The Ultimate Camping Checklist: What to Bring Camping

tent toys camping checklist

What to Bring Camping

You’ve picked out the perfect campsite location, date, and guests, but what about deciding what to bring? For your next camping adventure, check out our ultimate camping checklist.

We’ve outlined our suggestions for what to bring on a variety of different types of camping trips and also included some tips for packing for camping trips, camping with pets, storing food and gear while camping, and how to decide what type of tent to bring. 

In this article you’re learn about

  • Types of tents for different camping trips
  • Packing tips for camping
  • Pet-friendly camping items
  • Tips for storing gear while camping
  • The ultimate camping checklist

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What Type of Tent to Bring

One of the most important items for camping is bringing a shelter for sleeping. A tent protects you from the elements and keeps you warm and dry, but it can also be a great space to cook, relax, and enjoy time outdoors with friends and family.

While a camping tent is an essential camping item, there are a variety of tents you can bring. Below is a list of different tent options depending on the size of your group, where you’ll be camping, and the purpose of your camping trip. 

Tents for Families or Large Groups

If you’re camping with a large group, having enough space inside a tent is essential so that everyone can sleep comfortably and there is enough room for belongings.

White Duck Outdoors wall tents come in 6 different sizes and sleep 4-18 people, providing enough room for multiple beds as well as a stove and living space. These tents are great for campsites you can drive your car to.

Bell tents are another great option for big groups that have an easy set-up and are super functional. These tents are streamlined in design and come in 8 different size options sleeping 2-10 people.

Another option for camping with larger groups in a more rugged and wild environment are cabin tents. These tents can be great if you’re camping in a more remote setting or on uneven ground such as a hillside or a coastal bluff. The White Duck cabin tents come in 6 different size options and sleep 4-8 people comfortably. 

Tents for Glamping

If you’re looking for a spacious place to sleep, wall tents can be a great option. These canvas tents are more like small houses in height and can fit 8-18 people. In addition to glamping, these tents can be great for hunting trips or safari experiences.

Each of the White Duck wall tents come with a built-in stove jack, storm windows, bug mesh on the doors and windows, and even pocket organizers to keep all your camping equipment and supplies organized. 

Best Tent for Special Events

Sometimes the great outdoors can be the perfect location for a special event. If your camping adventure also includes a wedding, birthday party, or family reunion, these bell and wall tents can be the perfect space to host.

These tents are incredibly spacious and have plenty of room for furniture, sound systems, catering, and anything else you might need for a special camping event. These come in different sizes to suit different numbers of guests and how many items you’re looking to hold in each of these tents. 


How to Pack for Camping

Whether you’re camping for just a night or a much longer trip, you’ll still need to bring several items for sleeping, eating, and participating in other camp activities.

Choosing how to pack your equipment and supplies for a camping trip is essential for staying organized and storing belongings in smaller living spaces.

Tips for Packing Clothing

It’s important to take a look at the weather forecast and environment of where you’ll be camping. Will there be a dramatic shift in temperature from the day to the night? Will you need to bring any clothing for rain or heat?

You’ll want to pack clothing that will keep you comfortable in whatever environment you’ll be camping in. In addition to different weather conditions, you’ll also need to pack clothing for a variety of camping trip activities, such as hiking, hunting, or water sports.

Durable and weatherproof duffle bags are a great option for packing clothing. Duffle bags keep your clothes and gear warm and dry and the White Duck duffles come in 3 different sizes. Duffles are a great option for both a weekend trip or a longer trip with more items to pack.

We recommend packing different types of items in different bags to keep things organized and easily accessible. Keeping one bag reserved for clean and dry clothes can be especially helpful when camping! 

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Tips for Packing Gear

Depending on what type of camping trip you’re going on, there can be a variety of bulky gear to bring along. Collapsible camp chairs can be a staple for trips with nice weather where you’ll be spending time outside. Camp chairs are great for meals as well as hanging out by lakes, streams, or whatever environment you’re camping in.

You can also bring tables, lighting systems, and various forms of outdoor gear for water sports, fishing, camping, hiking, or snowsports.

For these larger items we recommend packing them in large, durable duffle bags that are made to withstand wear and tear and different weather.

The White Duck HOPLITE canvas duffle bag is a military style duffle bag that is made of weatherproof canvas fabric. Its long length is perfect for bigger pieces of gear and the military-grade, full-length zippers can keep oversized items secure. 

If you’re going to have to transport your gear to a campsite by foot or from your campsite to another location outdoors, we recommend using a durable top loading backpack. The White Duck HOPLITE Canvas G.I Top Load Bag is a great option for both storing and transporting gear. A duffle with shoulder straps or a durable backpack is a great choice transporting gear and supplies during a camping trip. 

Packing Cooking Supplies

It’s important to keep food and cooking equipment safe and separate from your other items. For refrigerated items, you’ll want to make sure you have a way of keeping these items cold throughout your trip.

