How To Create Your Own Camping Check Off List


Have you produced your car camping check-list for your next family camping getaway? I have used a camping checklist for years so I do not forget basic items such as camp sleeping pads and sleeping bags. The nice thing about car camping is that if you forget something you can always purchase it on the road. However, you can preempt that by developing your own checklist prior to your next trip.

Breaking the check list down to specific categories helps you to be more organized in planning and preparing for the camping trip.  I like to keep the categories broad for my checklist to make sure that it's easy to use and follow.  I don't advise going over-board with your checklist at first because it will evolve as you go on other trips.  On the other hand, if you have never gone on a car camping trip, then it will be prudent to use a generic camping checklist and tailor it to your needs before your departure.

I hope that you can see that a camping checklist is going to be custom made for your family. The list that you develop will depend on where your destination is and how long you will be on the road. Back when I was a single guy, I went on many back packing trips that were as far away as 1000 miles from my home. I could not afford to forget critical items such a stove fuel and light weight meals.

Basic Family Car Camping Checklist

Water Storage Solutions

3 gallon water jug.
Portable small water bottles.
Portable water filtration unit.  We use the Sawyer Complete.

Camp Kitchen

Stock pot for making soups.
Caste iron skillet or griddle.
Wire mesh strainer for washing vegetables and straining pasta.
Stainless steel cups for drinking.
Stainless steel plates for eating.
Paper plates when you don't feel like doing dishes.
Flatware sets.
Measuring cups.
Stainless steel measuring spoons.
Metal spatula
Several sponges with 3M Scotchbrite bottom. Cut them in half to make them last longer.
Assortment of zip lock bags.
Aluminum foil.
Cooking oil.

Camp Kitchen Staple Food Supplies

Maple syrup.
Sea salt.
Peppercorns stored in a stainless steel pepper mill.
Whole grain flours
Rolled oats.
Dried beans and peas.
Canned chicken and salmon from Costco or Trader Joe's.
Olive oil.

Essential Camping Equipment That You Should Never Be Without

Comfortable and easy to put up camping tent.
High quality down or synthetic sleeping bags.
Self inflating camping pads.
New air mattress repair kit.
Water proof ground cloth to protect your tent from water and sharp object damage.
Synthetic car chamois to clean tent floor and ground cloth.
Camp ax/hammer to pound in ten stakes.
Spare tent stakes.
Light weight rope

Inside The Vehicle Checklist

Campground maps
Regional maps.
Campground books
Small LED flashlights.
Multiple outlet power inverter,
Large cooler
Stainless steel water bottles.
Camping first aid kit.
Assortment of camping snacks.
MP3 player.

The above list is just a primer or starter for your own checklist.  Change things around to customize it for your own.  Once you get your list down, you are going to have to figure out how to pack it all into your car.  We use clear plastic storage boxes that we purchased at Walmart.  They keep everything organized for us and are easily taken in and out of our vehicle.  My wife labels the contents with a black Sharpie marker so we know what is in the bins.


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