How To Prepare For a Camping Trip in 2020


No need to worry about white walkers just yet, summer is closing in and more and more people are heading out into the wild to experience the nature as it’s supposed to be experienced.

No matter if you travel by trailer or car, it’s always good to plan ahead so that your camping trip doesn’t get ruined because you forgot to bring a clean set of underwear.

The consequences of not keeping a check-list during your preparation can either be that you are bringing either too much stuff or to little stuff. This, of course, depends on various factors such as transportation, duration and what have you.

There’s a lot of check-lists available online, but I think that you might favor this one since it is laid out in a format that will make it easy for you to not forget anything. It’s in a PDF format and has pre-made boxes that you just can check as you go along!

The guide below is a more comprehensive guide to what to consider in the different main-categories of stuff that is essential for you to bring.

How To Prepare For a Camping Trip 2020


A tent is of course only necessary if you will use it. If you’re going with any vehicle that you are planning to sleep in, a tent should not be necessary for obvious reasons.

  • However, a great deal of caution should be taken before just grabbing your nearest tent. Thinking about this:
  • How many people will stay in the tent?
  • How is the climate in which you will use the tent in? (It is often displayed in either the tents instruction manual or you can look it up online)
  • Is the tent easy to set up and do you still have the manual? (and have you done it before?)
  • Set up the tent beforehand so that no pieces are missing! [IMPORTANT]

Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag does not need to be either light or compact. For maximal comfort and movement, a rectangular sleeping bag is your best bet. Depending on your situation, a sleeping bag that can be merged with another sleeping bag through a zipper can come in handy, in case you’d want to share your sleeping bag with that special someone. Think about:

  • A sleeping bag that is warm enough for the climate, a general rule of thumb is that you would want to pick a sleeping bag that is warmer than you think you would need since it’s easier to cool down than to get warm.
  • Your amount of (body fat percentage) plays a huge role in how warm your body is when you’re sleeping.
  • Clean out and check for any holes in your sleeping bag before going on the camping trip.

Sleeping Pad

There is nothing more important than having a good nights sleep during a camping trick. Even more so if the camping trip duration is more than a couple of days. Imagine being tired every day because of bad sleep.

The sleeping pad is a huge factor because it’s the ultimate guarantee for getting a good nights sleep. A sleeping mat can either be inflatable or made of foam rubber. The lower the weight in comparison to the volume, the more compact will the sleeping mat be. The choice is always to bring a camping bed, especially if you’re having back problems. A few things to consider:

Inflatable or rubber foam?

  • Are you camping in the mountains with hard terrain maybe an inflatable one is the better option? But if you’re going on a longer trecking trip and want to keep your luggage as light as possible, maybe a rubber foam version is better.
  • Make sure that you know how to inflate your sleeping mat and that it is not broken. The best way to check this is to inflate it and let it be overnight with a couple of books on it.
  • Know how to inflate it and if you need a powered air pump or if you need to carry with you an external air pump that just takes unnecessary space.


Don’t forget to bring battery-driven lightning sources. There is a lot of good flashlights out there, and you’d want one with a wide scope. A lighting source that you can either hang in the roof of your tent or place in a corner is also essential. A forehead lamp can also be good when you need to be able to use your both hands in a pressing situation.


  • Don’t forget to test every lightning source before your trip.
  • Don’t forget to bring an extra set of batteries to every source.
  • Don’t just bring one source of light, in case it gets lost or broken.

Kitchen accessories

There are not many things that are more satisfying than to gather around a bonfire eating hamburgers or hot dogs.

The amount of kitchen accessories that you should bring is the most depending thing you have to choose. It’s all dependent on the nature of your camping trip, if you’re doing more of a “comfortable” camping inside of a camping trailer, you would want to bring the obvious things like plates, cutleries, glasses etc. Yeah, you know!

But if you’re just going out into the wild you would want to scale the number of kitchen accessories that you’d want to bring. Like water bottles, bowls with a lid, maybe a portable stove and other of the absolutely necessary. Some tips of things that are easily forgotten:

  • Things so that you can boil water!
  • Detergent for dirty dishes as well as a dish-brush (can be used on muddy clothes as well)
  • Paper towels
  • Tin cans (that can be heated directly over a fire/stove, like a stainless steel percolator)
  • Cooler box with ice clamps (There are backpack shaped cooler boxes that works great for trecking-style camping

Hygiene products and other necessities

This is all you-dependant. But remember to bring a toothbrush (if you don’t want to use white moss), painkillers, insect spray, sun block, lip balm, first-aid-kit and preferably a cold spray. A compass can also always come handy.


This one is pretty obvious, but it is actually a lot of decision making in choosing your backpack. And if you end up bringing just a “normal” backpack on a long camping trip with a lot of walking, your back will hate you!

There are three main types of backpacks;


In general, daypacks are soft-backed or frameless. Daypacks are lightweight and intended for light loads (10 to 15 pounds). Good daypacks have hipbelts to prevent the load from thumping on your back with each stride.

External frame packs

Also used for big, heavy loads, these packs are best for walking on trails (as opposed to skiing, climbing or bushwhacking). That’s because the package is hung off a simple exterior frame, so the load is positioned farther away from your back.

And though this might result in a wobble-fest for climbers or skiers, trail walkers who carry big loads often love them.

Internal frame packs

Internal frames are generally narrower and closer fitting (than externals), they’re the best choice for any sort of dynamic activities like climbing, skiing, or bushwhacking, where you need good arm clearance and a tight center of balance.