While there’s nothing better than the spontaneous camping trip, unless you know ahead of time exactly what to bring, you can find yourself in countless dangerous scenarios – no way to make food, no way to stay dry in the rain, or no way to protect yourself from wildlife. A fun wilderness adventure can quickly transform into a complete nightmare. Crate Club is here to help you make sure you have all of the camping and tactical gear you need for your next last-minute camping trip. This ultimate camping checklist will ensure you are able to enjoy your trip safely and tackle any unforeseen circumstances with ease.



The beauty of nature is that it is unpredictable. Obviously, the clothing you need is variable based on the environment in which you are camping. However, there are essentials that you should have with you in any climate:

  • Hiking boots
  • Several pairs of socks and sock liners (wool if in the cold)
  • Flip flops (for showers if at a campground, or walking around after wearing boots all day)
  • Underwear and base layers
  • Quick dry towel
  • Rain jacket (& waterproof pants if in an extremely wet environment)
  • Bandana or hat
  • Fleece jacket
  • Hiking pants and shorts
  • Heat dry shirts
  • Balaclava, gloves, handwarmers, and winter jacket (if in the cold)
  • Sunglasses



These are the main things people overlook on last-minute camping trips that can lead to a very miserable few days in the wilderness. There are few things worse than carrying a backpack on severely sunburned shoulders or hiking with a friend who forgot to bring deodorant. Essentials include:

  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Medications and first aid kit
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Tweezers
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Hairbrush and hair ties
  • Feminine hygiene products



Even if you are only bringing a small personal tent, there are things you need to consider for when you will be setting up camp:

  • Sleeping bag and pillow
  • Tent, poles, guidelines, and stakes
  • Groundsheet or tarp
  • Windbreaker/rain fly
  • Mallet
  • Rope
  • Headlamp or flashlight



Cooking, like shelter, is an area of the list that can vary greatly based on the level of comfort you are expecting. At the most minimalist, you can get away with energy bars, dehydrated food, water purification tablets, and a container for boiling water. But, if you are planning to do more serious cooking, more supplies will be necessary:

  • Food
  • Water purification system or tablets
  • Pot or pan
  • Cooking and eating utensils
  • Plates
  • Soap to clean dishes
  • Water bottles
  • Napkins/paper towels
  • Trash bags
  • Can opener
  • Matches/lighter/fire starter sticks
  • Wood or charcoal
  • Knife



Yes, you need more than a car in terms of navigation. Once you get to the campsite you will likely still need some navigation assistance:

  • Hiking/camping map
  • Portable phone charger
  • Emergency whistle
  • Compass



Not everything you need for a successful camp out is included in the above categories. These other items are often forgotten for that very reason:

  • Scissors
  • Waterproof backpack cover
  • Backpack
  • Money
  • Duct tape
  • Safety pins
  • Bear spray
  • Medical Kit


The amount of gear you bring with you depends on a few factors – length of trip, prior experience, and level of comfort. If you are going on a minimalist hiking/camping survival trip, you only need the absolute essentials. Whereas a week-long family camping trip will require many more comfort items. Everything on this list is what we would consider the essentials, but you can use this guide to create your own ultimate list for your specific camping needs.

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