Camping and Road Trip Checklist

Camping Supplies

When we first decided to plan a camping road trip while on our way to Colorado for the Savvy Blogging Summit, I was very excited. We have never done anything like this as a family, so I was ready for the experience.

And then the planning began, and I felt some trepidation as I dove into the nitty gritty of planning for a road trip AND camping. If you have been following me on Facebook, then you know I’ve had questions galore for my followers, and they delivered some amazing tips, tricks and suggestions. I don’t think I could have planned our trip without my Facebook followers.

One follower in particular named Lois, has thirty years of experience with camping and she is just a plethora of fabulous information. She even shared with me her entire camping checklist, and I could not have made our plans without it.

Here is her list (shared with permission), with just a few tweaks as I added in things our family needs.

Camping and Road Trip Checklist


  • Tent or tents
  • Tent pegs and poles
  • Tarps 8×10 to put over tent in case of rain
  • Rope for tying tarp and for clothesline
  • Clothespins for hanging bathing suits and towels
  • Duct tape
  • Hammer and big nails
  • Lanterns and flashlights
  • Pliers, flat head and Phillips screwdrivers and adjustable wrench (just in case) Drop Chord and Surge protector


  • Planning Folder
  • Sleeping bags
  • Pillows
  • Lawn chairs
  • Floats
  • Sheet for lying on the beach
  • Beach towels
  • Camera and film
  • Something warm to sleep in in case of chilly nights – also socks to sleep in
  • Large Cooler 2-Gallon Thermos, and a couple of gallon ones
  • Doormats to keep sand out of tents
  • Big fireplace grid and small grille
  • Broom
  • Charcoal, lighter fluid and lighter
  • Batteries
  • Clock
  • Pull-ups
  • Computers
  • Cell Phones, Adapters and Phone Chargers

Health Items


  • Bath towels
  • Hairbrushes
  • Bath soap, shampoo and conditioner
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Adult and Children’s Ibuprofen
  • Bug spray
  • Calamine lotion or other bug bite reliever (Tea Tree Oil for the natural and thrifty)
  • Tape and gauze
  • Burn cream (aloe vera)
  • Alcohol
  • Fels Naptha soap in case of Poison Ivy
  • Scissors
  • Sewing kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Hydrogen Peroxide


  • Paper plates and plastic plate holders
  • Bowls and cups
  • Plastic utensils
  • Paper towels
  • Potholders
  • Skillet
  • Dutch oven and cover
  • 2 saucepans
  • Serving spoons
  • Spatula, Sharp knife and Meat fork
  • Can opener
  • Wooden matches or lighters
  • Dishpan and dishrags
  • Dish liquid
  • Brillo and Chore Boy pot scrubber
  • Clear trash bags
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • Ziploc food storage bags
  • Coffee Maker and Thermos, Carafe, or French Press
  • Coffee cups

Kitchen Wash Bin


  • Frozen gallon jugs of water with covers
  • Frozen hotdogs, hamburger, chicken
  • Breakfast sausage
  • Eggs
  • Cheese in waterproof container
  • Coconut and Olive oil
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup, mustard, relish
  • Milk
  • Tomatoes and cucumbers
  • Yogurt
  • Real Lemon Juice to Make Lemonade
  • Fruit
  • Frozen Chili/Stew
  • Frozen Homemade Muffins


  • Salt, Pepper, Spices, etc.
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Iced Tea Mix or Tea Bags
  • Dry Cereal
  • Peanut Butter, Jelly
  • Chicken Spread
  • Tuna
  • Bread/Rolls
  • Chips
  • Powdered Milk
  • Potatoes

Are you a seasoned camper and road trip adventurer? What are some things that you would add to this list, or take away? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Valpak is my awesome partner for our family road trip. They have great coupons that you can find by location online, and even with a smart phone app. Be sure to visit their website here. All my opinions regarding my partner Valpak are my own.

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  1. I love how extensive this list is. Kudos to Lois and her camping expertise. I hope you and your family have an amazing time on your camping road trip!

  2. I would also recommend a weather radio or scanner. It’s good to be in the know if the weather turns bad.

  3. Why yes, yes I am. We are going to Seward, Alaska this weekend. :)

  4. We just did a cross country 25 day road trip with 4 kiddos. Rather than disposing of paper plates, cups, utensils several time a day we brought one bowl, plate, spoon, form, and cup for each person. It almost seems contradictory to spend time in nature while filling landfills.


    Frugal Summer Family Activities #4 organizing for camping
    Posted on June 15, 2011 by dwolters
    So, you have the tent, camp stove and lantern. Ready to go camping! You have chosen the camp ground and perhaps made a reservation, checked the weather and even bought marshmallows for around the campfire. Sounds like a great time in the making.

    But, let’s talk a bit about all the other stuff that needs to go along for an enjoyable camping trip. Camping is a bit different than staying in a motel and eating in restaurants in that you have to bring EVERYTHING with you. There is basically nothing provided, unless you consider the picnic table and dirt.

    So, how do you bring everything you need and know where to find it when it is needed? Organization! We use Rubbermaid tubs and have since we began camping over 20 years ago. The inventory changes especially as our family grew, but the basics are still the same.

