Essential Items for your next Tenting Trip

On the spectrum from survival camping to glamping, going tent camping at a campsite is about in the middle of the road. On the one hand, you don’t have the full comforts of a shower or full kitchen like you might with an RV or Cabin; on the other, you have a car to pack full of as many comforts as possible. Here is a quick list of must-pack things I’d consider essential when tenting.


I’m going to assume you’re not going to forget the tent, your clothes, food or drinks. And no one leaves the house without their phone these days. But there are many other essentials you’ll need to pack that will help you relax and enjoy your camping trip to the fullest.

Tenting campsites typically don’t have power, so we’ve considered that with this list. 

Here are the essentials for you to consider:

Cooking and Eating

Camp Stove and Propane – If you don’t want to build a fire for every meal a camp stove or small BBQ is a perfect way to speed up that process.

Matches or Lighter – Ideally choose waterproof matches or make sure your lighter is full of fuel.

Axe – Odds are the wood available at the campground will be too large to burn as it is. Make sure you take proper safety precautions when chopping wood. 

Cooler – It’s best if you can bring a couple coolers – one for frozen meal items, one for drinks, and one for easy access to snacks. You might also consider one for bringing to the beach. Make sure to follow the guidelines of the campground when it comes to food storage and wildlife. 

Pots or Pans – Depending on your choice of meals you’ll need to bring dishware to cook it in. We don’t recommend bringing your best dishware as it will likely get a bit banged up.

Campfire Roasting Sticks and Bush Pie Makers – To us, this is the main reason to go camping. Roasted marshmallows or tasty bush pies are a classic. 

Plates and Utensils – Again, we don’t recommend bringing your fine china. Disposable paper plates may be easier but they aren’t great for the environment. Try picking up a set of durable camping plates.

Cups – Depending on your level of “roughing it” you may want to consider any of the following: A large water bottle, A coffee mug, cups for the kid’s juice, cups for the adult’s “juice”. An insulated cup is a good option as it could be used for anything.

Dish soap – Try finding a biodegradable option if you are going to be dumping your dishwater around your campsite.

Two sausages roasting over wood campfire for camping dinner.


Lots of Bedding – This is typically one of the most challenging parts of camping for most people. Try bringing pillows, blankets or sleeping bags, and an air or foam mattress. It may get cold at night, so pack enough to stay warm.

Lighting – If you have to get up in the middle of the night, this is an essential item. We suggest both a lantern for your tent and a flashlight to find your way to the bathroom. You might also consider a headlamp for hands-free lighting. Don’t forget the extra batteries!

Campsite Comforts

Toiletries – Ideally, find environmentally friendly options if you’re going to be using them outside of modern plumbing facilities. Shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush and toilet paper are the bare minimum.

Towels – Beach, Shower and face towels are perfect. Nothing worse than trying to dry off with a sandy beach towel.

Camp Chairs – If you plan on sitting around the fire, this is a must.

First Aid Kit – You never know what will happen, so it is good to be prepared. 

Camping in a Tent

As I mentioned above, these are just the essentials. If you’re like me though, coffee is an essential which means you’d also need to add coffee pot or French Press to that list.

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