There can be nothing worse than arriving at your campsite after a long drive, perhaps with children, to find you’ve left the tea-making equipment at home! Whether you are an experienced camper or a novice, it pays to be organised when packing for your summer camping trip. Our summer camping checklist will make sure you have all the bases covered, including all essential camping equipment and camping accessories you need to enjoy a trouble-free and enjoyable trip.
Shelter & Bedding
• A tent – tents are sized according to capacity, but they do not take into account luggage and supplies, so consider a tent that sleeps one or two more than will actually be using it to give you space for suitcases etc. Our range of tents includes 2, 3, and 4-man models.
• Tent pegs and mallet
• Tent poles and guy lines
• Tent repair kit
• Sleeping bags – the summer weather in the UK is not always reliable and summer nights can be quite chilly. A three seasons sleeping bag will suit all weather conditions.
• Sleeping mat/airbed/camp bed – depending on your pitch, the ground may be uneven beneath you and sleeping on a camp bed will mean you won’t feel every lump and bump and will get a good night’s sleep.
• Picnic rug – a waterproof-backed picnic blanket will double as a tent carpet.
• Folding table – not exactly essential but a folding table is practical for family meal times and games night too.
• Chairs – romantic as it might seem to sit round a roaring fire on rugs and blanket, the reality is very different, especially on damp ground or for older bones! A camping chair can be used on site or at the beach and lets you relax at the end of the day in comfort.
Cooking and food preparation
• Camping stove - unless you plan to eat out every day, which can soon chip away at your holiday budget, a stove or barbecue is essential. Don’t forget to check whether your pitch has hook-up or whether you will need gas or charcoal.
• Cooking pans and utensils – remember, too, the small items that we take for granted at home, including tin opener, bottle opener, vegetable peeler and chopping board.
• Cutlery and crockery – lightweight, plastic tableware is easier to transport and harder to break! Particularly useful if younger campers will be taking their turn at the washing up.
• Water carrier – essential if your pitch is situated far from the water source. Water carriers are available in different sizes and some models can be collapsed when not in use to save space.
• Washing up bowl, washing up liquid, dish cloth and tea towel – a collapsible washing up bowl can be stored flat and is available in round or rectangular options.
• Kettle – along with tea, coffee, milk and sugar, a kettle may be the first thing you want to see on arrival, so pack it last!
Unless you are camping completely off-grid, you will be able to buy food supplies locally. However it makes sense to take smaller items from home, such as condiments, cooking oil, and stock cubes. If you expect to arrive later or even after dark, pre-prepare a meal that can be warmed through quickly after you have set up camp. Our blog ‘Easy campfire recipes’ has some great ideas for hearty campsite meals.
Health and self-care
Toiletries can all be bought in travel sizes which will take up much less space when travelling. Basics to include are:
• Shower gel/soap
• Toilet paper
• Feminine hygiene products
• Hand sanitiser
• Prescription medication
• Insect repellant
• Sun screen/after sun/lip balm
• Hair rush/comb
• First aid kit – a first aid kit is essential and if it is a kit you have used previously, check that all supplies are in date, replacing any items that have expired.
• Shaving kit
Vital for navigating your way around the campsite after dark, or just for illuminating the interior of your tent in the evenings, a torch is a must. Before deciding on whether a hand-held torch, a head lamp or a lantern is best for your needs, read our ‘Guide to buying a camping torch’. Don’t forget to pack sufficient batteries too.
And finally, a few things that are easy to forget in the rush to get out of the house:
• Electric hook-up – do you need a mobile mains kit?
• Waterproofs and wellies
• Charging cables for devices
Our checklist is not exhaustive and what equipment you take will depend on your camping party and your vehicle. If you do arrive and find you have forgotten anything, our shops on the East Coast have everything you need. Visit us in-store if you are in the area, or give us a call on 01754 871152.