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Survival Life’s Camping Checklist for 2021



Camping checklist concept on notebook | Survival Life's Camping Checklist for 2021 | Featured

Having a camping checklist allows you to cross-check and ensure you have everything you need to make your camping experience fun.

Here is a detailed roundup of everything you need to ensure you enjoy your stay outdoors.

RELATED: Camping Essentials For A Fun And Safe Camping Trip

The Only Camping Checklist You Will Ever Need for a Fun-Filled Camping Experience

Sleeping Gear


Tents are designed to provide some degree of comfort and shelter while in the outdoors. These outdoor homes come in various shapes and sizes. For instance, some quality sleeping tents offer ample sleeping space as well as interior and exterior storage. Due to their high quality, they can keep bad weather at bay.

On the other hand, Cheaper brands will have reduced sleeping and storage space and will not withstand bad weather as well. Cheaper sleeping tents may also require extra accessories such as a footprint to prevent floor damage.

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2. Sleeping Bags

While tents provide direct shelter against harsh weather conditions, sleeping bags play a vital role in keeping you warm and cozy while camping. Like camping tents, sleeping bags also come in different variations from the length, girth, and hip measurement to insulation to temperature rating and other aesthetics.


  • Sleeping bags with zippers allow for easy entry and exit
  • Consider the fill in your preferred sleeping bag. Down feathers are warmer, lighter, and pack smaller
  • Mummy sleeping bags are warmer than quilt ones, but they are limiting as far as sleeping positions are concerned
  • Hoods and draft collars on the sleeping bag are good for trapping heat

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3. Camping Pillow

Sleeping outdoors doesn’t have to compromise on your comfort hence why it made it to this camping checklist. Camping pillow models come in various options ranging from inflatable and ultralight to compressible but lofty ones. Most compressible pillows pack small and expand when unfurled.

Tip: You can always grab your old pillow from home if it packs well

4. Camping Mattress

Unlike the sleeping pad used by backpackers, camping mattresses are generally wider, thicker, and warmer. Most camping mats are self-inflated, while others come with an air pump. While they may not seem necessary, sleeping mats offer insulation against heat loss while keeping you coy in the outdoors.

5. Lantern

It would be remiss to miss a source of lighting in this camping checklist. Lanterns are ideal for group and individual camping, especially when you are hanging outside your tent. What’s more, lanterns offer various levels of brightness and have a wider coverage.

What’s more, modern versions are powered by USB-rechargeable batteries and have up to 400 hours of runtime. You can also check out the solar-powered variations like the 4-in-1 Aqualight.

4-in-1 Aqualight

Tip: Most of these modern lanterns double as phone chargers

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6. Headlamp

Even with a lantern, you will still need a headlamp to help you maneuver easily in the dark. It is also efficient because it allows you to have concentrated light while using both hands to set up your tent. Most headlamps come with various settings such as distance beams, flood, and colored lights.

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7. Camping Chairs

There are a ton of camping chairs in the market today. Go something within your price range, durable, comfortable, and folds up. As far as personal preference goes, modern rocking models are great compliments for classic fold-ups.

Tip: Hammocks make great alternatives for camping chairs.

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Cooking Gear

8. Stove

Today, camping stoves are reliable and robust with upgraded consistent heat output, simmer capabilities, and fine-tuned heat control. Most models in the market use propane with a few liquid and isobutene exceptions.


Regardless of the kind you use, you can find propane and white gas at your local camping store or hardware. We suggest Raven Steelworks Zing Rocket Stove that are designed to increase fuel efficiency without increasing harmful emissions.

Tip: If you prefer the double-burner table-top models, go for one that packs small

9. Cookware

Regardless of how amateur or complex you intend to make your meals during a camp, you will need a few pots and at least one pan. However, the exact number and type of cookware you need will depend on your group size and culinary preferences.

8 Piece BBQ Tool Set


  • Your local thrift shop is a great place to get the cookware, especially if you are on a budget. Camping stores will, however, have more durable items for a bit more
  • Besides cooking pots, a kettle will make beverage preparation much easier
  • Make sure you have all your grilling needs. Our partners at UncleJudd's has a great collection of grilling needs that are perfect for any camping trip.

