The 10 Camping Items You Probably Forgot (And Why You Should Always Bring Them)

Must Have Items For Tent Camping

The great outdoors are calling. You answer the call by packing up your car and heading out on the open road. But there are ten things you may have forgotten that you should definitely go back for.  

Here are the 10 things you don’t think about that you should never leave home without when you’re heading out on a camping trip.

Trash Bags

Even though you’re camping, you’re going to make a ton of trash. To keep your campsite looking nice and to make sure you leave your campsite better than you found it, bring along trash bags. It’s much better than trying to carry armfuls of garbage and definitely better than leaving your garbage.

Toilet Paper

The reason to bring toilet paper should be obvious. You will need it at some point during your camping trip. While you might assume the campsite has full bathroom facilities, there’s a chance they haven’t been serviced. And there’s still a good chance you’ll have to simply pick a bush. To make sure your trip is hygienic and comfortable, pack a roll of toilet paper. It’s better to have it and not need it than be wanting it.

Instant-Read Food Thermometer

While you might use this at home, many campers forget an instant-read food thermometer. But do you really want to risk a case of food poisoning on your camping trip? By bringing along an instant-read food thermometer, you can double-check that your food is at a safe temperature to eat and save yourself the discomfort and disappointment of food poisoning, especially when you’re potentially hours away from a hospital.

Portable Battery Pack

You might assume you’ll have enough battery power to make it through the weekend. You won’t be using your phone that much anyway, right? But chances are, you’ll use your phone more than you’re expecting and before long the battery will die. To help yourself out, bring a battery pack. It’ll make a huge difference if you get lost or have an emergency and need help.

Must Have Items When Camping

Baby Wipes

Any parent will tell you baby wipes can be used for a ton of things. When you’re camping, especially if you’re somewhere without showering facilities, they can give you a quick refresh. If you don’t have anywhere to wash your hands, turn to the baby wipes. They don’t take up much room in your car plus you’ll definitely find a way to use them during your camping trip.

Bag for Dirty Clothes

Camping is messy. You’re outside in the dirty and that means your clothes are getting dirtier than they normally do. To make sure there’s no transfer to your clean clothes, bring a bag for your dirty clothes. It can be an old grocery bag or a designated laundry bag. When you get home, cleaning up from your camping trip is a breeze - just throw that bag of clothes in the wash and you’re good to go!

Water Treatment or Filtration System

Even if you’re planning on bringing your drinking water with you, having a way to treat or filter water is a valuable thing. If you run out of your supply of drinking water, water treatment or filtration system could be the difference between getting by and being dehydrated.


You don’t want anyone to get lost on the camping trip, but it could happen and when it happens, it happens fast. To help keep everyone in your group safe, bring enough whistles for everyone to have one. That way, should someone wander off and lose their way, they can alert the group.

Printed Directions to the Nearest Hospital

We rely so much on our phones that you likely haven’t thought about what could happen without cell phone service. At that moment, if you have an emergency, having the directions to the nearest hospital printed out could be life-saving. Make sure everyone in your group knows where the directions are and keep them in an easy-to-access location.

Clothesline and Clips

Even if the weather looks great during your camping trip and you aren’t planning on washing your clothes, having some clothesline and clips is a great idea. Should the weather suddenly change, it’ll give you the opportunity to dry out your things. If you need to hang up food, it’s another way of doing it that’s easier than stringing your food up in a tree.