This list serves most directly the park-and-camp camper. It is not intended to be a guide for backpackers or RV owners. Many of the items on the list are obvious necessities, but they are listed anyways, the objective being that you can print and use this as a general checklist to which you can add other items specific to the trip you are planning.
Remember that resourcefulness is a great value, especially when camping. Many items listed below can have dual or multiple purposes. For example, one large bowl can function in many ways – as a container for food on the way, as a salad bowl for dinner, as a washbasin to wash dishes and silverware, then as a bowl to mix pancake batter in the morning. Clever resourcefulness cuts down on bulk and makes you feel smart.
Tent (including all poles and stakes) – check your tent beforehand to make sure you’ve
got everything to set it up correctly
Tarp – to keep ground moisture from bottom of tent
Lantern (propane or battery-powered) – propane gives brighter, better light.
Hatchet (to make kindling or cut logs)
Fire with grill/Barbeque/Portable Stove
Propane tank for stove
Hot Pads/Oven Mitt
Tea Kettle/Coffee Percolator
*Consider your foods and any preparation to know what specific utensils to bring.
Dish washing cloth
Bowl or Basin – to fill with warm, soapy water
Trash and recycle bags
Unpainted Metal Hangers (for s’mores)
Soap – in a plastic bag or container
Quarters – many campgrounds require quarters to use the showers
Clothing Extras (consider weather at all times of day where you’ll be camping for basic clothing to bring)
Sandals (for easy in and out of tent)
Other Important Items to Consider
Rope – you’ll probably need it for something like hanging clothes or a lantern
Duct tape – always useful
Water Pouch/Bottled Water/Water Jugs – most campgrounds will have drinkable
Charcoal (if you want to barbeque)
Extra lantern ‘socks’ or batteries
Extra propane tank for lantern or stove
Metal tub – You can use to keep drinks cool, then heat the water and use as a washbasin