How to Pack for Camping: 6 Best Tips to Prepare

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It’s time to pack for your camping trip! Perhaps this is the least fun of all camping-related tasks, but a necessary one. Forgetting an essential item for a camping trip could spell disaster. Whether you’re a seasoned camper, or you’re planning your first camping trip, you might need help to pack for your trip. Ideally, it will take some of the thinking out of the equation, so you can have a stress-free packing experience!

These following six tips will help you on how to pack for camping. Once you mastered these packing techniques, you can get excited about your trip and have tons of fun!

1. Figure Out What You Need

Alright, let’s start at the beginning. Besides your toiletry items and clothing, what do you need for your camping trip? Consider the activities you’ll be doing. For example, if you plan on doing some fishing at your campsite, you’ll need to bring a fishing rod, a tackle box, bait, etc. Another thing to consider is the meals. What will you be cooking? What ingredients are needed? Start figuring all of this out in your head and in the next step we’ll start putting a checklist together.

2. Make a Checklist

The best way on how to pack for camping is to create a checklist. Start your checklist off with the items you need for the activities you’re planning. Once that is out of the way, write down the ingredients you need for the recipes you’ll be making. Once recreation and food are considered, start listing out all the camping gear you’ll need.

Next up, pack your regular items like clothing and shampoo. It’s a good idea to start this checklist a couple of weeks in advance so you can keep thinking of items and keep adding things to the list, and then start packing the items.

If you’re having trouble thinking about what to bring, or you’re concerned that you may forget something, there are tons of camping checklists online that you can find to help you. You can also team up with a friend who will be on your trip and split the more general items. For example, they can bring the ingredients for one dinner, or some of the packing gear that you can share.

3. Stick to the Basics

Camping is supposed to bring you back to the basics, so don’t get too fancy with what you bring to your campsite. As long as you have the basics, you should be fine. Worst case scenario you forget something, but maybe there’s a store nearby or perhaps one of the other campers has what you’re looking for. If your trip is only for a night or two, don’t sweat the packing too much as you’ll be back before you know it!

4. Pack Your Backpack Properly

You don’t want to be stuck lugging a bulging, heavy backpack around on your trip, so only pack the things you absolutely need. Don’t overpack in the clothes department. It also helps to roll your clothes so you can make the most of the space in your backpack. Another good hack is to pack small items in your glasses case.

Even better, if you have an old one lying around use it to pack things like headphones, tweezers, hair elastics, medication and whatever else you may need. If you’re packing an extra pair of shoes, the space inside your shoes is perfect for packing socks and holding smaller items. If you’re bringing your kids along, you can actually pack their shoes inside of yours, saving you tons of space!

5. Check Campsite Regulations

If you want to learn how to pack for camping, check your campsite regulations before you start to pack. Each campsite is different, and they all have regulations on what you can and cannot bring to the site. For example, some sites allow campfires while others do not. By knowing this in advance, you’ll know not to pack items for a campfire and so on. Google your campsite online and make sure you take note if something you were planning on bringing isn’t allowed. Better safe than sorry!

6. Don’t Leave Packing to the Last Minute

The final tip we have for you is don’t leave your packing to the last minute! This is when you’ll be most likely to forget an item because you’re rushing. Since you naturally need more items when you go on a camping trip than say, a hotel for a night or two, you need to be organized, both you for your stress level and for how well you pack.

Take that checklist you created and start pulling all of your toiletry items together, your clothing, your camping supplies, etc. at least a week in advance. This gives you time to look at the items for a few days and notice whether you’ve forgotten anything.

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