you brought or the portable DVD player to keep the kids occupied just for a few minutes while you assemble the tent?

5Duct Tape

It's magic and you never know when you might need it. It can repair rips in canvas, vinyl and plastic, hold together wires or cables and it has hundreds of other uses. If the astronauts and MacGyver can put it to good use in a pinch, then it's a must have for any outdoor adventure.


You can't have too many batteries (and make sure you have all the right sizes – AA, AAA, C and D and any other size you may need), because you never know when you might run out. Sometimes it seems that you just put in a set of batteries when you need to replace them. Like the digital camera you used all day because seeing grandpa up on water skis was too good to pass up (without evidence). Or the flashlight you end up needing more than you thought.


Unless you brought the refrigerator along with the kitchen sink, ice is a luxury, so stock up, especially if you're bringing along items that need to be kept cold, such as medicines, baby milk or even food.

More camping tips



Comments on "Camping checklist: 7 things you’ll probably forget"

debra June 28, 2012 | 8:42 AM

Yeah cause no one who goes camping would ever remember anything they need. People do forget things because they are distracted getting ready, but some of these writers need to have a little more faith that not everyone goes by the seat of their pants and doesnt make a list. and here is one for you, if you are so deperate you need "chargers" and things electronic, well, you arent really camping anyway, go find a hotel!

Grizzly Bear June 28, 2012 | 5:34 AM

If in bear country ... rope to hang food off ground, bear pepper spray and a firearm for safety...just saying

Va Girl June 26, 2012 | 6:50 AM

LOLOLOL. This article is for those with pull along campers going to parks where they hook up to water and electricity I'm sure. When we camp we rough it. Not only a hatchet, but chain saw because hell you're already IN THE WOODS so why bring wood? Ice? Of else does all the beer stay cold on the trip to the campsite? Batteries? I guess. We have enough oil lamps, campfire, and large flashlights we keep charged up not to worry about that detail. (Toothbrushes...oh yeah). Duct tape? (Um....I suppose. You may bust a hose in your truck pulling your camper along.) Plastic table cloth (LMAO)? How about the paper PLATES instead? Or utensils?? Last of all how about a LIGHTER so you can use that wood and hatchet and not have to rub sticks together to get your fire going? Hell...and sleeping pills since whoever wrote this list would not be able to sleep for the nightingales and crickets? (and the worry of all they forgot ;>)

Tammy June 26, 2012 | 6:03 AM

lol, i camp very differently! my must haves after my tent and toothbrush are...electrical cord with outlet expander, fan, coffee maker, rechargeable flashlights, air mattress with electric inflater...i only camp where there is electricity and restaurants close by!

Valgus June 24, 2012 | 11:13 AM

The tent shown in the picture has bent rod hooks for "tent stakes". They do not need to be hammered in with a hatchet. A pair of pliers works fine and is safer.

Valgus June 24, 2012 | 10:54 AM

Bring a hatchet to chop wood on your camping trip, you'd better bring a very complete first aid kit, too; especially if you have curious and adventurous children with you. Also, you might need it for your self if you are a self proclaimed, frontier Davey Crockett from the big city.

stewart hart June 23, 2012 | 3:41 AM

The most important camping tool(s) are a tarp, good tent, matches and plenty of booze. Duct tape, ice, beer and hot dogs...AND JUST HAVE FUN! Oh ya, make certain you have a full tank of gas in vehicle of choice. "Nothing worst than be stranded" in the woods.

gary June 22, 2012 | 7:23 AM

go to a nudist resort-you dont need all that junk there. hope this helps.

Stephen June 22, 2012 | 6:13 AM

Just went camping. Brought a small propane grill. Worked great. Didn't need wood or hatchet or saw. Brought a hammer, tablecloth, phone chargers. Didn't need duct tape. Brought batteries, but didn't need them. In a break with tradition, instead of bringing lots of free ice, we froze a huge block and brought it. This lasted much longer than a bunch of cubes. The plan was to buy bags of ice during the trip, and less ice was needed. Next time, we'll shape the ice block to the cooler. But there's different kinds of camping. There's backpacking. There's canoeing. If you're ten feet from the car, it's car camping. There's pop-up camping. There's trailer camping. And so on.

Dave June 22, 2012 | 6:04 AM

Wood is a bad idea unless you are camping in a spot that is local to the wood source. Carrying wood from area to area can result in spread of beetles and other wood parasites that destroy the forest where you are camping. I would change the recommendation to "Remember to pick up for fires near the camp site". Also, check local fire restrictions, with the current weather having a camp fire might be out of the question.

Mark June 13, 2012 | 12:40 AM

glow-sticks. 'drinking' water in unbreakable bottles. bleach for cleaning the bottles, etc. When you are hiking, or just a ways off from the campsite, and get cut, or otherwise filthy - it helps to have a spare bottle of water to pour onto the dirty injury, or to wash hands off - better than nothing at all. Compass. Avon "Skin-so-soft" - people tell me it won't keep the insects away - I only get mosquitoes and horseflies where I don't get the Skin-so-soft applied. I find that the regular kind works at least as well as the insect-repellant type Avon sells. Also - take a good sunscreen - No-Ad seems to be best at doing what sunscreens are for - and cheapest, as well. Always carry a bar of handsoap, and a roll of toilet tissue - you will find a use for it.

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