Overnight Camping Checklist

Whether you’re a seasoned camper or embarking on your first overnight adventure, this checklist will ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable experience under the stars.

Shelter and Sleeping Gear

  • Tent (with stakes and guylines)
  • Ground tarp or footprint
  • Sleeping bag (appropriate for the season)
  • Sleeping pad or air mattress
  • Pillow (or use a stuff sack with clothes)
  • Extra tent stakes
  • Mallet or hammer (for stakes)

Cooking and Food

  • Portable stove or camping stove
  • Fuel for stove
  • Lighter and waterproof matches
  • Cookware (pots, pans)
  • Cooking utensils (spatula, ladle)
  • Eating utensils (fork, spoon, knife)
  • Plates, bowls, and cups
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Sponge and dishcloth
  • Trash bags (pack out what you pack in)
  • Cooler and ice (if needed)
  • Food (pre-planned meals and snacks)
  • Bear-proof containers (if in bear country)
  • Camp grill or portable fire pit (if allowed)


  • Weather-appropriate clothing (moisture-wicking and quick-dry materials)
  • Extra layers (for warmth at night)
  • Rain gear (jacket and pants)
  • Hiking boots or sturdy shoes
  • Camp shoes or sandals
  • Hat (for sun protection)
  • Gloves (if camping in colder weather)
  • Sleepwear

Personal Items

  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant)
  • Biodegradable soap and shampoo
  • Towel and washcloth
  • Toilet paper (and trowel if no facilities)
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription medications
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Personal identification and money

Navigation and Safety

  • Map and compass (or GPS)
  • Headlamp or flashlight (with extra batteries)
  • Multi-tool or knife
  • Whistle
  • Emergency blanket
  • Fire extinguisher (small, portable type)

Campsite Extras

  • Camp chairs or lightweight seating
  • Camping table (if no picnic table available)
  • Lantern (battery-operated or fuel)
  • Clothesline and clothespins
  • Camera or smartphone (for photos)
  • Books, cards, or games (for entertainment)


  • Backpack (to carry gear)
  • Daypack (for hikes from the campsite)
  • Water bottles or hydration system
  • Water filter or purification tablets
  • Weather-appropriate gear (sunglasses, rain cover)

Preparation and Final Checks

  • Check the weather forecast
  • Inform someone of your plans and location
  • Double-check all equipment and supplies
  • Leave a clean campsite (pack out all trash and belongings)