If you’re going on a camping trip, it can be rather tempting to pack everything including the kitchen sink so you have those home comforts while away. However, you can enjoy camping in luxury without taking your entire life by thinking carefully about what essentials you are going to need.
As outdoor enthusiasts ourselves, we share our top tips for packing for a camping trip.
Setting up the kitchen
Cooking in the wilderness can be an enjoyable experience if you have the right equipment to make the process simple. Rather than taking the contents of your kitchen cupboards, it can save you time and effort ensuring you have dedicated camping cooking equipment. Items you should take with you include:
- A lightweight camping stove
- Fuel for your stove
- Plates, cups and cutlery (one set per person)
- A frying pan
- A sauce pan
- Serving spoon
- Long skewers
- All-purpose knife
- Dishwashing supplies
- Fire starters
- Rubbish bags
Top tip: Assign each person a zip lock bag, a plate, cup, knife, fork and spoon, so they can each be responsible for their own items.
Enjoying a comfortable night’s sleep
A good night’s sleep can make or break a camping trip as there is nothing worse than feeling tired and grumpy while away from home. Ensure you have a warm and cosy sleeping area by ensuring you pack the following equipment:
This might seem obvious but it’s important you get the right size tent to cater for those that will be sleeping in it. Before embarking on a trip, you need to decide what will best suit your group - will one large family tent be enough or should you consider taking a couple of smaller ones so everyone has their own space?
To make sure you have a good night’s sleep, ensuring your sleeping bag is suitable for the climate you will be camping in is essential. Opting for a down or down-alternative sleeping bag will ensure you’re kept warm while being a lighter option to carry than cotton, nylon or polyester bags.
It can be tempting to just pack a floor mat to save on space and weight, but after a couple of nights, you’ll begin to feel every lump and bump in the floor, which can become unbearable. A blow-up mattress can be a god send to lie back on after a day of exploring. Don’t forget the pump!
Suffering an illness or injury while out in the wilderness can cut your trip short, so ensure you’re not caught out by being adequately prepared. Remember to pack torches or headlamps so you can navigate a campsite at night, and having a camping lantern for around the camp will provide a safe light source instead of a campfire.
Having a first aid kit with enough supplies for your entire group is a good idea. Kits should include:
- Blister pads
- Gauze pads
- Antiseptic wipes
- Antibiotic cream
- Burn cream
- Medical gloves
- Water purification tablets
- Insect repellent
It’s also important you ensure you are fully stocked on any personal medication you will need to take.
Hygiene can be a big issue on camping trips, so pack the necessary toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, sanitizer, etc.) and assign a towel for each person. If there isn’t toilet facilities on the campsite, make sure you have enough toilet roll, a bucket and a shovel.
Packing it all in
Think about the items you have to bring and those that you want to bring. Lightweight camping chairs are a great way to take the strain off when you’ve had a full day on your feet, while a pack of cards or a board game can keep the group entertained.
When it comes to packing your clothing, be sure to pack for the right climate. For the sun, you’ll want a swimsuit or two, shorts, T-shirts and vests and a pair of sunglasses, while for cold and wet climates you’ll want a waterproof jacket, Wellington boots, hat, scarf and gloves and suitable trousers.
Top tip: Wear your bulkiest items to travel in to allow for more room in your rucksack.
Finally, make sure you pack all your gear into the car in a sensible order so you aren’t unnecessarily taking things out while setting up camp. Packing your tent last will make it the first thing to hand with your bedding next and then anything else following behind.