Camping

Essential Packing Tips for First Time Campers

Campfire outside of tent and campsite on a lake in the Adirondack Mountains.

If your ready to hit the dirt roads with your RV and have found the ideal destination, pack your things and get ready to explore.

One of the most important tips for first-time campers is don’t over-pack. Overloading your RV with unnecessary items and camping gear is easy to do. Follow these tips to save space, time, and stress.

Stock Up On The Basics

Blue enamel cup of hot steaming coffee sitting on an old log by an outdoor campfire. Extreme shallow depth of field with selective focus on mug. (Blue enamel cup of hot steaming coffee sitting on an old log by an outdoor campfire. Extreme shallow dept

Keeping the go-to basics in your RV during camping season is a simple way to always be ready for a trip. Obviously, you need to remember to thoroughly wash everything before storing it in the RV between trips.

Regardless of where you are traveling these camping essentials include:

  • Bedding: sleeping bags or sheets & blankets, pillows.
  • Cooking: basic pots & pans, can opener, colander.
  • Kitchenware: plates, bowls, cutlery, cups, trash bags, dish soap, sponges, dish towels, napkins or paper towels, a lighter for the grill/camper fire/propane oven.
  • Bathroom: toilet paper, toiletries, towels.
  • Health Supplies: first aid kit, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, bug spray, and any other personal medications needed.
  • Power Source: a generator fuel and propane.

Create A Checklist

For the rest of your packing, it is best to create a list based on the following categories: meals, clothing, and equipment (hunting, fishing, etc).

Over time, creating a checklist will get easier and you will know exactly what to bring for your adventures. Consider your destination to determine what the campground accommodations will provide and what you’ll need to bring.

Planned Meals Mean More Money and Space

Family With Friends Camp By Lake On Hiking Adventure In Forest

When it comes to cooking meals while camping, the simpler the better. Once you have created your daily menus, you can make a list of the ingredients you need to shop for ahead of time. This not only saves space but saves money as well by reducing waste.

Stick To Simple Clothing

Depending on what you are planning for activities will have a big impact on what you should pack. If you can keep it down to the minimal necessities this will save space and be most efficient. It is important to bring clothing that can be layered if it gets cooler in the evening.

When choosing items comfort is important. Comfortable clothes that have the ability to mix and match will save you space and packing time.

For longer camping trips, don’t forget that many campgrounds have laundry facilities, this will allow you to reduce the amount of clothing you need to pack. If you’re going to take advantage of this opportunity be sure to bring a laundry bag and detergent.

Don’t Forget Your Outdoor Gear

Traveling - packing (preparing) for adventure school trip concept. Backpack, boots, jacket, lunch box, water and fruits on wooden background captured from above (flat lay). (Traveling - packing (preparing) for adventure school trip concept. Backpack,

A major benefit of having an RV is being able to bring your gear with you! Don’t forget to bring along your bikes, fishing/hunting gear, kayaks, hammocks, and games.

Some other extra things you might want to bring are camp chairs, flashlights, and maybe even a portable fireplace. Before you start to overpack, consider how long you will be gone and how much time you will have to do each activity.

Organize To Save Time

If you organize your camping items into categories such as bathroom supplies, kitchen supplies, gear, etc this will make it easier to find things when you need them. Take a few extra minutes to store the items where they will be used.

For example put your toiletries in your bathroom and outdoor gear such as (campfire roasting sticks, extension cords, lanterns, etc) in a plastic bin in your basement storage area.

When done correctly, packing for a camping trip can be fast and efficient. You won’t regret planning ahead of time.


What are some tips you have used when preparing for a camping trip? Leave a comment below!

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