Your Solo Camping Checklist

A lot of people will pack and unpack their bags many times before leaving for a solo camp and still end up forgetting some essential items. I must say, packing your bag for solo camping is a challenge anyone can encounter. But by using my solo camping checklist, you can pack your bags within minutes and not leave anything out. This list is broad enough to cover what you will need for a successful camp.

The 10 most essential items

There are ten items you can’t do without in the wilderness. These ten items were first grouped in the 1930s by mountaineers and later updated in 2003 to include some modern equipment like headlamps. The following are items highly recommended for you to take to camp:

  1. A map and compass to help you navigate through the wilderness
  2. Some sunglasses and sunscreen to keep you safe from the sun
  3. Some extra clothing for insulation
  4. Flashlight or headlamp to help you through the night
  5. First-aid supplies
  6. Source of fire like lighters, matches or candles
  7. Repair tools and kits
  8. Food
  9. Water for hydration
  10. Shelter

Your backpacking checklist

Your need will be mostly dependent on the terrain and climate of your camping site. Because of this, you may not need to take everything on the list. When solo camping, I strive to keep the weight of my backpack below 33lbs/15kg. The idea is to keep the pack light enough to not slow me down. You will find the following items useful for your solo camping:

You can choose to go with or without the lightweight towels and trekking poles. However, this should be according to your needs.

Clothing checklist

The items you take for your solo camps will depend on the terrain and climate of the place. So, if the environment is freezing, double up the blanket. This clothing checklist will help you go through the normal activities of the camp. If you intend to be involved in other activities, ensure you are carry clothing and footwear that are suitable.

  • Jacket and rainwear trousers
  • Hiking shoes or boots
  • Wool or synthetic socks (do not forget to go with extras)
  • Fleece vest or jacket
  • Wicking t-shirt (long-sleeved) for the top-layer
  • Wicking t-shirt for the mid-layer
  • Wicking underwear for the base-layer
  • Gaiters
  • Hat or cap for sun-shielding
  • Long-sleeve shirt to keep you covered from the bugs and sun
  • Buff or bandana
  • Skullcap, warm hat or balaclava
  • Waterproof gloves and mittens


The following may not really be classified as crucial, but you may need them depending on your camp activities. They will add to your safety and comfort in the camp:

  • Mosquito net
  • Sanitation towels
  • Tent-pole repair sleeves
  • Ice axe/pick
  • Waterproof case for your phone
  • Permits
  • Binoculars
  • Some cash and a credit card
  • Bear spray
  • A handbag for food or bear canister
  • A two-way radio, satellite phone or cell phone
  • A book or an audiobook
  • Solar power or battery pack
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • A journal and pen or pencil
  • Field guide
  • Ropes and climbing equipment