Ultimate Camping Checklist
A luxurious weekend getaway at an all-inclusive resort is vastly different than a weekend spent camping in the glory of nature. Forget your hygiene kit while staying at a nice resort? Staff will likely assist you in locating affordable replacement items while supplying you with the basics to accommodate your planning snafu. The remote campsite is far less forgiving and depending on which items were forgotten, your idyllic weekend may be spent in misery. The key to avoiding such misery and having a holistically successful camping trip is preparation, or in other words, a basic camping checklist.
A lifetime of Learning the Family Camping Checklist
I was lucky to be wilderness born and bred. I spent a minimum of 3 months a year living on the shore of a small remote lake in Northern Wisconsin. Our shower was an outdoor rigging fed by a hose connected to our single indoor kitchen faucet, there was no indoor plumbing and we delightfully indulged in meals captured and cooked outdoors. Preparing for our outdoor life was much like preparing for any camping expedition. Since the lake was 4 ½ hours from home, running back to the house because we “forgot something” was not an option. The key to our success was exclusively dependent on our adherence to our comprehensive camping supplies checklist. These lists covered age and gender-based needs, safety, nutritional, household and miscellaneous essentials. Packing was a week-long process for 2 adults reviewing lists, gathering materials and supplies, maintenance checking items, replacing items that were unsafe or had visible wear and finally a complete check of lists as items were packed into vehicles.
While your excursion is likely far shorter than months or even weeks in duration, the same principle for success applies. Preparation is key, and list making/following is probably the single most effective and reliable way of ensuring that you have prepared for your journey and incidentals. I have comprised a list that addresses the campsite, camp cooking utensils, personal gear, safety, emergency events, pet care, child care, entertainment and miscellaneous items. While comprehensive, keep in mind that this list needs to be reviewed and “tweaked” to accommodate individual needs. The age and gender and medical considerations of all campers may influence what items you pack. It is also advisable to check your campsites individual restrictions, regulations, and recommendations prior to preparation as these things may influence your decision to bring certain items. If you are bringing kids on your trip, keeping them happy while camping is, of course, a big concern.
Always Update Your Checklist for Camping
Once you have made necessary adjustments to your camping trip checklist, it is advisable to allow an adequate amount of time between preparation, packing and embarking on your journey. Allow at minimum 2-3 days for this process. Adequate time will ensure that you are able to replace items that have expired, have visible wear and tear or are missing. While preparing, enlist the help of another adult. The second set of eyes as you gather items and check for wear will increase accuracy while reducing stress. Finally, make sure that you check your list a minimum of 2 times. The first check should be as you gather items and the final check needs to occur as you pack items into your vehicle. If your camping experience is limited, I recommend that you note on your list where you’ve placed corresponding items to increase your attention to detail. Also, if I am camping with someone who has a medical concern I will check that I have accurately packed emergency items in an easily accessible location. While this may seem excessive, I can assure you it is not.
If you follow these recommendations and utilize the ultimate printable camping checklist I’ve comprised, I can nearly guarantee you will have a successful camping trip. Pack what you need, and what others need with careful consideration and attention to detail. Replace what is damaged or missing and don’t forget to double check your list. While you cannot prevent the unexpected you can certainly prepare for it.