While jetting off to a foreign destination for a vacation full of beachside lounging and historical sightseeing sounds pretty amazing, sometimes taking a quick camping trip that's only a short drive away is even better. Whether you decide to pitch a tent in a beautiful national park on the coast, a magical wooded retreat, or an expansive desert locale, the natural landscape is sure to be picturesque, and the pared-down spirit of camping makes it an ideal getaway. And thanks to the warmer weather, summer is the optimal time of year to seek adventure in the great outdoors with your family or travel buddies.
So now that we've helped you zero in on your midsummer vacation plans, there's just one thing left to sort out: the packing list. To make sure you aren't forgetting anything once you hit the road, we came up with this exhaustive camping list as a guide. From the best accessories to travel-friendly products, basic camping supplies, and gourmet snacks to bring on the trail, this checklist will ensure that you enjoy the backcountry while also feeling comfortable and stylish as you disconnect and reboot.
Oh, and we also made sure that each item on our camping list will last beyond your trip so that it's actually worth investing in. Scroll through to start packing your backpacks full of these 22 durable and stylish picks.
Item #1: A Lantern
The orb exudes a warm glow while the black steel frame has a chic and industrial look, making this lantern perfect for your home as well as camping trips. As it loses charge, the glow will dim a bit, which is just a romantic mood lighting. The base has a USB port so you can charge your phone on the go, whether at a picnic, the beach, or an outdoor concert. Or keep it indoors as an extra light source.
Item #2: A Canvas Blanket
This olive-hued twill blanket backed with waxed sailcloth is super durable, so it'll last you for a long time and come in handy after a camping trip for hikes, picnics, and outdoor movie nights. It's basically a cooler version of a tarp, making it the perfect surface to spread out and keep warm with.
Item #3: Portable Speakers
Don't forget to bring some portable speakers with you on the camping trip! Made from terra-cotta aluminum, these are small enough to hold in your palm or slip in a backpack, and you can also make all those phone calls in the car before your trip thanks to the built-in microphone and Bluetooth capabilities. It can last up to 24 hours on a single charge, too.
Item #4: A High-Quality Tend
The North Face makes really high-quality tents that are also easy on the eye. Head out to the backcountry with this three-person double-door entry tent in tow if you want to carry something that's lightweight yet spacious. There is a fly included in case the elements call for some rain-proofing, but the exposed mesh is also color-blocked for privacy in case you decide to ditch it on warmer days.
Item #5: A Good Sleeping Bag
Sleeping under the stars is easily the highlight of camping. Since temperatures tend to drop during the night even during the warmer summer months, having a high-quality sleeping bag can make the whole experience a lot better. This REI "mummy bag" is super breathable and waterproof, so you'll be prepared for all conditions.
Item #6: A Pocket Knife
A pocket knife will definitely come in handy when you're roughing it in the wilderness. And once you're through using it to get you out of a minor emergency, you can also use to kick back with a drink since it doubles as a bottle opener. Cut with its knife blade fin, open bottles with its tail, and feed it fish pellets once a day (just kidding).
Item #7: A Travel Chair
A foldable chair that's easy to travel with may seem like an annoying item to schlep to a campsite, but once you have a comfortable seat for relaxing by the fire or eating dinner, it'll all feel worth it.
Item #8: Log Fire
These dried logs within a log are easy to light and tote around, thanks to that rope handle. Each log has a two-hour life span, so you can enjoy plenty of mood lighting and a long bonfire on the beach during the summer and stay cozy all winter long. Ready, set, go find your s'mores sticks.
Item #9: Matches
Light your campfire with some colorful, photogenic matches. They're also cute enough to display on your mantel if you have any leftover after your trip.
Item #10: A Camera
If you want to really unplug while enjoying the outdoors but also have photographs to remember the trip by, this classic point-and-shoot instant camera is your solution. It has an exposure tool that allows you to experiment with creative lighting, and you can also set up filters through an app from your iPhone before you ship off. If you'd rather not invest in a camera, opt for a classic disposable one instead.
Item # 11: Cooking Supplies
While transporting it to and from the campsite, this looks like a retro, spunky briefcase. Open it up, and voilà: It transforms into a portable tabletop barbecue. This way you can cook your favorite meals on the guy, provided that you do your grocery shopping ahead of time, or happen to catch some fish earlier in the day. It features perforated holes to allow for airflow so the grill can heat up quickly, and it's also super easy to clean.
Item #12: Plating
Enamel dinnerware is the best thing to eat with on a hiking trip because it's reusable. In other words, you can minimize waste, and unlike paper plates, it's impossible to run out.
Item #13: Plenty of Snacks
If you bring this jerky with you to stay energized while hiking, your trail experience will be seriously happy. The result of a partnership between gourmet market Dean & Deluca and marinade company Soy Vay, this bag of filet mignon jerky is beef jerky refined. Featuring salty, gingery and garlicky flavor notes, this snack is calling our names. (More of a trail mix person? This yummy blend of pecans, almonds, golden raisins, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries is as delicious as it is healthy.)
Item #14: A Water Bottle or Thermos
These handsome vintage leather thermoses are great to have on deck for a camping trip and bringing your coffee on the go. With a stainless steel canteen sheathed in durable Paraguayan leather and gorgeous hand-stitched details at the seams, it'll elevate any morning commute or early sunrise hike.
Item #15: A Bandana
Cut in a rumpled, plaid cotton fabric, this bandana will accompany you on all your adventures. Wear it as a neck accessory, tie it around your wrist to wipe your brow, or spruce up your backpack with it.
Item #16: Hiking Boots
Durable, comfy hiking boots that aren't also incredibly bulky can be difficult to come by. So when you discover a pair like these, it'd be wise to act fast. They're waterproof and sturdy with plenty of support, so your feet can be blister-free and your ankles will be protected. Just make sure you also pack enough socks!
Item # 17: Fashionable Sunglasses
The right pair of sunglasses will instantly make your camping outfit look chicer. Eclectic yet timeless, these acetate and gold-tone Karen Walker aviators will definitely get the job done. They also offer UV protection, another essential when you're spending a lot of time in the sun.
Item #18: A Cool Workout Top
Made from an elastic material, this stylishly bold workout top also happens to be super breathable and comfortable, so you can be both expressive and practical.
Item #19: A Backpack
While you explore the campsite and hike throughout the day, make sure you have a backpack that's both functional and stylish. With plenty of interior and exterior pockets plus a wax coating on the bottom, it will survive the dirt stains and splashes that can occur in the wilderness.
Item #20: Dry Shampoo
When showering isn't an option, this is one of our go-to dry shampoos since it's easy to travel with and also happens to be organic. With the silky-smooth powder that absorbs natural oils, a little goes a long way. Take your pick between jasmine and lavender/sage.
Item #21: Travel Deodorant
Deodorant is a crucial item on this list—arguably the most important—since a regular shower schedule isn't in the mix, but frequent physical activity is.
Item #22: Sunscreen
Sunscreen is up there with a toothbrush on our "most frequently forgotten but essential travel item" list. Since you'll be out in the elements pretty much all the time, make sure you're applying and reapplying sunscreen throughout the day. AmorePacific's sunscreen is super easy to carry around, and it smells amazing (though the fragrance is subtle) so that it putting it on feels more like a luxury than a chore.
What are your must-have items when you head out to the backcountry? Share your own camping lists with us in the comment section below.