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The Ultimate Camping Essentials Checklist

The Ultimate Camping Essentials Checklist

Preparation is key when it comes to camping. Whether you’re going solo or with family and friends, a successful trip always comes down to planning and making sure you’ve got all the essential camping equipment.

If you’re a first-time camper or a seasoned traveller, we’ve created the ultimate camping checklist that will make sure that you have all your camping necessities and nothing gets left behind. Camping newbies can also find helpful tips in our beginners guide to camping before checking off their camping essentials below.

Camping Checklist

Our digital checklist covers what you need for camping, from the basic must-haves to the fancy optional extras for a stress-free stay in the great outdoors. If you’re a camping beginner you won’t go wrong as long as you have all the camp essentials.

Our camping checklist can simply be ticked off as you go and better yet, your selections will be remembered next time! Don’t forget to bookmark the checklist so you can come back to it later.

Camp Essentials

The three most important things to take camping are your shelter (your tent), your bed (sleeping bag) and your body fuel (your food and camp cooking equipment). While there are a number of other indispensable items you will need to bring - these are without a doubt the most crucial.

For your camping essentials list, below are the things every camper will need and the key items you don’t want to forget!

Optional Camp Extras

These camping extras aren’t 100% essential if you’re running tight on space, but they’ll certainly elevate and enhance your camping experience.

Tools and Repair

Tools are usually common items that get overlooked, but they are one of the most useful pieces of camping equipment you can take with you. The following items will help when it comes to setting up camp, as well as cover any simple repairs:

In addition to bringing the right tools, make sure to also check out our top 15 camping hacks designed to make your camping experience easier, comfier and even more enjoyable.

Camp Kitchen Essentials

A well-thought-out camp kitchen takes the hassle out of meal prep. Make camp co

Impress fellow campers by cooking up some delicious campfire cuisine. Our camping recipes hub has plenty of recipes to help you get started with your shopping list, but here are a few essential tips on building a practical camp cooking setup.A well-thought-out camp kitchen takes the hassle out of meal prep, while a shopping list of essential camping food can make camp cooking a breeze along with the following core items:

Optional Kitchen Extras

Hygiene and Personal Care

Keeping your toiletry bag light is key when camping, as an excess of hygiene products are often unnecessary and can be harmful to the environment (see ‘what NOT to bring’ section). But to stay as fresh as you can while in the wild, we’d recommend packing the following essentials for good personal hygiene:

Optional Personal Extras

Summer Camping Essentials

The sun’s rays can be damaging at the best of times, but moreso when you will be spending a longer duration outdoors, like when you’re camping. If you’re camping during the summer, sun protection and insect repellent are paramount, you should bring the following:

  • Sun cream (SPF 30+)
  • Sunglasses and straps
  • Sun hat
  • Lip balm with SPF
  • Insect repellent
  • Mosquito nets


The non-essential extras to provide entertainment between base camp and adventures:

  • Board games
  • Books or magazines
  • Musical instruments
  • Playing cards
  • Portable speaker
  • Bikes
  • Sports equipment
  • iPad/tablet

What NOT to bring camping

We’ve listed everything you need to bring with you when camping, but what about those forbidden items? There are a number of items you should not take camping as they could have a negative impact on the environment you’re staying in.

This is especially the case when you’re wild camping too. There are some items you don’t need to pack for your adventure in nature, here are the products you should avoid adding to your backpack:

1. Perfumes and Deodorants

Staying clean is essential for your health, but as long as you’re not bathing in mud baths every night you needn’t worry about your personal hygiene levels dropping slightly. When camping there is no need to spray artificial scents - not only do certain perfumes, aftershaves and deodorants attract animals and insects, but they can also contaminate local water sources.

2. Excess Toiletries

As previously mentioned, artificial scents can cause environmental damage in the wild, and toiletries are no exception as they also contain harmful chemicals. Bring enough camp-friendly soap or cleanser with you to keep you clean, but make sure you don’t bring an excess of toiletries that could contaminate the ecosystem and nearby water sources. Sea to Summit’s camping toiletries have everything you’ll need to stay clean, all while respecting the land you’re on.

It’s also worth noting, however, that camp-friendly products can too affect an ecosystem, so make sure your contaminated water is never thrown into, or within 200ft, of any natural water body.

3. Glass

When thinking about cooking and drinking utensils you need to be aware of the material of your camp belongings. Items that are made out of glass or ceramic can be problematic when you’re staying in the wild. When broken they can cut through camping materials, injure future campers, or worse, a wild animal.

Ready for Your Next Camping Trip?

And finally, before embarking on your next camping trip you will need to make sure you have the right camping products for the weather and environmental conditions you will be enduring. Basic key skills like organising the right sleep system and cleaning and properly storing your tent will ensure you have a better camping experience.

In our how to clean a tent guide you can learn how to properly clean and store your tent to benefit your future trips, while our sleeping bag buying guide enlists how to create the most comfortable place for resting and restoring your energy.

Next Steps…

Feeling inspired and ready to start planning your next adventure? Our experts are here to help, and we would love to hear any questions, so please get in touch with us on Facebook or Instagram. You can also share your adventures with us using the hashtag #SeatoSummitUK.

If you’re missing anything from the camping list, you can also browse our full range of camping equipment here.

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