Camping 101: Knowing What to Pack

Tammie Dooley from Solo Road Trip.

This is the second of a three-part series on camping by Tammie Dooley. If you enjoy it, be sure to subscribe to stay updated.

American Buffalo

American Buffalo, South Dakota. Photo taken in the USA by Hayden Carlyon.

More and more baby boomers are retiring and heading back to nature after decades of material excess. We‘re no longer interested in crawling in and out of a small tent, sleeping on the ground, scrounging up a meal over a 3 inch burner, and deploying the grunge look for that week in the wilderness. But camping has an irresistible nostalgic allure, is a very affordable means of travel and unfortunately, still has many women digging in their 3-inch heels against it.

Baby boomer or not, female or male, this article is for all of you who want to camp, but can’t (or don’t want to) hack the roughing-it part.

The Camper’s Packing List

The first article in this series on camping covered camping tips and tricks to help ensure you get a good night’s sleep while camping. Eventually though you have to step outside the tent. Listed below are the things you should bring along to make that experience as pleasant as your good night’s sleep.

Whew! I’ll leave the food and drink items up to you.

Once you’ve got these things assembled, you’ll need a way to organize and transport. I recommend the large, clear storage boxes now available everywhere. The lids snap down with handles on both ends.

One Final Suggestion

Last summer after many camping outings, my husband and I sat down to eat the wonderful one skillet breakfast he’d prepared of eggs, sausage, peppers, hash browns, and cheese only to discover I forgot to pack forks or spoons. When it comes to camping, improvisational skills are vital! We ate our meal by alternating the spatula he’d used to cook the meal. The thing was so big we could only use the corner of it – a very memorable meal!
So my last suggestion is this: Make a list and put it in the permanent camp box. Add to it as needed. Then follow it.

More Resources

Here’s a list of websites that will get your camp stocked in no time.

About the author:

Tammie Dooley’s preferred mode of travel is on foot or by 4WD. All done solo, of course. Her blog, Solo Road Trip, is an attractively designed invitation to follow along on her journeys.

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Discussion »

  • #1Solo Road Trip

    Yikes! Until I see it in list form, I didn’t realize how much crap it takes to camp. LOL But the effort is SO worth it. I’ve got several permanent camp boxes now, so the effort has greatly diminished over time. It’s amazing how much smarter and more efficient we get as we get older.

  • #2Clay Mama

    You’re really making it easy on those wanting to camp this summer. Anyone can do it with a list like that and enjoy every tinsy minute! Good article.

  • #3Solo Road Trip

    Just hope I didn’t forget to list anything major.

  • #4Peter

    Great post Tammie! I’m going to have to show my wife the article (and the series) to try and convince her that camping really is the bees’ knees :)

  • #5Joyce hunter

    Great post I can’t wait to go camping

  • #6Delaney McDonald

    This is a great post! I like to travel and I always take my duffle bag with me. Good article!

  • #7The Agra Indian

    This is a great check list to make the camping easy and wonder full.

  • #8Solo Road Trip

    thank you everyone for your comments! Camping is becoming a lost art. We can’t have that!

  • #9Marinagal

    PLEASE,PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT HAMMER IN NAILS TO TREES! Anyone who has any respect for the environment will tell you that trees are not just lumber/wood for your use! Nails dammage trees! Use rope to create a hanger arround the tree.

  • #10Dom

    Yes I have to say after searching around for an article discussing what to take when camping yours is the first I have found that seems to cover everything. Well done, its simple to read and would make beginner camping a doddle… well atleast the packing part!

  • #11Sean

    This isn’t camping. This is portable living. If you can’t carry it all in a backpack, leave it home.

  • #12Mich

    First, thank you for all the great info. But, how can it be called “solo” travel or camping if you are going with your husband? Hmmmm? Solo means alone, one, etc.That means, no husband or companion.

  • #13Ros

    Before we go camping, I like to have a look on the internet to see if anyone has any new ideas. This was great! Thank you. We also have 5 permanent camping boxes which remain packed at all times with a list in each box. One hint that i recently found out – if you have rechargeable LED lanters, they need to be kept recharged, otherwise they discharge completely and can no longer be recharged! We keep ours plugged in in the house and they come in handy when we have a power outage! Trick is to remember to pack them before going camping!

  • #14park girl

    Hey, first of all, thanks for this comprehensive camping list. :)

    I would like to say something about forgetting forks and spoons. I would have improvised and picked a little branch or twig off of a bush or tree and used it as an eating tool. :)

    And to the person who said not to use trees as walls (dont put nails in them), I would like to add to the suggestion of using rope. When you get ready to disassemble camp, do not leave ropes or hangers in the trees, make sure to take them down completely. Thank you :)

  • #15danielle

    Any additions when camping with a 3yr old. Or ideas for isolated fun adventures. I thought a scavenger hunt would be fun? Suggestions on both.

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