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Campspot's Camping Checklist

by Kendra Clapp OlguínSep 11, 2020
Campspot's Camping Checklist

If you’re new to it, you might be lost as to what to pack for camping. Or perhaps camping feels more like packing and repacking instead of actual, well, camping. We’re here to help you get organized for your next camping outing with our packing checklist. While you’re getting ready to hit the road to go to your next Campspot, use this checklist to help you prepare and pack!

The frontier cabin at Lake In Wood RV Resort.
A tent popped up at a campsite with a picnic table covered in a red gingham tablecloth.

First, what type of camping are you going to be doing? If you’re tent camping, check out REI’s checklist here. Will you be camping in a rented cabin or cottage? Then your camping checklist depends on the amenities and items provided with your rental. In this scenario, make sure you read the campground listing’s description before setting out to pack.

An Airstream trailer sits at campsite surrounded by lush green trees.

Our list is more catered to RV camping, although it still contains many items you use while tent or cabin camping.

To begin, check out Campspot’s Beginner’s Guide to RV Equipment that walks through the basic equipment needed to set up your RV. These items should remain within your storage compartments of your RV so the good news is that you’ll only need to pack them up once. For the rest of the items, you can “borrow” many from your home, particularly when it comes to things for the bathroom or bedroom, but we’ve found it be much easier to stock your RV’s kitchen with permanent items, otherwise the back-and-forth risks things getting lost or damaged. This, of course, depends on how much you will be camping. So, let’s begin!

An assortment of camping equipment and clothing to pack for a camping trip.


Dish soap
Sponge/pot scrubber
Collapsable dish sink (handy when you might not have full hookups or for washing clothes on the fly)
Folding dishrack (optional but helpful!)
Kitchen towels
Water kettle
Water filter pitcher (please pass on single-use plastic water bottles)
Reusable water bottles (please pass on single-use plastic water bottles)
French press or preferred coffee maker
Pots & pans
Can opener
Wine/bottle opener
Sharp knives (one small, one larger)
Cutting board
Cooking utensils (spoon, spatula, tongs)
Vegetable Peeler
Collapsible strainer
Ice cube tray (depending on RV fridge)
Measuring cup
Measuring spoons
Coffee & cold beverage tumblers
Mugs & cups (enamel or melamine for a lightweight option, avoid glass!)
Plates & bowls (enamel or melamine for a lightweight option)
Forks, spoons, & knives
Food storage containers
Trash & recycling bags


RV toilet paper (rapid-dissolving toilet paper that won’t clog up your RV’s plumbing)
Hand soap
Hand sanitizer
Towels (hand and bath)
Toothbrush & toothpaste
Body soap
First aid kit
Ibuprofen or Tylenol
Menstrual products
Lip Balm
Bathroom caddy (if using campground bathrooms)
Flip flops (if using campground showers)


Laundry bag (to toss your clothes in, small spaces get messy quick!)


Underwear for each day plus an extra pair
Socks for each day plus an extra pair
Rain jacket (even if rain isn’t in the forecast)
Waterproof boots
Comfortable tees
Fleece or sweatshirt
Pair of comfortable jeans
Seasonal jacket (if necessary)
Activewear (for hiking or other outdoor activities)
Swimsuits (two, one to wear while the other dries)
Hat (sunhat or baseball cap)
Hiking shoes or boots
Tennis shoes (that you don’t mind getting dirty)
Face masks

Pet (dog)

Outdoor bed (don’t make your best friend lay in the dirt!)
Water & food bowls (portable if you’re taking your dog on hikes)
Compostable dog waste bags
Gate & playpen (optional)

Pet (cat)

Carrier or crate
Food and water dishes
Pet bed
Litterbox & scoop
Compostable dog waste bags

Outdoor Equipment

Camping chairs
Blankets (wool blankets are fire-retardant)
Cafe or twinkle lights (optional but fun)
Hammock and stand (again, optional but oh so relaxing)
Flashlight or headlamp
Lanterns (optional, especially if you have a headlamp)
Folding step stool (surprisingly handy)
Citronella candles
Bug repellant
Walking sticks (optional depending on your agenda)
Solar-power accessory charger (optional)
Wetbag (for canoeing & kayaking)

Campfire & Campfire Cooking Equipment

Ax & hatchet
Lighter or matches
Firestarter (optional)
Fire tongs or log grabber
Collapsable bucket or water pail
Fire-resistant gloves (optional but very handy, especially when cooking)
Cooking grate (some campground fire rings have them, some don’t)
Cast iron pan
TJ hooks (to safely move cast iron, griddle, & grate when hot)
Cast iron griddle
Camping grill (not necessary but some swear by it)
Steel cooking tongs

Campspotter Packing Essentials

A man and woman stand in front of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

Caleb Hartung, Owner & CEO
My Kindle.

An aerial shot of a river in upstate New York.

Josh Traxler, Owner & COO
My kindle and Eagle Claw ultra-light [fishing] rod and reel.

A woman does a plank on the ledge of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Tessa Wiles, Chief Marketing Officer
Bug spray and sunscreen. I’m all about protection and prevention.

A man and woman stand together overlooking mountains.

Kai Robinson, People Operations
I know this might sound silly but I always bring battery-powered twinkle lights to hang on the tent or around the campsite. It gives extra light when the sun goes down and also makes your campsite looks extra cute!

Campspot camping checklist items.