What Not to Bring on Your Camping Trip

Camping, Packing & Organizing, RV -

What Not to Bring on Your Camping Trip

A lot of people take items on their camping trips they do not really need. It can be easy to do, especially when camping, because you may worry you won’t have something you need or want and won’t necessarily have the convenience of a store nearby. But if you’re not careful, you’ll end up bringing items that will just be more for you to pack, organize and keep track of. Instead, consider the camping accessories you are better off leaving behind when you head out to go on your camping trip.


This includes perfume, colognes, and scented lotions. You can make an exception for things like insect repellant designed to keep the bugs away. The problem with perfumes and scents just for the smell is some of these attract the bugs you want to keep at bay. 


Camping often means rough roads, items bouncing around and cooking outside over open flames, even if you have a gas camp stove. Glass and ceramics do not do well with any of this. Getting all the glass shards off the ground is next to impossible as well. Bring metal pots to cook in. Purchase any beverages, in cans or plastic bottles. Bring plastic or metal cups and plates.

Big Containers

Big containers are usually meant to hold food. Instead, pack food in serving-sized portions and then put those in your storage like a cooler. Dirty clothes can be shoved in a duffle bag, which is small, and hung up from a tree or tossed in the back of the vehicle.

An Out-In-About box may be your solution to help you get your camping equipment organized. This durable, weather-resistant box lets you store a lot of camping accessories out the way and gives you a sturdy, washable table when you open it. By itself, it is lightweight and fits inside the bed of most pickups.

Anything You Can’t Take Back

Anything you cannot take back needs to stay at home. You’re heading into the woods. Leave the woods better than you found it, which means packing your trash out. Exceptions are for things like and biodegradable wipes or unscented soap. If it’s biodegradable and you can bury it and need it, bring it. Don’t forget to bring a shovel for the burying work.


This may seem like an essential because you may need firewood, since a fire is integral to the camping experience. But fire is dangerous, and some camping locations have a campfire ban during parts of the year. Also, you should not go into the woods with the intention of cutting down frees for a fire. You should be able to find enough deadfall for a good fire or bring your own fire starters. Axes weigh more than a good saw or machete, both of which can cut up fallen limbs and trees for a fire.


If you’re bringing kids, you may think they need their electronics to stay amused. They don’t! You may not get cell service where you’re going, and solar chargers are just more weight to haul around. They can put their imaginations to work exploring around the campsite. Instead, bring games, cards, balls, horseshoes, cornhole, fishing poles, blowup innertubes, and other fun items to use outdoors.

Wrong Kind of Clothes

You need clothes, but make sure you get the right kind. Some people will pack fancy loafers, dress slacks and expensive blouses. The critters in the woods will not be impressed by your razor-sharp crease in your pants. Leave this stuff at home. You are heading into the woods, and you will get dirty. You need tough clothes. If you are summer camping in the South, you do not need winter and fall clothes. Up North, you may need a jacket at night depending on where you go. Good shoes, socks, jeans, t-shirts, swimsuit, and a jacket should be all you need.

Certain Pets

Some pets need to stay behind. Dogs probably love camping. Cats may enjoy being in the woods, but they are just as likely to be dinner for something as to find their own dinner. Coyotes are indiscriminate eaters. Most pets are better left at home, plus bringing them also means you have to pack a few items and food for them, which just takes up more weight and space.

Complicated Food

Camping means basics. Stick to simple meals you can either eat as they are, or you can cook at the fire pit. Keeping your camp kitchen organized and simple is the way to go. Burgers and hotdogs are great. Trail mix is dried fruits and nuts for a reason.

Here are examples to leave behind:

  • Anything that requires more than three ingredients
  • Anything you must bake
  • Anything that must be frozen
  • Anything that takes a long time to cook

These are just some ideas of what you don’t need to bring camping. But, camping trips look different for everyone, depending on where you’re going, how long you’ll be gone, and who you are packing for. You can make sure you pack all the right camping accessories for your trip by downloading our FREE camping checklist.