15 Most Forgotten Camping Items: Add These to Your Checklist

most forgotten camping items

Heading out camping? Planning is crucial. However, even the most prepared campers sometimes forget important things.

These items on the list are the ones that my fellow campers and I often overlook, so we have compiled them all for you. To ensure you don’t forget these items, be sure to include them on your camping checklist

This article will not just help you discover what people often forget to pack for camping trips but also help you make sure you remember everything.

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If you don’t know how to open a can with a knife, then you might have a hard time. You can bring a can that has an opener available. If not, make sure to bring a can opener. Others use a P38 can opener since it’s small, while others use a multi-tool knife.


Inflating air mattresses, inflatable kayaks, or even beach balls can be a real hassle without a pump. Don’t let your arms tire out before you even start enjoying your trip. Pack a portable air pump compatible with your gear to make setup a breeze.


While it’s common to remember your sleeping bag and mat, many forget about pillows. Sure, you can roll up your clothes to make a makeshift pillow, but having a real one can make a big difference in getting a good night’s sleep. 

Did You Know?

“A stiff neck in the morning is often caused by how you sleep and the pillow you use.” – Healthline.com

So, make sure to choose comfortable pillows to avoid neck pain when waking up in the morning.


If there’s something that can ruin a camping trip it’s forgetting the tent poles. It’s easy to remember the tent itself but often the tent poles are left behind. Without these essential supports, your tent won’t stand tall and sturdy. 

Double-check that you have all the poles required for your tent model before you leave. If you’re bringing a spare or replacement tent, ensure the poles match or adapt accordingly. 

Few things are as frustrating as arriving at your campsite only to find you can’t properly set up your shelter.


It might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many campers forget to bring matches or lighters. You might have a fancy fire starter or flint, but sometimes you just need a quick flame to get things going.

Pack a few extra matches or lighters in a waterproof container to ensure you can start your campfire hassle-free, even if the weather turns wet. 

You can also use a permanent match it’s a perfect gadget for campfires and barbecues. With no match sticks required, it’s matchless!


When the sun goes down and it gets dark at your campsite, you’ll need a good light. Flashlights or headlamps are must-haves for moving around, finding the bathroom, or reading before bed. 

Remember to bring spare batteries or rechargeable ones so you’re not stuck without light.


Accidents can happen anywhere, and when you’re at the campsite, it’s important to be prepared. A first aid kit should be a non-negotiable item, especially when you’re camping with kids.

Make sure it’s stocked with

  • Bandages
  • antiseptic wipes 
  • pain relievers
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Prescription medication

It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.


Flashlights, lanterns, GPS devices, and even some camping stoves—all of these can require batteries. Make sure you’ve got extras packed away. It’s also wise to carry a variety of sizes, from AAA to D batteries, to cover all your devices.

Pro tip:

Store them in a waterproof container to prevent moisture damage.


Never forget how important seasoning is! Just a pinch of salt or a sprinkle of spices can turn your basic camping food into something amazing. 

Remember to pack some small containers or ziplock bags with your favorite seasonings to jazz up your meals while camping.


While some campgrounds have restroom facilities, it’s always wise to pack your toilet paper and wet wipes. Nature’s call doesn’t always sync up with the availability of facilities, and when you’re out in the wilderness, you’ll thank yourself for having these essentials handy. 

Plus, wet wipes are versatile, they can double up for cleaning hands, wiping down surfaces, and freshening up after a long hike.


There are now ultralight cutting boards available in the market. However, if you’re going car camping, bring a wooden chopping board since other boards can be heavy. It’s best to use a wooden board for cutting meat.


Bring along plenty of garbage bags for collecting trash, storing dirty laundry, or even makeshift rain ponchos in a pinch. They’re versatile and essential for keeping your campsite clean and tidy.


For all you ladies heading out for a camping trip, don’t forget about your feminine hygiene essentials. Just because you’re roughing it in the great outdoors doesn’t mean your period will take a break! 

Make sure to pack enough tampons, pads, or menstrual cups to last you through your cycle. And hey, why not throw in some wet wipes or special intimate hygiene products for that extra level of comfort and freshness while you’re out there? For sure, it’ll make your outdoor adventure much more enjoyable.


I’ve noticed that some campers don’t realize that their breath smells bad while they’re out camping. Let’s not be like them. It’s common for people to forget essentials like toothbrushes and toothpaste because they’re so excited about their trip.

Every time I camp or go on an outdoor adventure, I always bring Boka Fluoride-Free Toothpaste since I have sensitive gums and just to make sure I have fresh breath.

Tip: Make sure to pack a separate toothbrush and toothpaste specifically for camping or any outdoor trips.


And finally a bug spray. Don’t let pesky insects ruin your outdoor adventure. Pack a reliable bug spray to keep mosquitoes, ticks, and other creepy crawlies at bay. 

Look for a DEET-based repellent for maximum effectiveness, and remember to reapply as needed, especially during dusk and dawn when bugs are most active.


customized packing list

1. Have a checklist!

Be sure to have a checklist to ensure you don’t forget essential camping items. Nothing beats a well-prepared list to keep track of everything you need for your outdoor adventure.

2. Organize the items

When organizing the items, make sure to have a separate container or bag for your camping gear. Keep the air pump with the inflatable mattress and tent poles in the tent bag.

Sometimes, we’re too confident and grab things together the day before going camping, only to regret that there are items left behind.

3. Prepare the items a week before your planned date.

This works for me all the time! I mean preparing, not packing all of that gear immediately. By taking this step, I know which essentials I’m missing so I can buy them immediately.

New to camping?
Make sure to read our tips and guides for beginner campers, as they will help you a lot.

Jessie Bongolo

Hi there! I’m Jessie Bongolo, an online freelancer who loves to roam around rather than slouching in a chair all day. You can usually find me wandering in the Philippines, taking pictures of nature and writing about all my adventures.

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