There’s nothing worse than arriving at the campground and realizing you’ve forgotten something important at home. You might have made a detailed packing list—and checked it twice—but that doesn’t mean you still won’t miss something.
We polled our community for the gear items they forget most often when going camping. Bookmark this page to save this list so you don’t end up in a tight spot the next time you go camping!
Ah, the nemesis of a camper: something extremely important, yet not always on-hand at home. Keep your drinks cool and food fresh by buying ice for your cooler. Stop at a gas station/convenience store on your way out of town to fuel up your vehicle and fill your cooler with a couple of bags of ice.
Having an extra pair of batteries for a flickering flashlight means the difference between a dark stumble to the outhouse and a confident walk or a night cooking dinner in a calm glow versus trying to hold up a phone’s flashlight. Speaking of phones, you’ll also want to pack a power bank to charge your devices.
Things don’t always go according to plan in the Great Outdoors. You might suddenly find your primary pair of sneakers soaked through with mud or rain. Pack extra footwear just in case. You’ll likely want a pair of hiking shoes, flip flops/water shoes and waterproof boots. Bonus points if you bring cozy camp slippers!
Garbage and Ziploc bags are extremely handy for food garbage, packaging up wet items and stashing extra pieces of litter lingering around your campsite. If you’re in bear country, it’s extremely important to seal away anything that smells. Never leave trash near your tent!
From sticky s’mores fingers to wiping down greasy pots and pans, paper towel is always useful on camping trips, but easy to forget. Stash some along with baby wipes and eco-friendly dish soap in your camping gear kit.
Although it might be considered a luxury item for backcountry campers, front-country campers will want something soft to rest their heads on for a comfortable night’s sleep. Nothing is better than the pillow from your bed at home… but it can be easy to forget when rushing off the door. Dedicate an old pillow (and pillowcase) to your camping gear stash.
Sunglasses and sunscreen are staples for summer, but a hat will keep the sun out of your eyes and harmful rays away off your face anytime of year. Whether you want to designate a fishing bucket hat for your camping trips or clip a cap onto your duffel, don’t forget this vital piece of gear.
Good luck outlasting a windy, stormy night without these! Remembering your tent pegs is simple: always keep them with your tent. Take the time to properly repack your gear and replace broken pegs and poles ASAP.
While most campsites have firewood for sale, they could run out, and cutting firewood on Crown land requires a permit in Canada. Stop at a convenience store, grab the ice, and pick up a bundle of firewood while you’re there. Always buy firewood close to where you'll burn it.
It’s easy to forget to load the vehicle with fire starters. Cardboard, old newspapers, lint and even chips work in a pinch. Read our list of 10 DIY at-home fire starters for more.