Camping Essentials for Beginners – Printable list of essentials for camping

camping essentials for beginners

Ever since a young boy, I have loved camping, every year my family used to take me away to new campsites around the country. Back then I never had to worry about what to pack as my parents did it all for me. 

As you become more independent, you soon realize that you have to pack all the stuff you need yourself, of course, I had advice from my parents. But I still forgot to take something lol

So every time I went camping and I forgot something I added it to a list, so the next time I went away I wouldn’t forget it.

Below I have created for you, a starter camping essentials list. It’s fully printable, just click the link, and then within your browser settings just press print, to press the print button on your keyboard.

I’ve added all the essentials you will need, and I’ve also left enough lines for you to add your own extras on the list too.

Click here for a printable camping essentials checklist

camping essentials for beginners printable checklist

Camping Essentials for Beginners

So above you have my camping essentials for beginners list, but below I’m going to run through everything I’ve added to the list and why.


The most important part of the list, if you want to go camping is to pack your tent. Camping without a tent is basically sleeping rough.

Tent pegs

Most tents that you buy will come with their own tent pegs. Just double-check that yours did and it’s still within your tent bag.

When I go camping I prefer to use my own heavy-duty tent pegs. They are stronger than the pegs that come with tents and are less likely to bend when malleted into the ground.


Depending on the ground you can potentially just push the pegs into the ground. Using a mallet makes the process so much easier, especially if the ground is solid.

Head Torch

camping head torch

I could have suggested you take a normal Torch. But I find using a Head Torch a lot more convenient. There have been many times I have gone to pack up my tent whilst it is still nighttime.

Having a torch strapped to my head frees up one of my hands, and makes the process simpler.

Sleeping pad or inflatable air mattress

Whichever out of the two is your preference. Sleeping pads are smaller and take up less space in the car. But inflatable air mattresses are more comfortable to sleep on.

Both will soften up the ground and make your camping trip more comfortable at night.

Air pump

If you do decide to take an inflatable air mattress, you will need something to pump it up with. You can buy a self-inflatable air mattress of course, but if yours is not, buy a pump.

Sleeping bag or Quilt

Keeping warm at night is vitally important when camping, the temperature drops considerably at night. I prefer to take my quilt from home, but it’s up to you whether you take a quilt or a sleeping bag.


If you try to sleep without a pillow, you can wake up with a stiff neck. It’s an awful feeling to go through, avoid this by packing your pillow.


camping latern

Although a head torch is great for doing jobs that you look at in the dark. But you will want to take some sort of lighting to light up the inside of your tent. 

Cool box or bag

Cool boxes and bags are a great way to keep all the items you want chilled and cold. You can either take along an electric cool box that powers from the electric hook-up or USB power bank.

Or you can take along a cool bag, which is chilled by putting some frozen ice blocks inside. 

Camping stove 

Agreed way to cook your breakfast, lunches, and dinner whilst you are camping. They are also a great way of boiling your water for your morning coffee. Both the stove and fuel are cheap to buy. 

Frying pan and cooking utensils

Depending on what food you are taking and what you want to cook up. Taking a flying pan can help you cook up your camping meals. Great for burgers, sausages, bacon, and breakfast fry-ups.

Also make sure to take any utensils, like tongs etc you may feel you will need


It’s always great to take some form of cutlery to eat your breakfast with or add some sugar to your tea or coffee.  

Camping Kettle

They are a bit like what your grandma used to heat up water on the stove. Camping kettles are great for boiling the water up for your tea or coffee.

Camping chairs

Camping chairs are great for when you get up and eat your breakfast. There will be plenty of moments throughout the day when you will want to sit on something a bit comfier than the floor.

Water carrier

Having to fill up your camping kettle will happen more often than you think. Save some time by bringing along a water carrier, which you can fill up from the tap at the campsite.

Bin Bags

It’s important to leave your tent pitch clean and tidy ready for the next camper. Using bin bags just helps make it easier for you to do so. Also using bin bags makes it easier to keep the inside of your tent clean and tidy, giving your more space inside your tent. 


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