Packing for Camping Trips

Packing for Camping Trips – The Basics


While each camping trip will have its own packing recommendations, here are some basics to get you started, as well as a few words of explanation! Note: This may not be a “comprehensive” list.

As it frequently rains when we camp, we recommend that your gear be weather-proof. For example, you may want to pack your clothing in one- or two-gallon Zip-Lock bags. Additionally, you may line your duffel bag/backpack with a trash bag, and encase your sleeping bag in a trash bag too. This will keep you a “happy camper”!

For most trips, you don’t necessarily need a backpack. You can use a duffel bag or other similar bag. Remember, though, you will have to be able to carry your gear some distance on some trips. Luggage with shoulder straps is much easier to carry.

Remember that you will be wearing your Uniform for traveling during the trip. Also, we suggest marking all your gear, plastic bags and clothing with your name or initials to make it easier to keep up with.


  • Poncho or Rain jacket (Pack this somewhere you can get to it in a hurry)
  • Flashlight (Pack this somewhere you can find it in the dark)
  • Bandanna (useful for many applications)
  • Scout Handbook – in a plastic bag to keep dry (you will frequently get requirements signed off on trips)
  • Eating gear (cup, bowl, plate, spoon, knife, fork; can be a set or from home; not disposable)
  • Clothing for the season and length of the trip (hopefully you can figure this part out; could include bathing suit)
  • Hat (to keep sun off your face, or for warmth)
  • Extra shoes/boots/sandals (in case yours get wet)
  • Personal toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, deodorant, soap, shampoo, etc. as desired)
  • Washcloth or small towel
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad (either ThermaRest or foam; not required, but recommended)
  • Prescription medication if necessary (pack in a ZipLock and let the adults know)
  • Tent with Plastic Ground-cloth (Most Scouts share tents with other Scouts. We have some troop tents too.)
  • Sunscreen & non-aerosol bug repellant
  • Water bottle or canteen
  • Spare garbage bags (just in case)

Bring if you want to:

  • Deck of playing cards
  • Pocket knife (if you know how to use it safely)
  • Matches or lighter (generally not necessary, and must be used only when appropriate)
  • Camp chair or stool
  • Sunglasses
  • Cord or rope
  • Pencil & paper
  • Money (sometimes we stop for fast-food on the way, but this depends on the schedule)

Don’t Bring:

  • Junk food
  • Soft drinks
  • Electronics (including cell phones, iPads, video games, etc.)
  • Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs, Firearms, Dangerous or Stupid Stuff