Skip to main content

How to Pack for the Perfect Camping Trip

Apr 30, 2016 12:06PM ● Published by North Hills Monthly magazine

There’s nothing more exciting than heading off to camp—as long as you’re prepared. Following is a list provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources that will make it a little easier to get ready for your trip, whether you’re staying close to home at a local campground or headed to one of Pennsylvania’s state parks.  

• Extra tent stakes
• Dining fly
• Plastic ground cloth for under the tent 
• Sleeping bag 
• Mattress or pad and inflator for air mattress 
• Pillow 
• Space blanket
• Tent with rain tarp

• Insect repellent and itch cream for bug bites
• Poison ivy block and remedies
• Allergy medicines and/or prescription medicines
• Pain relief pills like aspirin 
• Tummy medicines
• Antiseptic 
• Band-Aids and bandages 
• First Aid Kit (may include all the above items) 
• Extra pair of prescription glasses
• Sunscreen 

Cleaning & Personal Items
• Washcloth 
• Toothpaste (biodegradable) and toothbrush
• Comb or hairbrush 
• Toilet paper 
• Bath towel 
• Biodegradable soap and shampoo

• Bow saw
• Extension cord (if at campsite with electric hookup)
• Duct tape and/or electrical tape
• Hammer for pounding in tent pegs/pliers
• Rope
• Clothesline
• Clothespins
• Whiskbroom to clean table and tent site
• Ax 

• Lantern (gas or electric) 
• Spare lantern fuel and mantles 
• Matches (preferably waterproof) 
• Flashlight: Spare batteries and bulbs 

• Compass and area map 
• Fishing pole and gear (and license and bait) 
• Beach or camping chairs
• Cellular phone w/extra battery and car adapter 
• Camera and/or camcorder w/good battery 
• Money, credit card, ID 
• Books, radio, cards, games, toys, etc. 
• Sports equipment
• Citronella candles
• Binoculars
• Pocket knife 

Dress for the season, and bring warm clothes in case the weather turns cold
• Rain gear
• Poncho: Doubles as emergency tent/lean-to 
• Shower shoes
• Hiking boots 
• Work gloves 
• Swimsuit
• Wide-brimmed hat to block the sun

• Newspapers for lighting a campfire 
• Firewood 
• Frying pan with lid
• Cooking skewers (for hot dogs, marshmallows, etc.) 
• Pot or sauce pan with lid
• Can opener 
• Tongs and spatula
• Coffee maker & filters 
• Pot lifter and/or pot holders 
• Dishes, silverware, mugs/cups, kitchen knife
• Scrub pad 
• Dishpan for washing dishes
• Container for water
• Cooler and ice
• Stove with fuel and lighter, or charcoal and lighter fluid and grill for BBQ

• Trash bags and plastic bags 
• Aluminum foil 
• Dish soap (biodegradable)
• Water bottle to carry while hiking
• Water jug to fetch water from the pump or faucet
• Paper towels & napkins 

Food and Drink
Bring whatever food you want, but remember that you will have limited space for food that needs to be refrigerated. Be sure to store food in a safe location to keep animals from your food. Kids will want to cook over the campfire so bring hot dogs and marshmallows (and graham crackers and chocolate for s’mores).









Receive a digital edition of NHM in your inbox every month. Sign up by sending a request to