Introduction to Camping Checklist:

Process Street - Camping Checklist

If you're going camping for a few days or even a few weeks, you need to make sure you have the equipment you need. 

The wilderness can be a very unforgiving place and it is important to take every precaution and pack well. 

This camping checklist will guide you through some of the necessary preparation and packing steps to keep you prepared. 

Use the subchecklists to make sure you have all the things you need. 

Check out this video for a brief intro!

Howcast - How to Pack According to the Ultimate Camping Checklist


Research the area you'll be hiking

Research prior to your expedition is an essential part of whether it will be a success or not.

This research should cover a number of areas:

  • Local hazards
  • Limitations of camping area due to private property
  • Expected weather 

Local hazards could include the wildlife native to that area. In many areas around North America bears, varieties of wolf, and mountain lions can be found. As much as these creatures are unlikely to attack you in normal conditions, you shouldn't gamble that conditions are normal.

Understand what the present threats are and take the necessary precautions to avoid them. 

Wildlife are not your only concern. If you're hiking up mountains, for instance, you may encounter large patches of shale in certain areas. If you happen to be in an area with rock formations similar to this, you could be putting yourself in danger by not knowing about it or not knowing where to expect to find these conditions. 

You don't want to find yourself sliding down a mountain in a mini-avalanche of rocks.

Be sure to research the weather in depth before you leave. This will affect both the packing preparations you make and the decisions you make during a hike.

Do you set up camp here for the night, or can you make it over that hill in time to set up there? If you don't know what time the sun is going to set or whether rain is expected in the next hour, you're unable to make that decision safely.

The most important part of being safe is being prepared.

Provide family and friends with your itinerary

You should always provide family or friends with your detailed itinerary before you leave. 

If no one knows where you are, how are they going to help you if something goes wrong?

Source: the film 127 hours.

Visit medical professionals

If you're doing exhaustive physical activity out in the wilderness alone, or at all, then it's a good idea to check you are healthy.

Visit a medical professional before heading off on a long and treacherous camping trip.


Pack essential clothes

Your clothes will serve to keep you warm, dry, and protected from the sun - depending on where you're going. 

Here's a short list of essential items to pack.

Use the subchecklist to make sure you have them with you.

  • 1
    Base layer clothing
  • 2
    Outer layer clothing
  • 3
    Warm clothing
  • 4
    Waterproof coat
  • 5
    Hiking boots
  • 6
    Hiking socks
  • 7
    Change of underwear

If you want to pack on a budget, check out this video below:

Start Backpacking Light for Cheap!

Include essential equipment

Here you'll find a short list of the essentials you'll need for a hike regardless of the length or location. 

Use the subchecklist to make sure you have these items.

  • 1
  • 2
    Food for the duration
  • 3
    Water carrier (Platypus)
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
    First aid kit
  • 9

Add essential extras

These items listed below are essential items depending on the location or duration of your hike.

If you pack all of these items plus the ones covered in the previous two tasks, you will be prepared for anything.

  • 1
    2 way radio
  • 2
    Travelsize toothbrush and toothpaste
  • 3
    Portable charger
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
    Bivouac sack
  • 7
    Sleeping bag
  • 8
    Sleeping mat
  • 9
  • 10
    Portable stove
  • 11
    Spare fuel
  • 12
  • 13
    High sugar snacks
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
    Wet wipes
  • 17
  • 18
    Credit/debit cards
  • 19
    Toilet paper
  • 20

Take any useful extras

There are many items you may or may not need depending on the requirements of the location or terrain you'll be facing. 

Whether you choose to take these items is down to the specific needs of the hike and how much space you have available within your pack. 

Here's a monster list of optional extras. Use this subchecklist to check off all the added items you will be taking.

  • 1
    Gloves or mittens
  • 2
    Extra waterproof layers
  • 3
    Soap and toiletries
  • 4
  • 5
    Trekking poles
  • 6
  • 7
    Insect repellant
  • 8
    Coffee or caffeine pills
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
    Razor with spare blades
  • 12
  • 13
    Nail scissors
  • 14
    Extra plasters
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
    Warm hat
  • 18
  • 19
    Pack of tissues
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
    Extra cup
  • 23
  • 24
    Nylon cord
  • 25
  • 26
    Harness and basic climbing gear
  • 27
    Electrical tape
  • 28
    Sewing kit
  • 29
    Water purification tablets
  • 30
    Waterproof sealed bags (dry-bags)
  • 31
  • 32
    Emergency bivvy
  • 33
  • 34
    A book
  • 35
    An old mp3 player with headphones
  • 36
    Change of footwear
  • 37
  • 38
    Selfie stick
  • 39
    Extra food
  • 40

Before You Leave:

Double check you have informed your emergency contacts

Confirm with your emergency contacts that they know your itinerary. 

If possible, agree on times when you are going to check in with them. 

If something goes wrong and you get into trouble your emergency contact can raise the alarm.

Check you have enough food

Make sure you have enough food to last you for the duration of your hike, be it for one day or one week. 

If you're doing a long hike try to pack more food than you need, just in case.

Check your waterproofs for damage

Analyze your waterproofs to see if there are any obvious problems. 

The last thing you want is to be on top of a mountain in torrential rain only to discover your waterproofs have a tear. 

Know where you have packed your essential items

In case of emergency, you will want to access essential items easily and quickly. 

Imagine you are in a dangerous scenario. Think of one of your packed items which you need. 

Do you know where it is, and can you easily access this item?

Readjust where your items are packed if you need to.

Practice your knots

Some people are deeply passionate about knots and have a strong working knowledge of all the ones they will need. 

If you are in that category, you will probably be fine. 

If you're not, yet you're taking rope with you and traversing some dangerous terrain or engaging in some small climbing activities, it's a good idea to practice.

Use the knots listed on this subchecklist as a starting guide to some interesting knots to learn or practice.

  • 1
  • 2
    Figure of 8
  • 3
    Clove hitch
  • 4
  • 5
    Cleat hitch
  • 6
    Reef knot
  • 7
    Alpine butterfly
  • 8
    Sheet bend
  • 9
    Rolling hitch
  • 10
    Round turn and two half hitches

Check out this video for some guidance!

Repairs101 - Six Knots You Need To Know

Make sure your house is left safe and secure

Lock up your home and check you haven't left any windows open. 

You're now ready to set off for your hike!



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