Tent Camping Checklist for Couples by Clever Journeys

This is our go-to list for tent camping as a couple. It can be modified per trip –family, friends, ages, activities (toys, rafts, hunting, skiing, etc.).

We always have protection, a jack, spare, fix-a-flat, jumper cables, portable battery starter, small power unit with lights, stored energy, electricity, etc. in our vehicle.

No two people are the same when it comes to planning a camping trip. What is important to one person may not matter to another when it comes to camping gear. One of my sons prefers to go ultralight and another brings practically everything he can when they camp. As a family, we tend to bring more items. All this to say, there is no right or wrong answer to what you bring on your camping trip.

The Camp

­čö╣Tent (Coleman Sunbeam 7’├Ś9′ 4-person) & accessories (stakes, bungi cords with hooks, rain roof, bottom footprint tarp)

­čö╣Mats (outside door, inside door)

­čö╣Sleeping bags

­čö╣Sleeping pads


­čö╣Electric extension cord

­čö╣Lighting: solar lights, head lamp, flashlights, lantern, extra batteries

­čö╣Camping chairs


­čö╣Cooler (We love our soft-sided 4-gallon capacity Kodi cooler from H-E-B Foods/Drugs)

­čö╣Camping utensils, plates, pans, cups

­čö╣Camping stove

­čö╣Can opener

­čö╣Charcoal &/or fire wood

­čö╣Insulated water bottles


­čö╣Cutting board & knife

­čö╣Coffee maker


­čö╣Biodegradable wet wipes

­čö╣Shampoo & conditioner

­čö╣Hand sanitizer

­čö╣Towels & wash cloths



­čö╣Rash prevention/lotion

­čö╣Toothbrushes & toothpaste

­čö╣Lip balm

­čö╣Toilet paper


­čö╣Shaving gear


­čö╣First Aid kit

­čö╣Rx, prescriptions & supplements

­čö╣Campsite Reservation Copy

­čö╣Sunscreen & bug repellent

­čö╣Trash bags

­čö╣Duct tape


­čö╣Clothes pins & clothes line cord



­čö╣Dry bag (store electronics, etc in event of rain)

­čö╣Tool bag. Minimum: hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, multi-tool, folding shovel/saw, tin-snips, axe-hatchet, tent repair kit, tent pole repair sleeve

­čö╣Small fire extinguisher

­čö╣Emergency (solar/handcrank) weather radio

­čö╣Travel alarm clock

­čö╣Travel mirror


­čö╣Cell phones

­čö╣Books, cards, games…

­čö╣Portable butane heater with extra filled tanks (in cold weather)

­čö╣Tent fan in warm weather. (We also have a portable “air cooler” we fill with ice cubes if it is too hot).



­čö╣Flip flops or sandals

­čö╣Rain ponchos

­čö╣Swim/water/shower shoes

­čö╣Socks (wool or synthetic)

­čö╣Hiking boots/shoes, sneakers




­čö╣Shirts, Jackets, Sleepwear, Pants, Shorts, Swimwear



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  1. Great advice and ideas. I have gone to a 6-person tent just for myself and to a cot from a pad and bag. For two to four people, I now use an 11-person tent. Both tents allow for chairs and a folding card table in addition to the cots and gear. These have turned out to make camping much more comfortable when the stormy weather comes and for dressing. And there is not much more work to set them up than a four-person tent. I’ve been camping and backpacking for 40 years and I’m still figuring things out!

    And I really enjoy your blog!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Steve. I so agree. My past tents have been 4 to 8 person tents (or 2 four person tents when family was young). Now that we are older, I’m 66, we decided to simplify & compromise. Your mode of camping is smart. Thanks again.

      Liked by 2 people

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