Everything You Need For An Amaze Camping Trip (Those "One With Nature" Feels)

July 6, 2017

Camping 101: A checklist for the outdoors(wo)man in you

So, #glamping has never been my thing, and if it isn’t yours either, then you know the pros of real camping: The long car rides, dewy morning grounds, crackling fires, being side-by-side with wildlife–even laughing at how frustrating setting up a tent can be. It’s an inexpensive way to escape the concrete jungle and a quick way to find peace and reconnect with our wild roots.

Camping 101: A checklist for the outdoors(wo)man in you

What you pack for your trip may vary depending on the weather, but summer usually promises warm days and nights, so bags can be kept on the lighter side (the lighter, the better). The length of your journey will also play a part in what you decide to take, but there are some essentials that are always needed. If you think something’s unnecessary, make sure you know 100 percent that it won’t be needed and coordinate with friends to find out what everyone’s packing. An item as small as a tent stake can make a huge difference when your tent starts to blow away in a storm– trust me!

You can say goodbye to that Glamping Girl and dub yourself Camp Queen with the help of this packing guide.

Camping 101: A checklist for the outdoors(wo)man in you

From top to bottom, left to right: Hiking boots, bug spray, camping matches, flashlight, water purifier, area guidebook, flashlight, non-perishable food, safety book, sleeping bag, toilet paper, fire-starting tool (flint), flask, raincoat, propane tanks (for stove), frying pan, water bottle, guidebook, utensil kit, non-perishable snack, tent.


  • Tent (waterproof or with rain tarp) or hammock
  • Extra tent stakes
  • Area map (because phones will die, and service can be dicey)
  • Non-perishable snacks (granola, nuts, etc.)
  • Bug spray (deep-woods kind, if needed)
  • Sunscreen
  • Sleeping bag
  • Change of clothes (sweatshirt, heavy pants if temp. drops at night)
  • Reading material
  • Utility tool or knife
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Toilet paper (if you prefer to not wipe your bum with leaves)
  • Toothbrush
  • Thin towel
  • Coat
  • Water purifier
  • Water bottles (no purifier)
  • Firewood (if unavailable in area)
  • Collapsible chair or sitting blanket
  • Hiking shoes
  • Trash and recycle receptacle

Possible luxuries

  • Camp stove
  • Compass (phones can easily lose service)
  • Local field guide book or plant/wildlife guidebook
  • Swimsuit or birthday suit, if you want to go full “Mother Nature” (for nearby water)
  • Water shoes
  • Easy meals (ramen, oatmeal, quinoa, etc.)
  • Thermos
  • Camping silverware and dishware
  • Raincoat
  • Travel pillow
  • Binoculars
  • Map of hiking trails/swimming areas

The fun stuff

  • Musical instrument (for gettin’ down at the campfire)
  • Bluetooth speaker (for REALLY gettin’ down, anywhere)
  • Inflatable water tube
  • Extra hammock
  • Beer, spirits, liquor (maybe even all three?)
  • Board games
  • Fireworks or sparklers (only if allowed)
  • Small lights/strand of lights (useful for finding paths or tent in the dark)

Camping 101: A checklist for the outdoors(wo)man in you

Remember that camping isn’t just a chance to connect with nature but also your friends. Strong bonds can be formed through hiking or storytelling, or my personal favorite: dancing naked around the fire.

And please, always remember to try and be a leave-no-trace camper!

Camping 101: A checklist for the outdoors(wo)man in you

Have you been on an authentic camping trip? What’s your favorite part about camping?

Also by Marlee: How to Move On from Traumatic Experience

Related: Feeling Depressed? Try This Surprising & Whimsical Activity For Better Mood

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Photo: Pexels, Marlee Septak

Marlee is originally from Michigan. After graduating from Columbia College Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, Marlee moved to Portland, Oregon, where she now lives with her cat/daughter, Miuki. She finds comfort in writing, and enjoys reading poetry and non-fiction essays. She also loves cooking, traveling, laughing at inappropriate things, and falling asleep while watching television. Check out her portfolio to see more of her writing.


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