truck camping checklist

Campfire_thumb.jpgA friend at church told me she wants to get back into the outdoor life and said she would like to pick my brain about camping. She said she has inherited a good deal of equipment, but hasn’t used any of it yet.

I thought about our conversation this afternoon and felt the first order of business would be to make a thorough inventory of equipment. The inventory serves as the basis of a checklist that will keep you from forgetting a critical piece of gear.

The season and your personal habits will determine what you need for any given trip. Since my favorite outdoor activity is black iron cooking, my list is heavy in the Chuck Box category. All of the cast iron makes me thankful for the heavy-duty suspension on my truck. Others may take a more lightweight approach. Regardless of your activities, the checklist is your key to a happy trip.

Another friend has convinced me that organization and identification are two more keys to happy camping. It’s one thing to have a large pile of gear, but quite another to be able to put your hand on the item you need. Everyone develops their own system over time, but the list below is what I use. I have large plastic lockers for my chuck box and my shelter box. For personal gear I use a duffle bag or small day pack. Items are the further subdivided into bags or containers for ease of identification.




Spiffy kit



Long T-shirts

Short T-shirts








Felt hat

Ball cap

Watch cap






Chuck Box:

10” Dutch oven X 2

Double sided griddle

12” cast iron skillet




Dish soap

Dish pan

Coleman 1 burner stove

Butane canisters X 2

Stanley pot kit w/ 2 cups

GSI Solo pot kit

Coffee pot

Collapsible bowl

Cooking utensils


Eating utensils

Cooking mitts


Meat hook

Folding grill

Cutting board

Water bottles X 2


Wire whisk

Paper towels

Plastic containers, small






Shelter box:

Tent Cot

Nylon tarp, 10 X 10 (for hammock)

Blue tarp, 10 X 12

Black tarp, 12 X 16

Green tarp, 5 X 7

Tent stakes, long

Tent stakes, short

Guy lines, reflective

Jam tensioners

Therma Rest

Sleeping bag

Fleece liner bags

Tarp clips


Seat cushion

Box Chair

Camp stool



Splitting maul, short handle

 Industrial strength mosquito repellent (Thanks, Kevin)

 Keep in mind that this is just a sample list to give you an idea of how to start your own. Let me know what you have on your list and be sure to leave me a reply if you have any questions

Happy camping!

2 comments to truck camping checklist

  • Kevin & Mandy

    WOW What a list…. looks like you have just about everything…. and definitely not tarp poor on this list…..LOL
    We do live in Texas, where the Mosquitoes wear helmets and have taken kamikaze lessons, not to mention they are completely fearless.
    I can only add one thing.
    So, what would I add to such a great list you ask? Ha Ha!!
    How about some industrial grade bug spray, the back woods…. I mean deep woods kind.
    I know we have all been caught out at the campsite without it and swore we would never leave home without it again.

    • YakDriver

      Thanks for calling that glaring omission to my attention, Kevin. I guess my mind has been on our winter trips and you gave me a wake-up call to stock up on bug juice.

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