Astonishingly Easy: What to Pack for Your 3 Day Camping Trip

The Ultimate Guide To Packing For A 3-Day Camping Trip

As a content writer, father of three kids and veteran camper, I’ve ventured into the outdoors countless times. During my trips, I’ve learned the hard way that packing for a 3-day camping trip requires careful planning and consideration. To ensure an enjoyable trip, it’s important to take the right equipment and have supplies that are versatile. In this guide, I’ll share my expertise and provide you with all the essential information you need to make the most out of your 3-day camping trip.

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The Essentials

It all starts with the basics. The most essential items for a 3-day camping trip are a tent, sleeping bag, and an inflatable sleeping pad. These three items provide you with a great foundation for a successful trip. Let’s go into detail about these three camping must-haves.


Your tent will be your home away from home. It should be durable and spacious enough to fit you and everyone else in your party. The size of your tent should be determined by the number of people going on the trip. For a 3-day camping trip, you’ll need a 3-person or 4-person tent. 4-person tents are preferable, as they provide some additional comfort and space for gear.

Sleeping Bag

Your sleeping bag should be lightweight, easy to store, and comfortable. Make sure to check the temperature ratings for the sleeping bag and select one that will keep you warm without being too hot. My personal recommendation is the Kelty Cosmic Down 20 Sleeping Bag. It’s a great all-purpose sleeping bag that can fit a variety of body shapes without sacrificing comfort or warmth.

Sleeping Pad

A sleeping pad will provide you with extra cushioning and help insulate from the cold ground. Choose one that’s self-inflating and comfortable for your needs. I use the Klymit Luxe Pillow. It’s larger than most self-inflating pads and provides superior comfort.

Staying Organized

You don’t want to be rummaging through your bag trying to find something in the middle of the night, so it’s important to pack and organize your items efficiently. Invest in some lightweight and waterproof storage bags to keep your items organized. Things like food, electronics, and clothing can all be labeled and kept in their own bags. This makes it easy to quickly grab what you need when you need it.

Clothing & Accessories

When it comes to clothing and accessories, it’s important to bring the right items for the climate. In addition to your everyday clothes, you’ll need additional items that provide warmth and protection from the elements. Here’s what you should pack:

  • A light waterproof jacket or raincoat
  • Fleece jacket and long-sleeved or thermal shirt
  • Underwear, socks, and pants
  • A hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses
  • Sturdy waterproof boots / shoes

If it’s going to be colder in the evenings, bring an extra layer such as a wool jumper or hoodie.

Cooking Equipment & Food

If you’re cooking on the campsite, you’ll need the right equipment and food. Make sure to have a portable gas stove, fuel cans, a pot, utensils, plates, bowls, and drinking vessels. Here is a list of food ideas I recommend bringing:

  • Canned goods (soup, beans, vegetables, gravy, etc.)
  • Meal bars / energy bars
  • Dehydrated meals (instant noodles, rice, etc.)
  • Snack foods (nuts, dried fruit, protein bars, etc.)
  • Coffee / tea bags

If you’re going for a longer trip, you can also bring fresh food and have a mini-fridge or cooler to store it.

Other Necessities

In addition to the aforementioned items, here are a few other items that are essential for a 3-day camping trip:

  • Flashlight / headlamp and extra batteries
  • Matches / lighter
  • First aid kit and bug repellent
  • Compass and a detailed map of the area
  • Knife / multi-tool
  • Garbage bags
  • Toilet paper and hand sanitizer

Electronics & Entertainment

It’s not a trip if you can’t take some photographs and create memories. Here are some electronics and entertainment items you should bring along:

  • Camera and accessories
  • Phone and extras like chargers, spare batteries, etc.
  • Tablets / e-readers
  • Portable speakers
  • Playing cards, board games, and musical instruments


Packing for a 3-day camping trip can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. If you start planning ahead of time and bring the right items, you can have an enjoyable and safe camping experience. With the right combination of equipment, clothing, food, and entertainment, you’ll be ready for a fun and memorable camping trip. To get you started, here’s a helpful video summarizing what I shared in this blog post: