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Camping Essentials!

Camping Essentials!

Written by: , May 14th, 2024
Categories: Tips

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Camping in Yellowstone has been a tradition since before the park was established. It’s a fantastic way to experience Yellowstone. While there are many ways to camp, including backpacking, the majority of visitors use tents and/or RVs and trailers. The options today are endless! Regardless of the path you choose to camp, the needs are often the same and we hope you find this list helpful for your next camping adventure. While not all-encompassing, many industry checklists include these suggestions. Do customize to your own personal preferences and needs!

Looking for more Yellowstone camping tips? Check out the amenities offered at each of our five campgrounds: Madison, Grant, Canyon, Bridge Bay, and Fishing Bridge.

First Aid and Safety

In Yellowstone, we like to say, “Safety First!” so, we’ll lead with that here. It’s best to have these essentials with you, as park campgrounds may still be several miles from a store (or they may not be open when you are in need). While bear spray is last on the list, “last but not least” certainly applies here. Bear spray is a no-brainer if you plan on hiking or camping in the park and can be purchased or rented in Yellowstone.

Shelter and Sleeping

Of course, getting a good night’s rest to explore the sites, hike the trails, fish, or catch a sunrise photograph is essential. If you don’t have a hard-sided sleeping option, here are the must-haves plus a few extras! Nights can be chilly in Yellowstone, but having a nice sleeping pad will keep you warmer and more comfy!

Shelter and Sleeping


Speaking of staying warm, having proper clothes and being able to layer easily can make or break a trip. Temps can fluctuate wildly, and mountain weather can change in 5 minutes. No matter what month you visit, be ready for it all—snow and cold, rain, wind, warmth, and sunshine. And the park is beautiful no matter what the weather is doing! We also recommend extra socks, a hat, and gloves.

Cooking and Food

Everything tastes good when you are camping, especially that cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Instant coffee for camping has come a long way in the past five years, as have those dehydrated meals many once frowned upon.  Backpacking, a pot, and a small stove are all you need to boil water and be satiated. But if you are car camping, you can get a little more gourmet. Bring the double burner and pack the cooler!

Personal Items

Last but not least, it’s the little things. Many campgrounds in Yellowstone and beyond have shower facilities. There’s no need to give up the comfort of a warm shower while “roughing it.” And the person sitting next to you at a National Park Service program will appreciate that!

For more travel experiences to Beautiful Places on Earth™ available from Xanterra Travel Collection® and its affiliated properties, visit

Want to experience Yellowstone in-depth? See what makes Yellowstone National Park a great place to work for a season or longer!