What to pack for a short camping trip is an interesting question. How much do I have to take with me? Do I rather pack a little more or a little less? What’s is really important and what is not? There are so many variables you have to have a look at. With the following short guide I want to give a you a little overlook on what to pack for a short camping trip. The only thing you will have to do, is to cross the things off your list. Just like I have done it in my Ultimate Packing List as well.
What to pack for a short camping trip
The travel gear you gonna use for a short camping trip is not that different any other longer camping trips. And it also doesn’t really matter where you are in this world. I have recently done a 3 day camping trip in southern Sweden again and it almost always comes down to the same stuff. But of course I have to admit, that the different weather conditions and climate areas are a factor you need to think about.
When it comes to the question of what to pack for a short camping trip, I can give you some good advise, because I have already camped in many different areas of the world. For example, I did camping trips in the desert of Australia, on a vulcano in Lombok, in the jungle of Thailand and some other rare places.
I can certainly not claim, that I am not a professional expert, but through all the different trips I have experienced quite a lot!
Most of the time, what to pack for a camping trip, has something to do with common sense. There is no magic in it. It just comes down to what really makes sense to bring with you and what does not. I have seen so many people on camping trips, who brought all kind of weird stuff with them, which was completely useless in my opinion.
Decide and tick off
I don’t want to tell anyone what to pack for a short camping trip. You have to decide that for yourself. I can only give you some options/ advise and you just choose the stuff from the following list, that makes sense for you.
Everything you gonna read is ment to be for about 3 days of camping. The list is also set up in a way where you will be prepared for sunny (warmer) or rainy (colder) days and nights.
So, this is what I figured out over the years:
What to pack for a short camping trip – Backpack
Obviously the most important thing to have a proper backpack. If you want to know how to choose the right backpack for you, read this post. In this post I will only give you some options. I think I don’t need to mention why a suitcase is completely useless in this case 😉
I would go for a 50l/ 55l/ 60l max. backpack. You will fit everything in there and it will be easy to carry around.
Here are the ones, that I prefer:
- Jack Wolfskin Unisex Trekking Backpack
- Northface Unisex Trekking Backpack
- Deuter Midnight Ocean Trekking Backpack
I put these three on the list of what to pack for a short camping trip, because they are very convenient. They might be a bit more expensive, but it’s worth it in the long run. You hopefully gonna use your backpack for a long time and therefore it should be high quality in my opinion.
My tip: Rather pay a little more to be satisfied for the next years!
What to pack for a short camping trip – Clothes
- 4x Underwear
- 4x T-Shirts
- 2x Thin socks
- 2x Thick socks
- 1x Hiking pants (water resistend)
- 1x Long underwear (for cold nights)
- 1x Belt
- 1x Jogging pants
- 2x Thick Pullovers (just take them off, if it’s warm)
- 1x Underwear bag
- 1x Swimming pants
- 1x Shorts
- 1x Multifunctional slim hooded rainjacket
- 1x Cap
- 1x Beanie
- 1x Sunglases
- 1x Trainers
I have never used more than the listed things on any short trip, that I have done. If, you pack all of this, your backpack won’t be heavy and you still have everything you need (even always one pair of backup clothes)
What to pack for a short camping trip – Camping necessities
- 1x Tent 1-3 people/ Family tent
- 1x Camping chair
- 1x Camping table
- 1x Camping mat (with pillow)/ Comfortable mat
- 1x Thick sleeping bag (open it up when it’s warm at night)
- 1x Large microfiber towel
- 1x GPS (for remote trips)
- 1x Map (just in case)
- 1x High quality multifunctional knife
- 1x Small flashlight
- 1x Foldable drinking bag (space-saving)
- 1x Water filtration (just in case)
- 1x Drybag
- 1x Headlamp
- 1x Tarp + rods & ropes
Everything mentioned above is for stationary camping trip as well as a hiking trip with camping in between. There might be some more stuff you could take with you, but don’t take to much. You won’t be able to carry it nor fit it in a car.
What to pack for a short camping trip – Cooking essentials
- 1x Camping stove + gas cartridges
- 1x Pot & pan
- 1x Cooking spoon (usuable in every cooking situation)
- 1x Small cutting board
- 1x All in one high-grade steel crockery
- 1x All in one cutlery
- 1x Plate
All of this is perfect for a stationary camping trip. If you do a more active hiking trip, I recommend you to pack some more prepackaged snacks or food, which doesn’t taint to fast.
What to pack for a short camping trip – Miscellaneous
- 3x Zip bags
- 1x Toilette paper
- 1x Mosquito spray
- 1x Sewing accessories (MY special thing – always helpful)
- 1x Plastic bag for dirty clothes
- 1x Soap
What to pack for a short camping trip – Hygiene products
I won’t name any specific female hygiene products, because I don’t have a clue what the ladies use 🙂 But I would still recommend: Less is more on a short camping trip
- 1x Washbag
- 1x Non electronic toothbrush (electronic = heavy + big)
- 1x Small toothpaste
- 1x Small shampoo
- 1x Small deodorant
- 3x Small tissue pack
What to pack for a short camping trip – Medication
This is a very specific section regarding what to pack for a short camping trip, because everyone has different health needs. But I would have to say the same thing again. Try to leave everything at home, which you probably won’t need. This is why I would only recommend the following things.
- Disinfection spray (small)
- Ointment (small)
- Vitamin tablets (small pack)
If you want so see what else you can take on any trip, check out my Ultimate Packing List. I don’t give any brand recommendations or affiliate links in this section.
What to pack for a short camping trip – Electronics
Guys, electronics usually don’t really belong on a short caming trip. But for me they are very important, because I need them to produce good pictures and videos. Still, I try to leave some stuff out, because what would I need a laptop for on a very short camping trip, right? So, this is what I take with me:
- 1x Small backpack (for electronics)
- 1x Smart phone
- 1x Smart watch
- 1x High quality reflex camera (still amateur quality)
- 1x Camera charger
- 1x Wide angle lense
- 1x Compact tripod
- 1x Action video camera
- 1x Action video camera equipment (you won’t need everything)
- 1x Action video camera floating stick
- 1x Drone
- 3x Memory card adapters
- 3x Memory cards (32 – 128 gigabyte)
- 2x Additional USB cables
- 1x headphones
From everything I mentioned now you will obviously not need everything all the time. As said, it really depends on what kind of trip you are going to do.
For example: If you go on a hiking trip, leave the camping chair and the table at home. It would not make any sense to take them with you and you could not carry them anyway.
Just choose the stuff you need, tick them off the list and start your adventure 😉
Want to know how to choose the right backpack? Read here
What could also interest you:
- Ultimate Packing List – What’s in my Backpack?
- The best Travel Gear to explore the World
- What not to pack – 10 things to leave at Home
- Best Travel Backpack – How to choose the right one