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Essential Camping Gear Checklist for Wilderness Camping

Planning a wilderness camping trip in the Kootenays? Ensuring you have the right gear is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience. Here’s a comprehensive camping gear checklist to help you prepare:

Shelter and Sleeping:

  • Tent (with stakes and guylines)
  • Ground tarp or footprint
  • Sleeping bag appropriate for the season
  • Sleeping pad or air mattress
  • Pillow or stuff sack filled with clothes

Cooking and Food:

  • Camp stove and fuel
  • Cooking utensils (pot, pan, spatula, etc.)
  • Eating utensils (plate, bowl, fork, knife, spoon)
  • Biodegradable soap and sponge
  • Food and snacks
  • Water filter or purification method
  • Water bottles and hydration system

Clothing and Footwear:

  • Moisture-wicking base layers
  • Insulating layers (fleece, down jacket)
  • Weatherproof outer shell (jacket and pants)
  • Hat and gloves
  • Extra socks and underwear
  • Sturdy, waterproof hiking boots
  • Camp shoes or sandals

Navigation and Safety:

  • Map of the area
  • Compass and GPS
  • First-aid kit
  • Multi-tool or knife
  • Firestarter and waterproof matches
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Bear spray (if camping in bear country)

Backpack and Accessories:

  • Backpack with rain cover
  • Stuff sacks or dry bags for organizing gear
  • Trekking poles (if needed)
  • Duct tape and repair kits

Personal Items:

  • Identification and necessary permits
  • Cash and credit card
  • Personal hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, biodegradable soap)
  • Prescription medications
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Camera and binoculars (optional)


  • Lightweight camp chairs
  • Entertainment (book, playing cards, etc.)
  • Trash bags for waste disposal

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