What To Bring When Camping In A Tent

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When camping, there are many things you should remember to bring. However, if you walk into an outdoor store, the salesman will likely try to convince you there are tons of equipment that you simply cannot go camping without. Don’t be persuaded by the luxury and ease they promote as you can easily go camping with just a few basic things. So, what should you bring when camping in a tent?

When camping in a tent, you need to pack a sleeping pad, mattress, cooking utensils, food, and other equipment to enjoy your tent camping. Exactly what to bring depends on where you are camping and what the weather will be like. For cold weather camping, you will need to pack extra layers.

What to bring camping depends on the type of camping you will be doing. For example, are you camping in a state park or on city campgrounds, or are you outback camping where no amenities are provided? The season you are camping also makes a difference, as you need different things for cold-weather and warm-weather camping. However, these are the things you will need when camping in a tent in general.

1. Bedding To Bring Camping In A Tent

When camping in a tent, you should assume that you will have limited space. Therefore, you must aim to pack light. A sleeping pad or stretcher will do just fine for camping in a tent. If you are cold-weather camping, a second sleeping pad will do wonders for keeping you warm. If camping in moderate or warm weather, one layer will do.

The type of sleeping bag you bring also depends on the weather you are camping in. While you can get other bedding, such as a duvet, sleeping bags are the most convenient and the warmest. If you still feel cold despite having a sleeping bag, you can use a sleeping bag liner or a fleecy to place inside the sleeping bag.

If space isn’t an issue, it is recommended that you bring a standard pillow for camping. They are more comfortable and warmer than inflatable pillows and ensure a good night’s rest.

2. Clothes To Bring When Camping In A Tent

When packing your clothes, you should opt for comfort over fashion. Pitching a tent or bending over a fire to cook food doesn’t require you to look pretty. Bring enough warm clothes and layers. Even during the summer, nighttime can get quite chilly if you sleep in a tent. Fleecy pajamas, tracksuits, and down jackets are great options for camping.

During the summer, you can bring shorts and t-shirts. However, be sure to pack some lightweight long-sleeved shirts if there are any bugs or you are exposed to the sun for extended periods. Also, always bring at least one pair of thermals and one swimming costume. You might want to use these items, and it’s better to have them.

Pack more clothes, especially underwear, than you think you will need. Wet socks or clothes make for an unpleasant camping experience.

3. Toiletries To Bring When Camping In A Tent

If you are camping in campgrounds, there might be public bathrooms with showers and flushing toilets. In this case, you must bring soap, shampoo and conditioner, a towel, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and any other toiletries you usually use.

In addition, always bring a roll of toilet paper. Although the campground website might say it is provided, they can run out, or you might need more than is supplied. It is also recommended to bring flip-flops to wear in the shower. As these are public bathrooms, it is more hygienic to wear shoes while showering.

Also, bring a spare towel if yours doesn’t dry in time or if you have gone for a swim and used your towel to dry off.

When outback camping, there won’t be any bathrooms. Therefore, you must bring everything you need to use, including a pop-up shower tent and a makeshift ablution.

4. Cooking Equipment To Bring When Tent Camping

When traditional camping or outback camping, you must bring all the cooking equipment you need. If you mainly use a fire to cook food, you must get wood and a fire grid. In some areas, making an open fire is prohibited, and in others, you may only make a campfire if you have the correct permits. Be sure to check in advance what the rules of the campsite are.

If you choose to use a stove for cooking food, you must bring a stove and its fuel. You can either use a canister stove that works with gas or a liquid fuel stove. Note that a gas stove will not perform as effectively in cold weather. Therefore, it is best to bring a liquid fuel stove when cold weather camping.

You must also bring a camping table to prepare food on, along with any cooking utensils, crockery, and cutlery you will need. Remember to bring dish soap for cleaning purposes.

5. Food To Bring When Camping In A Tent

When camping, bring food that is quick to prepare and filling. One-pot dishes are great for camping as they minimize clean-up time. Some dishes you can make are jacket potatoes, pasta, sandwiches, cereals, eggs, toast, hotdogs, burgers, salads, and more.

Remember to bring spices and any condiments or sauces you would like to use. Also, don’t forget to bring coffee, tea, hot chocolate, milk, and sugar when camping in a tent. These objects are often forgotten and cause a great upset when they are.

When cold weather camping, eating smaller meals throughout the day will help you keep warm. Easy meals, such as soups, pasta, and broths, are great for camping in cold weather. Also, don’t forget to bring loads of snacks when camping in a tent, as many people enjoy snacking on a camping trip.

6. Medical Supplies To Bring When Tent Camping

A good first-aid kit is essential when camping to manage small injuries, such as cuts, minor burns, or insect bites. Here are some basic medical supplies to bring when camping in a tent:

  • Plasters and wound dressing
  • Antiseptic ointments
  • Anti-chafing ointment
  • Pain medication
  • Anti-diarrhea medication
  • Burn shield or burnEze
  • Rehydration powder
  • Insect repellant
  • Antihistamine
  • Cold and flu medicine

Remember also to pack any chronic medication you take. Women should also remember to bring sanitary products. If you are outback camping in a remote location, a more advanced first-aid kit might be required.

7. Other Equipment To Bring Camping

Apart from the items we have mentioned above, there are various other things you will need to bring when camping in a tent. Some of these items are essential, while others simply make your camping trip more convenient. Here are some other things you will need to bring when camping in a tent:

  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Clothesline with clothespins
  • Camping chairs
  • A solar chargeable light source
  • A book to read
  • A portable fridge or cooler box
  • Matches or firelighters
  • Any permits or documentation required for the trip
  • A gazebo and windshields
  • Rope and cable ties
  • A tent repair kit
  • Books, board games, or cards for entertainment


There are many things required for camping in a tent. You need the proper sleeping equipment, toiletries, cooking equipment, clothes, food, and other things to make your camping experience a good one. Be sure to use a checklist when packing. This will help you remember everything you need to bring camping in a tent.