10 Items To Never Bring To A Campsite & 10 That Are Essential

10 Items To Never Bring To A Campsite & 10 That Are Essential

Ah, camping in the great outdoors! A night spent under the stars with nothing but your loved ones is the quiet escape we all dream of…until someone pulls into the campground with a generator and huge speaker to ruin everything. While it’s tempting to bring certain items with you, let’s dive into which ones you should leave behind and which you actually need. 

1. Electronics

Camping is the ideal time to unplug from your devices and enjoy nature. However, even if you don’t want to part with your electronics, it’s best to keep the big stuff at home lest you annoy other campers. Campsites are often shared, which means others won’t appreciate you blasting music or blaring a personal television. 

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2. Scented Items

Heavily scented items are unnecessary on a camping trip—they attract bugs and wildlife and can easily irritate others around you. Leave behind any perfume or heavily scented toiletries unless you want to swat mosquitoes away all night. 

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3. Electric Heaters

Electric heaters are a pretty big fire hazard and often aren’t permitted on camping grounds. Blankets and adequate clothing are more than enough to keep the cold away, not to mention it’s less to lug around. 

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4. Too Much Clothing

While we’re on the topic of clothing, don’t pack your entire wardrobe. You’ll only be gone for a couple of days and too much clothing eats up storage space. It’s also better to stick with comfortable clothes because whatever you bring is bound to smell like a campfire.

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5. Single-Use Plastic

Reusable water bottles are much better for you and the environment. Campgrounds typically have water stations, so you’ll be able to refill throughout the trip. Best of all, you won’t have to haul an entire case of water bottles with you. 

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6. Glass Items

Anything from jars to beer bottles is best left at home. Not only does glass take up more space, but it’s also heavier and poses a huge threat to camp-goers and wildlife alike should anything break. 

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7. Pets

Pets are more than welcome company on a camping trip…if you can control them. Excessive barking or roaming around the campground isn’t fun for anyone. Unruly pets get themselves into trouble, upset other campers, and potentially allow Fido to make a mess somewhere without proper pick-up. 

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8. Excessive Food

Bringing too much food on a camping trip is sort of like bringing a book on a plane—you tell yourself you’ll read it, but you never do. It’s the same with food. Only bring what you plan to eat, not what you think you’d enjoy. Packing the essentials saves on waste and makes cleanup a breeze.

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9. Generator

Campgrounds are a shared experience and no one else wants to listen to a whirring generator all night. They’re loud, unnecessary accessories that ruin camping for others, so if you need electricity, stick with a solar panel or just unplug for the weekend. 

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10. Prohibited Items

It’s easy to think you’ll get away with sneaking in the odd item but doing so puts everyone at risk and lands you hefty fines. Check online beforehand to ensure you don’t pack anything you’re not supposed to—it’s better safe than sorry.

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Now let’s take a look at which essential items you wouldn’t want to be without. 


1. Bedding

Proper bedding makes all the difference on a camping trip. While you don’t want to pack your mattress, essentials like a tent, sleeping bag, and pillows are a must before you get to the site. Make sure you bring a nice blanket, too.

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2. Insect Repellent

Mosquitoes are just waiting for you and your loved ones to show up for an all-you-can-eat feast, so keep them at bay with insect repellent. Campgrounds are also notorious for other pests like ticks, flies, and spiders, so pack for those, too!

Mithil-Girish-2T1Njnv0Xvg-UnsplashPhoto by Mithil Girish on Unsplash

3. First Aid Kit

You shouldn’t really go anywhere without a first aid kit, especially to a campsite. You can either buy one or put one together yourself, but either way, make sure you have basic supplies before hitting the road. 

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4. Emergency Whistle

Whistles are an inexpensive tool that keeps you and your party safe. In the event of an emergency, whistles alert others without the need for batteries or electricity, and they’re easily stored on your person. If you’re traveling in a group, at least one of you should have one!

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5. Kitchen Supplies

It’s important to narrow down which kitchen essentials you need and which to leave behind. Camp stoves, can openers, dishes, and cutting boards are all good places to start! Kettles, pans, knives, and spices are also common basics, but it ultimately boils down to what food you bring. 

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6. Matches

Simple waterproof matches are a must on any camping trip. Though it’s seemingly more convenient to pack a lighter, matches don’t run the risk of any leaking or possible fire hazards. They’re also far more reliable in cold weather. 

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7. Trash Bags

Trash bags are perfect helpers on a camping trip, so pack at least a couple of them. They protect your items (and you) from the rain, give you somewhere to put trash, and are a good place to put any soiled clothing. 

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8. Toilet Paper

Packing full-size toiletries is often a bad idea, but toilet paper and paper towels are the exception. The last thing you want is to get caught without them and neither takes up much space—an extra roll or two can save you a huge headache. 

Anastasiia-Chepinska-Gsdhs5Dj1Bg-UnsplashPhoto by Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash

9. Flashlight

Don’t rely on your phones for light! A headlamp or flashlight works wonders in a campground, especially because they’re more powerful than your device. They also help you navigate foreign terrain and can alert others in an emergency.

Rahul-Bhosale-Ybgc-Qvcxmg-UnsplashPhoto by Rahul Bhosale on Unsplash

10. Multi-Tool

The right multi-tool is a godsend. They’re portable, can quickly mend items, and easily slice through food. Even if you think you won’t need it, multi-tools serve all kinds of functions and it never hurts to have one. 

Nipun-Haldar-X1V6Aogs9Xy-UnsplashPhoto by Nipun Haldar on Unsplash