What do you need for a night of camping (Packing list and tips)
For one night in a tent you should not lug around half of your household. However, you should remember the most important things to spend a good night in the tent.
From Martin Gebhardt. Check out my “About me” page.
👉 The key facts from this guide
- Basic equipment: tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, flashlight, water, food, clothing, first aid kit, and emergency medicine
- Tent equipment: tent pegs, guy ropes, tarp or groundsheet
- Sleeping accessories: pillow, sleeping pad or air mattress
- Clothing: functional underwear, rain jacket, hiking pants, t-shirt, fleece jacket, hiking socks, hat, or sun hat
- Electronics and tools: flashlight, power bank, pocket knife, fire starter
- Personal items: toothbrush, toothpaste, towel, tissues, first aid kit, insect repellent, travel medicine
Camping is the simplest way to stay overnight in nature. However, it often seems to be the most difficult for many people. When staying overnight in nature, the goal is to use as little as possible.
I think of the saying: Keep it simple. Especially for a night in a tent, you don't have to drag along half of your household. However, you should think about the most important things to camp for a night.
Basically, a tent, a sleeping bag, a sleeping pad, and a flashlight are your most essential companions. Furthermore, bring enough water and food. Since it gets cooler at night, it's better to pack an extra sweater. Always take your first aid kit and a small emergency pharmacy with you.
Keep reading, and I'll give you even more tips so that your night in the tent doesn't end in a disaster.
Packing list for a night in a tent
I will now present you my packing list for a night in a tent. I only take the essentials with me and some readers might think that I am foregoing all kinds of comforts.
However, this does not represent a sacrifice of comfort for me, as I feel extremely comfortable with this equipment.
Let's get started. Of course, we'll start with the shelter that protects us from wind and rain.
Tent and Co.
- Tent (here's my ultimate buying guide)
- Guy ropes
- A tarp, a tarpaulin (if your tent is not waterproof, here's my top list)
Everything about sleeping
- Sleeping bag (check out my top list here)
- Insulating mat (check out my top list) or air mattress (can you use an air mattress for camping?)
The right clothing
- Hiking shoes
- Functional underwear
- Rain jacket
- Hiking pants / Outdoor pants
- Rain pants (if your hiking pants are not water-repellent)
- T-shirt (preferably made of merino wool, as it dries quickly)
- Fleece jacket
- Hiking socks (preferably also made of merino wool)
- Depending on the temperature, a hat, gloves, or sun hat
Reading tip: Is it dangerous to camp during a thunderstorm?
- Water (2 liters are usually enough for one night)
- Sandwiches or rolls
- Snacks, such as sausages or vegetables (carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers)
- Granola bars or trail mix
Electronics and Tools
- Flashlight / Headlamp
- Powerbank (if you can't do without your phone, please keep in mind your charging cable)
- Pocket knife
Reading tip: "How to quickly and easily ignite a fire with a Firesteel (Instructions + Video)"
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Possibly sunscreen
- A small towel
- Tissues or toilet paper
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Travel pharmacy
Reading tip: Assemble and use an outdoor first aid kit
At the campfire
- Firelighter for the campfire (or use tinder from nature)
- A small card game
Furthermore, make sure you learn how to operate your campfire safely.
As you can see, this list seems quite long at first glance. However, it includes everything necessary for a night in a tent. What you ultimately take with you is up to you.
The right mindset is everything. Embrace the adventure of living with less. You will see how much unnecessary stuff you actually own at home.
Less is more
When camping, it's important to get by with as little as possible. Especially for one night, you don't need too much.
Instead of packing a suitcase, take a backpack. You will see that most things fit into it as well.
When choosing your clothing, it naturally depends on the reason for going camping. If you're just spending a night in nature for fun, it's not necessary to bring a complete hiking equipment.
Even if you don't bring hiking pants or hiking shoes, still make sure to wear slightly rugged pants and possibly water-resistant shoes.
When it comes to food, it is not necessary to cook a three-star menu. Prepare some sandwiches and snacks at home or find simple outdoor recipes. You don't need a gas stove, pots, plates, spices, and cutlery for a night in nature.
If you can't do without your coffee in the morning, get yourself a small gas stove for your bag. I use the Primus Essential Trail Stove Duo and here you can learn how to make coffee without a coffee machine.
If you would rather not take a water canister with you, two liters are usually enough. However, keep in mind that you may also need water for brushing your teeth (Here's my guide on how to brush your teeth in the wilderness). If you're not camping by a river, it's better to bring a small bottle as well.
You don't need to carry tables and chairs. Use the natural surroundings and sit on a tree trunk or the sleeping pad.
What else is important to you for a night in the tent? Tell us in the comments.
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