    Cooking equipment- all together in 3 tubs- includes

    ■Plates, bowls, cups (hot and cold) , knife, fork, spoon for each person
    ■Pots and pans, various sizes with lids, griddle
    ■Cutting board and knife
    ■Serving utensils- spatula, large spoon, can opener, skewers,pot holders, etc.
    ■Dish pans (2) dish drainer, dish soap, wash cloth and dish towels
    We have these items that we only use for camping and they are stored in Rubbermaid tubs in the barn, just ready to grab and go.

    Food Prep- these items are in addition to the actual ingredients that you bring for your meals

    ■Coffee, tea bags, hot cocoa
    ■cooking oil, non stick cooking spray
    ■salt, pepper, cooking spices
    ■aluminum foil, plastic wrap, zip lock bags- various sizes
    ■clothes pins- to close bags of chips, cookies, etc
    Extra items box- things that you may need from time to time, great to have

    ■clothes line and pins- to hang wet clothes or towels
    ■batteries and flashlight
    ■small radio and batteries
    ■TP and trash bags
    ■bug spray and sun screen
    ■fuel and mantles for lantern, funnel, matches in water proof container
    Makes camping intresting box

    ■fishing equipment
    ■hard candy- family fav Jolly Ranchers
    This seems like a lot of stuff, but remember that when you get to your campsite, there is NOTHING there but dirt and a picnic table. Don’t get worried about having the best of these things, check your cupboards and Goodwill to stock your camping boxes. And if you are not ready to invest in all that, try using disposable plates and cups the first time. This eliminates having to wash all the dishes, but does take up more packing space.

    Let me know how your trip goes. Where did you camp and what was the most fun?

  6. We always are happy that we bring a dustpan and small whisk broom, because you can’t count on an entry mat!

    We also have been VERY glad we brought a 5 gallon bucket and trash bags to line it…for middle of the night bathroom emergencies.

  7. I always bring rubber flip flops to wear in the shower for me and everyone in the family.

  8. In my days of camping, I discovered the best way to pack eggs was to crack a couple of dozen into a Rubbermaid type jug with a screw on lid or snap on lid. This type of jug is routinely rectangular and fit better in an ice check. You can just pour out how many ever you are needing at the time and the jug fits back down in the ice for the next time.

    • we do something similar with our eggs (what my husband learned growing up camping as a boy-scout)-crack a dozen or so and double bag them in ziplocks! so much easier to transport and takes must less space in the cooler, plus no worrying if they’re going to crack later.

  9. we wash dishes so a dish bin and camping or plastic dishes. we camp all year. and travel and camp 900 miles every summer to see my family just me and 4 kids and two dogs. let me look tomorrow and pull my list for you. make sure you secure your food toothpaste deodorant perfume make up even drinks no food or drinks in the tent roll your windows up tight. bear will eat everything tooth paste and deodorant we watched one bust a partially rolled down van window of a fellow camper as the bear was stealing her toothpaste and deodorant. most bear are accustomed to pan banging and car alarms.

  10. Extra tarp–we put one under our tent too to provide a little extra padding, but we sleep on an air mattress too and use a manual pump so we don’t have to have a site with electricity.
    A cutting board
    Matches in a zipped plastic bag — just in case rain finds it’s way into things
    A roll of toilet paper
    Shower shoes or cheap flip flops

    I know you’re bringing paper plates and plastic cutlery, but I always found it easier to use those melamine plates–easy to wash! And I keep mismatched/cheap silverware in a pencil box that stays in our camping bins. We keep all of our things in those plastic tubs (medium size). It keeps everything together and organized, and it keeps water and pests out! Easy to transport, although can take up more space that way. If you plan on doing s’mores, make it easy on yourself–marshmallows and the Keebler Graham cracker cookies with fudge already on them! Roast marshmallow with skewer and smash between two cookies!

    Have fun!

  11. Before we got a camper, we tent camped with 3 girls for about 10 years! If you are going to do more camping, I might recommend plastic tote type bins with lids to keep all your stuff together and ready to go for the next trip! The thrift store is a treasure trove for kitchen gear ~ plates, silverware, bowls, tumblers, etc. ~ if you don’t have an overabundance at home. Even had a separate bin for the tent and “outdoor” stuff ~ rubber mallot, whisk broom/dust pan, clothes line, flashlight, lantern, etc.

    Also ~ my standards did not include “roughing it” completely ~ always had to have 3 things: electric, showers and flush toilets!

    Therefore, I always bring my electric skillet and George Forman grill! No cooking over an open flame for me!

    I’ve even boiled pasta in my electric skillet while camping!
    That’s thinking outside the box, right!?

    One of our favorite quick meals at home ~ Inside-Out Tacos was born camping…when I had no way to toast the taco shells (it wasn’t working in the skillet!) ~ we put a serving of taco meat on our plates, topped with corn, sour cream, cheese (and some even salsa) and scooped it up with tortilla chips!

    I didn’t see toilet paper on any of the lists ~ always take some with … you never know when it might be “out” in the bath house!

    We also had an “emergency potty” ~ an old 3 pound metal coffee can ~ with a gallon size twist tie bag inside as a liner! So much easier letting my girls use this in the middle of the night rather than trapesing up to the bath house!

    Hope you had FUN!

  12. Reading this post makes me want to go camping. With 6 kids, this was the only family vacation my parents could afford. I have fond memories and can’t wait to start making some with my husband and children. Thanks for all of the great tips!

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