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 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 dishes||camp silverware||camp mugs|
|collapsible wash basin||CampSuds||scrub brush, drying rack|
|hangable light bulbs||lantern||flashlight(s)|
|headlamp||extra batteries||portable charger power bank|
|extra tent stakes||rubber mallet||tent broom/dustpan|
|solar LED stake lights||tarp||bungee cords|
|utility rope||utility knife||multi-purpose tool|
|small cutting board||chef's knife||spatula|
|collapsible mixing bowl||nested measuring cups||nonstick spray|
|grill tools||lighter, matches||heat resistant gloves|
|dutch oven||fry pan (or cast iron)||kabob skewers|
|marshmallow/hot dog skewers||moka pot||espresso|
|toilet paper, wet wipes||rags, paper towels||trash bags, foil, ziplocks|
|citronella candle||hand sanitizer||first aid kit|
|portable misting fan||rain ponchos||ear plugs**|
|dry bag||daypack||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 towel||shower shoes||wash cloth|
|quarters for shower||hair ties||wet brush|
|dry shampoo||leave in conditioner/UV spray||insect repellent wipes|
|deodorant wipes||more deodorant wipes||detox face wipes|
|sunscreen||facial sunscreen||fragrance-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 light||travel games (Uno, Connect 4, Spot It, deck of cards)||glow-in-the-dark bubbles|
|nature journal||magnifying glass||binoculars|
|sand tool toys||sporting toys||constellation 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 tent mummy sleeping bag insulated tent footprint
Mr. Heater Buddy Mr. Heater carry bag propane fuel cylinders
Mr. Heater Little Buddy wool blanket(s) cotton fleece blanket(s)
hand and body warmers insole foot warmers wool hiking socks