photo by Grant Ritchie

Camping is a quintessential summer activity to connect family, friends with nature. After securing a campsite, the next step is planning what you need to bring for the trip . If you have camped before, the task is mostly about restocking consumables (such a propane cylinders, fire starters, etc.). Plus, replacing damaged or worn gear from the previous camping trip.

If this is your first time planning for a camping trip, you need to gather the necessary camping gear in order to stay dry, warm and fed. Thankfully, most campgrounds allow vehicles parked right at the campsite (a.k.a. “car camping”). Therefore, you can pack a lot more items versus walk-in camping where you must park your vehicle and walk a distance to the campsite.

Plan Early

Packing for your first camping trip may seem a little daunting because it’s essentially a “mini-move”. So our advice is “plan early”. Adding to the complexity is you will not have all necessary camping gear for your first trip. So you need time to research and purchase them. Also to note, the total cost of your new camping gear will add up very quickly.

Don’t Buy, Borrow

Speaking from our own experience, you should consider borrowing the camping gear for your first camping trip if you are able. This way, you would not invest in gear that you might not use again. After all, factors such as gap between expectation and reality, weather, campsite condition and other campers’ behaviours may ultimately affect your feeling about camping. Thankfully, most friends we have camped together previously have continued camping over the years. So, that’s a testament that camping could be quite enjoyable. For us, camping is an escape from the city and tech and an opportunity to appreciate nature.

Limit Camping Gear Budget

If you insist on buying your own camping gear, you don’t have to fork out a fortune. Set a budget and buy camping gear from your local discount stores, online retailers and even dollar stores. Buying camping gear designed for avid campers who demand superior durability, compact and lightness is just a waste of money. The reason is you will likely only camp once or maybe twice a year (for beginner campers anyway).

To help you get started, we have compiled a list of camping gear you should consider bringing. Depending on your comfort level with camping, you may pack less or more than our checklist.

Camping Gear Check List Part 1
Shelter
Around the Tent
Wearable
Camping Gear Check List Part 3
Food Safety
Cooking
Dining
Camping Gear Check List Part 2
Hygiene & Showers
Personal Protection
Camping Gear Check List Part 4
Tools
Fun/Things-To-Do
Just-In-Case
Optional Gear
Camping Gear Packing Tips
♥ Start packing and examine your gear at least 2 weeks in advance if possible.
♥ Check 7-day weather forecast and pack clothing accordingly.
♥ Always pack extra socks, a hoodie and rain jacket.
Keep your meals simple. Less Ingredients = Less Packing.
♥ Don’t forget your phone chargers, sunglasses, tooth brush & bike lock!
♥ Check your mail; lock your doors/windows; turn off oven/stove before leaving your home.
♥ After the trip, store items in designated camping totes for your next trip!
♥ Click on “Download” below to get a printable version of the checklist.

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