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the ultimate camping checklist – updated to include cold weather

This ultimate camping checklist contains affiliate links

We just got back from an epic fall camping trip in the mountains where the nights were QUITE cold. I’m talking 30’s. While this might sound daunting, cold weather camping (with kids!) can be so enjoyable IF you have the right gear. I realized I needed to update my Ultimate Camping Checklist, so let’s do this!

Camping is a lifelong love for me and while we camp the most during spring and fall, I’m looking for new items to add to my “camping box” all year long. One of the benefits to camping is you don’t have to buy all of the gear at once (beyond the basics). I know this list of essentials is pretty massive.  Add more each trip until you have a bangin’ arsenal.

Here is the ultimate camping checklist… everything you need for an epic, prepared camping trip. I have linked only to products I have tried and I love. I will continue to update this list as I discover new must-have camping gear. Please feel free to leave a comment with a suggestion or question. Happy Camping!

essential camping gear

tent*tent footprintdoor mat
sleeping bag**sleeping matcamp pillow
camp chairSport-Brellafolding side table
hammockpop-up shadescreen house
outdoor grillgrill side shelvescast iron grill/griddle
food coolercooler rackice packs
smaller beverage cooler***water cooler

*tent choice will depend on your family size. Always chose a tent that is double your family, so a family of 4 will need an “8 person tent” unless the children are very small.

**This is a great inexpensive option for 4 season camping (both of my kids have one). I love the envelope style since it keeps your head warm, but isn’t as suffocating as a mummy style sleeping bag. I use this double sleeping bag with my husband; well it is the updated version of ours, which is like 5 years old.

***I suggest a separate cooler for beverages since you will be opening the cooler (causing ice to melt) most for drinks. Put the drinks in their own cooler and your food/ice cooler will stay colder for longer.

essential items for camping box

camp dishescamp silverwarecamp mugs
collapsible wash basinCampSudsscrub brush, drying rack
hangable light bulbslanternflashlight(s)
headlampextra batteriesportable charger power bank
extra tent stakesrubber mallettent broom/dustpan
solar LED stake lightstarpbungee cords
utility ropeutility knifemulti-purpose tool
small cutting boardchef's knifespatula
collapsible mixing bowlnested measuring cupsnonstick spray
grill toolslighter, matchesheat resistant gloves
dutch ovenfry pan (or cast iron)kabob skewers
marshmallow/hot dog skewersmoka potespresso
toilet paper, wet wipesrags, paper towelstrash bags, foil, ziplocks
citronella candlehand sanitizerfirst aid kit
portable misting fanrain ponchosear plugs**
dry bagdaypack water bottle or bladder

*keep these items in one big box ready to go at all times. Packing all of this every trip would be a nightmare. After a trip, clean, reorganize and refill items to keep your camping box full and ready.

**for noisy camp neighbors, especially on busy holiday weekends OR loud cawing birds in the early A.M.

essential toiletries for camping

quick dry bath towelshower shoeswash cloth
quarters for showerhair tieswet brush
dry shampooleave in conditioner/UV sprayinsect repellent wipes
deodorant wipesmore deodorant wipesdetox face wipes
sunscreenfacial sunscreenfragrance-free body lotion

fun extras for camping with kids

LED slap bracelets (wear at night, light painting*)Mystical Fire (changes color of campfire)kids hammock pod
kids 3-in-1 lantern/flashlight/panel lighttravel games (Uno, Connect 4, Spot It, deck of cards)glow-in-the-dark bubbles
nature journalmagnifying glassbinoculars
sand tool toyssporting toysconstellation app

*I’m currently working on a light painting tutorial for you guys! I will post the link here when it is live. Create what we did below, easily with these slap bands!

cold weather camping essentials

4 season tentmummy sleeping baginsulated tent footprint
Mr. Heater BuddyMr. Heater carry bagpropane fuel cylinders
Mr. Heater Little Buddywool blanket(s)cotton fleece blanket(s)
hand and body warmersinsole foot warmerswool hiking socks

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