I’m Going on a Camping Trip, and I’m Going to Bring…

So, you want to take a camping trip soon but don’t know where to start when it comes to packing up the car. You’re not alone. If you’re like most people, you have a basement or attic full of camping gear but aren’t really sure what’s essential for a weekend camping excursion. Not to mention that you’re afraid of overpacking the car, which might result in a cramped ride or – worse yet – forgetting something critical.


To help sift through the clutter, use L.L.Bean’s handy interactive checklist below to make packing a breeze. Our list includes the basics, of course – tents, sleeping bags and flashlights – as well as a few surprises guaranteed to make camping fun for the whole family. Click on each item to see top-rated L.L.Bean products in each category.

Now that you know what to pack, you’re probably wondering how to go about actually packing. Well, here are some of our tried-and-true packing tips and tricks:

• If possible, pack as much as you can a few days before your planned trip – particularly items you won’t need at home like tents, sleeping bags and camp chairs.

• Keep frequently needed items (snacks, water, sunglasses, sunscreen, guidebooks) within easy reach during the car ride.

• Test out any new gear before packing (maybe have a backyard campout in your new tent).

• Wait to purchase perishable groceries and firewood (to avoid introducing non-native, potentially invasive species of insects or fungi to your camping locale) until you arrive at your destination.

• Once the trip is over, shake out and clean any dirty items, dry any wet tarps and tents, and then repack and store everything together in an easily accessible location to ensure you’re ready to go on your next camping trip.


We hope you find this list helpful as you start looking ahead to a summer filled with enjoyable camping excursions. Need some insight into where to go? Check out some of our previous blog posts that mention national parks.


We know many other items can help enhance any camping trip – what would you add to this list? Happy camping!


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