Even those who do not tend to write things down should make up a camping checklist. Otherwise, there are many items that may be overlooked or left at home, where they are less than useful. Constructing a guide does not take long and helps to ensure that one covers all bases, including gear, lighting, food, water and necessities. 


The best way to go about the process is to divide or separate the various items into categories. Toiletries and personal care items should go under one column. Clothing and outer wear will go into another. Flashlights, lanterns cook stoves and other small appliances or electronics fall under yet another category. Other larger pieces of equipment, such as a camping toilet, shelter, backpack and sleeping bags should fall under a final heading.

Camping Checklist
Credit: Ross

Importance of a List

Making the camping checklist is essential, as different campers may have varying needs. For a campground or facility that has bathrooms and showers nearby, the commode may not be necessary, unless the family has small children, who may not wait for a walk to the facilities. Any special foods or medications that are required can also vary from one family or individual, to the next. Some people will prefer to bring along a separate outdoor shelter, for cooking or barbecuing and enjoying their meals, away from the sun's rays and out of the rain. All items that should be packed into the vehicle should be included on the page, even if they seem trivial. A child's favorite blanket or a guide to spotting birds may be very desirable items for some family members.

Using the List

While it may seem obvious, using the list that has been created may easily be overlooked at the last minute, by those who are rushing around to stay on schedule or who are excited about the trip. Keeping the paper where it will be easily spotted is the best way to ensure that it is not overlooked. It is best to check off each item as it is loaded, because some pieces of equipment may still be left in the hallway or foyer.

The camping checklist can then be used again when the trip is over, while loading supplies back into the vehicle and before leaving the campsite. This will ensure that no piece of equipment or important tool is left behind. Even if a family has purchased a cheap tent, it is costly to forget more than one item and to replace them repeatedly.