What to pack for camping 14 reliable items you always need

This is what to pack for camping, a basic list of 14 reliable items you always need. These are a few things you’ll need every time you go out , whether its to a KOA or Yellowstone. Have these packed in a plastic box with a lid to ensure that they don’t rattle around on the road and are easy to access when you get to your site. It fits perfectly together and can be used over and over , ensuring a seamless process when whisking away the family on your next journey.

what to pack for camping

What to pack for camping

First aid kit

First of all , bring a first aid kit. Safety is important and it always helps to be prepared. nothing fancy here , I bought one from Amazon that I have to this day. I have been lucky (knock on wood) to not have to used much except the occasional band aid when camping, but its been a life saver and my wife appreciates that we have it just in case

First Aid kit
Available on Amazon
Repel bug spray

Bug Spray

Bug Spray – if you are headed to the woods the last thing you want is those pesky bites from the critters. I use Repel Sportsman MAX as repels mosquitoes , ticks , gnats, biting flies and chiggers. The CDC gives it a thumbs up for its protection , which offers me peace of mind when we camp. The 6.5 oz can fits perfectly in my box and the aerosol can is ready when you need it Spray liberally and often to keep your family off the menu for the bugs in the woods.


Pack Coppertone SPF Sport 50 to make sure you stay protected in the sun throughout the day. It is a high performing sunscreen that stays on through the sweat and the swimming ( up to 80 minutes according to their website) and helps avoid those nasty sunburns. It’s definitely at the top of my list when i am figuring what to pack for camping.

Water bottle

You most likely have one of these lying around the house.If you are looking for what to pack , I recommend using one with a cap on it to prevent leakage. Use these to prevent carrying a case of water bottles while you camp and avoid waste in the forest as well. Rinse after each use and make sure to clean thoroughly when you arrive back home and before you go out.

coffee mug

Coffee Mug

Be sure to use a mug that is stainless steel here. Easy to clean and you wont have to worry about breaking your favorite mug from home on the trip. If you need to be fancy and have names or design there are plenty of options out there. I am a simple guy and therefore I go basic stainless steel.

Collapsible Cup

This comes in handy on your trip due to its size and its flexibility of use. It can be used as small bowl in a pinch as well. I wont be caught camping without mine , its been a lifesaver numerous times and saves me from changing cups too often.


When looking for what to pack, bringing a very heat resistant does a great job heating up quickly over an open fire. I love cooking with this as it is the perfect size to whip up some eggs and sausage in the woods. A camp breakfast is a must on your next adventure.


Good to have if cooking beans or even some soup around the fire. I’ll prepare soups high in protein at home and reheat them over a fire to stay warm and energized before a hike.


Unless your hand has no feeling it whatsoever this will come in handy when preparing your favorite meal. Make sure to get one that is fold able , its a lot easier to store. Here’s a easy tip as well , the popular hot dog sticks make great meat turners as well!

Camp Percolator

If you are not sure what else to pack in the box include a camp percolator for those tea or coffee lovers out there! One of the greatest pleasures of camping is enjoying that first cup of coffee and the beautiful view. This is a basic one made by Coleman and does a great job of keeps the water hot for along time. It has a 12 cup capacity so all of the coffee lovers will get a fresh cup.

Instant Oatmeal

– If you’re still looking for what to pack put these inside that box! These are the same ones I eat at home , and offer a great source of energy for my morning hikes or a late night snack. You can have tea at night and use some of the left over water to pour over this oatmeal. Perfect!

Camp seasoning

For those campfire chefs this a must have on what to pack! Experiment with the types you like , and remember to play around with new ones as well. The wood you cook over will give off a different flavor than cooking on your grill at home! Make it fun!

Fire Starter

– When you first attempt to make a fire when camping you may not have quite the success of your ancestors or the cave men from long ago. With this product in your box though , help is always available. Just put this at the base of your fire and watch the magic!

Trash Bags

Leave No trace means leave the camp just like you found it. Bring a roll , good to have for clothes that get wet as well. Trust me it’s the little things.

If you have further questions about where to go camping and bring all these great items be sure to check out my complete guide ! https://www.familykamping.com/koa-campgrounds-everything-you-need-to-know/