Your Outdoor Packing List: Weekend Camping

Last week we posted an article on what to bring along for a day hike, as part of our new series on packing lists for outdoor adventures. With spring just around the corner, camping is edging closer to a reality than it has been all winter, so this week, we’d like to offer you our suggestions for a weekend camping packing list. Weekend camping is a natural progression from the day hike for many people, so this packing list will make a great addition to the list for day hikes. Happy trails, everyone!


Today’s Packing List: Weekend Camping

  1. Shelter
    Most people are going to remember a tent for camping, so shelter might seem a silly thing to put on a packing list. But a place to sleep isn’t the only thing we’re talking about here when we say shelter. Depending on your location, there may be an available shelter for hanging out, setting up a kitchen, or keeping out of the rain, but there is a good chance there won’t be. Make sure you have materials that you can easily erect at camp, whether it’s a pre-fabricated canopy or a few tarps strung up strategically to provide relief from sun, wind, or rain. It’s one thing that can make your campsite more or less comfortable, depending on whether you remember to bring it or not!
  2. Bedding
    A sleeping bag or a collection of blankets is easy to remember to bring along for weekend camping, right? True enough, but to get quality sleep in the outdoors, you need to bring the proper bedding for the environment you’ll be camping in. If you typically set up your sleeping bag on the tent floor, bring a camp mattress of some sort, to create a layer of insulation between you and the ground, and marvel at how much warmer and drier you stay, not to mention bypassing the aches from an uneven ground surface. And don’t forget one common item that seems to skip the minds of many weekend campers: a pillow!
  3. Camp Furniture
    Just like in the case of shelter, you can’t guarantee that tables and chairs will come with your choice of campsites, so add camp furniture to your packing list. Camp furniture is incredibly easy to find new, and you can score some great deals by shopping second hand, garage sales, or classifieds. A table to prepare food on will make mealtimes much easier, and of course, a comfy camp chair will quickly become a valuable asset to a campsite, especially if there aren’t enough for everyone!
  4. Water Filtration
    Most people will have water on their weekend camping packing list, and plenty of it, but there’s always a risk of running out. If you’re going to be camping near a water source, you’re going to love that you remembered to bring some kind of water filtration system. There’s a wide variety of styles on the market, and the majority of them are designed to filter out harmful bacteria, protozoa, particulates, odors, and tastes, without adding a ton of bulk or maintenance to your gear.
  5. Knife
    We can’t stress it enough — a sharp, sturdy knife that’s made for the outdoors will come in handy more times than we can even start to list. Don’t head into the wild outdoors without one!

Photo via Lee Cannon


  1. That’s a cunning answer to a challenging quseiton

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