10. Dinnerware

Camping Eating Utensils

You will need plates, bowls, cups, and mugs to use when your food and beverages are ready. While single-use dinnerware may be easier to pack and carry, reusable dinnerware is the best option, especially if you are trying to build your camp kitchen.

11. Table

Though many campgrounds have tables, it will not hurt to have a portable picnic table, especially if you are camping as a group. Besides making it easier to serve food, it offers a great surface to prop items like cutting boards and stoves. Luckily, there are great lightweight options in the market.

12. Cooler

Ultra Slim Cooler

Ensuring that your foods and beverages stay cold during camping is vital. Therefore, the first consideration to keep in mind when purchasing is its ability to keep the interior temperature low. Secondly, you need to consider durability. Besides being more durable, hardshell coolers keep items cooler for longer, and their surface can double as a counter space while outdoors.

One innovative design we found keeps up to 10 drinks ice cold for 8 hours and can be easily stored!

Outdoor Clothing

13. Moisture-Wicking Baselayer

A baselayer's primary function is to absorb moisture or sweat from your body to regulate your core temperature. Since cotton is known to underperform when it gets wet, you should consider trying out polyester or merino wool instead.

You will be surprised at how well 100% merino wool absorbs moisture without getting wet or stinking while remaining silky soft, and comfortable against the skin.

14. Synthetic or Down Jacket

Even when camping in summer, you need some insulation to stay warm during chilly summer mornings and evenings. Luckily, there are only two main options when it comes to warmth. Unlike synthetic jackets, down jackets last longer while retaining more warmth and are lighter.


  • Down jackets are more expensive than synthetic ones, and they do perform efficiently when wet
  • Also, be careful with down jackets around a fire as the feathers can easily catch the flying sparks

15. Rain Jacket

This camping checklist is all about helping you be more prepared for camping, and having a functional rain jacket is part of that. Even during summer, it will not hurt to be prepared for a surprise storm. If anything, rain jackets pack small and add no weight to your bug-out bag.

Tip: Rain jackets don't have to be anything savvy, but you can go with some brands with reliable waterproofing abilities, quality make, and breathability.

16. Hiking Pants

Jeans pants are not made for the outdoors, considering their bulkiness and tightness that will most likely limit your movement. Luckily, various makes in the market are designed for both men and women and are far better adapted for the outdoors. Besides offering you unmatched freedom of movement, they feature a plethora of pockets, wick moisture, and rarely get heavy when wet.

17. Hiking Shoes

Today, most campers prefer hiking shoes to boots because they are light and allow you to maneuver outdoors easily. Keep in mind that they, however, have a low-height ankle compared to boots. There are tons of options in the market today. You only have to look for something in your price range.

Wool hiking socks are a great compliment to go with your hiking shoes. Unlike the standard white fare ones, wool hiking socks are warmer, don't stretch after repeated use, and wick sweat better.

Tip: Carry an extra pair of sandals for lounging around your campsite.Here’s an infographic guide. Don’t forget to download, save, or share this handy infographic for reference:

Tips for A Successful Camping Trip | Infographics

Watch this video by At Home In The Future on the best camping chair in 2021:

There you have it, preppers. With such a detailed camping checklist, there is no chance you will be stranded in the wilderness. What's more, being adequately prepared makes camping much more fun and stress-free. Feel free to throw in other times that you have to come in handy for you when camping.

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What other camping items do you like tagging along with? Let us know in the comment section below! 

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***Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.***

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 14, 2021, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. S

    July 6, 2021 at 11:53 AM

    you have some important typos in your article: down does NOT perform well when wet. Your article states otherwise. A note on sleep pads and mattresses: if you are looking for warmth in your sleep pad, nothing beats a sheepskin. Make sure you get the real deal, and it is nice to get several sewn together, but if you can’t afford that, get one and place it so it will be under your core. And on the tents, you should mention where you can get a good tent, because what they sell in most stores are meant for playing around, not real camping.

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