21 camping essentials you forgot to pack

Tent? Check.
Poles? Check.
Sleeping bag, hiking boots and a lantern? Yup, all there.

These must-have items rarely get left behind as you're getting ready to head out on a camping trip. But there are a few smaller essentials that you may not think to bring.

Don't forget these camping must-haves as you're loading up your pack.

  • Bug spray and citronella candles for your site
  • Travel first-aid kit with plenty of adhesive bandages, calamine lotion and pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Any prescription medication you may be taking
  • Sun protection – think hats, sunglasses and broad-spectrum sunscreen
  • Lip balm with added UV protection
  • Baby wipes/wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Books, magazines, a notebook/journal, pens, playing cards and games
  • Small mirror or compact
  • Tweezers – these are especially handy if you end up stuck with a splinter, brier or stinger
  • Toiletries for camping – dry shampoo or shampoo and conditioner, hairbrush, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, bar of soap, razor, loofah or washcloths, cotton balls and swabs, feminine hygiene products
  • Hair ties and bobby pins
  • Travel sewing kit with safety pins
  • Clothespins and string or rope to use as a clothesline
  • Toilet paper
  • Extra socks
  • Extra towels
  • Pocket raincoat
  • Extra batteries
  • Matches and a lighter
  • Resealable sandwich bags


And if you're looking for a place to pitch your tent, give some of these spots a try.