My husband and I used to be minimalists when it came to camping. Literally all we would take was a headlamp, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. No tent, no pillow, no plastic egg holder. Then we had kids.
These days, to be a camping minimalist would lead to sleepless nights and I shudder to think what else. I still want to get outside and enjoy sleeping under the stars, but this time we’ll do it with our sweet little people snuggled up next to us.
So I present to you our family’s ultimate camping packing guide. My goal is that on Friday morning, we could grab a couple of bins, some food, and get on the road with out scrambling around gathering everything needed to survive a few days away from civilization.
Here is a free printable packing list. I laminated my packing list and use a white board marker to mark off items before we leave.
Odds & Ends Bin
This bin contains:
- First aid kit
- Bug spray
- Garbage bags
- Flashlight & lantern
- Toilet paper
- Rubber mat to place outside the tent
- Rope (for clothes line)
- Fly swatter
- Rain ponchos
- Fishing supplies
- Small broom & pan
- Camp stove
Here’s the breakdown of this bin:
First aid kit – Ours contains: disposable gloves, Bandaids, triple antibiotic ointment, Benadryl, Ibuprofen, tweezers, scissors, hydrocortisone cream, medical tape, and Ibruprofen PM (which I take before bed and helps me sleep when camping).
Fire making stuff – Firestarters made of egg cartons, crayon wax and dryer lint (see tutorial here), matches, lighter, and a long grill lighter.
Cleaning stuff – Trash bags, small dust pan and brush, extra quart and gallon sized Ziploc bags, and a rubber doormat to put right outside the tent. This gives you a place to put your shoes so you don’t get dirt inside the tent.
Kitchen Supplies Bin
I have another bin to keep all of our kitchen supplies in. Technically, the stoves and propane are “kitchen” related, but it’s nice to keep them away from what you will actually be eating on.
- Plates, mugs, and utensils (our mugs double as bowls)
- Spatula / Large spoon
- Wine opener
- Can opener
- Cast iron pan
- Pots, lids, handle, steamer basket
- Clothes pins
- Salt & pepper
- Aluminum foil (heavy duty works best)
- Roasting sticks
- Pocket knife
- Dish towels and scrubbing sponges
- Dunk Bags
- Bronner’s Magic Soap
- French press coffee maker
- Wash tub
Dishwashing – wash tub, sponges, scrubbers, dish cloths, Bronner’s Magic Soap, hand sanitizer, large dunk bag for drying the dishes (hang from a tree limb)Tableware – Plates & mugs (I found these retro plastic ones on eBay), forks, spoons, knives, and a mesh bag for storage and to dry the clean dishes (ours is a lingerie laundry mesh bag)Hot drink supplies – French press, insulated mug, tea kettleOther kitchen items – Heavy duty aluminum foil, egg carrier, salt and pepper, pocket knife, can opener, wine bottle opener, and clothes pinsWe made a cute marshmallow roasting stick bag from the pant leg of an old pair of jeans.
Other Items to Bring (not in a bin):
- Refillable water jug
- Sleeping bags
- Camp chairs
- Ice / Water / Food
Here is a free printable packing list to help you check off all the items. I hope this inspires your family to get packing and go camping this summer. Happy trails!