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How to Pack According to the Ultimate Camping Checklist

Come up with your ultimate camping checklist, and you'll be prepared for anything the great outdoors tosses your way.


  • Step 1: Pack protection and comfort Pack tents, stakes, poles, fly sheets, rope, and a tarp to protect against the elements. Ensure comfort inside with pillows, pads, and air mattresses. Don't forget the air pump!
  • Step 2: Bring fire and cookware Jam in the cook stove, cooler, and a supply of clean water. You'll need can openers, bowls, pots, pans, and maybe a griddle, depending on the menu. Bring fire starters and newspaper, which means a fire extinguisher for emergencies.
  • TIP: Cover the basics and make sure you have the camp permit signed, sealed, and safe in a spot where it won't get moved.
  • Step 3: Stock food Box up canned goods, peanut butter, and bread, as well as tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, for basic nutrition. Toss in some spices for special meals. Keep the butter, eggs, cheese, vegetables, and juices in the cooler.
  • Step 4: Prepare and clean Include aluminum foil, plastic bags, and cutting knives to make and keep food. This means you will need measuring cups, tongs, garbage bags, a pot scrubber, paper towels, and dish soap, even if you supply napkins and paper plates.
  • Step 5: Plan for the worst Light up the darkness with candles and waterproof matches, flashlights and extra batteries, and a lantern. Pack fly swatters, hatchets, and mosquito repellent. To handle other eventualities, don't forget the broom and dustpan, and always carry duct tape, if only to fix something on the car.
  • Step 6: Anticipate bad weather Anticipate every kind of weather by complementing a supply of shorts, tank tops, and swim trunks with hats, long johns, and sweatshirts. Rain ponchos and boots should be stuffed somewhere in the back of the vehicle, because if you don't bring them, you'll suddenly need them.
  • Step 7: Maintain hygiene Preserve good hygiene by remembering shampoo, soap, a shaving kit, toothpaste, and toilet paper.
  • TIP: Cosmetics, deodorants, and other sprays attract bugs, so avoid them if you can.
  • Step 8: Tote the cell Tote a cellphone for emergency communications, but nothing else if you're out to have a quiet commune with nature.
  • Step 9: Supply first aid Tuck in the first-aid kit, tools, chairs, camera, books, and sewing kit and you're sure to have a great, safe time -- as long as you don't forget your wallet.
  • FACT: The founder of recreational camping, Thomas Hiram Holding, wrote the first "Camper's Handbook" in 1908. He crossed the American prairies with his parents as a child.

You Will Need

  • Protection from the elements
  • Cooking tools
  • Food
  • Storage supplies
  • Lighting
  • Insect repellant
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Clothing for all weather
  • Hygiene supplies
  • Cellphone
  • First-aid kit
  • Leisure supplies

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