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Below you will find a list of practical gear to bring on you next camping trip, along with some tips for specific items. Take a browse here and then you can a download a copy of the checklist to use as you pack.

Just remember – these are just suggestions. You don’t have to necessarily bring everything on the list, and you may want to bring things from home that are not on the list.
Click on the link below to download the file and print it at home:

Camping Checklist (PDF, 167 Kb)

Small child in tent Camping at Kouchibouguac
© Parks Canada


Tent: Be sure to rent, buy or borrow a tent that will keep you dry and comfortable. Practice setting up the tent at home before your first camping trip.

Groundsheet: A groundsheet is a piece of fabric that you place under your tent to help protect your tent’s floor.

Tarpaulin: Bring a “tarp” and hang it above a picnic table so you can stay dry in case of rain.

Sleeping bag: If you don’t have a sleeping bag, bring a blanket and sheet from home.

Pillow: For extra comfort, bring a small pillow. If you prefer, stuff a sack with extra clothing for a makeshift camping pillow.

Sleeping pad or air mattress: A sleeping pad or mat goes under your sleeping bag for extra comfort and warmth.

Lantern: Use a battery-powered lantern inside your tent; gas or propane powered lanterns are fine outdoors but should never be used inside tents.

Flashlights or headlamps with extra batteries: A flashlight headlamp keeps your hands free while shining light on whatever you are doing. One headlamp per camper is ideal.

Rope or cord: Rope and cord can be used for many things including making clotheslines and hanging tarps.

Duct tape: Duct tape is strong, water resistant and can temporarily fix just about anything!

Stuff sack: These bags help to compress and organise your clothing.


Kitchen Gear

Mess kit (Plate/Mug/Bowl/Utensils): Plastic or steel plates, mugs, bowls and utensils are best as they are sturdy, quite lightweight, and reusable.

Camp stove: There are many types of camp stoves, so get advice to find a model that is ideal for you.

Fuel: Fuels come in many different shapes and forms so be sure that you have the right one for your stove or lantern.

Large bowl: A large bowl is useful for mixing ingredients while preparing meals at the campsite.

Cutting board: A cutting board will come in handy to chop ingredients while preparing snacks and meals.

Spatula/ Wooden spoon/ Strainer/ Tongs: Consider which meals you are preparing and remember to pack the utensils you will need to cook them.

Pots/ Frying pans: Bring pots and pans that are designed for fire cooking if you plan to cook on the fire.

Oven mitt: A pot holder or oven mitt will keep your hands comfortable when you move your pots and pans to and from the stove or fire.

Pot gripper: Some camping frying pans and pots do not come with handles and use a clamp-like gripper to pick up and move the pan or pot.

Dishpan: Bring a large plastic container or bin you can use to fill with water and wash your dishes in.

Biodegradable dishwashing soap: Be sure your dish soap is biodegradable, and dispose of it in sinks or drains not in lakes or on the ground. Check out the “Camping Basics” section to learn more.

Food cooler: Your cooler is not wildlife-proof so be sure to store it properly at night or anytime you are not at your campsite.

Waterproof matches/lighter: If you don’t have waterproof matches or a lighter, keep your matches in a waterproof container or bag.

Can opener: If you don’t have a can opener on your pocket knife a separate one will be handy.

Tablecloth: Bring a sturdy plastic, reusable tablecloth. It will be easy to wipe off after meals and it won’t be damaged by rain.

Aluminum foil: Aluminum foil is handy around the campsite, especially for cooking on the fire and wrapping up leftovers.

Paper towels: Just like at home, paper towels can be handy to help clean up spills and messes.

Garbage bags: A few garbage bags are handy for storing all your garbage. Don’t forget to store your garbage in your vehicle at night.

Candles and holders: Candles or tea lights on the picnic table will shed some light on your picnic table, especially if you do not have a lantern. A windproof candle-holder is recommended.


Personal Gear

Insect repellent: There many insect repellents available with different ingredients so make sure you find one that is right for you.

Sunscreen: Sunscreen is essential – especially at higher altitudes where the sun’s rays are even stronger, and on the water, where the rays are multiplied through reflection.

Whistle: A good whistle can alert people within earshot if you are in trouble.

Tweezers: Tweezers can be used to pull out things like splinters from fingers.

Aloe gel: Aloe is soothing to skin that is sunburned.


Personal Hygiene

Biodegradable shampoo & soap: Look for shampoo and soap that are biodegradable. Remember - even biodegradable products need to be disposed of down a sink or drain, not in a lake.


Camping With Children

Diapers and wipes: Bring only enough diapers and wipes (plus a few extras) for the trip. No need to pack a whole package!

Extra clothing/ Footwear: Pack several extra sets of clothing and footwear to make sure children stay dry and warm. Children enjoy camping, but tend to get wet and dirty faster than at home.


Camping With Pets

Leash: Many national parks have regulations regarding pets and leashes – make sure you are familiar with them before you go.

Doggie bags: Remember to clean up after your pet at all times.

Pet food/ Treats: Just like your food, pet food should be stored properly at night and any time you are away from your campsite.

Brush: A brush will come in handy to get the dirt and anything else out of your pet’s fur.



Clothespins: Bring a few clothespins to hang up wet items on the clothesline

Small broom and dust pan: Use a small broom and dust pan to sweep out any leaves, pines needles and dirt and to keep your tent clean and tidy.

First Aid Kit: Make sure your first aid kit is complete and up to date.

Newspaper to start the fire: If you don’t have any newspaper, just about any other type of paper will do.