What you need to bring on a camping trip

The past few days I found myself Googling “what to bring camping” and “healthy foods for camping” several times.


Because this weekend, Dave and I are going on a camping trip in the redwoods with a group of friends.

We’re leaving tomorrow, and our detailed packing and planning has been last-minute because we weren’t sure if we could go until Saturday night. Sadly, the Golden State Warriors did not make it past the first round of the NBA playoffs, but that did free up our weekend to get out of the City.

My previous camping experience

I’ve been camping before, but it was an entirely different animal. Back in college, I went on an Outward Bound Appalachian backpacking and rock-climbing challenge, which required me to carry a big backpack, practice leave-no-trace camping and become “one with nature” in a small-group setting for eight days. I heard about Outward Bound from a friend-of-a-friend early on in my college career and was so intrigued by the challenge that I took it. My family and friends didn’t quite understand it, but they supported it, and I’m so glad I can recall that experience. It was extremely hard and something I’ll never forget. Especially the “solo night,” in which I had to go off and set up my own personal campsite and reflect on my experience. Scary, but pretty awesome.

However that was then, and this is now.

I’m a little more accustomed to urban comforts these days, so will be roughing it this weekend.

We’re going with a group of 15 people and one of them is celebrating a birthday, so it’s sure to be an awesome time. My girlfriend organizing the trip is a pro, so she has already sent out the list of who needs to bring what for our community meals. However, we’re on our own for most of the set-up.

Planning for a camping trip

I’ve created numerous lists, and last night Dave and I went shopping to get most of the things we’ll need. We’ve borrowed a few items and are going to rent a tent and sleeping bags from Sports Basement tomorrow on the way out of town.

By the way, if you’re ever in the need of equipment and live in the Bay Area, I’d highly recommend any of the five Sports Basement locations, because they make it very easy.

Now, let’s get to it. Most of the resources I found online were either too complicated or unhelpful, so I figured I’d make my own.

Camping Packing List

We’re bringing nearly every item above, except for some of the cooking devices, which we’ll share with the group.

Easy and healthy food for camping

I spent a lot of time looking around at ideas for foods that don’t need to be kept cold. Clearly, nuts, almond butter, sandwiches and packaged goods were the top recommendations. However, I wanted to make sure we didn’t rely solely on things that were packaged, but also didn’t bring anything that would be too much trouble to prepare.

I think we’ve put together a balanced selection. Some of which we’re freezing ahead of time, then keeping in the cooler until consumed.

Camping supplies

Here are the food items we’re bringing.


  • Oatmeal
  • Greek yogurt (pre-frozen)
  • Bananas


  • Almond butter
  • Apples
  • Trail mix
  • Pita chips
  • Hummus
  • Baby carrots


  • Pre-baked potato
  • Sandwiches


  • Bison burgers
  • Wheat hamburger buns
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Relish
  • (We are sharing sides with the group, which will be salad, assorted fruit, etc.)


  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Tons of water
  • Coconut water
  • Instant coffee for Dave
  • Green tea for me

There you have it. Lots of preparation for a weekend in the great outdoors.

Tomorrow evening, after I teach BODYPUMP, we’re heading off on the one-hour drive to the campsite to meet the group. Even though there won’t be cell service, I’ll have my camera in-hand most of the time.

Saying goodbye to my Thursday sweat sessions

Today’s post is a little late, because I had a busy first part of the day. In fact, I taught my last ever Thursday lunch-time BODYATTACK class. While I’ve absolutely loved this group, I have to let it go in order to free up my days for my new job. I’m going to keep my other classes and will continue to sub as much as I can, so I can sneak in some more BODYATTACK every week.

Questions of the day

Have you ever been camping before? If so, what’s your favorite part?

Did I miss anything on my list?

What’s your favorite go-to picnic meal to eat outdoors?

Ashley signature

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    1. Hi Katie!
      Thanks for stopping by. Oh you know we will have s’mores this weekend in the woods. Can’t wait. Hope you have an awesome weekend:)

  1. Wow, I didn’t even recognize you in your new profile photo! You look so different with dark hair. It’s beautiful!

    I grew up camping quite a bit. I have so many fun memories from our camping trips. My husband and I hope to create the same type of special memories with our kids when they get older. Have fun this weekend!

    1. Hi Ashley! Yes, my hair has gone through some changes in the past few months, so I figured it was time to update the profile picture. I’m very excited for camping, and yes, it’s a great family experience too. Hope you have an awesome weekend. 🙂

  2. Very noce lsit but from my personal experience its too much things to take. In normal circumstance im going with only one backapack where i need to take also a sleeping bag, tent most often and other things. Personally i would cut this list by half. But it is my point of view. Cheers:]

  3. Hi,

    Thanks for sharing this.

    I prefer having a camping checklist of what works for me. Since we don’t bring our car for camping, we ensure that all members hold part of the essential gear list to stay light as well as ensure that we always are prepared for any situation.

    With the summer season setting in, having a good sunscreen and some insect repellents is also a good idea.

  4. I love the fact that you included pillows on your list of equipment, as optional. I’ve found they’re a necessity to getting a good night’s sleep, but take up a ton of room.

    When I’m short on space I’ve found that stuffing a fleece jacket with t-shirts and socks gives me the neck support I need without adding extra bulk to my gear list!

  5. Hi Ashley,
    You look lovely in your profile picture. I always like to go light when camping. Normally i have a checklist for things to carry, although I pretty much carry the same things every single time. This list is a good wrap up of things I would carry although I would probably leave off a 1/5 of the things. This year I plan on going to camp at the Grand Canyon! I can’t wait!

  6. I appreciate that you suggest to bring things that don’t need to be kept cold, but that also aren’t packaged and processed. I think that there is a fine line to what is easy to prepare, but not pre-made. I think that a camping classic is hot dogs. Even though they are technically pre-made, it is really fun and easy to make a fire and put them on a stick to cook.

  7. Hey Ashley,

    I have to say thats a great list, something I tend to do as well is create a list of what I need before heading out to a camping trip.

    It’s the best way to stay organized. Your list looks similar to what I pack Except Beer twice would be good especially when your camping with friends 🙂

    Great List great article 🙂

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