Camping Gear List For First Time Campers

Camping Gear List For First Time Campers - How To Prepare For A Camp Weekend - Start As A Beginner - Finish Like A Pro - Camping For Foodies .com - camping gear list for first time campers camping checklist
Camping Gear List For First Time Campers – How To Prepare For A Camp Weekend – Start As A Beginner – Finish Like A Pro – Camping For Foodies .com

Camping Gear List For First Time Campers

Let me start by saying CAMPING IS FUN! So, don’t get overwhelmed by your first packing experience. Knowing what should be included on your tent camping gear list and other supplies to pack is half the battle for first time campers. With a little planning and my camping checklist, you’ll be organized, confident and happily unplugging from society to experience the great outdoors! P.S. If you’re new to RVs, check our our RVing Tips For Beginners post. Psst we’re compensated…see our disclosures.

Here is my Ultimate RV and Tent Camping Checklist, download a FREE printable copy here too!

Camping For Foodies Ultimate RV and Tent Camping Checklist - Camping For Foodies .com
Camping For Foodies Ultimate RV and Tent Camping Checklist – Camping For Foodies .com

Essentials For A Camping Gear List For First Time Campers

I recommend your first time tent camping experience happen in a campground with services like water, toilets, showers and trash service so you can pack minimally for sleeping, eating and activities. Save the more “challenging camping conditions” for a later date. My camping checklist is comprehensive … so, refer to it before you pack. But, I want to provide tips for certain items on my camping gear list for first time campers.


Camping Gear List For Sleeping
Stansport Reinforced Multi-Purpose Tarp for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersStansport Reinforced Multi-Purpose Tarp

Camping Tarps: Placing a tarp between your tent and the ground creates the first barrier from the elements. Choose a tarp that is large enough to fit under your tent with overhang. Make sure it is waterproof, washable, heavy duty and has grommets.

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Coleman Red Canyon 8 Person Tent for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersColeman Red Canyon 8 Person Tent, Blue

Camping Tents: Size matters! Tents are rated for the number of people they can accommodate for sleeping (like sardines, in my opinion). Make sure you have extra room for family members who kick and roll around in their sleep. You may also want room to store clothes and other personal items in the tent.

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Intex Classic Downy Airbed for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersIntex Classic Downy Airbed

Air Mattresses: This is the most popular gear item to create space between you and the ground which helps create comfortable sleeping conditions like not feeling rocks that are on the ground under your tent floor. It also helps with temperature control especially in chilly conditions.

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Air Pumps: In order to inflate your air mattress, you will want to have an air pump. Hand Pumps … They are human-powered, so take a little effort on your part but that’s it. If you want power coming from another source, you can get a Battery Powered Air Pump which usually runs on 4D batteries or a 12v-DC Electric Air Pump that connects to car power outlets. There are also units that plug into standard wall outlets but we don’t recommend those because AC power is not always available when camping.

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Airhead Hand Pump for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersAirhead Hand PumpBattery Powered Air Pump for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersBattery Powered Air Pump12v-DC Electric Air Pump for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campers12v-DC Electric Air Pump

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Coleman Brazos Cold-Weather Sleeping Bag for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersColeman Brazos Cold-Weather Sleeping Bag

Sleeping Bags: Ratings on bags indicate their temperature range. If you are camping in cold conditions, you don’t want to have a bag only rated for summer weather conditions and visa versa. Keeping your body comfortable is important for a night of good rest.

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Camping Gear List For Around Camp

It is tempting to have all the creature comforts from home when you are camping but it is not a good idea to start out that way. For the basics on your camping checklist you will need a camp chair, a table and some lights then you can add gear around your camping personal preferences … do you prefer glamping (glamorous camping) or do you want to feel more minimal and natural in your camping experience?

Coleman Camp Chair for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersColeman Camp ChairColeman Pack-Away 4-In-1 Table for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersColeman Pack-Away 4-In-1 TableLED Camping Lantern Flashlights for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersLED Camping Lantern Flashlights

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Camping Gear List For Meals

Think about the meals you have planned including the method of cooking and the camp kitchen gear required to prepare, cook and serve the meals. Add any specifics necessary to your camping checklist so you don’t forget to load food/meal items (especially condiments and ice!) Dutch oven cooking is a popular way to prepare meals while camping. Check out our Dutch Oven Recipes For Camping here.

