Heading out to the woods for a camping excursion is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a weekend or even a week with your family or friends. Camping has gained in popularity with the spread and easy availability of some amazing campsites around the country. You can commune with nature while enjoying great quality time talking, fishing, swimming, and just being around the scampering wildlife you will come across on a camping trip.

However, if you are unprepared for your camping trip, you may find yourself instead of wishing you were home. Since it is important to enjoy yourself and build positive memories while camping, you need to assemble a handy checklist prior to the start of packing your equipment and supplies for your camping trip. Those who leave essentials at home while tucked away in the woods may not have such a great time. So when planning your checklist, take into account everyone who is going with you, when you are going, and some of their needs and preferences.

Personal items are essentials, for sure. These include shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, combs, deodorant, towels, sunblock, toilet paper, toothpaste, and of course insect repellent. Those are the most basic of essentials and ones you will simply regret without. Aside from items to help with personal hygiene, you also need functional supplies such as your driver’s license, money, maps, flashlights, batteries, rope, a radio with batteries, camera, film, folding chairs, sleeping bags, a tent, folding table, pocket knife, waterproof matches, and a lantern to hang up at night. If you happen to forget any supplies from either list but become aware prior to your campsite arrival, make every effort to stop at a convenience store along the way to buy them. Once in the woods, you won’t regret it!

When smaller children travel and camp with you, it is important to bring everything they need as well, since they may be less comfortable while away from the conveniences of home. Though not a comprehensive list, consider diapers, two sets of clothes for each day, food, milk, bottles, baby wipes, a portable crib, stroller, blankets, as well as any favorite toys and books. Babies, in particular, have a difficult time being separated from their personal belongings, so you should pack whatever they normally use at home – within reason – to make them feel at ease.

Additionally, don’t neglect to bring a stocked first aid kit. In the event of sickness or injury, you need to have plenty of medicine and treatments for relief. That kit should include over-the-counter medication for headaches, fevers, colds, cuts, burns, and even tweezers for removing the splinters that family members can get in the woods. And don’t forget anyone’s required prescription drugs.

Finally, besides your clothing and proper footwear, pack up the fun and entertaining items for your trips such as fishing poles, Frisbee, footballs to toss around, bathing suits, and any other creative things that will help to enhance your camping trip. Many campsites provide a checklist of supplies they recommend, and you can usually find a complete checklist online, but the recommendations above will certainly give you a good start.