Camping checklist for your next trip

When hitting the open road, it’s fun to trade some hotel nights for camping stays. Whether you tent camp or tote a small RV, there are plenty of ways to create outdoor fun along our highways and byways.

This camping checklist is a quick and easy guide to the essentials you’ll want to pack along the way.

Camping-friendly trip planner app

It’s clutch to have the right app at your fingertips when you’re car, tent, or RV camping. That’s because it’ll tailor the stops and stays to your roadtripping style.

Prefer state and public campgrounds? A camping-friendly app will help you find them.

Towing an RV that has height restrictions? An RV friendly app will map a route to keep it safe.

Want to mix it up between hotels and campgrounds? The right trip planning app includes both.

Roadtrippers is one such app that’ll help you get all the camping-essential locations on your checklist.

Related How to find campgrounds, RV parks, and dispersed camping on Roadtrippers

Tent camping in a wooded area in Olympic National Park

At camp

Here’s your camping essentials checklist when stopping for the night:

  • Tent – There’s a wide world of options to choose from. The best fit for roadtripping folk is generally something that compacts nicely and is super easy to set up
  • Sleeping bags – Ditto above
  • Packable pillow – We dig the Wise Owl variety, but there are many other options
  • HeadlampsBecause hands free lighting is a must for making camp in the dark
  • Flashlights
  • Camping chairs – Check out the new style that’s super packable
  • Camp table – Not all campsites will have a picnic table. Pick a packable one of your own
  • Camping lantern – Headlamps will blind your travel companions, you’ll want one of these for when you’re sitting around the table at night

Related Rooftop tent camping: A beginner’s guide to gear, installation, and more

Fun (optional) stuff

Fix-it stuff

Here are the essential tools for common camping repair needs:

Campside cooking

These items make for a full camp kitchen:

Fun (optional) cooking stuff

Camping clothing checklist

Expect the unexpected when it comes to camping attire:

Clean camping checklist

Here are the things to keep yourself and your surroundings squeaky clean:

a white smart car parked at a campsite with a red tent popped behind it
Photo: Casson Valiyi

Other optional camping checklist items

Camping out is a fun way to roll on road trips. Use this checklist to ensure you have all the items needed for the journey. You can even let us plan it all out for you with Roadtrippers’ Autopilot™. Autopilot combines patent-pending AI technology with data from 38 million real-life trips to create trips quickly and thoroughly.