The Ultimate Camping Checklist, According to Captain Jako Hall

Originally published

If you love the great outdoors, camping can be a wonderful experience. At the same time, captain Jako Hall states that it can be an overwhelming experience, too, if you’re not prepared.

From preparation and packing to setting up your campsite, there are basic steps every camper should take to ensure the experience is fun and safe. Here are some of those steps.

Sleeping Supplies

First, know where you are camping and what your campsite will look like. Are you going to be sleeping directly on dirt or a raised platform? What amenities (if any) are going to be available to you?

This will help you determine exactly what you’ll need — and it all starts with having the right sleeping supplies. First, make sure you have a good, insulated tent with the proper stakes and the gear to secure them in the ground.

Bring an air mattress, cot, or sleeping pad that will get your body off the ground. Have a comfortable pillow, sleeping blanket, and warm, insulated clothing to wear to sleep.

Also, make sure that you bring the proper lighting with you, which could include a headlamp, camping lamp, and even string lights that are battery operated.


In addition to your sleeping supplies, there are plenty of accessories you should consider bringing as well. This could include a table, hammock, and/or chairs where you can sit around the fire.

Speaking of fire, make sure you can either buy firewood on the campsite or bring an axe with you so you can chop your own wood. Also, make sure you have the proper tools to easily start a fire.

Cooking and Food Prep

It won’t be so easy to “order out” when you’re camping. So, be prepared to cook all of your food.  

How are you going to do this? Are you bringing a mini grill, or is one provided for you at the site? Are you going to cook over an open flame in the fire pit? This will help you decide which type of fuel source and supplies you’ll need to bring to create the heat necessary to cook your food.

Next, you’ll need the proper cooking equipment, such as cooking utensils, pots, and pans. You’ll want at least one good knife and a set of plates, bowls, and utensils to eat with.

You’ll likely want a cooler to preserve any perishable food and to keep your drinks cold. This means you’ll also need a place to purchase ice if you can. Make sure you also pack biodegradable soap, a sponge, and a bucket or pale where you can wash everything when you’re done.

Of course, you should also carefully plan out what you’re going to eat. You want to make sure you have enough food to last your entire trip while at the same time not packing too much just in case — as this can make your gear heavier than necessary.


Jako Hall says that it’s imperative that all campers bring at least one extra set of shoes and clothes for their trip. If your feet and clothes get wet, for instance, your whole body is likely to shiver.

Always plan for the unexpected when you’re camping. So, plan to pack clothes that you can wear in layers so you can adjust to the changing weather, and make sure you pack extra just in case.

About Jako Hall

Captain Jako Hall is an experienced mariner and a former naval officer known for his strong work ethic and ability to lead and motivate crews. He pursued Maritime Studies at the University of Technology in Cape Town and has received the highest level of training in Navigation and Seamanship during his years in the Navy. After 13 distinguished years in the Navy, Jako joined the superyacht industry, following his passion for creating unique and exclusive experiences for high-net-worth clients. He’s managed multi-million euro projects that required attention to detail and efficiency and has a proven track record of operating at sea in remote and unsupported areas.