Your Weekend Camping Checklist

With the heat of summer behind us, minds naturally turn to weekends away. And one of the best ways to get out and enjoy our beautiful surrounds is to spend a few nights camping. But if you’re new to “roughing it”, the whole experience can seem a little daunting. 

The good news is there are a few tricks to making a weekend camping trip as enjoyable – and comfortable – as possible. In particular, a good camping checklist will help you make sure you have everything you need for your time away. It can also help with your preparation and packing and minimise the risk of your leaving any important items behind. 

Here at the Chart & Map Shop, we’re big fans of camping and love helping people take up this great pastime. In this spirit, we wanted to share our handy camping checklist to help you pack for your next weekend away. In this, we’ve listed everything from the camping basics to the little conveniences that often get overlooked. 



Start with your basic camping gear 

The two biggest things you need when you’re camping are a place to sleep and a place to sit. While you can get quite fancy with both of these, you really don’t need to, to be comfortable.  You just need to make sure you have your:

 Tent, including all poles and pegs
 Sleeping bags
 Sheets and blankets
 Air mattresses (including pump) or sleeping pads
 Trestle table
 Camping chairs
 Torches, hanging lamps, and headlights



Add in your cooking gear 

Camp kitchens are famously low tech but there are a few choice items that can make a world of difference. To make sure you have everything you need, we recommend putting together a meal plan for your trip. This will help with shopping and make sure you have all the utensils you require (e.g. tongs, can openers, etc.). 

Please note: You will need to pack both the food you will cook and the gear you will need to cook it. However, as the former is quite literally a matter of personal taste, we have focused this list on the latter. 

To make for an easy camp cooking experience, make sure you pack your:

 Portable stove and fuel
 Matches or lighter
 Wood for a campfire
 Frying pan and saucepan
 Kettle or billy can
 Tongs, spatula, other cooking utensils
 Can and bottle openers
 Cutting board
 Plates, bowls, cutlery
 Drinking cups and mugs
 Food storage containers
 Large water container (preferably full)
 Ziplock bags
 Aluminium foil and cling wrap
 Paper towels
 Garbage bags
 Cooking oil
 Dishwashing liquid
 Dish sponge, cloth, drying towel
 Portable sink and drying rack 


Camping Gear

Then pack your personal items 

By now you’ve packed almost everything you need for your campsite, so it’s time to start thinking about yourself. As part of this, you should consider both the clothing you will require and the personal hygiene products you need. You should also pack based on the conditions and where you’ll be camping, and make sure you have:

 Trainers and hiking boots
 Jeans and pants
 T-shirts (long and short sleeved)
 Extra socks
 Extra underwear
 Sunglasses and a hat
 Cold weather gear
 Rain gear
 Swimming gear
 Swimming and bathing towels
 Antibacterial wipes
 Toothbrush and toothpaste
 Toilet paper
 Camping shower (if required)
 Camping toilet (if required) 



Throw in a few useful miscellaneous items 

You’re almost done! There are just a final few things that will help make sure you are safe and prepared for every situation. Specifically, you should make sure you also pack:

 Insect repellent
 Safety whistle
 Compass or GPS
 Pocket knife
 Two-way radios or walkie talkies
 Fire extinguisher
 Storage bags
 Map of the local area – check out our great range 



Finish with your important medical supplies 

Finally, there’s the thing no camper should be without – a good first aid kit. The risk of minor injuries and illnesses is heightened when camping, so it’s important to have all your basic treatments. This should include:

 Personal medications
 Pain relief
 Burn ointment
 Various sized bandages
 Antiseptic wipes
 Antibiotic cream
 Hand Sanitizer
 Eye drops
 Gauze pads
 Splinting materials
 Small mirror
 Sunburn lotion
 Heat/cold packs

Other tips for planning your weekend away 

There are a few other simple things you can do to get the most from your trip. In addition to running through the above camping checklist, we suggest you:

Research your destination: Make sure you have the right vehicle to get there and a few ideas of what you can do once you are.

Book ahead: Campgrounds can get very busy, particularly at peak periods, and you don’t want to be left without a site.

Check the weather: Wind and rain can put a massive damper on any camping trip – try to avoid these conditions if you can.

Let friends and family know your plans: In the unlikely event of a serious issue, it’s critical your nearest and dearest know where you are and when you’re planning to return.

Allow plenty of travel time: Giving yourself ample time to get to your destination (and back) will make the whole experience more relaxed and enjoyable.

Start preparing early: Give yourself extra time to make sure you have everything you need and to replace or repair anything that’s broken.

Remember entertainment for the kids: Children’s attention spans are notoriously short and having plenty for them to do will help keep the whole family happy. 

For more information on creating the perfect camping experience, here are a few titles that might come in handy:

The Camping Cookbook

The Little Book of Camping

Australian Bushcraft

Guide to Free Campsites 2022-2023

Camping with Kids



Need help prepping for your next camping weekend? 

We hope you’ve found our camping checklist and trip planning tips useful and are always happy to offer additional insight. Whether you’re after recommendations for campsites, suggested travel routes, or general camping advice, we’re here to help. Just give our friendly team a call and we’ll have you ready for your next big trip in no time!


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