Packing list camping: Checklist to print out and check off

Camping is very popular among Germans, especially in the summer months. More and more people in Germany are getting a taste for it and every year more and more people spend the night on campsites. But for many first-time campers, knowing the right equipment and packing wisely can be difficult.

How should you know what you need and what you can leave at home?? If you want to get the hang of this so that you can start an unforgettable camping vacation well prepared, you should take a look at the following camping packing lists.

Camping Packing List: Clothing

The best clothing for your camping vacation depends on the time of the year you are going to the area and what you are going to do there. If you are traveling in summer temperatures in warm areas, you will need rather light clothes and accessories that will protect you from the sun's rays.

If you're traveling in colder climates, don't forget a warm jacket, thermal underwear, and hat, scarf, and gloves. Some things, such as sturdy hiking boots, rain pants and a soft shell jacket, you should take with you no matter where you go.

  • Trekking shoes
  • Hiking boots
  • Climbing shoes
  • Waterproof socks
  • Hiking socks
  • hiking pants
  • Trekking pants
  • Rain pants
  • Underwear
  • Thermal underwear
  • Down jacket
  • Softshell jacket
  • Fleece jacket
  • Rain jacket
  • Fleece vest
  • Sweater
  • Hiking shirts
  • Neckerchief
  • Hat
  • Scarf
  • Gloves
  • Umbrella cap
  • Sunglasses

Camping Packing List: Cooking and grilling

Almost every camping vacationer plans to cook or barbecue on the trip itself. However, the items to bring vary depending on how you plan to get around. If you are going on vacation in a camper van or motorhome, you will probably have no problem bringing large camping furniture such as a camping table and camping chairs, as well as a cooler or freezer. However, if you are traveling with only one backpack, so that the space and weight is limited, you should consider more carefully what you really need and what you can do without.

  • Gas stove
  • Lighter
  • Matches
  • Camping pots
  • Camping pans
  • Camping plate
  • Camping mug
  • Camping cutlery
  • Cooking utensils
  • Multitool (with can opener and bottle opener)
  • Cutting knife
  • Cutting board
  • Spices
  • Grill
  • Barbecue charcoal
  • Lighter
  • Barbecue tongs
  • Garbage bags
  • Camping table
  • Camping chair
  • Cooler box
  • Freezer

Packing list camping: food and drinks

Especially important when camping is a good supply of food and drinks. You should always have enough water with you to avoid dehydration. If you are always moving from one campsite to the next, you will have no problems to find fresh water. However, if you are out in the wilderness for days on end, you have several options for finding water and making it drinkable, including using a water filter or tablets designed for this purpose. In any case, inform yourself before your trip about the different types of water treatment.

As far as other provisions are concerned, it is always useful to take a little too much rather than too little. A few energy bars for emergencies can work wonders on a strenuous hike.

  • Water bottle
  • Water
  • Water purifier
  • Catering
  • Thermos bottle
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Energy bar

Packing list camping: tents and sleeping

If you are traveling without a caravan or camper on your camping trip, camping is a good option for spending the night at campsites or in the wilderness. Since the tent is an essential part of this, you should pay particular attention to good quality here. This will prevent you from getting wet or freezing in the cold or rain. Also, your sleeping pad and sleeping bag should be dry, warm and comfortable. Because there is hardly anything more annoying than to sleep badly on vacation, especially if you want to be physically active during the day.

Checklist camping: money and finances

The topic of money and finances on a camping vacation is quite self-explanatory. Above all, you should make sure you have enough cash in the currency of the destination country. Because especially abroad, but also at foreign banks in Germany, a fee may be charged when withdrawing cash.

If possible, keep cash in different places, so that in the unfortunate event of loss or theft, you are not completely empty-handed. For this case you should also carry the emergency phone numbers of your bank to be able to block a lost card if necessary.

Another helpful tip is to carry cash directly on your body in a chest pouch. In addition, you should take your debit card and your credit card with you to be able to pay by card or to withdraw cash in case of emergency.

  • Cash
  • EC card
  • Credit card
  • Neck pouch
  • Emergency phone numbers

Camping Checklist: Hygiene items

What should not be missing on your packing list for camping are the following hygiene items. Because when camping you are happy about every form of hygiene, because much of the everyday comfort is omitted. The most important hygiene items for the camping checklist are of course a toothbrush and toothpaste as well as shower gel, shampoo, deodorant and sunscreen. You should also take a towel and toilet paper with you. If you are traveling for a longer period of time, it is also worth packing a toilet bag with nail scissors, nail file and tweezers.

