The Ultimate Spring Camping Trip Checklist


Spring is a glorious time of year, a season of hope, possibility, and for many, a triumphant return to outdoor activities like hiking, boating, spring fishing, and camping. The urge to get back outside and into a campground after wintertime can be intense. We get it, and we are here to help you do so with aplomb. Making a spring camping trip checklist is not entirely different from a camping trip planner you might make in summertime, however there are some tricks and tips to keep in mind when camping during the spring because yes, the flowers will be blooming and the trails not yet overcrowded, but the weather can be varied and at times, problematic. Making a camping trip packing list that leaves you prepared for anything and everything this spring is critical to enjoying a brilliant and memorable camping adventure, along while camping and fishing with family.

Practice Makes Perfect

Maybe it was a holiday present from a loved one or something special you bought for yourself in the offseason, but it’s likely that you have some new camping gear this spring — a tent, stove, camp chairs, lantern or other camping essentials. Before embarking on your inaugural camping trip of the year, it’s a good idea to make sure all that new stuff works, you know how it works, and that everything truly suits your needs. You don’t want to be fumbling around in the rain this spring trying to pitch a brand new tent for the first time. Instead, take your gear out for a test run during a staycation in your backyard or nearby park. Spend a practice night getting comfortable before your trip. Even if you have no new gear, your camping equipment has probably sat for months, collecting dust, and possibly getting rusting — literally and figuratively! Make sure the knives are sharp, the flashlights have batteries, and the pillows still inflate properly before doing your real camping at one of the best campgrounds for a family vacation.

Things to Bring on a Camping Trip

Here’s the bulk of your spring camping trip checklist sorted! Whether this is your first or 50th camping trip to someplace incredible, it’s always good to make a fresh camping trip packing list of all the things to bring on a camping trip! Here’s a rundown of the essentials you will want to pack in your trunk or backpacks:

 

  • Tent(s)
  • Sleeping bag(s)
  • Sleeping pad(s)
  • Tent/sleeping bag repair kit
  • Camping pillows
  • Flashlights and lanterns
  • Extra batteries
  • Camp table
  • Camp chairs
  • Camping stove and fuel
  • Matches or lighter
  • Pots, frying pan
  • Utensils, plates, and bowls
  • Cooler
  • Food for camping
  • Beverages
  • Bottle opener
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Trash and recycling bags
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Camp sink
  • Towels
  • Sharp knife and cutting board
  • First Aid Kit
  • Insect Repellant
  • Sunscreen
  • Saw or Axe for emergencies and cutting wood
  • Mallet or hammer
  • Duct tape
  • External power packs and extra charging cords
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Plenty of gas on your car

Food for Camping

The food for camping you will bring with you will be largely based on you, your family, and your friends preferences. That said, having nutritious, high protein snacks like nuts, hummus, trail mix, jerky, energy bars and the like will be handy throughout the course of your spring camping trip. Make sure you have a cooler to store perishable items and stay bear safe when it comes to storing and disposing of food at your campsite this spring!

Need more springtime inspiration? Check out these 4 family activities for spring.

Jeff Bogle

Jeff is a dad of teen daughters, avid traveler, photographer, and freelance writer. He’s penned stories on family travel, outdoor recreation, the environment, parenting, and more for Fodor’s, Reader’s Digest, Parents Magazine, Good Housekeeping, PBS, and Esquire, among other publications. Find him on his blog, OWTK.com and on Instagram @OWTK. Jeff is also the publisher of the quarterly literary zine, Stanchion



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