With a lot of uncertainty around going abroad at the minute, camping holidays are becoming more and more popular, especially now the weather is on the up. Spending a few days or a week in the great outdoors can be a fantastic adventure or an absolute nightmare all depending on one factor – what you pack. Having the right essential items for your trip can make all the difference. Here we outline our top 10 essential items to make sure your camping trip is memorable for all the right reasons.
This one is fairly obvious but the most important, you’ll need a decent tent to protect you from the elements. Look for a tent that can comfortably fit everyone in your group, a good rule of thumb is to aim for a tent that sleeps 1 or 2 more people than you need. There’s also the associated accessories: rope, tent pegs, a mallet. Everyone will also need a sleeping bag, and for extra comfort you might want to invest in sleeping mats or airbeds and pillows.
It’s worthwhile having some tools with you to help deal with any unexpected situations. This should involve things like a penknife, rope, string, tape and bin bags. A penknife is the ultimate multipurpose tool and you’ll find many different uses for it, from trimming rope to opening that well-earned beer! Rope and string can help to secure any errant tents and tape can help with any unexpected tears or breakages. Bin bags can be used for pretty much anything, from their actual purpose to a makeshift waterproof.
Nothing says camping quite like a camp fire and a BBQ, and with the key to a successful camping trip being to pack smart, the TrianGrill™ is the perfect companion. It combines a fire pit and grill into one neat, portable, flat package, and as it comes in varying sizes it suits any group. Along with the TrianGrill™ you’ll need your fuel source (charcoal or wood) along with a fire starter. If you’re thinking matches, we’d recommend waterproof ones! Add to this your cooking utensils, cutlery and crockery. Plastic is always the easiest for carrying and washing up afterwards.
Alongside your BBQ essentials it’s worth bringing items that don’t need cooking and have a long shelf life. Pre-packed snacks and grab and go energy or cereal bars always come in handy. It’s a good idea to pack at least an extra day’s worth of food just in case things delay your trip, or you decide to stay a little longer. Alcoholic refreshments aside, you’ll also need to bring some water in a re-fillable container. Depending on where you’re going to be you might want to consider some water purification tablets if there isn’t an accessible clean water supply. A cool box and ice packs will help with both your food and drinks.
Another essential item is a first aid kit. You can either get a pre-assembled kit or build your own. As a minimum make sure you’ve got treatments for blisters, adhesive bandages of varying sizes, anti-bacterial wipes and pain medication. It may also be worth adding in some sun-screen and insect repellent.
While the camp fire will give you some light, if you’re trying to make your way to the toilet or find an item in your tent a portable battery-powered light is going to become very useful. Many campers opt for a headlamp to keep themselves hands-free but a torch will be just as invaluable. Don’t forget to bring extra batteries too.
On-site facilities will vary or could be non-existent depending on where you set up camp so it’s always worth bring your own supply of hygiene products. Essentials should include anti-bacterial soap and shampoo and toilet roll. If you are going to be washing in a lake or a stream, just make sure your products are eco-friendly, and if there are not going to be on-site toilets, make sure your toilet roll is biodegradable or you have a bin bag for disposal.
If there’s one thing we can rely on with the British weather it’s how unpredictable it can be! Blazing sunshine one minute, followed by downpours the next. Make sure you cater for all possibilities. To help with keeping your packing light, it’s worth taking a light-weight waterproof jacket that you can add layers to. You also need to make sure you’ve got the right footwear. Nobody wants to deal with blisters from wearing unsuitable shoes. Invest in some decent walking shoes or boots, preferably waterproof, and along with some walking socks you should be able to avoid those blisters.
Chances are you’ll want to do some exploring once around where you’ve set up camp, so another piece of essential kit is a map and compass. Although most of us have smartphones with built in maps and gps, there may not always be the signal for these to work effectively in certain areas, so it’s worth going old school with a map and compass to make sure you can navigate your way back to your tent.
One of the joys of camping is being able to switch off and get off the grid for a few days. To stop any boredom creeping in take some games along with you. Things like a Frisbee, football or a cricket bat and ball can lead to hours of fun. It may also be worth taking a pack of cards or some travel versions of board games in case the weather forces you inside.
Every camper is different, and these are just our top 10 essentials. You can always add on some luxury items such as camping chairs or sun loungers, a tent porch or gazebo, or even a tent carpet for an added indulgence. It could be worth creating your own checklist that you can refer to each time to make each trip a breeze. Happy adventuring!