In case of emergency: medicines and pharmacy

A very important item on the packing list for camping is the first-aid kit. Because especially when you're out in the wild, you won't have access to the medical care you're used to. What you should definitely pack is a first aid kit and, if necessary, medications that you take regularly.

Since most of your camping activities take place outside, it is also a good idea to bring blister plasters and insect repellent. What might also be useful is a nasal spray, charcoal tablets, painkillers, ointment and hand sanitizer.

  • Medication
  • First aid kit
  • Blister plaster
  • Tick tongs
  • Insect repellent
  • Nasal spray
  • Charcoal tablets
  • Painkillers
  • Ointment
  • Hand disinfectant

Very important: papers and documents

The documents and papers you should take with you depend on the geographical regions and the means of transportation you will be using. In all cases, you should pack your identity card, travel documents, health insurance card and vaccination certificate. If you are traveling by car or motorhome, you should also have your driver's license and vehicle registration papers with you.

When traveling abroad, it is advisable to take out a foreign health insurance policy and carry the relevant documents with you. If you want to travel outside the EU, you should also pack your passport, otherwise you will have problems at the border.

  • Identity card
  • Travel documents
  • Health insurance card
  • Vaccination card
  • Driver's license (if traveling by car or RV)
  • Vehicle documents (when traveling by car or RV)
  • International health insurance (when traveling abroad)
  • Passport (for travel outside the EU)

Camping Packing List: Backpacks and bags

The optimal luggage depends on the means of transport you want to use for camping. If you are traveling by car or camper, you can of course also carry large suitcases or bags. If you are going on a hiking tour, you should use a hiking or trekking backpack. In it you can store everything you need and due to the ergonomic shape even longer hikes are not too stressful for your back.

For the backpack, it is advisable to pack an extra rain cover to keep your things dry even in extreme conditions. In addition, it is usually worthwhile to take a jute bag for larger purchases.

  • Hiking backpack
  • Trekking backpack
  • Rain cover
  • Shopping bag
  • Toiletry bag

Packing list for swimming and beach

For beach visits, be sure to bring swimwear and a bath towel. If you want to spend a lot of time on the beach, it is also more comfortable with a beach blanket, which offers more space to lie than a towel. If you have a lot of space in your car or caravan, you can also pack a camping bed and a parasol. To pass the boredom on the beach, you can also take beach toys such as a beach ball, a Frisbee or Viking chess with you on vacation.

  • Swimwear
  • Bath towel
  • Blanket
  • Camping bed
  • Parasol
  • Beach games

Camping Packing List: Equipment

Good equipment is especially important if you are spending the nights in the wilderness instead of at the campsite. Then you should definitely have a flashlight, a pocket knife, a map, a compass and a watch on your packing list for camping. Other gadgets, such as a headlamp, hiking poles, binoculars or a light to hang in the tent, can also be useful.

If you are traveling not only with a backpack, but also in a car or camper, it is worthwhile to take a bicycle with you. Then you can make day trips by bike from the campsite.

Camping packing list for your child

In addition to clothes for your child, there are a few important things to keep in mind when going on a camping vacation with a child. These are of course dependent on how old the child is. However, papers such as the child's passport, vaccination card and health insurance card should definitely be taken with you. For small children, do not forget the stroller, a pacifier and a child seat.

For beach trips you should also pack water wings and beach toys. If your child can't fall asleep without a night light or cuddly toys, they should not be forgotten either. If your child gets sick quickly on long journeys by car, bus or train, you should also think about spit bags.

  • Children's clothing
  • Child passport
  • Child immunization card
  • Children's health insurance card
  • Children's shampoo
  • Child seat
  • Cuddly toys
  • Night light
  • Pacifier
  • Spit bag
  • Stroller
  • water wings
  • Beach toys

Technology and entertainment

Even if you plan to spend a lot of time in nature on your trip and think you don't need any technical gadgets, they can still be useful sometimes. You should always have a cell phone with you just in case, so you can call for help in case of emergency. If you have a lot of time to spare on your camping vacation, you can take a tablet or eBook reader with you.

A camera and memory card is great for capturing beautiful moments on vacation. If you want to save the photos in between, it is advisable to also pack a laptop. Don't forget to think of a suitable charging cable for all technical devices. For entertainment you can additionally take a few books with you. If you are traveling with a partner, friends or family, it may also be worth packing a deck of cards, a soccer ball or a guitar for cozy times around the campfire.

