What Not to Bring When Camping

There are some things not to bring when camping. Trying to think of camping gear that you’ll never need? Whether you’re packing up for a weekend with the family or an extended stay deep in the woods, it’s always good to know what not to bring.

Firewood From Home

Sure, it would save you time and money, but it’s also a simple way to spread invasive species of pests. Bringing firewood is always forbidden in many campgrounds since the risk of transporting unwanted insects or fungi is too great. Instead, don’t forget to purchase your wood near your campsite so you’re not wasting valuable packing space.

Instead, buy firewood where you camp. Oftentimes, the campground itself will provide the wood or you can buy it at approved sites nearby.

Luxury Items and Expensive Toys

Leave your Rolex and diamond ring at home. It may sound ridiculous, but some people will steal just about anything you might leave unattended.

Aside from theft, your expensive items are in danger of being broken or damaged in the elements. There is not failproof way to secure or safeguard expensive items when you are camping – other than leaving them locked up at home in a locked house.

Perfumes, Body Sprays and Scented Lotions

Some people are allergic to perfumes and scented lotions. Some people are sensitive to particular smells, which may trigger asthma or other respiratory problems. On top of this, when you are camping, those perfumey items may attract the attention of unwanted pests like insects, rodents, and bears.

If you must have a scent when camping, choose something that is scented naturally with herbs and essential oils like lemongrass, lavender and peppermint.

Glassware and Beverages in Glass

Broken glass isn’t only dangerous – it’s also unsanitary. Broken glass can cut feet and hands if stepped on or handled, but even worse for a camping trip, glass shards contaminate the campsite. In addition to being a health hazard, broken glass can also cut sleeping bags and tents. Glass is also very heavy, which makes it tedious to pack.


Bringing fire accelerants or petroleum-based lantern fuel with you on a camping trip is not only dangerous, it’s unnecessary. Fuel takes up space and can leak in your luggage. Petroleum products are flammable, which means that they could easily ignite during transport.

Loads of Perishable Foods

One of the quickest ways to attract bears and other wild animals is to bring food with a strong scent when you’re camping. If you bring too many perishable items, you may have strongly scented garbage. In addition, if you don’t have enough cooler space or ice, you can end up with a lot of waste.

Dry goods are good options for camping trips because they take up less space and are shelf-stable. If you want to bring fresh fruits or vegetables be sure that they are wrapped in plastic bags beforehand so they don’t spoil during the trip. An even better option: buy the fresh items close to camp and only as much as you need for one day at a time.

All Your Tech

When you go camping, you should try to leave your technology behind. While you may want a cell phone for safety, navigation and reserving campsites along the route, you don’t need a tablet, laptop and other tech devices. This is the great outdoors and technology may be a good tool at certain moments, but like any tool, it should only be used when needed.

Cases of Bottled Water

Brought all the bottled water you think you might need? You’d be better off bringing a few gallons of water and a pump purifier instead. Bottled water can be expensive, but it’s also heavy to carry on your trip. In certain emergencies, having enough drinkable water is key, but for general camping, individual water bottles are wasteful and expensive.

Go with purifiers and filter sticks. If you need backup water, bring a 3-gallon jug instead of cases of bottled water.

All of Your Toiletries and Cleansers

This one mostly depends on how long you’re camping for, but even if you’re only staying the night, it’s just not practical to bring all of your toiletries. You don’t need shampoo, face soap, body soap, conditioner, dish soap, laundry soap, etc. Bring a multi-purpose camping soap that can serve you in many ways throughout the trip.


Avoiding these items will make for a better camping trip. Some of these items are absolute no-nos and others are things it’s just better to avoid.