Suggested Camping Supplies

Below are general lists of camping supplies.  You should consider carefully your destination, preferred style of camping, and other factors when packing for a trip.

These lists of suggested camping supplies, while extensive, are by no means exhaustive.  Be sure to adapt these lists to your particular needs.
When comfort is a priority (rather than “roughing it”), consider over-packing if possible.  That is, bring more than you think you might need.  Remember: “It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.”
It is very strongly recommended that you set up / try out your camping gear at home before your camping trip, especially your tent and sleeping gear, just to make sure everything is in order and functioning properly. It’s better to discover problems at home than at the camp site.
It is the responsibility of the Cub Scout’s Akela to determine whether, based on the scout’s age, rank, and/or other personal considerations, it is appropriate for the scout to possess or use any of the items listed on this page.

Here are some additional resources you might like to check out:

Start with the “Ten Essentials”

Also known as the “Scout Basic Essentials”, these ten items can be useful on any outdoor adventure.

These items, coupled with the skills and experience a camper can acquire over time, can mean the difference between an enjoyable camping trip and a ruined one.  Pack these Essential items for every camping trip.  Then consult the more extensive lists of gear further down on this page for ideas and suggestions for additional items you may wish to bring.

  • Pocketknife
  • First aid kit
  • Extra clothing
  • Rain gear
  • Water bottle

  • Flashlight
  • Trail food
  • Matches and fire starters
  • Sun protection
  • Map and compass

Also see Clarke Green’s excellent “10 Essentials” infographic and related articles.

Shelter

Your shelter can make or break your camping trip.  Nothing ruins a camping trip quicker than a leaky tent or a broken tent pole.  A quality shelter is important, but even more important is your ability to maintain and repair your shelter and adapt to changing conditions as needed.

Again, we very strongly recommend that you set up / try out your camping gear at home before your camping trip, especially your tent and sleeping gear, just to make sure everything is in order and functioning properly. It’s better to discover problems at home than at the camp site.

We highly recommend…

  • Tent with stakes and guy lines
  • Tent footprint / ground cloth / tarp
  • Tent pole repair sleeve
  • Tent fabric repair kit / duct tape
  • Axe or hammer for driving stakes
  • Extra tent stakes
  • Extra tent guy lines / cordage / rope

You might also consider…

  • Door mat for tent entrance
  • Dust pan / brush

Bedding

A big part of enjoying a camping trip is getting some good sleep at night.  Carefully consider your sleep preferences in addition to anticipated weather conditions and temperatures when planning your sleeping arrangements.  On chilly nights, plan to have plenty of bedding between yourself and the ground, and wear a hat or beanie while sleeping to keep your head warm.

We highly recommend…

  • Sleeping bag / bag liners
  • Air mattress / sleeping pad / cot / tarp
  • Repair kit for air mattress / sleeping pad

You might also consider…

  • Air pump for mattress / pad
  • Sheets / blankets
  • Pillows
  • Storage bags / stuff sacks

Clothing

A core concept to remember here is the idea of “layering”.  To help in being prepared for any potential weather changes, consider packing multiple light layers of clothing rather than single, all-or-nothing layers.  Dressing in layers can help you stay comfortable in all conditions – from the hot afternoon sun to the post-sunset chill.  It’s always a good idea to have a fleece jacket or pullover and a nylon shell.

We highly recommend…

  • Quality hiking shoes / boots
  • Sturdy pants / belt
  • Plenty of socks / underwear
  • Hat
  • Sweatshirt / windbreaker / jacket
  • Sleep clothes / pajamas
  • Rain gear / poncho

You might also consider…

  • Thermal underwear
  • Bandana / shemagh

Camp Kitchen

For camping trips in which you’ll be providing and preparing your own food, the following items can help make your trip much more enjoyable.

