Camping is one of the best ways to spend quality time with loved ones, or to find solitude in your own company. Whether you’re carrying your entire setup on your back, or rolling straight up to the campsite in your car, if you’re new to camping, it can be hard to know where to begin when it comes to what to pack. The beauty of camping is in embracing minimalism, and getting started only takes a few key items. With over 90 years’ experience supplying camping gear to outdoor enthusiasts, Paddy Pallin has all of your camping needs covered, from tents to toiletries. Read our full camping essentials list below to get started.

What to Bring Camping

Think about what to bring camping in terms of 4 key pillars: sleep, cooking, hygiene, and clothing. At the most basic level, make sure that you pack a shelter and sleeping system, as well as clothes and toiletries. It’s always worthwhile checking the facilities that are available at your campsite before you pack, so that you can properly prepare for the trip (for example, if your campsite has cooking facilities this might eliminate the need to bring a stove).

Two men setting up camping tent

Essential Campsite Equipment

Getting the right campsite equipment is key to a comfortable camping experience – and you can make it as simple or luxurious as you wish. As a beginner, it might be a good idea to borrow some of the essentials to figure out which style of tent you prefer, which little luxuries you enjoy, and what you can live without. If you’re hiking, you might want to sacrifice a couple of items to reduce pack weight, whilst car campers might enjoy creating a more extravagant setup. As a general rule, our campsite essentials are:

Optional extras include:

Camping stove setup

Camping Kitchen Essentials

Cooking around the campfire is often the most enjoyable part of a camping trip. Many campsites will have cooking facilities or barbecues available, however, it can often be an easier option to bring your own stove. The type of stove or cooking system you bring will vary considerably depending on your activity, budget, and campsite facilities – read our article on how to choose a stove to help with your decision. Most campsites will have drinkable water, but make sure that you research ahead of time and bring a water treatment solution if you’re unsure. Essentials for your camp kitchen include:

Optional extras include:

Camping toiletries bag hanging on a tree

Camping Toiletries Essentials

When it comes to toiletries, stripping it back to basics is usually the best option. Only take with you what you really need to stay hygienic and healthy. Shower and toilet facilities will vary depending on your campsite, and it’s more than likely that you won’t have access to a mirror (so, leave the 7-step skincare routine at home!). Essentials include:

Optional extras include:

  • Laundry wash
  • Laundry bucket
  • Urinary device
  • Toilet roll holder
  • Trowel (if no toilet)
  • Brush/comb
  • Mirror
  • Cosmetics
  • Eye mask
4 friends sitting in camping chairs at a campsite

Camping Clothing Essentials

The best clothing for camping trips are pieces that are multi-functional and versatile. Try to opt for odour-resistant fabrics like merino wool, as well as layerable pieces to adapt to different temperatures which can see you through both day and night. The type and volume of clothing you take will depend largely on the length of your trip, the season, and whether you have access to washing facilities, but we’d recommend the following as a rough guide:

  • Long and short-sleeve shirts
  • Pants/shorts
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Lightweight fleece or insulated jacket
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Nightwear
  • Appropriate footwear
  • Thongs

Weather-dependent items:

Camping is the perfect way to get out and experience all that the outdoors has to offer. Shop our full range of camping gear online or in-store.

About The Author


Some 80 years ago, a young bushwalker's dissatisfaction with the limited and heavy bushwalking equipment available prompted him to design and make his own. Before long, word spread, and Paddy Pallin's lightweight, functional designs were soon in demand among fellow bushwalkers. From its early days the company has concentrated on supplying bushwalkers, travellers and adventurers with the highest quality and most advanced products and knowledge. Since 1930 the company has grown to become Australia's leading supplier of specialist outdoor and travel gear. The company, still owned by the Pallin family, now has thirteen stores throughout Australia as well as online, mail order and corporate sales divisions. We are using our vast wealth of knowledge, and experience, to build an online community where we can share our stories, reviews and tech tips to help you research and plan your next adventure.

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