We recommend a high quality cooler and plenty of ice to keep items cold for several days at a time. For non-refrigerated items, you can pack these in a bag and store them depending on what type of environment you’ll be camping in. 

If you’re camping somewhere with bears or wildlife, you will need to keep this in mind when storing food. In designated campsites there may be bear and wildlife-proof food storage bins at your campsite or somewhere in the campground. If you’re camping somewhere more remote, you might need to look into storing food to keep it safe from wildlife in bear boxes, hanging from trees, or other methods to prevent wildlife from eating your food.

Make sure to check the recommendations of where you’ll be camping.  

Packing Sleeping Supplies

Sleep supplies are another item that you’ll want to make sure stays warm and dry. The style of sleep you choose ultimately comes down to how you want to spend your nights. You might choose sleeping bags and sleeping pads if you prefer a more backpacking style of camping, or you may bring along cots or even air mattresses if you have the space inside your camping tent.


Pet-Friendly Camping Items

Camping with pets can be incredibly fun and you’ll want to make sure that your pets have everything they need to enjoy your camping trip. Our top recommendation for camping with dogs is to bring a dog bed for camping.

Dog beds keep dogs comfortable for naps during the day and sleeping at night. You’ll want to make sure that you bring a dog bed that is made for camping and the outdoors. Dog beds that are made for outdoor use as well as indoor use are typically water and dirt-resistant.

A dog bed with a removable outer shell is also important for easy washing once you return from your camping trip.

Other pet-friendly camping items include bowls for food and water. Collapsible bowls can be especially helpful for easy packing and storing on camping trips. If your pet tends to get cold, a pet jacket or blanket can be helpful for colder environments. Pet toys and dog bones are also helpful to have to keep your pet entertained and happy. 

dog bed

Storing All Your Gear

Storing Gear Inside the Tent

Keeping the interior of a tent organized is essential to keep things comfortable for sleeping as well as stay organized with gear. Having a roof organizer is a great way to make use of space in a tent and provide a loft to keep things like tent and sleeping bag sacks, headlamps, layers, or extra bedding easy to find and organized.

A pocket organizer can be super helpful for the interior of the tent as well (this one is compatible with White Duck Alpha wall tents). Pocket organizers are great for storing gear that you might need to access frequently. Items like car keys, toiletries, medicine, or smaller cooking items are ideal for storing in a pocket organizer while camping.  

Storing Gear Outside the Tent 

For storing gear outside the tent, you’ll want to make sure you choose a location that will keep equipment safe and dry. We recommend saving space in your tent and instead storing your equipment outside in a designated space for your gear.

A tarp is an important piece of camping equipment that can protect camping gear and keep it safe from the elements. We recommend a canvas, rip stop, or poly tarp for durability.

These tarp shelters can also double as a shelter during the day to provide cover from rain or shade on a sunny day. They can also function as an outdoor kitchen to prepare food, wash dishes, or hang out. Tarps are easy to set up and can be a great multi-use piece of equipment on camping trips.  

Often, you’ll find that you can get accessories that fit perfectly with your tent. Alpha wall tents, for example, are compatible with canvas porches that are a simple, effective way to extend the living space outside your tent. Alternatively, you can look to buy an awning to add on to the front of your bell tents.

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The Ultimate Camping Checklist

In summary, most of the items you want to bring camping are simply just camping versions of the essential items you need in everyday life at home. The list below will get you started on the ultimate camping checklist, but you can always add other items depending on the type of camping experience you’re looking for. 


  • Tent: For tents, be sure to keep in mind group size, location, and purpose of camping trip.
  • Hammock
  • Tarps/awnings


  • Duffle bags: Bags such as duffle bags can be used for clothing as well as camping gear and equipment.
  • Sleeping bag: A sleeping bag is a perfect camp item for sleeping, or you can bring other sleep supplies such as bedding and pillows.
  • Camping pillow

Camp Furniture

  • Camp Chairs
  • Camp table


  • Dog beds: If you’re a dog owner, don’t forget a comfortable camping bed for your dog.  
  • Collapsible bowls
  • Collar and leash
  • Harness
  • Pet medical kit

Cooking and Food

  • Cooking equipment: Keep in mind to pack utensils for eating and drinking as well as ways to heat up and prepare food and water.
  • Stove and fuel
  • Pots and pans
  • Cooler
  • Ice or ice substitutes
  • Sharp knife
  • Mugs/cups

Hygiene and Health

  • Biodegradable soap
  • Trash/recycling bags
  • Toilet paper
  • Sunscreen
  • Toiletries
  • First-aid kit
  • Insect repellent
  • Towels


  • Camp clothing: Keep clothing simple and pack comfortable clothing for the weather, environment, and activities you’ll be participating in. 
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Lightweight jackets
  • Hiking shoes/boots
  • Socks
  • Sleepwear

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