We highly recommend…

  • Camp stove / fuel
  • Fire starters / kindling
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Mess kit
  • Trash bags
  • Containers for food storage

You might also consider…

  • Charcoal / firewood
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • Camp grill / dutch oven
  • Potholders / oven mitts
  • Tablecloth / clips
  • Ziplock bags
  • Cooking oil / spray
  • Pots and pans with lids
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Cooking utensils
  • Tongs / spatulas
  • Skewers / grill forks
  • Can opener / bottle opener
  • Knives / potato peeler
  • Seasonings / sugar / condiments
  • Dish soap / hand soap
  • Scrub pad / brillo pad
  • Dish rags / towels
  • Popcorn
  • S’mores ingredients
  • Coffee / coffee pot
  • Hot chocolate / tea
  • Granola bars / protein bars
  • Other drinks and snacks

Personal Items

If you’re going to a campground with shower facilities, then your camping checklist should include the necessary towels, shower shoes, and other amenities. However, if you’re heading out to the middle of a State Park or other remote area, keep your list to just those things that will keep your tent-mates happy!  Baby wipes go a long way.  Pack ‘em.  Use ‘em.

We highly recommend…

  • Baby wipes / wet wipes
  • Personal toiletries
  • Prescription medications – pack extra

You might also consider…

  • Shower shoes / flip flops
  • Towels / washcloth

Miscellaneous

Tell someone of your plans.  Give details of where you are going and when you expect to return.  Provide directions and possible alternate routes you may take.  Provide cell phone numbers, vehicle description and license plate numbers, hand-held radio channel and codes that you will use, and provide local authority phone numbers (State Police, Game & Fish Commission, Sheriff Department, etc.) for the county or area you will be in.

We highly recommend…

  • Refillable water bottle(s)
  • Sunscreen / sunglasses
  • Lip balm / chapstick
  • Headlamps / flashlights / batteries
  • Lanterns / fuel / mantles
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Compass / GPS
  • Park map / guidebooks / trail maps
  • Backpack / day pack
  • Bug repellant / citronella candles
  • Water filters / purification / treatment
  • Knife / pocket knife
  • Multi-tool
  • Duct tape / electrical tape
  • Weather radio / short wave radio
  • Cell phone / charger
  • Folding chairs / camp chairs
  • Ear plugs (Your neighbors will snore!)

You might also consider…

  • Lantern pole or hanger
  • 2-way radios / walkie-talkies
  • Solar battery charger
  • Saw / axe
  • Folding shovel
  • Miscellaneous tools
  • Work gloves
  • Binoculars
  • Camera / batteries / memory cards
  • Folding table
  • Fishing gear / license / bait
  • Bikes / helmets
  • Books / magazines
  • Cards / games / toys
  • Musical instruments / song books
  • Hammock
  • Tissues
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Notepad / pencil
  • Reservations / confirmation
  • Money / ID / credit card / quarters
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Watch
  • Umbrella
  • Safety pins
  • Sewing kit / scissors

Basic First Aid Kit

Take a first aid / CPR class and keep your certification current.  Keep first aid supplies in a highly visible, durable, moisture-resistant container.  Keep the contents of your first aid kit organized and know how to use everything in your kit.  Inspect your kit often and replace used or expired items as needed.  Keep your first aid kit readily available at all times while camping or hiking.

Disclaimer: None of the following information should be construed as medical advice.  We recommend that you discuss your personal needs with a medical professional before using any of the items listed below.

We highly recommend…

  • Prescription medications – pack extra
  • Personal information / contact person
  • Whistle
  • Flashlight
  • Sharpie / notepad / pencil
  • Aspirin / Ibuprofen / Tylenol / Naproxin
  • Benadryl for allergies (also can aid sleep)
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Alcohol swabs / iodine swabs / antiseptic wipes
  • Poison ivy ointment / cleansers
  • Tweezers / splinter kit
  • Disposable gloves
  • Assorted band-aides / bandages
  • Butterfly bandages / steri-strips
  • Roll bandages / Ace wrap
  • Triangular bandage / sling
  • Adhesive tape
  • Sterile gauze pads (4×4)
  • Sterile ABD pads
  • “Mole Skin” for blisters

You might also consider…

  • Compression bandage / trauma bandage
  • Cold packs
  • Sunburn lotion / aloe vera
  • Cotton swabs / applicators
  • Antacid
  • Razor blades
  • Safety pins / scissors
  • Bee sting / snake bite kits
  • Splinting materials
  • Shock / exposure blanket
  • Small mirror / signaling device
  • Thermometer
  • First aid manual