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Camping Packing for the Easily Distracted

camping packing list

It is less than 24 hours until AIS time. Fans of Everybody Loves Raymond will recognize this as “Ass In Seat”, something the military father instituted for family car trips. We are leaving for 3 weeks and I have not pulled a suitcase out of the closet yet. I haven’t even packed Frankie’s Kitty Spa bag and he’s leaving in the morning. What’s my problem? I can’t focus. This is our first big trip involving camping and both of us are afraid of leaving something crucial behind. I’m switching between 4 or 5 lists and I end up throwing them to the side to try to catch up on Candy Crush. That game is going to drive me bananas. But I digress. In addition to the camping packing list below, I have another packing list for general vacations to hotels/condos.

I will add to/change as I go but I need something on my blog for easy reach for the next vacation or road trip. So, I guess what I’m saying is this is so much more for me than the rest of the world who have to be better planners and packers than I am.

A side note: This is an extremely exhaustive list to accommodate long term camping. For weekend campers, hiking campers, please just use this as a list of brainstorming items to think about. In no way do I assume that backpackers will want or need all of this.

Camping Kitchen

  • Paper towels
  • Toilet Paper
  • Paper plates/plastic utensils/cups
  • Ziplocks-quart and gallon freezer
  • Mixer bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Tablecloth/clips/clothes pins
  • Trash bags
  • Reusable storage bowls: plastic or glass
  • Chef and paring knife with protectors
  • Dish soap
  • Dish pans for washing
  • Re-usable grocery bags
  • Baby wipes for personal cleaning, hand washing
  • Antibacterial wipes for kitchen cleaning
  • Comet abrasive cleaning powder to keep away ants. Sprinkle it around your tent, campfire, legs of camper. They will NOT cross the powder barrier. This may be useful for just Southern camping where ants can destroy a vacation.

Campfire Cooking Utilities

  • Large water jug & water bucket
  • Coolers/ice
  • Thermos/coffee mug
  • Stove with fuel/propane
  • Matches/lighter
  • Charcoal/firewood/buddy burner
  • Dutch oven/tin can stove/box oven/etc
  • Campfire grill/BBQ grill
  • Fire starters/newspaper
  • Cooking pot
  • Coffee pot
  • Potholders, oven mitts
  • Skewers for kabobs
  • Roasting spears for hot dogs
  • Grill spatula and tongs
  • Kitchen shears
  • Cutting board
  • Can opener/bottle opener/corkscrew
  • Folding table

Dry Foods List

  • Coffee, filters
  • Tea and hot cocoa
  • Peanut butter/almond butter
  • Granola
  • Protein bars
  • Salt, pepper, spices
  • Blender
  • Protein powder
  • Shaker bottle
  • Dehydrated meals
  • Canned goods

Tent Set Up.

  • Ground cloth/tarp
  • Extra stakes
  • Shade tarp/poles/rope/stakes
  • Axe or hammer
  • Mat for tent entrance
  • Dust pan/brush

Tent Bedding

  • Sleeping bag
  • Sheets/blankets
  • Pillow
  • Air mattress/sleeping pad/cot/tarp
  • Air pump
  • Repair kit for air mattress
  • Storage bags for bedding


  • Campfire jacket/flannel/fleece. Wear this when sitting around the fire if you don’t want all your clothes smelling like a fire pit.
  • Sunscreen/chapstick/bug repellent
  • Lantern with fuel
  • Lantern holder
  • Citronella candles
  • Hiking pack, hydration bladder
  • Fishing gear/license/bait
  • Camp chairs
  • First aid kit
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Saw/axe for breaking ice
  • Park map/guidebooks/trail maps
  • Popcorn
  • Marshmallows, Graham crackers, Hershey bars (Smores)
  • Flashlight/batteries
  • Pocket knife
  • Rope/clothes line
  • Bungee cords/straps
  • Duct tape/electrical tape
  • Reservations info./confirmation
  • Cell phone/charger
  • Small shovel
  • Quarters, cash for state parks, roadside stands, laundromat
  • Bikes/helmets
  • Work gloves
  • Umbrella
  • Nail clippers/tweezers
Paleo Meals for Camping
Vacation Packing List for the Overwhelmed


Saturday 29th of May 2021

Thanks!!! I'm glad I'm not the only one, lol! I've been primitive camping since I was a kid... you'd think I have it down by now. :D

Vacation Packing List for the Overwhelmed

Sunday 2nd of June 2013

[...] I have a few lists scattered here and there, but all is not lost forever. I finally organized my Camping Packing List just for tent or travel camping. Now all I need is a general vacation packing list to use when we [...]