Our Best Dutch Oven Recipes For Camping - Camping For Foodies .com
Our Best Dutch Oven Recipes For Camping – Camping For Foodies .com

Lodge Camp Dutch Oven for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersLodge Camp Dutch Oven, 6 Qt

Dutch Ovens: One of the most versatile pieces of gear in a camp kitchen is a Dutch oven. It can be used directly in a campfire, hanging over it with a tripod or even be heated with charcoal briquettes. Different sizes are available and regular sized ovens are perfect for baking while deep Dutch ovens can accommodate big batches of soups, stews and chili for large crowds. Check out my Dutch Oven Camp Cooking Tips post for more information.

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Stansport Cast Iron Cooking Tripod for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersStansport Cast Iron Cooking Tripod

Cast Iron Cooking Tripods: A tripod allows you to cook over a campfire by hanging your Dutch oven from the chain. You can control the cooking temperature by adjusting the chain to move your oven closer to the fire to turn up the heat … or raise the oven further away from the fire to reduce the heat. Be careful while adjusting the chain and stirring your food because the oven tends to sway when using a tripod.

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Camp Chef Lumberjack Over-the-Fire Grill for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersCamp Chef Lumberjack Over-the-Fire Grill

Campfire Grill Grate: Most campgrounds have fire pits with grill grates but if your particular campground does not, and you want more stability than a tripod provides, you can bring your own campfire portable grate. These are great to use with Dutch ovens, cast iron skillets and the all-important camp coffee pot!

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Texsport Cast Iron Dutch Oven Lid Lifter for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersTexsport Cast Iron Dutch Oven Lid Lifter

Cast Iron Dutch Oven Lid Lifter: Using a lid lifter helps you stay a safe distance from hot coals when cooking. You can lift and turn the lid as well as the Dutch oven itself. Be sure to rotate your oven during the cooking process to ensure the food is evenly cooked. I have more information and Dutch Oven Camp Cooking Tips here.

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Camp Chef Heat Resistant Gloves for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersCamp Chef Heat Resistant Gloves

Dutch Oven Heat Guard Gloves: At times, there is no substitute for using your hands to accomplish certain campsite activities. When you want to get a good grip on hot items, using high quality gloves made from a heat resistant material is the best way to protect yourself from burns.

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Coleman 3-Piece Cooking Utensil Set for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersColeman 3-Piece Cooking Utensil Set

Cooking Utensil Set: Use a basic stainless steel utensil set that includes a fork, spoon and slotted spatula. Stainless steel can withstand the heat during cooking and you can use the same set as serving utensils too.

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Eating Utensils: Disposable utensils are an option if you want to do less dish washing. If you prefer sturdier utensils, stainless steel is a popular choice. I personally don’t like sporks but I have friends who love them so I wanted to mention them here. I prefer a more traditional utensil set while others are easy storage sets.

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 Portable Stainless Steel Sporks Stainless Steel Portable Camping Cutlery Stainless Steel Eating Utensils

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Coleman 24-Piece Enamel Dinnerware Set for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersColeman 24-Piece Enamel Dinnerware Set

Dinnerware Set: To get everything in one convenient package, a dinnerware set specifically designed for camping is a good option. This set includes plates, bowls and mugs for four people as well as a set of forks, spoons and knives in a roll-up storage pouch.

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Camping Gear List For Personal Hygiene And Medical

Rubber Slip On Flip Flop for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersRubber Slip On Flip Flop

Shower Shoes: Wear shower shoes to prevent slipping, germs and dirt when using a public shower or other types of camping shower facilities like solar showers and shower tents. Look for shoes that are lightweight, have good traction and are easily slipped on and off.

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ShowerMade Portable Shower Tote Storage Organiser for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersShowerMade Portable Shower Tote Storage Organiser

Portable Shower Tote: Staying organized is the key to keeping camping fun and stress-free. Using a shower tote allows you to keep everything you need in one place so you can just grab the bag when you are ready to head off to the shower. Look for one made with a quick-dry fabric and that has lots of pockets and a strap for hanging from faucets and hooks.

