Camping Checklist


This is my recommended camping list designed specifically for car camping.


A tent is a standard necessity except that we have installed a sleeping platform in our ’94 Landcruiser, pictured. With this set up, we skip the tent and air mattress and just roll out our sleeping pads.

  • tent
  • air mattress or sleeping pad – My REI self-inflating pad is luxurious.
  • sleeping bag or bedding/pillows
  • folding chairs
  • folding table (camp sites typically include a picnic table, but you can always use and extra table or two for the “counter space”)
  • headlights (my preference over flashlights)
  • lantern
  • firewood (it’s advised that all firewood be bought within the parks to prevent the spread of tree killing insects and diseases)
  • first-aid kit


You need to have a good hiking outfit or 2.  Clothing designed for hiking will protect you against the elements, wick sweat, and be comfortable for the day’s activity; whereas a cotton t-shirt and jeans will weigh you down like a ton of brick when wet from sweat, water or rain. Suggestions are for temperate climate. Be sure to plan according to your weather conditions.

  • hiking Pants – I recommend a pair of convertibles. You won’t win any fashion contests wearing oats that zip off to shorts but they are functional.
  • tights – For comfort wearing around the campsite.
  • long sleeve shirt. Here’s one that is cool, but provides sun protection.
  • hiking shoes
  • fleece pullover
  • sports bra – For those requiring serious support, I recommend Brooks
  • wool socks – wool is moisture wicking and insulating and dries much faster than cotton.
  • in camp sandals or flip-flops
  • Uggs – Nothing better to wear on cold evenings/mornings.
  • underwear – of course.
  • buff
  • hat for sun protection


This is the hassle part of camping because you need to bring absolutely everything necessary for all your food preparation, from the spatula for your pancakes to the salt and pepper for your eggs, but with a little pre-planning you’ll have everything you need for fabulous camping meals. We keep a small suitcase with all our camping kitchen essentials. See my Sequoia Camping blog for our meal menu. All of the items listed may not be necessary based on your meals.

  • cooler and Ice
  • cooking stove with propane canisters
  • cooking grill
  • lighter
  • pots and pans – as needed for all your planned meals
  • camping french press coffee maker
  • bottle opener/corkscrew
  • beer coozies
  • can opener
  • ziplock bags
  • aluminum foil
  • trash bags
  • camping plates, bowls, mugs (we like the classic enamelware)
  • reusable utensils
  • paper towels
  • cutting board
  • kitchen knife
  • sponge
  • biodegradable soap
  • kitchen towel
  • ladle, spatula, tongs
  • oven mitts


We may be want to unplug on vacation, but we still use our phones to take photos/videos and make any necessary calls/texts. The challenge is keeping your phone charged with no available outlets. And a car phone charger is not going to do you any good if you are not driving. Check out the video on the left about two products that will keep you charged on your camping trips.

  • Brighten up your campsite with a string of LED lights.
  • portable speaker, like the Bose Soundlink (use your phone to accompany your campsite with music)
  • external battery (Qi Infinity External Battery shown in video)
  • portable solar panel (Goal Zero shown in video)

Video courtesy of camping gadget geek, Matt Kussoff