Camping Packing List Camper

If you are traveling by motorhome, there are a few things you should consider. Before the trip, check that all lights and technical equipment such as the GPS device are working. Tires should have enough air and the tank should be filled before departure. It's also important to check the level of your gas bottle and get a spare if necessary. It can also be helpful to carry a spare tank, bucket, and most importantly, a fire extinguisher. For camping in a motorhome, you will also need a bed sheet, bed linen and comforters.

Camping packing list for the dog

If you're taking your dog on vacation, there are a few things to add to your camping checklist. Here's how you'll definitely need a leash, collar, harness, dog waste bags, as well as a basket, an ample supply of food and bowls. Find out beforehand what the rules are for dog owners in the destination country and take a muzzle with you to be on the safe side. You should also take documents such as the pet passport, the dog liability insurance and a health certificate with you as a precaution.

So that your dog is not bored on vacation, you should still pack toys and treats. Your dog will also appreciate a dog towel for the road and sunscreen for hot days. A GPS tracker can always be useful and you should also have various medications with you in case your four-legged friend is not feeling well.

  • Dog leash
  • Collar
  • Harness
  • Dog waste bags
  • Basket
  • bowls
  • Food supply
  • Transport basket
  • Muzzle
  • Toys
  • Dog towel
  • Treats
  • Dog sun protection
  • Pet passport
  • Dog liability insurance
  • Health certificate
  • GPS tracker
  • Dog medication
  • Fur care utensils
  • Flea repellent
  • Dewormer
  • Diarrhea medication

Optional and miscellaneous

There are a few items that can always come in handy on your camping or camping packing list. In an emergency, duct tape can work wonders to quickly make small repairs, such as temporarily patching a hole in your tent or air mattress. Also, a string, clothespin, and candle won't hurt. In case of doubt you can always use these things and then you are glad to have packed them.

Tips for campers

Plan beforehand: It is usually worthwhile to plan a rough route in advance. By researching the area you plan to visit before you go on vacation, you can decide ahead of time where you want to go and what you want to see. Of course, you don't have to stick to the route, but it can give you some orientation on your trip.

Pack smart: Think carefully about what you need on your trip and what you'd rather leave at home. Especially if you are only backpacking, every kilogram on your back counts. Of course, you should not save on necessary equipment and clothing, but maybe you should leave the tablet and the laptop at home. But don't do without that little extra if it's important to you.

Document the trip: Document the trip for example with a travel diary, a blog or simply a few photos. So you can remember this time well and be glad every time again about the unforgettable time.

Camping apps: There are some apps especially for camping enthusiasts that make the trip more enjoyable or exciting. A campsite app like the ADAC campsite guide will help you choose the right campsite. Gas station apps like Clever Tanken guide you to the cheapest gas stations in your area. At Komoot you can find great hiking routes and with weather apps like WeatherPro you can plan your routes depending on the weather conditions.

Exchange with other campers: if you are staying at the campsite, it can often be helpful to exchange ideas with other campers. Not only will you get useful tips on camping, but also possible hiking routes or activities in the area. Also, most campers are very helpful in case you need a helping hand.

Don't stress: Many campers take on too much for their vacation. Too many sights and too many miles on the road or hiking can make your vacation less relaxing than it should be. So don't stress yourself and plan less rather than too much. This way your vacation will be more relaxing and not boring at the same time.

Sustainable camping: For the sake of your fellow human beings and the environment, you should also pay attention to sustainability during your vacation. Use natural products as much as possible and try to buy food from the region, for example from an organic farmer or at the weekly market. Try to produce as little waste as possible and be sure to dispose of it properly. You can also support sustainable and climate-neutral campsites on your trip. It is best to leave the pitches at least as tidy as you found them.

What should be left at home

Vacation is for relaxation. Therefore, you should leave all things at home that prevent you from relaxing. You will certainly not need a TV set on a trip to the countryside. Instead, look at the stars or enjoy evenings around a campfire. Neither will you need your work laptop. Since you should concentrate on yourself while on vacation and not lose any thought of work, leave the work laptop as well as the work cell phone at home right away.


A good packing list for camping is necessary to avoid forgetting important things at home. Especially with limited space, you should think beforehand about what to take with you and what you'd rather leave at home. To pack exactly the things you need, you can copy the lists, print them out and cross out the things you don't need. So with the above camping packing lists you are well prepared for an unforgettable vacation in nature.