The Ultimate Camping Checklist


  1.  Tent - With shelter being the top thing I could think of when I would go camping, there are many different tents a person can choose from depending upon the activities they are planning/doing or how many people and how comfortable you would like to be while you are out in the wilderness.  A person who is biking or hiking could go with the Ascend Ultra-Light 1 Person Backpacking tent.  This tent is lightweight, easy to carry around, quick with set-up and perfect for someone who is out alone and making quick stops.  For a large family, or someone who would want to stay more comfortable, I would suggest the Coleman Prairie Breeze 9-person Cabin Tent.  This tent features LED lighting, a fan, and it is compatible with the CPX6 Coleman System.  It has a lot of space, which is perfect for a growing or larger family.
  2. Sleeping bag – When deciding on a sleeping bag, you will want to think about when you typically go camping.  For someone who primarily camps in the Summertime, you won’t need a sleeping bag that is typically for winter (think 0 degree bag), but one that is more for warmer climates such as the Ascend 55 degree Rectangular Bag.  Coleman also has a sleeping bag that is good for most times of the year - it's called the Signature Outdoor Gear 20-70 degree multipurpose sleeping bag.  This bag should bring your comfort throughout the year.
  3. Self-Inflating Air Mattress - This isn't something that you HAVE to have, but it will bring you comfort when lying on a ground that is hard and normally not completely flat.  Self inflating mats are great because they are easy to pack and don't take up much space.  With air mattresses, you are going to have to pack the bulky mattress, and also the air compressor.  A self inflating air mat is going to fold up or roll up much like a sleeping bag.  The Therm-a-Rest BaseCamp Self-Inflating Air Mattress can provide everything I described above.  It comes in many different sizes and lengths to best suit your needs.  If you are working on a tight budget, you might look into the Texsport Pack Lite Foam Pad - it doesn't have the self inflation, but at a fraction of the cost, you can easily roll up and roll down this mat - weighing only a total of 8lbs, 2oz.
  4. Coolers - This is one of the most important things you need to make sure your food you bring along with you doesn't spoil.  One of my personal favorites is the Igloo Marine Breeze 28 Wheeled Cooler.  It's very easy to transport on the ground with the handle and the wheels and often one person can do the job.  If you are looking for something that will hold a lot of food you can try the Igloo Marine Ultra 94 Cooler - holding 94 quarts, you are sure to be able to pack enough food for your family camping trip!
  5. Wood - This is a must have for your campfire.  Make sure you pack plenty of wood and fire starters to last you throughout your trip.
  6. Lantern/Light Source - If you would like to go the old school way, you can get a Bass Pro Shops Two Mantle Propane Lantern.  These lanterns run off of Propane for their power source, so no need to pack extra batteries.  It is a very good light source, producing up to 600 candle power.  My favorite lantern is actually the Coleman LED Quad Lantern.  I really like this one because it can separate into 4 different lights off the actual lantern, which is perfect for late night trips to the restroom (and you won't have to search for a flashlight).  It is powered by reusable batteries and can run for 75 hours.
  7. Dutch Oven - These are great for cooking.  I suggest getting a large one for cooking a family meal, and a smaller one for some yummy desserts. 
  8. Skillet - On the topic of cooking, a skillet is a must for campfire (think sizzling bacon on a fresh crisp morning).  I suggest at least taking 1 12 inch or larger skillet.
  9. First Aid Kit - One of the most important things you can take with you.  The Bass Pro Shops First Aid Kit - Family Kit is great for camping.  There is enough supplies in this kit for 6 days.  For someone who is going out hiking or backpacking on their own, there is a smaller kit available that would be more suitable.
  10. Camping tableware and cutlery - The Light My Fire Outdoor Mealkit includes everything you will need for a good meal out on the firepit.  It includes 2 plates, cup, spork, colander/cutting board and a waterproof cover. 
  11. Roasting Sticks - It's not camping unless you have your roasting sticks for late night roasted marshmallows, or afternoon roasted hot dogs!
  12. Water Bottle - Having a good water bottle can make all the difference on an outing.  The CamelBak Eddy .6L Bottle is a good place to start.  It is spill proof and very tough.
  13. Outdoor Chairs - If you don't have any good stumps or logs nearby, you are going to need some good quality outdoor chairs.  The Bass Pro Shops Basic Camp Chair will provide plenty of nice relaxing evenings.  It has a water resistant polyester fabric and a durable steel frame.
  14. Bug Spray - These nasty critters are things we cannot seem to avoid, so it is always best to come prepared.  A good can of bug spray is always packed in our bags.  Repel 100 Insect Repellent Pump Spray is a good spray with 100% deet.  If you are outside and looking for a good candle to burn to keep those nasty bugs away, I suggest bringing along a Repel Insect Repellent Citronella Candle.  This 10 oz. candle can burn up to 20 hours.
  15. Tent Fan - It can get awfully stuffy inside a tent, so it is always good to have some air circulation inside.  Coleman has some excellent tent fans available - including the Cool Zephyr Tent Window Fan.  The blades are foam so they are soft to touch and it is held up with a magnetic plate.  Run on batteries, it can run on low for nearly 40 hours before you will need to replace the batteries.  Coleman also has another fan called the CPX6 Lighted Tent Fan.  If you get into the CPX6 system, these battery cells can be recharged, thus saving you money on batteries.  Runtime on light and fan in high setting for this fan is 10 hours, however you can run 30 hours with light and fan on in the low setting. 


These are just a few of the suggested larger items I would take with me on a camping trip.  Of course, you will want to pack your clothing, some foil for cooking, toiletries, extra batteries, food, and anything else that is a must need for your family to make your trip fun, enjoyable and comfortable.  Camping is a great activity for folks of all ages.  Make sure you are safe and enjoy the great outdoors!

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