Camping Packing Tips

I got this cute Facebook message from a reader that is 1. adorable and 2. gave me a great idea for a blog post!

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If you remember I went on an epic canoe trip to Algonquin Park this past summer. My canoe trippers were just as OCD as me and we actually made a packing list in a google doc that was shared with them team! These are my kind of people!

So let’s help my girl out. Here are the camping packing tips you requested. Hopefully others find it helpful too!

What to pack?

Personal Packing List


On my canoe trip I brought a pair of under fleece pants and then waterproof over pants. I technically should’ve just brought one but I didn’t want to purchase something new at MEC. I did bring two tshirts but I can get away with one. I just like putting on a fresh shirt in the morning.

I brought a light light long sleeve and I brought a cold gear under armour long sleeve. If you’re camping in the late fall I suggest the cold gear under armour only.

I slept in lululemon tights, a long sleeve and put on my hoody halfway through the night when I got cold. You can get away with just 2 pairs of socks. Wear one until filthy dirty or they get wet. Keep one pair for dry at the campsite.

I suggest purchasing a quick dry towel from canadian tire or MEC. You probably won’t be swimming in the fall but if you want to wash your face you can use this to dry it.

I actually brought 3 pairs of shoes and it was a bit too much. I could’ve gotten away with just the wet shoes for portages and in the canoe and flip flops at the campsite. I liked having my trail runners though for comfort.

The headlamp is key for around the campsite. Get one that has the red setting for around others so you don’t blind them. This was a lifesaver for midnight bathroom breaks. I don’t know how I camped as a kid with just a flashlight.


Personal Gear


I purchased a barrel sleeping bag from Canadian Tire for this trip as I needed a new one. I got a lightweight bag liner since we camped in the summer but I would recommend a fleece liner for fall camping.

Baby wipes are your key to staying clean. I gave myself a morning wipe down with those babies  🙂 You can use them after bathroom trips too. Hand sanitizer works better as it doesn’t leave waste. I kept used ones in a ziplock bag in my pack.

I forgot to put water bottle in the picture!!!! DON’T FORGET!! You must stay well hydrated! Pattling and portaging can really dehydrate you. I didn’t nearly drink enough while camping this summer and we got a few headaches from our travels and then chugged water at the campsites.

Shared Gear

My favourite purchase from MEC for the trip was my collapsible bowls & cup.

You don’t have to purchase an axe. If you’re leaving from The Portage Store in algonquin they rent out axes. They also gave us a garbage bag. We were pretty good and ate everything we brought with us but the packaging we used for the food went into this and then back into the food barrel.

We didn’t bring a tarp with us this summer but this would’ve been key if it rained.

What should you pack for snacks?

I brought Vega Sport Protein Bars but we had to eat them the first day as they were covered in chocolate. I would recommend bringing their Vibrancy Bars or Endurance Bars instead.

I also packed nuts & dried mango slices in zip lock bags for snacking fuel in the canoe. I stored them in the top pouch of my backpack so I could easily get to them.

Regarding the man seeing you at your “non best”. I say embrace it. Enjoy no makeup. I considered mascara but come on!! Enjoy not having to worry about that. They should wake up beside you and realize they are truly lucky to have you beside them. But sunglasses and headbands are definitely needed regardless 🙂 

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