Summer Camping Essentials Checklist

Summer is the month of getting out in the country, exploring your surroundings, and being out in nature. Ensuring you pack all the right gear will make the difference between a fun and enjoyable getaway, and an absolute nightmare.

Summer Camping Essentials

We have split this section into 5 separate categories, this will make it easier to write your own checklist so you don’t miss anything.

For the Campsite

The first thing you are going to need is a tent. Considering it is Summer, you aren’t going to need a tent that can protect you against the cold and driving winds, but you do want one that is well ventilated and allows any hot air to escape.

Depending on which season you receive rain, will influence your decision in buying a tent that is waterproof or not. Waterproofing only adds a small amount to the total for a tent, so getting a tent that protects you from the rain is a idea.

Tent Protection
You will also need a tarp or a ground cover to put under your tent to add comfort when lying on the floor and to protect the bottom of the tent from any damage.

Sleeping Bag
The next big thing you are going to need is a sleeping bag. Getting a sleeping bag that is lightweight and compact is always the best way to go for a summer trip, or if you are going to be hiking.

If you are going to be in hot conditions, get a sleeping bag that is thin, as it should just protect you against mosquitos or insects, as you are not going to need it to keep you warm.

Sleeping Extras
Comfort is always a necessity when camping, and there is no need to sacrifice on comfort when you can easily transport and carry pillows and sleeping pads. They are compact and lightweight, and perfect for any hiking or camping trips.

Camping Chairs
You may want to take some camping chairs, which are very compact and easy to transport and can add to the comfort of your site.

Lanterns or torches are also advised, especially if you are going to be camping in the wilderness and there is no artificial light around.

Repair Kit
You will need to pack a tent repair kit to fix any holes or damage to your tent. It is even more important if you are going to be camping on a very rough terrain.

Clothing and Comfort

You will need comfortable and lightweight everyday clothing. Lightweight clothing is easy to pack and easy to transport. You will also need a few pieces for cold weather in case the weather changes on you.

Swimming Gear
You will need to pack your swimsuit as well as a towel if you are going to be swimming. Packing an extra towel is a plus so you always have a dry one available.

If you are planning on hiking or going on long walks, you will need the right pair of shoes. Hiking boots or good quality walking shoes are often necessary. You will also need thick socks to prevent blisters.

You will need to pack blankets. If your sleeping bag provides enough warmth and comfort, you may not need a blanket. If you are worried about the weather getting a bit colder than expected, packing a blanket is advised.

You will need to pack a hat if you are planning on spending a lot of time in the sun. You will also need to pack a raincoat in case of rain.


You will only need basic cooking equipment. A small camping stove, fuel for the stove, as well as waterproof matches. Bringing along firewood or collecting it while you’re there is a good idea.

You will need a decent sized pot and pan, both big enough to do all your cooking. You can also find small, compact french press coffee machines if you need your cup of joe in the morning.

Food Storage
It is advised to store your food in plastic containers, as well as bring extra ones for leftovers. Bringing along a cooler that is either battery operated or can be charged in your car is advised to keep food and drinks cool and fresh.

You should take along a wooden or metal spoon for cooking, cutting knives etc, as well as knives, forks, and spoons. Just take one of each for each person as they will get heavy and you shouldn’t overpack.

Plates, bowls, cups
We suggest you pack a number of paper plates. They are perfect for camping as you don’t need to clean them. You will also need tin or plastic cups for drinking.

You should take a few liters of water with you, just in case there isn’t a clean source of water nearby. You should also take some plastic water bottles so that you are always hydrated, especially if you are going to be active.

You need to pack trash bags for any rubbish you will have. You will also need biodegradable soap for washing dishes. Tinfoil for food storage, as well as sponges and dish towels for cleaning and drying.

Personal Items

You will need your toothbrush, toothpaste and environmentally friendly soap. If you are going to be washing in a river or lake, you will definitely need the biodegradable soap. Having a toilet tent is great if you are camping for an extended period.

Skin Protection
You will need a strong sunscreen that will need to be applied daily. You will also need insect repellent.

Pack basic medication for dehydration, headaches, and stomach problems. You should also take a first-aid kit that you have double-checked to make sure it is stocked correctly.

Taking a lightweight and compact backpack is a must. It is perfect for carrying gear while on a hike, as well as storing valuables that you want to keep on your person.

Extra Gear

If you are going to a river or lake, there are some really fun pieces of gear you should take with. A full face snorkel mask makes snorkeling fun for everyone, it is easier to breath using one, and the panoramic views you get are unmatched.

Another fun family-friendly piece of gear is an inflatable kayak. These kayaks are compact, easy to transport, and even easier to set-up and use. They are great for families, kids, and beginners kayakers.

Make sure you pack your camera, as well as extra charged batteries. Purchasing a waterproof casing is also suggested, to protect against any accidents.

Bonus Points

A backpack  hammock is a great addition to any list or backpack, they can be used as somewhere to just relax and chill out as tents can sometimes can get hot and you can setup one almost anywhere and sleep under the stars

Now that you know what you will need for your next big camping trip, we hope this breakdown has helped you know what you do and don’t need, and what you should never forget.

It is very easy to leave something important at home, but it is also easy to remember everything you need. Just think about what you use and need at home, it makes packing for a weekend away much easier.

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