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Coleman Expedition First Aid Kit for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersColeman Expedition First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit: Your camping gear needs to contain a basic first aid kit that has items to treat the most common injuries. You can get really elaborate kits and smaller kits that are easy to carry on hikes. You need to determine your comfort level to decide which kit is right for your camping trips.

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Camping Gear List For Clothes etc.
Drawstring Waterproof Nylon Storage Bags for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersDrawstring Waterproof Nylon Storage Bags

Clothes Organizer: There are lots of ways to pack your clothes for camping. It is best to use waterproof bags that are lightweight and have some “give” when packing in your vehicle and tent.

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Skechers Sport Men's Equalizer Persistent Slip-On Sneaker for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersSkechers Sport Men’s Equalizer Persistent Slip-On Sneaker,Black,8.5 M US

Slip-On Shoes: Wearing shoes inside the tent is a no-no in our family because we want the tent to stay clean and organized. So, we wear shoes around the campsite that can be easily taken off and put back on when going in and out of the tent.

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UPF 50+ Wide Brim Sun Hat for this checklist and camping gear list for first time campersUPF 50+ Wide Brim Sun Hat

Sun Protection Hats: Camping focuses on outdoor activities which also means exposure to harmful UV rays. Wearing wide-brimmed hats with Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) fabric significantly reduces your risk. You can be as stylish as you want. Or, you can just stick with the traditional safari style. Look for hats with adjustable strings and built-in sweatbands.

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Think you might want to try tent camping in the winter? Get our tips for Staying Warm Camping In A Tent!

Tips on Boondocking aka Dispersed Camping aka Remote Camping

I already mentioned I recommend your first camping trip happen at a campground with services. BUT, if you are crazy … uh … I mean … if you are brave enough to head out in the wilderness on your first adventure, I have a few more suggestions for you.  Check out my post with tips on Dispersed Camping: Boondocking Like A Pro which includes how to go to the bathroom and take showers when there are no facilities in sight! You definitely won’t want to forget to pack those camping checklist items!

Dispersed Camping - Boondocking Like A Pro - No Water - No Electricity - No Toilets - No Trash Pickup - No Reservations - No Problem - Camping For Foodies .com
Dispersed Camping – Boondocking Like A Pro – No Water – No Electricity – No Toilets – No Trash Pickup – No Reservations – No Problem – Camping For Foodies .com
Camping Gear List For First Time Campers With The Ultimate First Time Campers Camping Checklist-Camping For Foodies .com

Need More Camping Gift Ideas? Check Out These Posts!

Get Fun Camping Wrapping Paper And Creative Gift Wrap Ideas here!

Cool Camping Wrapping Paper And Creative Gift Wrap Ideas - Camping For Foodies .com
Cool Camping Wrapping Paper And Creative Gift Wrap Ideas – Camping For Foodies .com

Need Camp Cooking Tips And Recipes? Check Out These Posts!

Dutch Oven Temperature Chart - How Much Charcoal - Camping For Foodies com
Dutch Oven Temperature Chart – How Much Charcoal – Camping For Foodies com

If you need camping recipes and menu ideas, you can find them here at the Camping For Foodies Camping Recipes list.

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Kim Hanna

Kim Hanna is the creator of Camping For Foodies®. On her blog, http://www.CampingForFoodies.com, she shares her passion for camping, hiking and cooking as well as living a balanced yet dream-pursuing life. Kim has appeared on several local TV networks, in magazines and at live special events as the ‘Modern Society Weekend Escape Expert’ she has become…inspiring others to unplug from their hectic lives one camp recipe at a time. She believes many adults are so consumed with their 24/7 connected lives that they don’t take time to enjoy nature and live in the moment. Kim gladly issues “permission slips” to adults who request them! She is a contributor to AZ Outdoor Magazine and has her own cooking segment on the Great Food Good Neighbors TV show. Kim is a Christian and lives in Phoenix with her husband and two cats.