What to Take Camping: My Camping List

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To go with my previous post, I’ve come up with a list of items to purchase or look into purchasing for a camping excursion.  This list isnt’ geared towards hardcore campers, but rather those who are going on the sort of trip I’m embarking on this weekend.

This list is divided up as follows:

  • The first list is a list of food items that you could shop together for in bulk.  We purchase all these things and have everyone pitch in. They’re basic, remember you’re camping.
  • The second list is a list of optional food we don’t ever include in the upfront price, but seem to have every year from invidual donors.
  • The third list is items included in the bulk price that everyone always forgets about (napkins, cutlery, etc.)
  • The fourth list is things you should bring to have an easy time.  Most of these items people already have laying around, so we just split up who is bringing what.
  • And finally, the fourth list consists of items you may want to start investing with if camping becomes an annual thing.

Below are the things you can shop for together in bulk. 


  • Hotdogs
  • Hamburgers – Ground meat (beef or turkery) is much cheaper than premade burgers and it’s easy to throw together some burgers on the fly or premake them.  Pouring a bottle of Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce in the mix is a great way to flavor them up.
  • Hotdog Buns
  • Hamburger Buns
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Marinade (Italian Dressing is cheap and delicious, my second favorite is Spiedie Sauce).
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Eggs
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Orange Juice
  • Milk
  • Stick Margarine

Optional Food:

  • Clams- If you’ve never had grilled clams, you’re missing out.  Pop on the grill and wait till the open.  Melt some margarine and you’re good to go.
  • Pasta Salad- I associate summer with pasta salad. It’s really easy to make.  Boil some noodles, throw in chopped green and/or red pepper, small blocks of cheddar or mozzerella (or pepper jack if you like it spicy), pepporoni and your good to go.
  • Potatoes (for the fire).
  • Marshmellows
  • Graham Crackers
  • Chocolate (see where I’m going here)
  • Gatorade
  • Cereal (for those of you like myself who need carbs in the AM to function)/
  • Chips & Salsa
  • A nice steak
  • Corn on the cob and/or pre sliced water melon
  • Remember, you’re camping, you don’t want to get too fancy, expensive, or fussy.

All that stuff that’s necessary, but you consantly overlook:

  • Paper towels
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Hand Soap
  • Garbage bags
  • Napkins
  • Toilet Paper (never trust there to be enough toilet paper)
  • Wet naps (see above)
  • Batteries (for multiple uses)
  • Plastic Cutlery
  • Paper Plates
  • Red Solo Cups (because you can’t play flip cup without these)
  • Plastic Bowls (plastic, not styrophome)

What to bring (delineate these tasks between your group):

  • Bungee Cords
  • Spool of rope or twine (for hoisting tarps, make shift closelines, or tents)
  • Tents (obviously)
  • Radio or battery operated IPOD dock
  • Camping chairs
  • Coolers (drink coolers, one for meat, and one to keep other food dry and out of reach of animals).  Coolers also double as good places to sit around the fire, and it seems like everyone has a million old ones lying around.
  • Tarps
  • Mini Grill
  • Cast Iron Pot
  • Small boiling pot (for butter, etc)
  • Knives
  • Burger flipper
  • Cutting Board
  • Spatula
  • Large bowls (for mixing burgers, marinating chicken, etc).  Tuperware is helpful.
  • Pillows and blankets (duh, but still)
  • Bug spray, citronella candles, or better yet, Tiki torches
  • Flashlight
  • Lanterns
  • Toiletries
  • Towels

Things to invest in:

*I’ve only linked to items my friends or I own and like.

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